Misconceptions About Wedding Flower Pricing: Part 2

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 info@stonehouseweddings.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!

How Much Do Wedding Flowers Cost in Manitoba? Part 1

I hear this question ALL the time. Literally, all the time. And while I can't give you an accurate blanket statement response, I wanted to at least give it a shot and explain some of the behind-the-scenes of wedding flower pricing for you.

This is Part 1 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 and some common misconceptions about wedding flower pricing. If you have any questions or thoughts about these topics, send me an email to info@stonehouseweddings.com and I'll try my best to address it!

Figuring out how much to budget for your wedding flowers can be a major challenge - for most newly engaged couples, it's just going to be a major shot in the dark. Most of the online resources available are in American dollars, from very different markets than we are in, and are written by magazine editors - not florists - who haven't bothered to do their research on how much things actually cost, making their supposedly helpful suggestions to be completely unrealistic. Some of the big magazines and wedding planning sites offer "helpful" wedding budget breakdowns, with a suggestion for spending 10-20% of your overall budget on flowers, but there's a big difference between 10 and 20%!

So, before you even try to figure out a preliminary wedding flower budget, start here:

1) Figure out your priorities and what aspects of the flowers you really care about, and what aspects may be less important.
2) Understand that your budget needs to match your wants and needs list. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on flowers (which is perfectly fine! I was a budget bride, too!), you can't expect the world. 

Probably the worst part of my job is finding a way to delicately tell a couple that their wish list is just way too enormous for the amount of money they're comfortable spending. While I adjust some prices on my end, most of what I have to charge is set by the growers and the wholesalers. There are a LOT of hard costs in this industry, which means that as much as we would love to, your floral designers can't just give you everything you want without a price tag attached to them. If you take just one thing away from this entire post, please know this: we aren't trying to rip you off. Believe me, we don't make a lot of money, especially when compared to the intensive work we do. There are simply very definite hard costs in the floral industry, and that just kind of sucks, because it means that we can't necessarily give you as much as we would honestly love to!

There are many things to consider that contribute to the overall amount of money you're spending on wedding flowers, including:
-The flowers themselves (duh).
-The amount of items your florist needs to make (8 bridesmaid bouquets add up really quickly!).
-The time of year (sorry to everyone who wants to get married in February, but all growers increase wholesale flower pricing for the month of Valentine's!).
-What your style is (some design styles require a lot more or less floral than others).
-The supplies required to create a design (you'd be surprised at how much time floral designers spend in Rona!).
-There's also, unfortunately, the border crossing factor. While I love to use locally grown flowers as much as possible, there are many things that just don't grow here in Manitoba. Anytime a flower crosses the border, there are increased expenses. It's a bummer, but a simple reality. What a florist in California might pay $0.50 per stem for, I have to pay $1.50 for.
-You're also paying for the service that you receive and the experience and expertise of the floral designer you've chosen. Perhaps you've chosen to work with someone who's been working with flowers for 15 years. Their experience deserves a higher pay grade. You'd expect to pay an experienced accountant more than a brand new one, wouldn't you? Or maybe you've chosen someone based on their creativity and the unique designs they create. Part of what you're paying for is their brain, which no one else has - being able to access their creativity is a benefit to you! 
-Set up and delivery has a price tag attached to it, too (more on this coming in a future post!).

So, how much do wedding bouquets cost?

Click the graphic below to find out what makes the difference between a $150 bouquet and a $350 bouquet! This is one of my favourite resources to share with couples for a few reasons - mostly because it's a great visual comparison. For those of you who like a certain style but aren't so picky about the types of flowers that are used, be sure to take a closer look - this might give you some thoughts on how you can lower your overall budget! 

For reference, the average cost of the bridal bouquets you'll see in my portfolio range from $200 - $250 each.

Quill + Oak, a florist friend of mine in Ontario, recently put together this comparison on centrepiece sizing and pricing, and it's also a pretty good estimation on what you could expect to receive in Manitoba!

Floral designs by Quill + Oak | Photos by Olive Photography

Want some more resources to compare pricing on? See how different floral centrepieces compare on budget here, and get more details on how much a full wedding tablescape will cost with all of those extras added in (candles, table runners, rental pieces, and so on!).

