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Let's talk flowers!

pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle
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So the last of our major vendors left is the Florist. FI and I don't like flowers, although I guess I like Calla Lillies and Orchids.  I would have totally done the Costco thing for the bouquets, but of course the one vendor that our venue locks us down with, is the florist. Only one of 3  florists can do the floral arrangements and decorations. Fine, whatever. We are meeting with one on Saturday. What I'm wondering is, how much should we expect to pay for a florist? I know that this varies with geographic area, but the NYC board is slow. 

I really cannot justify spending a ton of money on something that will wilt in a few days. This is also the part of wedding process that I am completely clueless about. I have no idea what I'm supposed to ask the florist, I don't know anything about flowers, or even what else the florist can do for us in regards to decorations. Help! Do you guys have any advice on things I should look out for, ask, price ranges, etc?
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Re: Let's talk flowers!

  • The biggest piece of advice I can give you if you're concerned about how quickly the flowers will go to waste, is make sure you communicate to your venue what you want to do with them. My MIL was going to take our arrangements to nursing homes but I didn't tell the venue quickly enough, so as soon as they started cleanup the staff threw all my flowers away. :'-( And maybe if you really don't care super much, go with whatever's in season rather than specific flowers.

    Can't help with price ranges, etc. I mean, I paid about $650 for my bouquet, 5 BM bouquets, and 3 corsages, but I did my own centerpieces. But that's metro Detroit pricing.

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  • I knew exactly what I wanted-I'm allergic to basically every flower, so I wanted plants & succulents. I brought pictures of things I liked. Fortunately my florist had just done a similar wedding and had examples of her work that I loved. I gave her the parameters, told her I wasn't picky, and she could do whatever she wanted within the agreed upon price.

    My florist gave me two prices-one for the "basic" version of each item-centerpiece, bridal bouquet, bouts, etc and then a "premium" price-larger, pricier items, etc. So I could choose how much I wanted to spend. If i thought $15 per bout was too expensive, I asked her what she could do for $10. 

    I think that the florist is probably the easiest vendor to negotiate with. You can always ask "what can you do for $x per centerpiece" and there is an answer. The only part that is non-negotiable is the setup/delivery fee. And even in that case, the florists I interviewed had an option to pickup the materials yourself instead of having them delivered to the venue.
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  • kat1114kat1114
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    edited November 2014
    Can you have the florist do just some of the items and do the rest yourself? I'm not a flower person at all and was also considering doing the Costco route for my bouquets. Then I realized I'm not crafty at all. H's parents then volunteered X amount for flowers, so we used it for my bouquet, bouts, and bridesmaids bouquets.

    For centerpieces, we bought wooden box succulent centerpieces from an Etsy store.

    Splitting the flowers/centerpieces up like this allowed us to spend less than $1,000 on everything.

    ETA: I was also worried about centerpieces going to waste after. We took one home for ourselves and allowed guests to take the others. Two of my co-workers took one, and now every time I go to their office, I get to see my centerpieces again.

  • Who are you meeting with?  I"m meeting 2 more florists on Saturday bc I didn't like the one I met before.  Our venue also locks us in to one of their 5 florists.  What I did (and what ever florist I talked to said to do) was to make a pinterest board of ideas.  I knew what colors we wanted but don't really know anything about flowers other than I hate roses and like Calla Lilies.)  But I had general ideas of that we liked a chuppah that was mostly branches, I didn't want a big vase with a poof on top, etc.
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  • I was told that a minimum flower budget is $2,000 but I'm sure you can have a florist do them for less than that. We're paying $2,000 for all the bouquets (6 total), boutineers (8), corsages (3), minimal flowers for the ceremony, and small arrangements for the reception tables (as in, some of them are just bud vases). I honestly didn't even want ceremony flowers so I'm thinking of re-allocating some of that money to do something else. 

