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How much should I budget for wedding flowers?

So you’re engaged and starting to plan your wedding. You love flowers and want to make them the main element of your decor. You want to plan your budget accordingly so as to make sure you allocate funds for this essential decor element. Good job! But how much should you budget for flowers? What is the cost of wedding flowers in Southern Ontario? In this blog post I will talk about some of the most common budgeting mistakes, give my average price points for my most popular items and even outline a sample wedding invoice. 

Wedding Flower Budget Mistakes

First, let’s talk about some budgeting mistakes. You might be thinking you’ve done some research and you’re making great budgeting decisions but here are a few important mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: Taking advice from ill-equipped sources.

You might have read some “great” budgeting info from… hmmm, actually you’re not really sure what the source is. If you don’t know who is writing this info or where they’re located, be dubious. Advice from a floral designer in Souther California will probably leave you short at the checkout because their product costs are *much* lower than in Southern Ontario. If you are in love with a particular style, make sure the pricing info comes from a source that works in a similar style. 

Mistake #2: Mis-aligning your inspiration with your expected budget.

When you’re buying a car there are a lot of options and a lot of different price points to match. You can get a car for $10k but it will be used and you might have limited options. You cannot get a new Mercedes for $10k. It is an absolutely unreasonable expectation. Even though you read one source saying centrepieces start at $30 it doesn’t mean that the centrepieces *you want* will be $30! They might be delivering 4 gerbera daisies in a mason jar, not the footed compote bowl filled with peonies and roses that you’ve envisioned. More flowers will generally cost more. But going all greenery won’t necessarily be cheap, especially if your vision is very full and includes premium greenery like eucalyptus. FYI, eucalyptus costs just as much as some flowers!

Mistake #3: Strictly applying wedding planning percentages

A lot of wedding planning resources will tell you that florals should come in between 8-15% of your overall wedding budget. This is a great *average* guideline. But it’s important to remember that things cost what they cost. If you’re overall budget is $10k but you have 200 guests, that 10% isn’t going to go far. In this example, 10% of $10k is $1,000. It is unreasonable to expect to get a full wedding’s worth of flowers (20 full centrepieces + 5 lush bouquets + 7 boutonnieres + 2 corsages + delivery/set-up + HST) for $1000. That would roughly work out to about $18 worth of flowers in each centrepiece or bouquet. Even a basic mixed bouquet at the grocery store costs a bit more than that! If you have a tight $1000 budget my best advice is to forgo centrepieces altogether. Spend your money on a few nice things instead of spreading your dollars out so much that nothing has much impact.

Mistake #4: Under-estimating labour, delivery, set-up and tax.

Making, delivering and setting-up wedding flowers can be a huge, labour-intensive job depending on the scale of the order. It is important to remember that there is a big difference between contracting flowers for your whole wedding and buying a single rose at your local mom and pop florist. The pricing will be entirely different. If you are wondering why labour and delivery of wedding flowers costs so much when pizza delivery is always free, read more here. As always in Ontario, HST is an additional 13%. Make sure you account for the taxman’s piece too!

Average price points for popular wedding flower items

So I have recently rejigged how I price and present pricing for my wedding flowers. I’ve decided to stop presenting line item pricing because truthfully, removing one line item might dramatically impact the pricing of the other line items! Since I order in all the flowers for your particular wedding simply cutting 4 garden roses isn’t really an option – I will still likely have to buy those garden roses in order to make everything else! In order to offer better value to our clients, I’ve started to build customized packages keeping in mind the look you’re after and your overall needs.

*But* for budgeting purposes, I want to give you something to go on! While these prices won’t be reflected exactly like this on your estimate or invoice, they are good points of reference for you while you plan your budget. Just know that these are average price points but your pricing might vary depending on time of year, specific variety/colour palette requests, and your specific vision. This info is purely for educational/planning purposes. When you are ready to talk about your special day, I will happily create a customized package for you!

For couples contracting full-service wedding flowers, we encourage clients to budget the following for these items:

  • round guest tables: $100+
  • rectangular guest tables: $135+
  • ceremony flowers: $500-600+ 
  • bridal bouquet: $225+ 
  • bridesmaids bouquets: $100+ 
  • Boutonnieres and corsages: $20 and $35 respectively 
  • Garlands: $20/ft for greenery, $30+/ft with flowers
  • 10-15% of your overall spend toward delivery and set-up
  • Extra if you have any rentals that need to be picked-up.
  • Tax

Ways to save money on your wedding flowers

If you are feeling shocked, I get it. Weddings are expensive! Flowers are also expensive! But they really add joy, colour, beauty to your wedding day in a truly unique way. Perhaps you are committed to having fresh flowers at your wedding but need to trim some of the cost. Here’s my best advice for you:

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Colour Palette Playbook: Adding colour to your wedding flowers