So, let's get down to brass tacks. How much can you expect to spend on wedding flowers in Manitoba? 

For full service florals (bridal party and family flowers, ceremony decor, reception decor), my clients are spending an average of $3000 + taxes. That being said, you don't have to spend this much money, and costs can very quickly skyrocket past this point as well. For an average size wedding with 3 bridesmaids, 150 guests with smaller centrepieces and maybe a touch of something at the ceremony, I'd suggest that you will be spending in the realm of $2000 +, once set up and delivery are added in. If you have a larger guest list or a larger bridal party and want to keep your floral budget below $2000, then consider some alternatives - simpler bridesmaid bouquets, lower cost centrepieces or DIY options for some of the table centrepieces, and so on. And of course, if you want to have really lush and full arrangements and bouquets, then I'll be happy to oblige :) Just be prepared for a higher price point.

Here's what I offer to clients: 
-Full Service Floral Design (with a suggested minimum budget of $2000)
-The Intimate Wedding Package ($550 for a limited, stress-free floral package)
-Event Design (in addition to floral design, and you can find out more about that here!)

I would love to discuss your wedding flower needs. I can help you narrow down your style, determine what are the most important aspects of the flowers to you (and therefore, where you should focus your budget and where you can reduce your spending), and also come up with some great ideas for unique designs that your friends didn't all have at their weddings.

I'm still booking for 2018 weddings. Don't hesitate to reach out by clicking the button below!

Elegant Wedding Anniversary Photo Session in Winnipeg

If you've been following along with my work for a while, you might recognize this sweet couple, Tiffany and Quinn. They got married last August in a classic wedding at the Fort Garry Hotel, and it was such an amazing wedding to be a part of. Tiffany has a beautiful vision for things, which makes sense seeing as she's a designer! So when time rolled by and they came to their first anniversary, I definitely wanted to be involved! Even better, Tiffany had come across one of my favourite photographers, Esther Funk, on my Instagram feed and hired her to shoot their anniversary photos. They planned a two-part session, starting with a lifestyle photo session in their beautifully renovated home, and ending with elegant portraits among some of Winnipeg's most beautiful architecture. 

Pastel Wedding Bouquet - Winnipeg Wedding Florists

All Tiffany needed from me was a bouquet. Not as large as a bridal bouquet, but she did want to retain some similar flowers to what we used in her bridal bouquet. For that nod, I tucked in locally grown delphinium and lisianthus, which we had on her wedding day! The star of the anniversary bouquet was the quicksand roses, and particularly, this ONE AMAZING ROSE. It caught my eye when I was processing the flowers and I kept paying attention to it throughout the week. It opened up like a dream. 

Quicksand Rose Bouquet - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg

I worked in some other pastel tones, all of which were locally grown - sweet pea (my personal fave!), scabiosa, and plenty of that taupe lisianthus, which was totally perfect. The overall palette was such a nice compliment to her elegant, simple dress and the bouquet was also incredibly lightweight, which is always a bonus!

Film Photographer in Winnipeg - Winnipeg Wedding Photographers
Film Photographer in Winnipeg - Wedding Photographers Winnipeg
Anniversary Photos Winnipeg - Anniversary Flowers Winnipeg
Pastel Bridal Bouquet - Winnipeg's Best Wedding Florist
Garden Inspired Wedding Flowers - Winnipeg Wedding Florists

Well, there you have it! I love catching up with my former couples, so if you are in need of some lovely floral touches for your anniversary photos, decor for the holidays or a party, or maybe a replication of your bouquet for an anniversary gift, just shoot me an email! I'll be happy to oblige :)

Lana and Carlos's Naturally Elegant Wedding at Clear Lake

There is something extra special about designing wedding flowers for a couple who shares my anniversary! Although technically, Lana and Carlos got married the day before my anniversary, their wedding was a few hours way (up at Clear Lake) so my husband came with me and we stayed the weekend! We snuck in a mini vacation at Elkhorn Resort and explored the town of Clear Lake a bit (which is ADORABLE). 

