Many New Zealand brides struggle to align their Pinterest boards with their budget, particularly around flowers. So why are flowers so expensive?
There is more to floristry than the actual arrangements of the bouquets. Florists have a huge amount of knowledge about the intricacies of floral varieties which can only be gained from years of experience and a passion for what they do.
Florists start working with couples up to six months or more before their wedding, working with colour palates and themes. Although some florists grow flowers, the vast majority will need to order them from a wholesaler, and some varieties will need to come from overseas which really bumps the price up, given the proximity of New Zealand to other countries. Timing is everything in order to keep flowers looking their freshest. Some flowers need to be ordered months in advance and some have very short lifespans once they are cut. In addition to the flowers themselves, florists also need to source the appropriate vases, vessels and ribbons to sync with the theme of the wedding.
After the flowers arrive, there is a huge amount of work to be done to prepare the stems for arrangement. The flowers need to be de-thorned, cleaned and bleached in order to prevent bacteria from decaying the flowers before the big day. Some flowers will need to be refrigerated but others don't like being too cold, some will need support to stop the stems collapsing, and others they must be very careful not to crush. Storage can be an issue for busy florists!
Large arrangements, particularly for hanging in venues or along tables, can take many hours and a team of florists to achieve the desired effect in the 24-48 hour timeframe. Florists need to select blooms of the correct size and shapes, saving the very best of the bunch for bouquets, button holes, flower crowns and for the cake. A good florist will wrap each individual stem in floristry tape and use wire to support and mould the stems into the desired shape. An extremely time consuming endeavour, not to mention the costly price of materials!
So what does a bride on a budget do for flowers?
1. Choose flowers that are in season
I (We!) chose to get married in Scotland in May as that's when peonies - my favourite flower - are in season... it might seem a crazy way to pick a date but I really wanted peonies in my bouquet! Choose your wedding date around your favourite flower, or choose flowers that are in season around your wedding date. Use this chart to help find what's in season.
Buy flowers wholesale and have a party with the girls to arrange them! While bouquets an be tricky, posies for the tables are much simpler, especially if you are going for a rustic, country-style theme. There are even floristry workshops held by professionals, or a trusty YouTube video to save the pennies!
3. Go fake!
Artificial flowers are becoming more and more realistic looking these days, and while silk flowers from a florist can be just as expensive as the real thing, shops like Spotlight or Briscoes are much more reasonably priced. To be honest you can pick up some really nice flowers from the $2 shop...just be sure to pick convincing colours!
Hot Tip #1...mix fake flowers in with real ones to be even more convincing!
Hot tip #2...Spray fake petals with a little floral perfume (not too much!) to add a touch of intrigue for your guests!
With love, Amanda xoxo