The Cost of Wedding Flowers~ A Little Bit About All The Hard Work & Time That Goes Into Your Wedding Flowers
When you are planning your Charleston Wedding, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and experience sticker shock. So often when we see a dozen roses at the market for $10 it’s easy to not have a full understanding of the costs associated with wedding flowers. There’s also a lot also to take in consideration if you are planning on incorporating some DIY projects. Here is a breakdown of the standard amount of labor that goes into a average wedding on any given weekend in Charleston. Add much more manpower if you have decor projects such as lighting and fabric. I have also included some helpful hints or questions to prepare yourself both for organizational purposes as well as logistics for your own designing if applicable.
The Initial Proposal~ 3-4+ hours.
Between meetings and/or email correspondence, creating floral recipes for your bouquets and arrangements, researching past pricing and availability of your desired flowers or finding suitable alternatives and finally quote development. Each invoice is custom.
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint– meet with your florist only after you have confirmed your date, venue, estimated Bridal Party & guest count and have at the very least an idea of colors or theme you want for your flowers & décor. As well as how much of your budget you have dedicated to these elements.)
Questions & Revisions~ Average per wedding 6 or 1.5+ hours.
Each time you email with questions or want to make a revision, dependent on the complexity, each revision inclusive of follow up emails could range from 15 mins to 1+ hours. Follow up consultations average another 30+ mins.
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint– Save up your questions and revisions. If the mere sight of your email address makes me step away for a bottle of wine, you may be emailing too many times a week with too many tedious questions You could be constantly changing your mind about colors or design or adding a boutonniere one week, taking off a corsage the next and changing table counts once your RSVPs have arrived. Instead of changing every week, touch base with your florist 6 weeks to a month before your wedding or ask them when they prefer the final numbers.)
Organizing and Ordering~ At least 1+ hour goes into breaking down and listing your floral and supply elements, and placing orders from the appropriate sources.
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint– Keep up with your payment schedule. Your florist needs to pay for your supplies in a timely manner. If you haven’t kept up with the payments some items may become unavailable or it may be too late to get certain flowers in.)
Processing & Receiving~ 7.5+ hours.
Picking up flowers from the airport (1+) or the local farm for Green Weddings. Cleaning and preparing coolers and buckets (.5). Unpacking and processing flowers (3+). Unpacking and preparing other containers and supplies (1+). Inventory reports on any damages, missing items or substandard quality florals and finding and ordering subsequent replacements (1+). Breaking down boxes and taking to recycles, cleaning up, taking out trash and compost (1+) When you think about the journey a flower makes from field to bouquet it is really quite amazing. If you want organic or green flower choices from a local farm, you can actually count on more time being dedicated to this process.
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint– Understand that flowers are a natural product. Many environmental factors will affect shade, quality and size. Even with flowers that are plentiful or in season, an unexpected event may affect their availability. The Dept. of Agriculture will destroy entire shipments if they find just one bug in one bunch. A volcano half way around the world or military coup attempt on a government have shut down airports. Flowers from local farms are subject to weather conditions and availability is a little more unpredictable. It’s a misnomer that “local” “seasonal” flowers are less expensive. Be open to substitutions and know that your florist cares very deeply about the quality of product and service they are providing and are making every effort to give you beautiful flowers for your wedding.)
Designing & Floral Artistry~ 20+ hours.
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint- Keep these figures in mind when you are considering DIY projects. Even a field-picked seemingly unstructured design takes time to make especially if it is still to be balanced and visually appealing.)
Logistics and Loading~ 2+ hours.
It takes time to figure out who’s gonna get what where and how to do so safely. Your bouquets need to be boxed and depending on the decor, we are also loading ladders and wrapping fragile containers in bubble wrap.
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint- Be sure to provide your florist with accurate time-lines and locations. Will you need your Bridal party flowers delivered to where you are getting ready?)
Delivery & Set-up~ 8+ (4+ hours x 2 people).
Helpful Wedding Planning Hint~ Set-up is another huge time consideration for your DIY projects. Who’s setting them up? (Your Wedding Planner or Wedding Coordinator or friends and family?) How intense are your projects? Will a ladder be needed? Are you asking someone to spend time that they would otherwise be spending with you or participating in the festivities?)
Some times heat, wind and rain are not our friend and make set-up difficult! You definitely need to be prepared for extreme weather conditions. They can slow you down and in some cases halt set-up all together.
Check out this short video of how wind started to wreak havoc on our set-up. We lost a few good lanterns that day!
However, the end result was beautiful at night!
Photo courtesy Erin Sage Weddings.
Pick Up & Breakdown~ 5+ (2.5+ hours x 2 people).
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint~ Assign break-down tasks. Who’s cleaning up? Is there a venue deposit to consider? Do you want the flowers to be given to guests or donated? Is the floral container a rental or can it be given away as well?)
You Never know what we will find when we go back at the end of the night!
Clean Up, Reorganizing and Deconstruction~ 4+ (2+ hours x 2 people).
Once all the containers and supplies are back at the shop, we have to clean and put them away before the process can start all over again. Sometimes we experience supply loss. Containers or other decor items get broken or stolen at weddings.
(Helpful Wedding Planning Hint~ if you are providing your own containers, have them unwrapped washed, ready to go and free of any price tags.)
52+ Hours of Labor per wedding!
We work almost every Friday, Saturday & Sunday of the year. And more and more weekday weddings are gaining popularity due to venue discounts. It’s not uncommon for us to work 100 hours or more a week during wedding season. We miss family gatherings and work Holidays as well as work through being sick or injured. In addition to the hours devoted to your wedding, we spend time running a business and incur all the ancillary expenses of doing so, everything from commercial insurance to electricity and cooler maintenance.
(For more about our dedication to your wedding, visit: http://wildflowersinc.com/2012/05/our-dedication-to-your-wedding-helpful-tips/)
Now add all that to the cost of goods sold! When you consider all the love and hard work that goes into your wedding, you realize that you are getting a fabulous deal!
As always, Thanks for joining me,