Determining the Cost of Wedding flowers

Recently we’ve seen a lot of accusations being thrown around online, especially in certain Facebook groups, claiming that florists and other vendors rip off couples by charging more simply because it’s a wedding. This isn’t true of course, and we wish this harmful myth would disappear, but we can also understand how someone might come to this conclusion if they have no knowledge of the industry.

We’ll be the first to admit that flowers are not cheap, even more so in the current COVID climate. It’s been a struggle, and the structure of the New Zealand flower industry doesn’t help (but that’s another story). Many couples who are getting married and planning a wedding for the first time can be shocked to learn that the flowers on their Pinterest boards carry a hefty price tag. You can pick up a nice enough bouquet at a florist or supermarket for around $80, so why does a bridal bouquet cost upwards of $250? We’re going to do our best to try and explain what goes into determining the price of your wedding flowers. Strap in kids – this is a long one!

Time and labour

Time is easily the biggest factor in the cost of wedding flowers. From the moment you submit your quote request, our work starts. We spend time screening inquiries, booking consultations, meeting with you, preparing quotes, revising quotes, liaising with suppliers, ordering flowers, creating back up plans for potential unavailability, sourcing and confirming vases and accessories, making timelines and scheduling staff, before finalising your order.

Then, in the days leading up to your wedding, we must go and pick up your flowers, inspect them, arrange any necessary replacements, bring them back to our shop, and begin the task of processing. Each flower must be processed by hand. This involves separating each stem, checking for imperfections, and removing any leaves and thorns. Next, we re-cut each stem before placing it in a bucket of water to hydrate. Each bucket must contain the exact right amount of the correct preservative for that flower. Once the flowers are hydrated, there are hours of work that go in to assembling each bouquet, boutonniere, corsage, flower crown, centrepiece… you get the idea.

There is time that goes into carefully packaging each item for travel, packing our vehicle, keeping everything at the right temperature, and traveling to your venue. Then we’ve got to unpack and set everything up. Some arrangements need to be constructed on site, and some weddings require us to wait for the ceremony to finish so that we can move and reassemble items at the reception. If you’ve got only a limited amount of time allocated for set up, we may need to bring in extra staff to get it done in time, all of whom need to be paid.

Hours and hours of professionally skilled labour go into each and every wedding we do, and this time needs to be factored into the overall cost of your wedding flowers. This why we have set minimum prices and take on only a limited number of weddings each week.

Flowers, foliage, and bad advice

As we all know, the internet is rife with bad advice. We see many a Facebook post telling people to save money by not telling the florist the flowers are for a wedding. Seriously, don’t do this – you’ll only be disappointed!

Your everyday bouquet is arranged with the intention of it being taken home and put in a vase. It simply won’t stand up to being carried around out of water for any length of time. You’ll more than likely find that your flowers are limp and lifeless by the time you get halfway down the aisle. Wedding flowers are specially arranged to last. Anything that is going to be carried around or worn on the body needs to stand up to being jostled about as you go about your day. Some stems need to be individually wired, others need to be in special water tubes – it’s a lot of extra work.

Many social media posts and wedding blogs will tell you that flowers in season are more affordable. This is certainly true in some cases, but really it comes down to supply and demand. The New Zealand cut flower industry operates on an auction system. This means that if supply is limited, we must outbid every other florist in the region to get the flowers you want. Premium blooms such as peonies, phalaenopsis orchids, and king protea remain pricey even when they’re in season, and at times certain colours can be difficult to procure.

When you’re researching wedding flowers online, it’s important to consider the source. Flowers are going to have different prices and availability here in NZ than what they might overseas. A perfect example is gypsophila (baby’s breath), we see this pop up in American wedding blogs all the time – it’s pretty, it’s widely available, and it’s cheap! But this is just not the case in NZ. Gypsophila is not so common here, so on the rare occasion it does appear on the auction floor, it carries a very hefty price tag – often upwards of $20 per stem. We personally won’t commit to gypsophila, as its availability is just too unpredictable.

So there you have it...

We hope this helps you understand what goes into determining the price of your wedding flowers. Of course, it’s not an exhaustive list, but it should help shed some light on just how much work is involved. You’re not just paying for the flowers themselves, but also the consumables, packaging, time, labour, experience, skill, and logistics involved in ensuring your wedding flowers meet your expectations. If you’re after more information about wedding flowers, click here to head to our Weddings page, where you’ll find links to our portfolio, minimum pricing guide, and online quote request form.