Any good wedding planner will advise their clients on how much money to allow for each element of their wedding. A rule of thumb for flowers is 10%. of the overall budget, depending on guest numbers, flowers used, the number of arrangements and work involved. For some couples this might seem an exorbitant amount of money to spend on flowers, to others no. It is however a useful figure to bear in mind.
Bear in mind that certain flowers of course are always more expensive, more elaborate designs are more labour intensive and additional costs such as hire items, transport, petrol and staff wages, and the dreaded VAT have to be factored in, and can increase the final cost dramatically.
I spend many months preparing for a wedding, sometimes more than a year. The run up to a wedding can involve months of site visits, design meetings, quotes, re quotes, adjustments and mock ups of final designs. A wedding day for me can have a 4 a.m. start to prepare the bridal flowers, and a 1 a.m. clearance because the venue insists on everything being taken away at the end of the night. All this work has to be included into the final fee.
To the uninitiated many people think that my work finishes when I deliver the bridal bouquet. If truth be told many people think that mine isn’t a proper job at all. Over the past 26 years I’ve come to realise that the people who do think that don’t respect my work, attach no value to it and therefore think they have the right to negotiate my prices down. I have also come to realise that I have the right to say no.
Like everyone else, florists are in business to make money; so why should we feel embarrassed about charging what we charge? We work to earn a decent living, pay our bills and provide employment for the myriad of people involved in keeping our industry going.
Every year I take on a limited number of weddings. I don’t work every weekend because enquiries, like buses tend to come along all at once. I often have to turn down work because I’m already booked, and when I’m not I don’t get anything! Such is the nature of the business.
Choosing the flowers for a wedding should be one of the most enjoyable parts of the planning process. Professional florists are highly experienced, skilled and creative individuals who deserve respect for what they do. We work incredibly hard (often behind the scenes) to make a couple’s day look amazing, and what we do is reflected as the true cost of wedding flowers."
photos by Nicolas Alexander