So how does a flower end up costing that much?

Holly Chapple wrote two incredible articles here and here about the cost of wedding flowers.  She blew me away with how well she articulated what I have, many times, had to explain to my brides who aren’t quite sure why that rose costs $5, and that doesn’t even include me actually putting that rose into an arrangement….

Have a read through the article.  It was so well written.  Thank you Holly for your many years of floral wisdom!

holly chapple vicki grafton


Here’s my very short version of Holly’s articles.

The Process Of Wedding Flowers

  • Consultation:  Working with your florist for hours trying to get educated on what will be best for your wedding. You will need to be taught what will look and preform the best on your wedding day.
  • Teach:  most brides do not know the names of flowers or speak the language of flowers.
  • Tie it Together:  “tie all of your themes, looks, and colors together; this is really a separate career that so many wedding florists take on without an addition in cost to you. I have helped brides countless times to pick out linens, favors or develop concepts…  All of this fabulous information is often given at no charge and is given to you under the same invoice as the cost of your flowers.”
  • Proposal:  The florist needs to write recipes and verify the pricing of each design. Unlike other wedding vendors, like the photographer, cake baker, wedding coordinator, or even the caterer,  florist invoices are never the same. We do not have packages.   Each invoice must be created uniquely for each bride depending on each flower used in each design.  This process takes time.
  • Recipes:  Floral designer spends hours verifying the recipes and calculating the stem count and then order is sent to the wholesaler.
  • Wholesaler Find:  Wholesalers find each and every one of your flowers via internet, phone, flower auctions and searches across the world in search of your flowers. Once the buyer or the florist’s sales rep. buys the blossoms at auction, they are sent to the airports and brought back to the wholesaler.
  • Wholesaler Processing:  After arrive at the wholesaler, flowers are sorted, processed and then sorted into individual event orders. There is cost to have all of these people growing, searching and then delivering the flowers to your floral designer.“Think actually what a miracle the whole process really is; to think that a flower can get on a plane in Holland, come to your community, get checked in at the wholesaler, be sorted and packed up again, be sent to your floral designer and then be perfect on your wedding day. Miraculous!”
  • Delivery:  Delivery to floral designer.
  • Unpacking & Conditioning:  Flowers need to come out of the boxes and get into clean water. It takes hours to get the flowers conditioned (a fresh cut, in clean water and a floral preservative).
  • Boxes & Buckets:  UGH.  Simply, breaking down all of the boxes and getting them recycled and cleaning every single bucket. *This is what teenagers are for.*
  • Containers:  Get containers or vases ready.
  • Sort: Sort the stems into the recipes.  This verifies that all calculations were correct and double checking that you received all the flowers that you ordered and that you have all the necessary blooms required.
  • Design:  After hydration, designing can begin.
  • More Design:  For a Saturday wedding, we normally work ALL day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday designing and we spend ALL day Saturday going over the designs in the morning and then delivering and setting up all day Saturday. It is common for us to get our 40 hours or more in just the 3 or 4 days. Some days we will stand from the very early morning until way into the night to get the designs finished.

“When I consider this process from beginning to end, I realize that flower designs are probably one of the least expensive products around. What other good requires this amount of time and care and is sold at the price at which it is sold. Most floral designers are true artists practicing a trade that is not generally valued. This is an imported good, involving so many laborers. Suddenly the flowers at your wedding really seem like an incredible deal.”

holly chapple Ashley-Baber-2


And just so you know….
Approximate in season Flower Prices without design cost:

  • Carnations $1.50 per stem
  • Iris $2-$2.50 per stem
  • Sunflowers $2-$4 per stem
  • Tulips $2-$6 per stem
  • Mini Gerbera $2.50 per stem
  • Stephanotis $2.75 per stem
  • Freesia $3 per stem
  • Babies breath $3 per stem
  • Mums $3 per stem
  • Hypericum $3 per stem
  • Stock $3-$4 per stem
  • Roses $3.50-$5 per stem
  • Large Gerbera $3.50-$4 stem
  • Snapdragons $4-$5 per stem
  • Ranunculus $4-$9 per stem
  • Callas $4-$10 per stem
  • Craspedia $4-4.50 per stem
  • Spray Orchids $5-$6 per stem
  • Asiatic Lilies $5-$6 per stem
  • Cabbage & Specialty Roses $6-$7 per stem
  • Hydrangea $6-$12 per stem
  • Large Cymbidium Orchids $7-$8 per bloom
  • Oriental Lilies $7.50-$10 per stem
  • Garden roses $8-$12 per stem
  • Peonies $9-$18
  • Anthurium $12 per stem

holly chapple ali jesse