Dont be a Babe in the Woods! Reality Budgeting for Wedding flowers & Decor

  How exciting, You are engaged!  Now comes the fun of planning your big day                                                                                                                                                                                             

Your head may be filled with fantasies of Pink tulle and roses or stylish chrome and candle light.  But wait ….How much does that dream cost?

In my many years of consulting and designing fabulous weddings and events, It has been my experience that most couples arrive for their first floral consultation  a bit confused over costs, flowers, seasonal options and apprehension that the designer is about to raise the rates when the word WEDDING is announced.

So Instead of being a “babe in the woods”, Lets educate ourselves a bit and be a better prepared and happy couple. The result of a bit of fact checking and reality checking will result in a beautiful day filled with special memories.

Let me assure you that any reputable floral designer with experience isn’t there to rip off or mislead the Bride and Groom,  The reality is that weddings require more work than a standard party. Hiring the best designer for your budget is easier if you are Up Front and honest about your ideas.  We are here to celebrate you!  The personalization of a brides Bouquet, the hand delivery and set up of the ceremony to reception decor is a service, and requires time and labor.  It is not the same as a drop off delivery for a birthday vase of Daisies.,  Or a supermarket bunch of posies.

 Dont try to deceive the designer, TRUST is the first part of a great relationship, and this holds true with your vendors. Forget all the stories you read on the Brides Boards,The best vendors have a sterling reputation and would not be around long if they were not honest.  There are Options for almost any realistic budget! It is better to arrive at the designers door with an idea of what you can spend and design to fit , allowing the florist to suggest seasonal items that will give you more for your money. These designer options may be the perfect solution to a tight budget.

Speaking of the realistic budget! If you only have $500. to spend for flowers for the day. You need to rethink the priorities and not fault the vendor for charging what is the fair market rates for flowers and decor.  instead of a lavish cascade of orchids and 8 bridesmaids and groomsmen. You may want to downsize or look for a single unique flower to carry such as a designed Duchess rose and single roses or long stem calla for each attendant and a couple of blossoms for your hair.  BUT don’t expect to have a church  aisle filled with chiffon and dripping greenery,3 ft. tall table designs  for 20 tables and lavish linens.  The standard response from a designer to this budget and request would be “Did you forget a Zero?” or “Is that $500. per table?”  Does this mean you can’t have the dream? No, But you may need to make an adjustment of your reality and budget.



Small Budgets and TV Dreams


So you watch every TV wedding show and devour every bridal mag on the shelves and love it all, You don’t want to be the Bridezilla, But you would love to have that antique Candelabra and David Tutera “rescue” you.               Okay Nice dream but the reality is that what you are seeing is not the norm! That single table of DT design with dripping crystals would be the average couples Honeymoon budget! Step out of your fantasy for a moment and get realistic with a list. Start with the location of the ceremony, what is needed and allowed ( yes they may have restrictions on decor). The church ceremony may be completely different from an Outdoor garden ceremony, so list the allowable. Now how many attendants , Jr Bridesmaids and Flowergirls, Number of VIP’s for corsages and Boutineeres, what flowers you love. Anything special for that WOW moment ( butterflies, Doves, Hot air balloon arrival or departure).  Moving on to the reception. How many guests =how many tables, Will there be need for special linens and lighting? What is the theme and colors.  Add in how much per person for dinner and DJ, Photographer and Cake. Oh and what about the Gown and rings!

 So How does this all add up?   Does it feel like a reality for what you want to spend? The average Couple with a catered wedding for 100 will spend approx. $25,000. for their wedding. The rule of thumb for flowers is 10% or $2500. from that budget. Now add in the special touches that your floral wedding designer may offer, linens and live butterflies, Peonies,  and specialty LED lighting  or antique vases in table designs and that can increase the Decor budget an additional 50%.  This is a REAL idea of the current 2011 pricing in our area.


My suggestion is to allow your designer the opportunity to blow your mind with what you can have for that Minimum! BY using your Colors and theme concept we can create for our Couples an awesome display of beautiful flowers that look like a Million, but kept you on track.  I see Brides arrive in the studio with pages torn from magazines showing what seems like a simple bouquet to the bride. In reality that Magazine dream bouquet is filled with RARE flowers that some Sherpa climbed the Himalayas to pick and hand carry to the magazine designer, LOL, Yes its a lot of Magic and Mirrors with these designs, and have you noticed they never list a price! 

Allowing the designer to give you the FEEL of this bouquet in a price point and size to fit your bank account is better than a mind-set on the unattainable.

If you have $1500. to spend , ASK what that will get you. Dont be shy.  It is better to be AMAZED at what you CAN have than be disappointed in what you can’t.  Dont have the designer do a lavish sketch and cold quote on a Platinum dream and then ask  Can you GIVE ME a discount and all the details free.  Better to say I have a budget of $$$ and Love Pink flowers, My wedding is in June at the Fab Wedding Location . This allows the designer a chance to show you so much more and can be very exciting as you see with NEW EYES the creative results.

Fresh wedding flowers are available for everyone if they expect the reality of current costs and appreciate the artisan designer and their personal services.


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