Why Do Flowers for Elopements & Weddings Cost so Much?

December 2, 2022

Now that you’re engaged (or soon-to-be engaged), you’ve likely started realizing how much different costs can really add up when it comes to wedding planning. If you’ve never planned a wedding before, there can be quite a bit of sticker-shock when you begin searching for a florist and thinking through what kind of flowers you’d like to incorporate into your wedding! And it is normal for couples to wonder why wedding flowers are so expensive. The short answer to why wedding flowers are so expensive is this: you’re paying for quality product, time/labor, and expertise.

When we talk to our couples, we often find it helps couples better understand the reason behind the numbers when we explain why they cost so much, and why the investment is a valuable one to make. We love this analogy from Jennie Love of Love n Fresh Flowers“It’s up to you to choose where to buy your flowers and why. All the options are valid. The results, however, are drastically different. Use a Walmart florist and you’ll get a poof of babys breath and standard roses, not dissimilar to bouquets in every grocery store across America. Use an Ikea florist and you’ll get a trendy bouquet of garden roses and maybe some succulents, not dissimilar to bouquets popping up on Pinterest every minute. Use a master craftsman and you’ll get a bouquet that is grown specifically for you, crafted with dozens of varieties of blooms and foliage you may have never even known existed. It’s exquisite. It’s truly one-of-a-kind. There are no Pins that look just like it, and you certainly would never find it in a grocery store. You’ll love sharing its unique story with your guests who will be commenting continually on how beautiful your flowers are and how “you” they are.”

So! Let’s break this down a little more.

Summer Bridal Bouquet
Summer Bridal Bouquet

The Numbers Behind the Flowers

“Why do elopement & wedding flowers cost so much?”

 

Flowers are surprisingly expensive both to buy and to grow. Farmers (us included – we have our own Noctua Florals farm!!) have to own land, manage the soil, pay for tools, watering supplies, amendments, seeds, and plants, as well as pay employees a reasonable salary. We pride ourselves not only on providing our couples only the best, most high-quality flowers we can locally purchase from the PNW, but also delivering exceptional flowers from our own farm that we dedicate so much time to caring for.

Hardgood Supplies This is another cost that is often not thought about but can really impact costs. Glass vessels for 10 bridesmaids, the beautiful silk ribbon tied to your bridal bouquet, the stunning ceramic candle holders + vessels we design into, the arbor for your ceremony florals. These exquisite touches help to bring your floral vision to life, and we source only with the highest quality in mind.

You may also be surprised at the sheer amount of time that goes into not only hand-crafting our floral designs, but also organizing the logistics with our couples. Back & forth communication with couples to decide what florals they’d like to invest in, creating a custom mood board and proposal, signing contracts & paying invoices, connecting with your planner to organize logistics…. 

On the floral side of things, we place an order for your custom floral vision 30 days prior to your event. THe week of the event we drive to the market\farms to pick them up, pay for them, load them up in our van and take the back to the studio where we unload them bucket by bucket. We then start to process the flowers, removing the thorns and leave of every single flower stem, giving them a fresh cut before being placed into a clean bucket of water for rehydration. This process can take hours and often requires additional labor that also comes with a cost. We then finally! start to design with you flowers, a process that can take days and also additional designers to help in the studio. 

On the day of the wedding we have to carefully pack up these delicate parcels and transport them to your venue. We will deliver bouquets and boutonnieres, place your arrangements and make sure everything looks beautiful. If you have an installations, we have to arrive several hours early with the hardgoods and floral elements to bring these impactful creations to life. 

Finally, we will often come back to your venue at the end of the night, break everything down, collect the hard goods, and haul the leftover flowers away to be composted. We then have to clean the studio, wash buckets and vessels used for your event, and return and rental vehicles. This process can also take hours.

These are all behind-the-scenes part that couples don’t necessarily see, but that still factor enormously into the cost. Even for smaller weddings & elopements, we still have to faciliate this type of process. The process is tedious, and takes a lot of time! And we need to charge for this time. If someone is offering you cheap flowers, the truth is they are most likely inexperienced,  undercutting themselves, their competition, staff, growers, or someone else along the way.

The value of investing in your WEDDING florist

 

Now that you’ve gotten a peek behind the curtains (or behind the price tag, in this case), we want to highlight also the value of investing in a professional wedding florist.

