Oh my goodness, you guys, I have been waiting FOR.EV.ER to blog about this shoot I participated in back in September. Why did I wait so long, you ask? Because all the vendors had to wait for the shoot to be published in a little old blog called 100 Layer Cake. Yeah, not so little, I guess haha, so we're all really excited!
of rock columns that are up to 40 feet high! Which makes it even cooler to drive up to and randomly see all these huge rocks standing all grouped together.
When we pulled up, my husband immediately went to work, setting up camp with my daughter (not a task I would deem easy with a 2-year-old, haha) and I set out looking for the spot for the shoot! The girls ended up being just on the other side of the hill, so I unloaded the flowers and got to work.
So have I built it up enough?? Are you ready to see the final product?? And now...for your viewing pleasure ;)...
Design and Head Photographer: Trisha Shelley Photography
Organizer and Photographer: Marquette LaRee
Photographer: Nicole Burrup Photography
Facebook: Nicole Burrup Photography
Photographer: Shutter Force Photography
Photographer: Sunshine Picture Project
Venue: City of Rocks, NM
Florals: Flowers by Ashlee
Models: Sasha Ute and Stephen Sandoval
Hair: Michelle from Curl up and Dye Salon
Makeup: Ezmia Bascom (Instagram: @ezmialove)
Cake: Melanie's Sweets
Tables and Chairs: The Furniture Gallery
Dress: Maui by Sorreto and Midgley from Suzanne's Bridal Boutique
Nothing feeds my floral passion like meeting with a new bride-to-be to discuss ideas for their wedding for the first time! My excitement feeds off my client's as we plan their big day together! It’s so fun for me to personalize inspiration pictures that brides bring to me from their Pinterest searches and talk about colors and styles. Once we’re on the same page, I often ask about their floral budget. Would it surprise you to know that almost 100% of my brides tell me they don’t know??
When planning a wedding, a budget is such an important thing to have. While flowers may be some of the first things you think about when planning a wedding, it’s hard to fit what you want into your budget if you don’t even know where to start! I know how hard it is to have a vision in your mind that you can’t feasibly achieve, and I’m not a huge fan of presenting a proposal that causes "sticker shock" for anyone, so this post is to give you an idea on just how much you should plan to spend on flowers for your big day!
First off, a little game :) I asked a group of family/friends to review the following images and guess how much they cost. These people ranged in ages and stages of life. Some were engaged, some recently married, some married for a long time and had experience planning weddings for their kids. Most were not affiliated with the wedding industry but some were (not floral). If you’d like to play along, I’ll reveal the guesses and answers at the end of the pictures. Ready, set, go!
#1 - A bouquet of babies breath, lavender, and fever few from aisleperfect.com
#2 - A bouquet of Peonies, Lisianthus, Snapdragon, and other filler flowers by Flowers of Yarra Glenn
#3 - A bridesmaids bouquet of a single garden rose, standard rose, spray rose, lisianthus, delphinium, and other filler flowers
Flowers by Ashlee
#4 - Bridesmaids bouquet of a single sunflower, standard roses, astilbe, veronica, and other filler flowers from www.lovemydress.net
#5 - Cake Flowers of standard roses, spray roses, wax flower, veronica, and greenery from Pinterest
#6 - A babies breath flower crown from Pinterest
#7 - A flower crown of assorted flowers from Lilies of the Field
#8 - A floral backdrop of carnations and larkspur from Lizy's Lilies
#9 - A eucalyptus garland from Candlelight Florist
#10 - A lantern centerpiece with roses, lisianthus, astilbe, wax flower, brunea, and other filler flowers from bridesupnorth.com
#11 - A centerpiece with standard roses, spray roses, stock and hydrangea from Blush Botanical
#12 - A centerpiece of hydrangea, peonies, standard roses, tulips, and pussy willow from Flowers by Ashlee
#13 - Centerpiece with garden roses, standard roses, succulents, and greenery from Walton's
#14 - Centerpiece with standard roses, larkspur, stock, and greenery from Flowers by Ashlee
#15 - Flower ball centerpiece with carnations from Flowers by Ashlee
#1 - Range of guesses - $10-$55
Average guess - $26
Approx. actual cost - $125
While the guesses on this bouquet were quite low, I interpret the low guesses to mean that participants recognized these flowers to be on the low end of the price spectrum. What isn't taken into account most often is labor costs, which we'll talk about in a bit.
#2 - Range of guesses - $15-$100
Average guess - $56
Approx. Actual cost - $245
These guesses were still much lower than actual cost, but they were higher than the bouquet pictured in #1 and that would be because the flowers in here are obviously higher up on the price scale. Peonies are probably one of the flowers at the top of the price scale and you'll see why in a little bit. That being said, could you achieve this look with flowers that aren't as high-priced? Yes :)
#3 - Range of guesses - $15-$100
Average guess - $42
Approx. Actual cost - $75
This bridesmaid bouquet also has some higher priced flowers, namely the gorgeous Juliet Garden Rose *swoon*. Some of the filler flowers are higher priced as well-there's just nothing like Pieris Japonica (the pink, almost berry looking flowers in the front). Those who participated could tell that these flowers were more expensive than #1 but the bouquet is smaller than #2, so they were correct on that, but again, there's those labor costs sneaking in.
#4 - Range of guesses - $15-$110
Average guess - $36
Approx. actual cost - $60
Such a pretty wildflower/summer look! I liked this example compared to #3 because the price isn't so different but the size is! That's because in this example, the flowers are much lower priced than in #3.
