The key elements for a great party are: good location, great food, music for everybody to dance, great décor and lot’s of fun. A beautiful floral arrangement it’s a good ice breaker at the table; to get the conversation started.
Having said that a good floral décor comes with a price and it should be included in the initial planning process. When organizing an event, any event: wedding, corporate party, family affair, etc. it is recommended to set a side 10%-15% of the total you want to spent for flowers. This is just a recommendation, but it’s a good start.
Always book an appointment with a professional florist to discus your ideas and to get a quote. The prices given to you by different florist will vary, depending on what they normally charge for their products, labor and delivery and set up.
A lot of customers are surprised to see some of these charges, for them it’s just flowers. Why does it cost more to do an event floral design, then just a regular bouquet?
There are many factors involved. It takes time, hours of work by professional designer; lots of goods are used to make the perfect arrangement; the flowers must be kept at the best conditions in order to look amazing on the big day, every detail counts; delivery and set up are time consuming and must be done on time and perfect state.
In order for a floral studio or shop to do one event, there is weeks in advance preparation. Few days before the event date the real hard work starts. The flowers are ordered in advance and they must be picked up by your florist on time so they can be cleaned, conditioned and monitored before the designs are made. Depending on the size of the event a professional designer or a few are assigned to work on a specific event, which in a busy shop or studio means that there should be more help and additional staff on hand, which means extra labor charges. Conditioning the flowers is a hard work, literally. There are buckets to be cleaned, filled with water and flower food, not to mention carried around. Then there is the cleaning and prepping of the flowers. Lots of dirty work, accidents do happened some even require medical attention. And there may be a few insects or other animals involved here and there, just to make your day pleasant (they bite, if you don’t see them on time; they arrive with the flowers and remain hidden in the leaves). Vases need to be washed and prepped as well before any one can start to design or as many customers say “play with flowers”.
Now the design process takes time and a lot of skills to be done properly, the flowers to last and look at their best for the event date. Wires, tape, tubes, sharp knifes, cutters, shears, pins, slippery floors, you name it. Lots of tools and little things are used and happen behind the designers table. It takes patience, concentration and no time to waste. The most time consuming work is making personal flowers – corsages and boutonnières, those cute little things. I’ll be honest it takes twice the time of making a bridal bouquet to do one corsage.
What should be considered when a quote is given? (and this goes for both sides on the table – florist and consumer)
- cost of flowers
- cost of greens
- cost of vases
- Other materials used (foam, wires, ribbons, tape, etc.)
- Delivery based on location
- Set up / tear down fee
- Taxes are always extra
Most florists will not give a very detailed quote in regards what’s exactly is included in the price, in terms of flower stem count or labor charges. The reason why that is it’s because is hard to know in advance exactly how many stems will be used. We are working with live materials and most of the times they are not perfect size or shape and we have to compensate that by adding more or taking some away in order to create the design we want. Same goes for labour charges. There are designs that require more time and specific skills to be done. For example there should be different labor charges for doing a hand-tied style bouquet and cascading bouquet, event if the flower stem count is the same. Cascading style bouquet requires more time, more other materials are used; some of the flowers must be wired, so the price is higher.
When you go for your appointment be ready to disclose your budget and be realistic in your expectations. Show pictures of designs that you like and have fun choosing your flowers.
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