How to Maximize Your Wedding Flower Budget: Part 3

I wish that more people would ask me how to maximize their floral budgets! This goes hand in hand with saving money on your wedding flowers and making the best decisions for lower cost budgets. We can make some seriously good things happen if we make the right choices!

This is Part 3 in a 3 Part series on wedding flower budgets. We've already talked about How Much Wedding Flowers Cost in Manitoba, and 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!


1) Choose 1 focal area and keep the rest simple (bonus points if that focal piece can be used in both the ceremony and reception). 
It sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but seriously: spend a big chunk of your budget on one key piece and keep everything else simple. The theory behind this makes a lot of sense: one emphasized focal area does an amazing job of creating the ambiance that you're after. This could be an exaggerated hanging installation above the head table (like at Jynelle's wedding, which was also used for their ceremony!), or it could be a gorgeous, over-sized arrangement at a guest book or entrance table to welcome guests in. I've always wanted to do an incredible, statement-making design around a cake table, set in the middle of the room, so if that sounds like something you'd like, then email me! 

2) Use greenery, sparingly.
Fully bound garlands are pretty costly, because they take a lot of product, a lot of time, and because the designer always gets poked by the wire. Kidding ;) That doesn't get factored into the cost but I can't tell you how many times I have cursed a garland for making me bleed!

An awesome alternative is to lightly lay greenery down the tables. You still get that fresh green look while eliminating the high cost. For this wedding, I also included some flower "confetti" - loose blooms and petals tucked in with the greenery for some touches of colour.

3) Opt for bud vases or mini arrangements. 
Sometimes all a table needs is a pop of colour. In that case, you don't need to go over the top with a full floral arrangement (and sometimes, those long, rectangular harvest style tables don't even have enough space for a full floral arrangement!). A few bud vases clustered in the centre of a table featuring the accent colours in your palette will make just enough of a statement without breaking the bank. You can expect to spend $5-$15/stem vase. 

4) Use a coloured table linen. 
Okay, I realize that the table linens actually have nothing to do with the flowers, but this is one of the event design rules that I live by: the biggest impact you can make in a room is with the table linens. Why? They take up SO MUCH visual real estate, that they really set the tone for everything that you see. If you're on a lower flower budget, upgrade from the basic table linen (whether that's with a texture, a metallic, or a pop of colour) to make a statement in the room, and then your florals can be scaled back a bit. 


Flower Cost Comparisons

I thought I'd offer you some more specific pricing on some of the most popular wedding flowers and some lower cost alternatives that make for great substitutes!

Left: Peony | Right: Pink O'Hara Garden Rose
This may not be my wisest substitute, since garden roses are still costly flowers, but they are definitely the closest thing to a peony that you can get! Peonies usually range from $15-$18 per stem, while an O'Hara garden rose is a little more reliable at $10-$12 per stem.

Left: Juliet David Austin Garden Rose | Right: Peach Lisianthus
Yes, the garden rose is always going to be the king. But if you're just concerned about getting the right colour, then lisianthus could be a great substitute! The David Austin garden roses are a high-end, very carefully bred family of flowers that will ring in at about $18 per stem, while lisianthus will be more like $5-$7 per stem.

Left: Ranunculus | Right: Spray Roses
Everyone's favourite loonie-sized flower is ALWAYS a ranunculus, but they're pretty stinking expensive and not the most reliable. They have a hollow stem, which means they're more prone to rot. Often out of a bunch of 10, I'll only be able to use 5-7 blooms! This little baby will be around $7-$10 per stem, while the similarly sized and shaped spray rose (with a HUGE range of colours and usually 3-5 blooms per stem!) is a much easier to manage $5 per stem,


Hire an excellent wedding florist in Winnipeg!

Getting married in Manitoba? I might be biased, but flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding. Whether you already have a specific vision in mind or want me to dream up something custom just for you, reach out to Stone House Creative for stunning bridal bouquets, unique ceremony backdrops, and beautiful floral centrepieces to create the perfect ambiance for your wedding! 

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 2016 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, 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 charges 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!

2018 Wedding Flower Consulations

Hello all brides and grooms to be! 

This past weekend, I wrapped up my crazy busy spring/summer/fall wedding stretch. Here in Manitoba, we have such a distinct wedding season thanks to the weather, so I just have to push through it. And now that it's over, I'm looking forward to meeting with more and more 2018 couples and dreaming up amazing ideas for your weddings!

Photo by Ariana Tennyson

Photo by Ariana Tennyson

So, if you're looking for...

creative, uniquely inspired wedding flowers
a wedding that looks and feels differently than what your friends have had
a well thought-out colour palette that is a lot more interesting than just what you see on Pinterest
 

And if you're getting married in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas, or Kenora/Lake of the Woods area...

Then I might just be the right floral designer for your wedding! My 2018 season is booking up, but I still have plenty of spring and fall availability with summer dates booking very quickly. Please don't hesitate to reach out and we'll schedule an appointment to brainstorm some fantastic ideas!

Photo by Brittany Mahood

Want to see if I'm still available for your date? Click the button below. I'll respond back promptly and outline how the whole process works. Can't wait to hear from you!

How To Pin a Boutonniere Tutorial

I came across this awesome little how-to video tutorial on Snippet & Ink the other day and loved it! Often on a wedding day, I don't actually see the guys, so it's not going to be me who is pinning the boutonnieres on. One of the steps that I think is the most important is the very first - deciding where to place that boutonniere. So often I see pictures of a wedding and laugh, "What on earth were they thinking?" It's those kind of hilarious photos that sort of make you feel badly for the guys, because they obviously didn't know what they were doing when they put that boutonniere on the absolute bottom of their lapel, or practically sitting on their shoulder. So for all of those guys out there (and you know there's definitely going to be at least 1 in every bridal party), make sure you save these steps!