So many couples ask for a floral quote and design 9 months plus before their wedding. They tend to fall in to one of two categories:
1) They have a big budget and they want a quality expert, so they know booking a floral designer last minute will leave them with very few options.
2) They have no clue what wedding flowers cost and they just need a ballpark.
I’m always happy to help either type of customer. As a planner and designer, I know the importance with setting a firm budget early and sticking to it. I’m happy to help either type of client become informed or book me well in advance. That said we have our full service customers meet for a walk through a couple months out to update and confirm their final design because what you wanted early in the planning process may not be the same a few months out.
If you are just getting started, what should your floral budget be? On average expect 10% of your overall budget to go towards flowers/decor. A full service design and set up on site, for 100-150 guests will typically cost a minimum of $2500 and depending on your design it can easily cost $3500+.
Common myths to cut a floral budget:
1) DIY is less expensive – no. DIY is usually going to look DIY and can easily cost you more. When you order an out of town friend or mom a small bouquet online with delivery, you’ll pay $150 plus, so what makes you think your wedding bouquet and centerpieces can look good and cost you $20? They will not.
We often offer non-floral centerpiece options and decor for our planning customers to either supplement the floral centerpieces (half and half) at a deep discount – if you are renting the candle holders, vessels, and lanterns, etc. from us and are already our Day Of, Partial or Full Service Planning customer. We are already investing in labor for set up, so yes you save on non-floral items through us vs. buying from a store and doing it yourself.
2) Shop at a florist or grocery store or farmers market.
When we do full floral design for a wedding we begin processing flowers between Monday and Wednesday of your wedding week. By Thursday, your centerpieces and bouquets may be done and in the cooler (depending on numbers and style). On Friday your boutonnières, corsages, hair pieces, cake flowers, prep for on site installs and large pieces are all completed while you’re probably at your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. When do you plan to do all this? Are you taking the week off? Do you have help, do they know how to design? Any of these options will do pieces for you to pick up, few will deliver or set up, and some just provide you with a bunch of flowers.
3) Using online flower services and Costco. I always recommend Costco green garland over ordering it from me if you are on a budget. It’s not as pretty as my hand made or local bought garlands, but if you supplement it with flowers in water picks, it will be fine. Of course, $99.99 for six rectangular table segments, plus adding flowers and labor, that’s still a lot of money per table. Add up the costs! If this is the look you want go for it. If you prefer a different design that’s the same or within $5/each what will you do? We also recommend rose petals for your aisle from Costco if you want white or pink their price ya $69.99 for 5,000 if you want good coverage buy 2 orders. Sparse sprinkles 1. As for flowers online they could be ok, they could be ugly, it’s sometimes ok, it’s sometimes horrible. If my supplier gives me dead flowers I just reject them and they hand me over similar replacements in stock. Or better yet for smaller weddings I can hand pick wholesale local flowers first, then fresh beautiful individual bundles that look awesome that day. You can’t do that online. Do you want to risk it?
If you are looking early for a professional wedding decor and floral designer, you do need to book at least 6-9 months + out to get a designer who specializes in continued design training and experience in weddings. A neighborhood florist can handle your wedding, but if they spend their year designing sympathy flowers, birthday bouquets from online national orders that must meet a set recipe, their designers may not be up to date on all of the current wedding designing techniques and trends. They may be very technically capable of copying a design you want but less able to creatively custom design your personalized wedding.
Who should consider a florist vs. a wedding specialist? Some may think it’s if you are eloping or on a small budget – not necessarily! We and most wedding specialists absolutely design a la carte items for elopement or intimate affairs. You will typically have to pick up your order. Pick up may be required on Friday for a busy wedding week Saturday, but it is rare we and others will not easily accommodate your minimum order. That said, we have a minimum of $300, typically. I’ll always refer people who just need a few boutonnières to go to one of several florists we adore. They can make one or two small order pieces with zero minimums.
If you are using a florist who will not be installing or delivering, think about what you are ordering and how to set it up. Some designers will let you pick up arch decor, we will not. Our a la carte pieces are limited to bouquets, to go capable centerpieces, boutonnières and corsages. Why? Wedding arches are designed on site. Every arch is different and our designs are 100% created at your venue, and if we had you take it, we’d be sad if you weren’t able to attach it, your measurements were off, something broke off while you transported it. We see our designs as art, and therefore we just don’t do that.
You do not want your arch to be a mess my heart felt advice if you are a DIY couple, invest in quality draping and silk permanent designs that are designed as a garland. They will look better in photos than a potential disaster with novice installs. Resources – we can design you a custom garland and sell you garland and drapery to install yourself when you pick up your bouquets. You can find non-custom items on Etsy. Order very early to make sure you like it and to practice setting it up. For draping, buy by the bolt on Amazon.com. Either tulle or chiffon or organza will look best. Tulle is the easiest for a novice to use. It doesn’t run or thread and is super sturdy and easy to cut.
If you’d like a ballpark quote for budgeting, contact us and tell us what you are looking for.