If you frequent online wedding discussion groups and forums you have probably heard all sorts of comments about the high cost of wedding flowers thrown around…
There is the so-called ‘wedding tax’ where some believe when suppliers – whether that be photographers, caterers, florists, and the like – hear the word ‘wedding’ they immediately increase their prices. There are the comments such as “They’re only flowers, they’ll just die” or “I could buy a few bunches from the supermarket for much cheaper”. But do you know why supermarket flowers are much cheaper than wedding flowers supplied by a florist? Or why your wedding bouquet costs more than picking out a pre-made posy at your local florist? Here we explain exactly what goes into creating your wedding flowers and how many hands they pass through from growth to the moment you see them come to life at your wedding.
From the farm to the florist
Flowers take time to grow. Seeds are planted but not all sprout. The sprouts then grow into plants and eventually blossom. The growing plants need nurturing, and this takes water, energy, fertilisers, and labour.
Next, when the blooms are ready to harvest, they are picked and carefully packaged depending on their variety to avoid bruising. Some are simply bunched and plunged into buckets of water. Some are wrapped into tissue paper and carefully placed in boxes. Others which are particularly delicate, like anthuriums or orchids, are wrapped in foam or threaded through plastic wrapping before boxing to ensure their fragile parts aren’t damaged in transit. Now they are ready to go to the florist.
Meeting your florist
Whilst your flowers are growing and nurtured, the florist has met with you to discuss your wedding flower requirements and put a plan into action to bring your dreams to life. You will have received a quote, possibly had multiple phone calls, email discussions or meetings to finetune and talk details. During this time, as details change or ideas evolve, you will have received revised quotes until everything is just perfect.
Your florist will also have liaised with your venues, some of your other wedding vendors, flower growers and wholesalers, and prop suppliers to source product, place orders, and talk schedules for your big day. This is all before the flowers have reached our front doorstep!
It’s nearly your wedding day! Your florist may have the flowers delivered, or may go to the flower market, or journey to the local flower farms to select your wedding blooms. It may even be a combination of all three to obtain the perfect customised selection. Wedding flowers are selected days prior to the wedding so that they are open just enough at the time of the wedding.
Once they get back to the studio, the botanicals are nurtured during the lead up to your special day. They are unpackaged, leaves and thorns stripped, and ends trimmed before being plunged into water. Some blooms need refrigerating and others need a warmer environment to encourage opening. The water is changed, and the flowers are checked daily to ensure they are opening well. Just as not all seeds sprout, not all flowers bloom, and these are unfortunately discarded. This means more flowers are purchased than needed to ensure there is enough to create all floral elements for your wedding.
If you’re having reflexed roses included in your floral designs, each rose is carefully and delicately manipulated open – a meticulous and time-consuming task in itself!
It’s wedding time!
Now it’s time to create your beautiful wedding flowers and turn your dreams into reality! A team of florists has pre-selected and prepared all the required vessels and props and created floral recipes for each of the designs. Stems of blooms and foliage are crafted into gorgeous arrangements and bouquets. In the case of buttonholes, corsages and sometimes bouquets, individual blooms are painstakingly and time consumingly wired, taped and put together into delicate creations. Your bridal bouquet is carefully and creatively put together and if you were to pull it apart following the wedding you would see how much has gone into it! Not only many, many stems of botanicals, but passion too. The final products are packaged and stored appropriately overnight until the big day.
The team gather together all the various floral elements for your wedding day and they are carefully packed into various delivery vans going all over the city and sometimes state – usually a delivery of bridal flowers to the bride, another to the groom, flowers delivered and installed at the ceremony venue, and then on to the reception venue. Often these are required at all different times and there can be very tight turnaround times required by venues. The team all work together to get the job done creating wedding flowers exactly, if not better, than you envisioned.
We encourage our wedding couples to gift their beautiful blooms to their guests at the end of the event. Even so, the floral team is required to return to the venue to remove any leftover flowers, collect vessels and props, and clean up any mess left by our blooms. Sometimes venues require bump out of your wedding flowers and props immediately following the wedding. This means a team will have to go out in the early hours of the morning, cutting flowers down from ceilings, and packing vehicles full of props and leftover blooms before sorting them back at the studio. Other times (if we are lucky!) they allow bump out during normal business hours the following day. But the fun doesn’t stop there, all the props are cleaned (including that pesky candle wax being removed from glass votives and candle holders!) and returned to storage in pristine condition ready for the next lucky couple.
So, by the time your wedding flowers make their way to you and your dream wedding, know they have gone through so much, passed through many hands, and have been chosen and nurtured with care and love. Much more than that bunch of roses on your local supermarket shelf!