    There are ways to tweak things and cut down on things to make it cost less. Also, I will say that orchids are really expensive. You may want to avoid those, or just have a few in your bouquet. FI grows orchids, and some varieties cost well over $100 for ONE. 
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  • You don't need flowers if you don't want flowers. There's a lot of non flower options out there for centerpieces and bouquets. Everything from silk, paper or fabric flowers that you could reuse or resell, to non traditional options like candelabras or manzanita branches. If you are concerned about costs and longevity, maybe do limited flowers- like just bouquets and boutineers and a non traditional center piece. However, floral center pieces do typically go home with people at the tables, so they aren't wasted- they are enjoyed by your guests for a week or so after your wedding is over.
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  • I was told that a minimum flower budget is $2,000 but I'm sure you can have a florist do them for less than that. We're paying $2,000 for all the bouquets (6 total), boutineers (8), corsages (3), minimal flowers for the ceremony, and small arrangements for the reception tables (as in, some of them are just bud vases). I honestly didn't even want ceremony flowers so I'm thinking of re-allocating some of that money to do something else. 

    There are ways to tweak things and cut down on things to make it cost less. Also, I will say that orchids are really expensive. You may want to avoid those, or just have a few in your bouquet. FI grows orchids, and some varieties cost well over $100 for ONE. 
    They certainly can be, but there are a few cheap ones that one florist priced out for me.  Calla lilies on the other hand were more expensive.

    FWIW, I spent about $800 on 11 centerpieces, 2 large ceremony urns (these were actually plants I "rented" from the florist), my bouquet (which was $150 on it's own, I splurged) and then corsages and bouts for family. I didn't have a wedding party. 

    The best part about succulents is you can plant them afterwards :) 
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  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta
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    Will the venue allow you to provide your own non-floral decorations? Because you can find a ton of DIY ideas on pinterest.

    For the meeting with the florist, figure out how much you are comfortable spending on flowers and make a list of what all you want and need (bride's bouquet, BM bouquets, bouts and corsages, alter flowers, centerpieces, etc.), and ask what the florist can do within your budget.
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  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes)
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    You could do alternating table centerpieces if you don't want to use/waste a lot of flowers. We did half of our centerpieces as low flower arrangements and half as lanterns with flower petals. At first I was worried that it would look weird, but I was really happy with the end result!


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  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes)
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    Oh, and we also used our BM bouquets as decor for the cake/cookie bar table. The florist left empty vases for the girls to plop their bouquets in once we got to the reception.


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  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    We paid 3,000 for our flowers, but I didn't DIY anything. My florist provided all of the glassware and stands. And we had two really giant flower displays that we used in the ceremony AND then moved as centerpieces in the reception hall. She also provided flowers for my hair and the cake. I used orchids, hydrangeas, roses and peonies.

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  • lilacck28lilacck28
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    edited November 2014
    Pretty sure orchids and calla lilies are expensive. Requesting certain flowers that are potentially out of season will certainly increase your quote. And your price will be affected by what you're asking for. Just a bridal bouquet? or also centerpieces? Flowers for the ceremony?

     I'm in CT, and chose a florist from upper Fairfield County. Most of Fairfield County's prices are similar in expensiveness to NYC, BUT, this town is NOT expensive. I chose my florist because she gave me a deal.

    Keeping that in mind:
    Besides the bridal bouquet, I asked for inexpensive flowers. Stock, wax flowers, baby's breath, rice flower, hydrangea, etc. For the bridal bouquet, I had a palette and look in mind which the florist interpreted as also including  roses,rannacullus , dusty miller (I love dusty miller!), and brunia berries. So, still nothing exotic. My quote included:
    1 bridal bouquet
    3 bridesmaid's bouquets
    1 groom boutonniere
    3 groomsmen boutonniere
    6 baby's breath bouquets for along the aisle
    10 or so low centerpieces in cylinder vases, with ribbon tied around the vases
    a birch chuppah with some flowers
    boutonierre for grandpa
    2 corsages for grandmas
    some flowers for the cake
    I think that's it?
    The total was around $1650 pre tax, but including delivery fee.

