Budgets & Flowers — A Florist’s Perspective

Today I’m featuring a guest writer, Kim Henry from Garden Party Florals, and her thoughts on budgeting for flowers. Below is just a small sample of her work. Hope you find her article helpful when deciding on your flowers and budget!

Budgets and Flowers….a Florist’s Perspective

Oh, what fun we have with the brides on flower consultation day!  They are so excited to share all of the beautiful pictures of wedding flower ideas that they have been collecting over the months from their stacks of wedding magazines.   Clicking  on the the various  wedding web sites is inspirational too, not to mention the  fabric swatches of course. Many times I ask the bride, what is your floral budget?  Surprisingly, often times the answer is “I don’t know”!   Fairy tale wedding flowers cost real money, and just how much depends on the flower choice, season of flowers chosen, style and design, the size of the wedding, and the location.    

Not knowing your floral budget becomes a guessing game for the florist.  A lot of time and effort is spent in consultation, pricing the florals, writing up the proposal, presenting the  proposal, and follow up e-mails and calls.  Sometimes these proposals end in sticker shock when enough budget research hasn’t been done before meeting with that first florist. Then the real game begins and it’s off to florist number two or three, asking for a lower quote.  Florists sometimes call this “the match game”, or “the price is right.” Understandably you want to maximize your budget, but not all florists are the same, and while some might give a lower price, the end product may not look the same, or in some cases, very far from what was envisioned. Careful selection of your florist should not only look at price, but also at style, vision, and creativity.

In this florist’s humble opinion, spending a minimum of $100.00 for the bridal bouquet is well worth the price.  This is the most important floral piece in the bride’s day. It will be front and center all day long…during the ceremony, the photographs, and featured at the reception. Although the flowers will fade, the photographs last forever as do the memories.  Don’t skimp here.  You deserve a beautiful bouquet!

The bridesmaids’ bouquets can be made in a very simple round shape that is so popular today.  Starting at $50.00 per bouquet, a simple design of two or three varieties of flowers will suffice.  More money, means more interesting flowers, more varieties of flowers, and more detail over all.  But when working with a tight budget, the bouquets can be at least very sweet.

If you want to cut back, order simple corsages for the mothers and grandmothers only.  Corsages are very inexpensive, and some ladies really don’t even want to bother with them anyway. This philosophy can also apply to boutonnieres as well.  A basic ”bout” costs $10.00 to $15.00.

Church decor can be simple or elaborate, and on a tight budget, let’s consider how to save.  What are the church regulations?  Some churches do not allow aisle runners, which is a savings.  Some churches are very fussy about what is placed on the ends of the pews.  If pew bows with flowers are allowed, perhaps just placing them on the first two rows, either side of the aisle would suffice, or every other row for guest seating.   Around holidays, there are always flowers on the altar.  Also, parishioners often donate floral arrangements for the altar for Sunday services.  Ask your church administrator.

Altar pieces  custom made for your wedding, can be used again at the reception venue. For an outdoor wedding ceremony, decor can also be used again.  We are living in a time of “recycling” so here is a plan to consider which is tried and true,  a beautiful oceanside wedding ceremony in Palm Beach.  On either side of the aisle, two sizes of floral balls made with white carnations, outline the wedding aisle.   After the ceremony, the wedding guests go to the bar for cocktail hour, and during that time the transformation takes place.  The floral balls are relocated to the “ballroom” and placed on top of thirty inch tall clear glass cylinders on the table tops.  Orchids and feathers are added to the largest round floral carnation balls and “voila”, you now have your centerpiece decor!  The smaller sized floral balls are set on clear glass cylinders on top of the bridal head table, along with clear glass cylinders with all of the bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets!  Stunning and delightful, creative and insightful for the brides on a budget!

I’ve personally worked with Kim, and she is a true treasure…from personality to creativity. For more information on planning the florals for your wedding, please check out Kim’s website: Garden Party Florals You can contact Kim at 561-547-5190 or send her an email at: Gardenpartykim@bellsouth.net.

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  • Lisa Catalan

    Thanks for this great piece! I am that bride who did not have a floral budget. I was a little shell shocked from my florists estimate. Your point of view is quite refreshing!

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