The impact of having stunning flowers on your wedding day is, on its own, a major reason why there’s a difference between hiring a reputable florist, and purchasing your own flowers at a local grocery store. Guests are always commenting on the flowers we provide our couples with, and experience deep enjoyment from seeing them. Flowers are a very memorable and impactful part of wedding days, drawing the eyes of not only the guests but the couple as well. They have the unique ability to completely transform a space- whether it be the stunning scenery of a national park or farm, a backyard ceremony in the garden, or a funky fun industrial space in the city.

An experienced + professional florist will not only provide you with breathtaking florals, but also with florals that incorporate personal, unique touches that invite the bridal party and guests alike to deeply soften into the present movement and full experience the beauty and love around them. We always strive to approach each floral piece as a work of art – tuning in with the flowers of a particular season of your wedding, as well as the energy of the clients we are designing for to create an alchemy of sorts that is wanting to emerge to support, hold & celebrate the couple’s love through flowers.

When you hire a professional florist, you are choosing an expert with years of experience in the field, someone with an eye for design that has invested deeply into their education, and has brought countless floral visions to life for a wide array of different types of elopements & weddings. For us, this experience allows us to create the highest level of unique artistry with incredible bloomsfor each and every client who hires us.

Organic White Wedding Bridal Bouquet
Bridal Party with Organic White Bouquets

What to Consider When Hiring Your Wedding Florist

 

There are quite a few things that you will want to make sure to think about when you start the process of searching for a florist, and when it comes time to hire one for your elopement or wedding.

First, make sure to set realistic expectations based on your budget & what you are looking for. You may start off wanting a bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, bouquets for every bridesmaid, aisle arrangements, florals for your ceremony arbor, and centerpieces for your reception- for us this would be a Full Service Event with a minimum investment starting at $5,000 before tax + travel. If your budget does not allow for this or you’re looking for some special arrangements but don’t need quite so many, you may be interested in A La Carte option, which starts at $500 and Items are priced a la carte depending on how simply or extravagantly you are ready to celebrate your vows. Feeling adventurous? Check out our Prix Fixe option for couples seeking the skill of a creative artist & the pleasure of simplicity. Couples using this service will entrust Noctua Florals with choosing the specific colors and flowers in their floral décor, while receiving the very best of what’s in season at a great value- incredible florals & top-notch service without any fuss!

Keep in mind that you will get what you pay for when it comes to your wedding florist. We’re never here to shame any couples who may have a lower budget or whose priority isn’t flowers, but rather to help you set realistic expectations! Some may choose to have a high-end caterer because they love food. Some may choose to have the most killer band because they love to get down on the dance floor. Some may choose a big venue because they love being surrounded by all their friends and family. Some may choose to have an elite florist because they adore flowers or maybe they even just want it all! These are my people. So, if having stunning, one-of-a-kind flowers is a priority on your wedding and your budget allows it, we highly recommend working with a professional florist.

It is good to remember that most likely you are choosing your florist because you like their portfolio and style of there work- it’s their own unique artistic design and expertise! I can no more create a bouquet exactly like another designer than I can paint like Michelangelo. Find a florist whose work you love, and trust them to create something beautiful and special for you.

Lastly but most certainly not least, where are your flowers coming from?!  You may be wondering why local flowers are any different than what you pick up at the grocery store. Many of the flowers bough in the US are grown overseas raised with heavy use of dangerous pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, and under very poor labor conditions. They have been shipped from often thousands of miles away, producing high levels of carbon emission and can already be a week old by the time of your event! There is no reason to ship flowers in from another continent when we can grow gorgeous blooms right here at home. Growing & buying flowers locally opens up a whole world of beautiful, delicate blooms that do not ship well- blooming branches, delicate vines, winter hellebore, fragrant sweet peas…. Local flowers are clean, sustainable, beautiful, interesting, and long-lasting. They support our local communities + farms. We are proud to be a part of a new movement in the US toward sustainably grown, locally sourced, and seasonal flowers!

White Bridal Bouquet for a Orcas Island Wedding
White Forget-me-not Bridesmaid Bouquet for an Orcas Island Wedding

We hope that this blog post offered a clear look into the immense amount of work, passion, and heart we out into each and every design we create- and the pricing that come along with it. We want you to understand what’s involved in making this incredible magic for you- lots of love and incredible product but many hours of hard work. We and thrilled to be able to express our creativity and love of the natural world in this way- and getting to be a part of your wedding day + making you happy on for this special moment in time is genuinely a gift. It is our goal to provide our couple with the most stunning, locally and sustainably-grown blooms that we can at the most realistic prices AND we want you to feel like it was money well spent. And we hope this helps create greater transparency and understanding about how we do this. Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about our work- it brings us an incredible amount of joy and pleasure and we look forward to sharing that with you!