    Now, I also got a quote from a florist from the town I grew up in (which borders the other, less expensive town.) This quote included slightly different flowers/ arrangements (arrangement of bud vases for some tables for centerpieces) but teh discussion about getting flowers from in season at low price remained the same. It did not include flower for grandparents, or the actual chuppah (just the flowers). It DID include two little birds for the cake topper. It also included mercury vases instead of the cylinder vases, and I like those more but... the quote was for $2800. More than $1000 price difference.



    So, it can REALLY vary. Especially depending on what you ask for.
     
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle
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    lolo883 - they just threw them out?!?! I would be infuriated if my venue did that! 

    lacqueredlover, we are meeting with Lenox Hill Florist and Events. The other florist we can use is Stefan Florist, and I think Ovando - I have to double check on that last one.

    SBminiblabla89, I'm going to double check with my venue in regards to what the stance is on that.

    kat1114, I actually LOVE succulents and cactus plants! I'll see if I can look into that. If I have to go the florist route, I wonder if those would be less expensive than flowers?


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  • Definitely check out succulents and plants!  We are incorporating some in and the breakdown on the proposal I got when I met with Diana Gould definitely had those as being less expensive.

    If you don't care about which flowers, more just colors and an overall look, my friends all told me to go in with a budget.  If you say "I have 3 grand to use, I want pink and purple and very full looking" they can do that with daisy's for cheaper than roses, know what I mean?
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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
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    pinkcow13 said:
    So the last of our major vendors left is the Florist. FI and I don't like flowers, although I guess I like Calla Lillies and Orchids.  I would have totally done the Costco thing for the bouquets, but of course the one vendor that our venue locks us down with, is the florist. Only one of 3  florists can do the floral arrangements and decorations. Fine, whatever. We are meeting with one on Saturday. What I'm wondering is, how much should we expect to pay for a florist? I know that this varies with geographic area, but the NYC board is slow. 

    I really cannot justify spending a ton of money on something that will wilt in a few days. This is also the part of wedding process that I am completely clueless about. I have no idea what I'm supposed to ask the florist, I don't know anything about flowers, or even what else the florist can do for us in regards to decorations. Help! Do you guys have any advice on things I should look out for, ask, price ranges, etc?
    Few days?  Try a few hours.  I;'ve seen BM and bridal bouquets already browing at the edges before we even walked down the aisle.

    It's why I went with silks.  Still expensive, but I can recycle them into other arrangements and redecorate with them later.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle
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    lilacck28 said:
    Pretty sure orchids and calla lilies are expensive. Requesting certain flowers that are potentially out of season will certainly increase your quote. And your price will be affected by what you're asking for. Just a bridal bouquet? or also centerpieces? Flowers for the ceremony?

     I'm in CT, and chose a florist from upper Fairfield County. Most of Fairfield County's prices are similar in expensiveness to NYC, BUT, this town is NOT expensive. I chose my florist because she gave me a deal.

    Keeping that in mind:
    Besides the bridal bouquet, I asked for inexpensive flowers. Stock, wax flowers, baby's breath, rice flower, hydrangea, etc. For the bridal bouquet, I had a palette and look in mind which the florist interpreted as also including  roses,rannacullus , dusty miller (I love dusty miller!), and brunia berries. So, still nothing exotic. My quote included:
    1 bridal bouquet
    3 bridesmaid's bouquets
    1 groom boutonniere
    3 groomsmen boutonniere
    6 baby's breath bouquets for along the aisle
    10 or so low centerpieces in cylinder vases, with ribbon tied around the vases
    a birch chuppah with some flowers
    boutonierre for grandpa
    2 corsages for grandmas
    some flowers for the cake
    I think that's it?
    The total was around $1650 pre tax, but including delivery fee.

    Now, I also got a quote from a florist from the town I grew up in (which borders the other, less expensive town.) This quote included slightly different flowers/ arrangements (arrangement of bud vases for some tables for centerpieces) but teh discussion about getting flowers from in season at low price remained the same. It did not include flower for grandparents, or the actual chuppah (just the flowers). It DID include two little birds for the cake topper. It also included mercury vases instead of the cylinder vases, and I like those more but... the quote was for $2800. More than $1000 price difference.



    So, it can REALLY vary. Especially depending on what you ask for.
     