#5 - Range of guesses - $14-$80
Average guess - $40
Approx. actual cost - $40
The average for this one was spot on! Some cake flowers don't always take a lot of labor, but the type of flower you want on your cake will definitely affect your price the most. Being very specific when it comes to cake flowers and flowers other places in your wedding will be talked about in just a minute.
#6 - Range of guesses - $10-$60
Average guess - $28
Approx. actual cost - $40
The average for this one was really close too! Flower crowns don't take up a ton of flowers (normally), but the labor cost in these is a big part since they take a lot of time (and sometimes supplies) to make. Babies breath is one of the least expensive flowers I know of...and most brides know that too :)
#7 - Range of guesses - $18-$100
Average guess - $53
Approx. actual cost - $70
Obviously, these flowers are higher-priced than the babies breath crown, and the survey participants knew that. Not crazy far off for this average either! So good job :)
#8 - Range of guesses - $40-$750
Average guess - $151
Approx. actual cost - $385
I was actually pretty interested in seeing what everyone viewed as the worth of this gorgeous piece. Carnations are definitely a lower priced flower, but everything adds up, especially when you've got over 100 of them here. But the real kicker with something like this is the labor. It takes a good amount of time to individually string those babies up and make them so pretty :)
#9 - Range of guesses - $15-$90
Average guess - $47
Approx. actual cost - $120
Ah, garlands. Such a gorgeous way to get that green in there! Greenery is definitely a lower priced way to fill some space, but garlands take a lot of work to make, especially if you get specific with the shades of greens you're looking for. But priced at $15-20 per foot, it does add up! One way to get this look for at a lower price point is to have your florist lay it out on the table instead of make an actual garland. It won't be as full, but it's still really pretty :)
#10 - Range of guesses - $10-$95
Average guess - $38
Approx. actual cost - $50
Centerpieces! These are pretty little things, aren't they? But don't let the size fool you, these take some work and some supplies to create as well. All in all, though, the average guess isn't so far off, and you could get these at a lower price point by using different flowers as well.
#11 - Range of guesses - $20-$75
Average guess - $39
Approx. actual cost - $50
This is another example on how you can have a fuller arrangement with lower priced flowers when compared with #10. They cost pretty close to the same and the average guesses were so close, so good job!
#12 - Range of guesses - $10-$120
Average guess - $50
Approx. actual cost - $155
Okay, so this was a fun one, because pretty much all the flowers in this arrangement are on the high end of the price scale :) They make for a very elegant centerpiece! But could you get an arrangement of this size for a lower price? Sure thing....but I mean, Hydrangeas and Peonies?? Do you really want to replace them with something else?? ;)
#13 - Range of guesses - $10-$85
Average guess - $53
Approx. actual cost - $35
This was another fun one because there were so many guess that were over actual price! I love being able to show elegant floral centerpieces at a lower price point. You could get them for an even lower price point with lower-priced flowers! I think succulents are higher-priced than people think...
#14 - Range of guesses - $20-$120
Average guess - $63
Approx. actual cost - $115
Some of you guessed pretty darn close to this! But most of you were quite low :D Standard Roses are actually pretty decently priced but there's a lot going on here with labor and supplies.
#15 - Range of guesses - $25-$175
Average guess- $55
Approx. actual cost - $85
Flower balls, the bane of a wedding florist's existence...Haha, no! I'm teasing. They are gorgeous! And these are carnations, so you'd think they'd be pretty inexpensive, but they take quite a lot of time to make!
So, how did you do? Were you way off or pretty close? It’s pretty surprising to learn that most guesses were very low compared to actual cost. So let’s talk about what goes into designing wedding flowers!
First off, every florist prices things differently. This is mostly attributed to labor costs being part of the equation. A designer with a shop and employees-think overhead and wages-may price things differently than someone who works out of their home, like me! Their training, skills, and experience will also affect how their prices. That being said, the above prices are by no means an industry standard, only how I would personally price each item.
Location can factor into prices where an east coast florist could charge drastically different than a west coast florist for the same item. Location can also help determine prices based on flower availability in the area. For example, a florist in California has easier access to flowers that are locally grown where someone say, in Southern New Mexico who would have to have virtually everything shipped in :)
A pink peony and a white peony may have different prices in the same weekend, and finding a peony out of season is doable, yet significantly more expensive. Speaking of peonies, flowers are much more expensive when they are difficult to grow and are produced in smaller quantities. A peony takes 2 years to bloom! Which is another reason why they are among higher priced flowers. This is also why Orchids and Calla Lilies are among higher priced flowers, so if you choose these, you’ll see the cost rise accordingly. But don’t let cost be the only guiding factor, because any florist will tell you the value of a gorgeous stunning peony ;) And nothing compares to a pretty orchid or calla lily
Another thing that can affect cost is when brides are particular about where they want flowers. Let’s say a bride wants a dozen roses in her bouquet but nowhere else. Roses generally come in bunches of 25, so only using half of those would be a big waste! See the explanation of #5 for another example. You definitely want a florist you can trust to execute your vision in the most cost-effective way, since they are familiar with how this works.
So how does all of this help YOU?? The average amount that a bride spends on flowers in the U.S. is just over $2000, that's about 7-10% of the average wedding budget. Now, believe me, I understand that every bride prioritizes each aspect of her wedding differently than the next, but I hope this gives you a good starting point on what to look at when determining your floral budget. P.S., to put you at ease if you’re already experiencing the dreaded “sticker-shock”, look for future blog posts on how to get more bang for your buck! Don’t worry girl, I got your back ;)
I'm a wedding + event floral designer here to help with your basic wedding planning needs :) Thanks for reading! If you like what you see, feel free to contact me for a consult.