Updated: Sep 7
Recently a bride remarked: 'I could go to a supermarket and buy flowers for a lot less'. I agreed she could, but I asked whether it would achieve the look she wanted on her special day. There was a pause - the answer was 'no'.
There is a misconception that putting the word 'wedding' in front of flowers means you will be charged a fortune. I went on to explain: if you bought a pack of roses, would they open up into beautiful large, ruffled heads? No, well, that's because I am selective in the ingredients that go into your floral creations, and I have spent many years training to be able to make your bouquet perfect.
You also need to remember that most couples choose to marry on a Saturday, of which there are only 52 in the year, and it takes approximately seven days of work to complete your wedding flowers, from the initial enquiry to the finished creations. Floristry is an art. There is time spent creating your designs stem by stem, sourcing the ingredients and planning the perfect florals for your wedding. Add the day itself into the equation, and your florist will be setting up and styling, along with collecting, clearing and cleaning up the day after. You’re paying for all of this and the admin, and it's definitely not a 9-5 job....but I love it!
The cost question is difficult as there are so many possibilities. Every couple has a unique vision; some want to wow their guests with stunning floral creations, whilst others want to create floral memories so that every time the scent of freesia or rose is near, it transports them to a wedding memory they will treasure for a lifetime.
However, we understand the challenges in how to go about planning and budgeting for your wedding flowers when you have no idea about flowers, and you probably have never been married before!
THE FLOWER SPEND
There's nothing quite like walking into a ceremony or reception where the flowers have transformed the space, and you have made it your own. However, there is no ‘one size fits all' approach when it comes to budgeting for wedding florals, as we're in the design industry, and many variables come into play. Some couples will spend less; some will spend more if flowers are important to them. Most of our clients spend more as they value the importance of floral aesthetics. Fragrant flowers and foliage and visually stunning arrangements are truly a feast on the senses, which you can't help but touch!
HOW TO USE YOUR FLOWER SPEND WISELY
At Jacqui O we believe you get what you pay for and encourage couples to choose a spend range (e.g. £3,000 - £6,000) when enquiring. Here are our top tips for using your spend wisely:
Be open and honest about the desired figure you have in mind. It really helps if you share this, to ensure we keep to it, although it's not always possible if your vision is fighting the budget.
We always say 'less is more' when it comes to using your budget wisely. Spend money on statement pieces e.g. the bride’s bouquet, a floral feature and guests’ tables.
Don't be tempted to dot flowers everywhere as it reduces the impact, wastes your money and will often go unnoticed.
The best way to start budget planning is to have a 'must have' and a 'nice to have' list. The 'must have' list is all about your personal priorities and we recommend putting them in order. Your bridal bouquet and groom's buttonhole may be first on the list, as these will feature in your wedding photographs which you will treasure for a lifetime. If you have dreamt of saying 'I do' in style, then a statement ceremony arch and aisle flowers may be high on the list, or perhaps your guests’ experience is more important, and you choose to allocate the majority of your spend on the reception table centrepieces.
The 'nice to have' list may include welcome flower arrangements, fireplace florals and staircase installations which are perfect for the ultimate wedding experience, but not essential.
Repurpose your florals,so you and your guests get to enjoy the beauty of your wedding flowers for longer whilst reducing waste. Some of our couples choose to place the ceremony arch behind the reception top table to frame them whilst others use it as a photo booth for their guests to enjoy. There are so many possibilities, and asking your floral designer is a great way to see what is possible with your scheme.
Finally, ask for guidance. As designers, we know how and where to save and how to create more abundant florals. If a florist comes back and their quote is too high but they tick all the boxes (e.g. style, they’re a likeable, empathetic person and have a great ethos), give them a chance to rework it for you, particularly if they have worked your venue before…they are an expert in the field after all.
Photographer Jade Osborne
Venue Dorfold Hall