    That is a really great deal! I hope I can find something similar to that. Ugh, and yea the 2 flowers that I like are on the pricier side. I guess as long as it is not expensive, I would be fine with other types of flowers.
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  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle
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    Oh, and we also used our BM bouquets as decor for the cake/cookie bar table. The florist left empty vases for the girls to plop their bouquets in once we got to the reception.
    This is actually a pretty awesome idea!
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  • I REALLY wanted a certain look for my bridal bouquet, but I was less concerned about the rest of it. I liked the look of "filler" flowers by themselves, and I was happy that they were less expensive. So, if you want to save money but don't want to sacrifice the flowers you love, maybe only use orchids and calla lilies for your bouquet?
  • Succulents can be a bit pricy, but if you use a bunch of other plants they aren't horrible. And no wilting :) Half of my tables had terrariums, the other half have various cylinder vases with variegated leaves, sort of like this

     image

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    These orchids are actually pretty inexpensive 

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    amelishaesstee33
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle
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    daria24 said:
    Succulents can be a bit pricy, but if you use a bunch of other plants they aren't horrible. And no wilting :) Half of my tables had terrariums, the other half have various cylinder vases with variegated leaves, sort of like this

     image

    image


    These orchids are actually pretty inexpensive 

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    Oh I love this look, especially the second one. I really love the floating candle look. Maybe I can come in with some pictures and see if they can work with them.
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  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle
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    Definitely check out succulents and plants!  We are incorporating some in and the breakdown on the proposal I got when I met with Diana Gould definitely had those as being less expensive.

    If you don't care about which flowers, more just colors and an overall look, my friends all told me to go in with a budget.  If you say "I have 3 grand to use, I want pink and purple and very full looking" they can do that with daisy's for cheaper than roses, know what I mean?
    Awesome idea! I didn't really know if we could go in with a budget, or that florists can (sometimes) be negotiated with. Actually I can definitely add another pinterest board for ideas to present on Saturday.
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  • pinkcow13 said:
    Definitely check out succulents and plants!  We are incorporating some in and the breakdown on the proposal I got when I met with Diana Gould definitely had those as being less expensive.

    If you don't care about which flowers, more just colors and an overall look, my friends all told me to go in with a budget.  If you say "I have 3 grand to use, I want pink and purple and very full looking" they can do that with daisy's for cheaper than roses, know what I mean?
    Awesome idea! I didn't really know if we could go in with a budget, or that florists can (sometimes) be negotiated with. Actually I can definitely add another pinterest board for ideas to present on Saturday.
    Yes, I definitely went to our florist and said I have $X, here's what I need. I was nervous she would laugh at me because the amount was on the low-end for how many bouquets and bouts we needed, but she was awesome! She took our budget and made it work. It also helped that I told her I didn't really have anything particular in mind- just that I wanted to incorporate succulents.

  • edited November 2014
    I've only talked to 2 florists so far (both in the Chelsea area) and we were quoted about $2400 for one and $4000 for the other (however, I know that this one can be negotiated down, I just haven't spoken to her again yet). 

    That's for my bouquet, 6 BM bouquets, 10 centerpieces, a big plant/arch like thing (I'll try to paste a picture), and flowers to fill multiple bud vases & a couple big flowers for the cake. 

    ETA: sorry this picture is giant, I don't know how to control the size. 

    Tall on either side of fireplace? To hide the top essentially...
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  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle
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    I LOVE the plant arch thing! I would totally want something like that, and that's what I'm envisioning for the altar area. That price is very reasonable. I live in Chelsea, and it is so annoying that I can't talk to any of the florists there since I am locked down at those 3!
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  • pinkcow13 said:
    lolo883 - they just threw them out?!?! I would be infuriated if my venue did that! 

    Yep. I was up front negotiating a later leave time with the shuttle driver so he didn't leave my bridesmaid behind, and when I came back they were shoving all my flowers into garbage bags. Along with all my live succulents. I was devastated.

