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 – it can be. It depends on the projects, materials and your level of craftiness. It’s often quite expensive when you add up all of the items purchased.
2) I can just pick up flowers from the grocery store, or the farmer’s market.
You can absolutely do that sometimes. It depends on your style, how set you are on specific types of flowers, the week you are marrying and what is in stock that week. Also, consider the amount of time you have on your wedding week to run errands and put these things together. It will absolutely not look the same as a professional design.
3) I can use an online service or Costco, it will be simple! It’s not simple! When we do a large wedding we spend days processing, opening up the flowers and getting them to their perfect state of beauty just in time for your wedding date, and putting everything together. Just know bulk orders arrive unprocessed and are often not the same level of quality as what your local wedding floral artist uses. We live in Oregon and are surrounded by amazing local flowers that always look more amazing than flowwers shipped in from elsewhere. It’s also better for the environment and the local economy if you support local small businesses first. If you go with bulk flowers online note that they require a lot of hydration, processing and a lot of work to make them look like wedding flowers.
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.