Last week, I kicked off this 3 part series on wedding flower budgets, and today, we're going to look at some misconceptions that are floating around out there about how much wedding flowers cost.
This is Part 2 in a 3 Part series on wedding flower budgets. I'll be back soon with more, including tips on how to maximize your floral budget. If you have any questions or thoughts about these topics, send me an email to email@example.com and I'll try my best to address it!
Many of the misconceptions and errors about how much wedding flowers cost are actually coming out from the "pros" who should know better - I'm talking about wedding magazines and blogs.
For example, I recently read an article in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine (of which I am a die-hard fan and have had a subscription to for 10 years!) that listed pricing on a few different centrepiece options...but the price they included for a completed arrangement wasn't even as much as what I would have to pay at a wholesale rate! I have no idea where they got those numbers from, so please take this as a warning: what they publish might not always be correct.
There are a few reasons why they get things wrong: on one hand, their info might be correct for the very particular city that magazine is published in but could be completely unreliable when you cross over to Canada (and to Winnipeg specifically). On the other hand, sometimes they just don't do their research. In the example I gave above, I can only assume that that pricing info just slipped through the fact-checking cracks.
Here are some common misconceptions about how much wedding flowers cost that I hear on a regular basis.
1) Misconception: "I only want to use in-season flowers so they're cheaper."
Truth: "In season" does not necessarily mean cheap. It just means that it's growing and available. Yes, something out of season is going to be MORE expensive, but the reverse isn't necessarily accurate. For example, a peony in season is still going to cost at least $15/stem. That is NOT cheap. But it is available! Out of season, you might be looking at $20+ per stem, which is just plain insane and I would never recommend that you do so.
Speaking of in-season flowers...guys, the VERY best option for cost-effective flowers that are high quality is using locally grown flowers. In Manitoba, we have flowers becoming available usually in the middle of May through the middle of September, depending on the weather. And I LOVE using locally grown flowers! They're hardier, healthier (most are grown chemical free - high five!!), and it's just awesome to also support another small business. That being said, there are a lot of things that simply DO NOT grow in Manitoba, which is a bummer. But some of my favourite flowers to use grow here excellently. Here's a look at a day I spent in the midst of the flowers growing in Southern Manitoba at Lilystone Gardens!
2) Misconception: "Greenery is cheap, right?"
Truth: Yes and no. But in the ways that brides often think? Nope, not necessarily! Yes, I typically get more out of a bunch of greenery than I do out of a bunch of flowers, so it goes farther...but whenever I hear this misconception, it is almost always paired with an image that looks something like this:
Now, I can do this for you. In fact, this is from one of my very favourite 2015 weddings! But somehow, magazines and blogs and Pinterest have given people the idea that greenery garlands running down the length of their tables is going to be budget friendly. Spoiler alert: It's not. For greenery garlands, you can expect to spend about $30/foot. For a 6 foot length (which is what I recommend for an 8 foot table, so you have space on either end in case you need to seat people there), that's $180 per table. If you want to spend that much, then let's do it! But if not, then I can make some WAY better suggestions for budget-friendly options (and will have more of those on the blog next week!).
3) Misconception: Unfortunately, you can't just tell me how much you're willing to pay for individual things on your floral order - you have to let your floral designer dictate that conversation.
Truth: It's incredibly helpful for you to come up with an overall budget, but then let me deal with the breakdown. I'm trying really hard not to sound like a total jerk when I say this, but this is a really difficult area for wedding florists to navigate and it needs to be addressed. I'll sometimes receive an inquiry saying: "I'm willing to spend $120 on my bridal bouquet, $40 for my bridesmaids, and $4 for each boutonniere." I TOTALLY understand having a specific budget you need to be at, but the problem here is that (unless you've worked in the floral industry) you just don't understand the costs that go into things. Most of my bridal bouquets range from $200 - $250 each, and while I can totally come up with cost-saving solutions, make a more petite size, and so on, but when I'm restricted to specific numbers, the back-end math just doesn't work out (and you'd be amazed at how much math there is in floristry!). $4 for a boutonniere doesn't even cover the cost of the flower that I use, let alone the little accents of greenery, and all the time and supplies that go into wiring and taping the entire thing together.
4) Misconception: Why do you charge for set up and delivery?
Truth: Okay, not really a misconception but a question - and a fair question! Every floral designer and rental company charge differing amounts for set up and delivery, but we all charge it - and most of the time, we should be charging more. Here's why:
Before we even get to your venue, we've probably spent 1-2 hours packing all of your centrepieces, one by one, very carefully, into boxes filled with packing materials to keep them safe during transport. We then spend an average of 30-60 minutes loading all of these boxes into our delivery vehicles before we even hit the road. Most venues seem to be about 30-60 minutes away, so there's the travel time, too. If you've been counting, you'll realize that we're already 3 hours in without even setting anything up! The amount of time needed at the venue varies depending on what you've ordered: one centrepiece per table is easy to pop on the table and just takes a few minutes. A larger ceremony installation might need to be designed on-site, which could take 2 hours on its own. I think you get the picture :)
We also spend time cleaning up after ourselves, stashing the boxes somewhere you'll be able to find them, loading and unloading the van at the venue, and driving back to the studio. There's also the cost of staffing, the gas for the vehicles, the cost of larger rental delivery vehicles if your wedding requires more space, and miscellaneous things like parking and insurance.
All of this is time that we're happy to spend in order to make sure that your wedding comes together perfectly, and it means that you don't have to worry about setting anything up yourself or assigning an auntie or a few friends to get to your wedding 6 hours early just to set up. But, it's also time that we spend away from our families, on the weekends, in the summer - and that time deserves to be compensated for.
Did you miss Part 1 of this series (How Much Do Wedding Flowers Cost in Manitoba)? Check it out here!
For more info on what an entire wedding costs in Manitoba, this article is filled with helpful details, including price ranges on many different types of vendors you might need for your wedding.
Getting married in Winnipeg? Contact Stone House Creative!
Stone House Creative services Winnipeg and the surrounding areas (Stonewall, East St Paul, Steinbach, Niverville), as well as Clear Lake, Brandon and Kenora/Lake of the Woods. Whether you have something specific in mind or want me to dream up something completely custom for you, reach out to Stone House Creative to check your wedding date. I promise I'll always help you to get the most out of your wedding flower budget, with a stunning end product!