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  • labrolabro Hotlanta
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    edited November 2014
    pinkcow13 said:
    So the last of our major vendors left is the Florist. FI and I don't like flowers, although I guess I like Calla Lillies and Orchids.  I would have totally done the Costco thing for the bouquets, but of course the one vendor that our venue locks us down with, is the florist. Only one of 3  florists can do the floral arrangements and decorations. Fine, whatever. We are meeting with one on Saturday. What I'm wondering is, how much should we expect to pay for a florist? I know that this varies with geographic area, but the NYC board is slow. 

    I really cannot justify spending a ton of money on something that will wilt in a few days. This is also the part of wedding process that I am completely clueless about. I have no idea what I'm supposed to ask the florist, I don't know anything about flowers, or even what else the florist can do for us in regards to decorations. Help! Do you guys have any advice on things I should look out for, ask, price ranges, etc?
    Few days?  Try a few hours.  I;'ve seen BM and bridal bouquets already browing at the edges before we even walked down the aisle.

    It's why I went with silks.  Still expensive, but I can recycle them into other arrangements and redecorate with them later.

    Soooo my flowers for my bouquet AND the two large centerpieces I brought home lasted for nearly two weeks (before I cut them up and stuck them in a bunch of silica gel to dry) outside in a big plastic bucket full of water.. Some of the flowers wilted but for the most part they stayed really fresh and full looking. A few of the smaller roses dried and a couple wilted but the hydrangeas, and the majority of the roses were in excellent shape when I got back from my honeymoon. So yeah, some flowers don't last...but my experience has been that with a little bit of care (and quality flowers) they won't necessarily be wilting as you walk down the aisle...

    OP - I agree with what others are saying if you DO decide to stick with floral décor (or for some reason can't do non-floral centerpieces). Go in with a budget (my sister was able to do her flowers for about $1200 but it was very simple, I spent over $3000 for something very elaborate) and a color scheme. Tell your florist I don't want to spend any more than x amount and I really like these colors. What can you do? The florist should be able to show you pictures and give you a pretty detailed quote on what you can expect and then you can change things up from there to better fit whatever your vision is. I didn't have a strong color scheme, I just knew I didn't want bright fall colors. I communicated that to my florist along with some pictures of things I liked and she came up with an absolutely GORGEOUS scheme for me.



    pinkcow13
  • pinkcow13 said:
    lolo883 - they just threw them out?!?! I would be infuriated if my venue did that! 

    Yep. I was up front negotiating a later leave time with the shuttle driver so he didn't leave my bridesmaid behind, and when I came back they were shoving all my flowers into garbage bags. Along with all my live succulents. I was devastated.
    OMG. I would be so mad! Especially about the LIVE succulents that could have had a long happy life! 
    image
  • pinkcow13 said:
    lolo883 - they just threw them out?!?! I would be infuriated if my venue did that! 

    Yep. I was up front negotiating a later leave time with the shuttle driver so he didn't leave my bridesmaid behind, and when I came back they were shoving all my flowers into garbage bags. Along with all my live succulents. I was devastated.
    OMG. I would be so mad! Especially about the LIVE succulents that could have had a long happy life! 
    Yeah. :( At least a few survived - a couple friends took centerpieces home before the melee started.

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  • raissyraisraissyrais London
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    I was dead set on carnations and my colours are blush and ivory. Found out a few months ago that they weren't going to be in season in Mauritius in January for the wedding, so the bill was like super high. I kept everything but decided to make the bouquets for the girls myself.

    Orchids are very expensive, my brother had them at his wedding last December in the new pantone colour. They only had a large one submerged in water in a long clear vase. It was very pretty.
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  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta
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    I thought about doing my own bouquets but was also concerned about them wilting. So I said screw flowers and made paper ones. 

    This is the tutorial I used:

    image


    How they actually turned out:

    image

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    I didn't make it quite as big because frankly, I ran out of time. It wasn't a small undertaking. But my bouquet is still sitting on my bookshelf, so that's cool. If I'd had a cricut it would've been a lot more manageable. Centerpieces were just floating candles and starfish, no flowers in sight and I think it still looked just fine. 
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
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