Hello everyone! I hope you have been having a wonderful winter, enjoying the nice warm days while we have them. We have been keeping busy doing consultations and planning up a storm for the summer to come. We aren’t going to be having our own booth this year at the With This Ring Gala like we typically do, but! We are doing up some big beautiful designs for Parkland Party Rental. They have some exciting changes going on right now with new owners, working on renovations and revamping their style. They are bringing in some new gorgeous rentals and working on some new stuff so keep an eye on them. They are going to have a beautiful marsala inspired booth (woop woop, colour of the year!!) and we can’t wait to make up some stunning centerpieces. If you are going to the bridal gala definitely take a quick moment to swing by Parkland Party Rental’s booth to check them out! With us being in the middle of consultation season, we get lots of questions on the price of flowers, so today we want to share some (or a ton) information with you.

Planning can be so much fun, but it can also be a big job to take on! Choosing colour scheme/style, finding ideas, finding vendors, creating a budget….sticking to the budget… it can all be a little overwhelming. Flowers can be especially challenging to budget for and are often more expensive that most people anticipate. Today we will hopefully help give you some information that will make budgeting for flowers a little easier. I am going to talk a little about why flowers cost what they do, some of the factors that affect what your flowers will cost, and break down what our average prices are for wedding flowers. There is quite a bit of information to cover so bear with me – let’s get started!!

Over the years I have heard a ton of comments on the price of flowers. I completely understand why people have a hard time with it – they are really pretty, but they don’t last forever so it can be difficult to justify the expense. That being said… invitations get thrown out, the food and cake get eaten, the music stops playing when the DJ goes home and when the wedding is over you don’t get to keep the linens and chair covers. Just because they don’t last forever doesn’t mean that there isn’t value there. The bouquets that you are spending your money on will be in majority of the photos that you will be keeping forever, investing in flowers can really make such a huge impact on the overall style and decor of the wedding. Everyone is going to have their priorities when wedding planning and you have to just spend your money where your priorities are. The areas you don’t want to spend as much money are the areas that you may need to make some compromises on to keep the costs lower.

So why are flowers expensive?? If any of you have ever grown a garden or done any landscaping in your yard think about how much time went in. Flowers take time too. Before they even get to the flowers shop, there is a long line of things that have to happen. Planting, watering, pruning, fertilizing, harvesting, a lot of care tending to the plants to make sure they can grow big beautiful blooms with nice long stems. Once they have been harvested they will go through a number of people, distributor to wholesaler to florist, each step of the way they are unpacked, getting cut and put in fresh water (in buckets that have to be cleaned diligently to make sure there isn’t bacteria that could decrease the vase life of the flowers) and carefully packed into boxes, etc. Then once your florist has received the flowers and processed them, it takes time to design them! Each boutonniere and corsage takes approximately 15 minutes, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but if there are 20 it adds up. Plus there is the time that goes into planning the flowers, ordering flowers, emailing back and forth between the bride and supplier and ordering matching ribbon and and and! The point is, the road to get to the beautiful bouquet is really quite a long one, with lots of time involved and lots of caring hands that go into it, and that all needs to get paid for stem by stem. I know it can come as a bit of a shock to find out what it may cost to have a full, dramatic floral arch way made trust me when I tell you your florist aren’t trying to rip you off and they aren’t secretly super rich 😉

One of the reasons flowers are so hard to budget for is because they can vary a lot in pricing. There are a lot of factors for this:

1) Design style – the simplest way to explain this is some designs require a lot of product and/or labour to create where other designs may use lots of filler product (ex. moss or greenery) and little time to produce. If you want big centerpieces, or bouquets full of flowers and very minimal greenery (filler) or really elaborate detailed designs it will cost more.

2) Product used – carnations are about $2 a stem, white hydrangea are about $12 a stem and some orchids are about $65 a stem. That being said, I like to almost think of flowers as the price per size a little bit more than just the price per stem. While the hydrangea is $12, it is still probably bigger than 6 of the $2 carnations – so in that respect it is cheaper. And just because that orchid stem is $65 doesn’t mean it is completely ridiculous because chances are there are about 10 blooms that can each be used individually and actually take up a decent amount of space. Talk to your florist about flower options that will not only compliment the style you are going for, but also work with your budget – there are options!

3) Season – sometimes people will come to a consultation and ask what flowers are in season and the truth is a lot! Our suppliers bring in flowers from all over the world – Ecuador, Holland, US, Australia. When a flower might not be in season in Canada lots of the time we can get it from somewhere else. There are some flowers such as anemones or peonies that are only available a few times a year for a pretty small window of time, but we really aren’t limited for options. But, just because we can get it in doesn’t mean it will be the same price year round. If it is a flower like peonies that only is available during certain times it may be more expensive, or even though we can get it in it might be more expensive during certain times of the year, or something that a lot of people don’t consider is HOLIDAYS. Near holidays there is a high demand for flowers which means prices go up, if you have a pretty winter wedding near Valentine’s Day you will be paying more for your flowers than you would if it was mid-January.

4) Quality – yeah you can get cheaper flowers at Safeway or Costco, but you won’t be getting the same quality of product and chances are you probably won’t be getting the same quality of florist either. Don’t get me wrong I love picking up a bundle or roses or tulips while I am getting my groceries as much as the next person, but a dozen roses from safeway and a dozen roses from a florist IS different. High quality roses will have bigger heads, more petals, more options for variety, and typically will last longer. I have had florist quality roses last for a month, and that isn’t an exaggeration. If flowers aren’t a priority for you, that is fine, but if you do care about the quality it does cost more.

5) Variation – this isn’t a HUGE factor, but I am going to list it anyway. Having more variety can make your bouquet more expensive. Each type of flower you put in your bouquet, you need to have several stems. It looks silly to have just ONE stem, depending on the size you should have a minimum of 3 stems, more like 5-10 stems. Well, if each stem is $5 then that can add $25-50 by adding one more type of flower. It is nice to have a good variety, but it just recognize that by simply adding one more type of flower can add a decent amount to your bouquet.

So how much should you expect to spend??? Well, while the prices can vary a ton depending on the size of the bouquets, styles, flower choices etc, we do have some rough numbers so you have at least an idea what to expect going into your consultation. Our average price for a bridal bouquet is $250-300, bridesmaids are about $100-150, boutonnieres $20 each and corsages $25 each. More custom pieces such as urns for the church, archways, centerpieces, floral table runners etc are all over the map just because they vary so much in size and style. To get more detailed information on pricing please contact Travis for a consultation. They are free of charge and not only can she give you pricing she can also help you with ideas for the things you are unsure of. She has tons of experience, is super creative and very much loves what she does and it shines through! She is booking up very fast for 2015 (approximately half full already!) so if you are interested in securing a date do not wait too long to contact her. You can reach her by email travis@calyxfloraldesign.ca or by calling 403-352-4055. I hope that this post was helpful information for you, do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions, Travis and I would love to help!