But back to the wedding! Lana and I did all the planning via email, since they live out of town. She pretty much left it up to me, after selecting the colour palette, vases, and communicating her style to me. I loved the way it turned out! We went with a very naturally elegant feel, using mostly creams with touches of blush tucked in to the bouquets.

Photos: Esther Funk Photography ~ Ceremony Venue: Elkhorn Manor ~ Reception: Danceland ~ Day of Coordination: Alexandra Lillian Events

Clear Lake Wedding - Wedding Florist in Clear Lake
Blue and Blush Wedding - Bridesmaids Bouquets
Bridal Hair Comb - Wedding Flower Ideas
Blush and Blue Wedding Ideas - Winnipeg Wedding Florist
Botanical Bridal Bouquet - Wedding Florists Winnipeg

I just happened to get these perfect cafe latte roses that week as a complete fluke, My wholesaler was testing them out and I knew they'd be perfect. That warm, rose golden tone was just incredible! I tucked them into a combination of standard roses, garden roses, locally grown foxglove, lisianthus, Queen Anne's Lace, delphinium and straw flower. 

Rose Gold Wedding Flowers - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Lace Bridal Gown - Clear Lake Weddings
Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Flowers - Clear Lake Wedding

The ceremony was set on the lawn of a heritage building called Elkhorn Manor. They had built this wood arbor, and we added an asymmetrical eucalyptus garland with white roses. At the end of the aisle, I placed two large hydrangea arrangements - one on top of a wine barrel and the other set on the ground, both flanking custom-made wood signs.

Hydrangea Wedding Ceremony Flowers - Elegant Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding in Clear Lake - Wedding Florist in Clear Lake
Blush and Blue Wedding Ideas - Winnipeg Weddings
Clear Lake Beach Wedding - Stone House Creative
Barnwood Wedding Backdrop - Natural Wedding Inspiration

I loved the custom barnwood backdrop the couple made that was set up behind the head table. It spanned the entire width, and brought the perfect rustic, natural feel to Danceland (which is a very cool place!). Lana had this cool idea for me to add eucalyptus garlands to swag along the top of it, along with hanging strands as well. It looked really cool! 

The entire interior of Danceland is wood, so it could get pretty dark in there. The choice of light pink linens was a great way to add some femininity to the space. Gold mercury glass votives flanked a low white floral arrangement in a stone urn, and it all came together really nicely!

Elegant Pink Wedding Decor - Wedding Florist in Winnipeg
Floral Wedding Cake - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Wedding at Danceland Clear Lake - Clear Lake Wedding Florist
Natural Inspired White Wedding Flowers - Stone House Creative
White Wedding Centrepiece - Wedding Florists in Clear Lake
Barnwood Head Table Backdrop - Wedding Ideas
Clear Lake Weddings - Stone House Creative

Introducing the Intimate Wedding Package!

While I love being a large part of people's weddings, I know that not everyone either cares about flowers as much as I do, or wants to spend as much on flowers as another couple might. Things in the world of weddings are changing, too - couples are consistently choosing to prioritize the aspects of a wedding that are important to them, and forgetting about all the rest. In fact, there's a trend called "microweddings" that's starting to pop up - a microwedding retains some of the structure of a traditional wedding, except on a smaller scale.

So to take care of all of you who don't need quite as much, I'm super excited to launch a new offering just for you: 

The Intimate Wedding Package

Intimate Weddings in Winnipeg - Stone House Creative

Perfect for a couple who are eloping, who are planning an intimate wedding with a small guest list, or for those who just don't need flowers everywhere, the Intimate Wedding Package is something I've excited to offer. Here's what it includes: 

1 incredible bridal bouquet
1 corresponding groom's boutonniere
And your choice of either
- beautiful ceremony decor (including rentals)
- 5 mid-sized table centrepieces

For just $550 + tax!

With the Intimate Wedding Package, a couple just needs to tell me what their colour palette is and if they have any flowers they love or hate. I'll take it from there, and make all of the decisions for you so you don't need to worry about anything! For more details, check out the full description here!

Planning an intimate wedding or elopement in the Winnipeg area?