Let’s face it. Weddings are expensive as a whole. A lot of couples are suffering from sticker shock after just a few meetings with potential vendors. It’s one of the things I like least about this industry. It’s also a good reason couples need to sit down at the start of the planning process and really prioritize what’s important to them and what’s not. Some may choose to have a high-end caterer because they’re foodies. Some may choose to have the most killer band because they love to rock out. Some may choose a big expensive venue because they love being surrounded by all their friends and family. Some may choose to have an elite florist because they adore flowers. These are my people!
But even flower lovers still have to decide what budget to create for their wedding decor. Since most couples have never shopped around before for wedding flowers (and hopefully never will again!), it can seem like a foreign idea, figuring out what’s a fair price for bouquets, centerpieces, and all the other pretty pieces that make the day special. There is certainly a huge range of pricing for wedding florals.
I like to compare the process of choosing a florist and floral budget to shopping for a chair…
You can buy a chair at Walmart.
It will be quite affordable. Probably downright cheap. It will be made of synthetic materials, likely plastic or compressed sawdust. It will look like so many other chairs in the world. It’s nothing special, but it will certainly suffice if all you want is a place to put your butt. Company that comes to your house will probably not notice the chair and almost certainly won’t admire it. Sometimes Walmart is all you can afford and that’s okay. (I say this with real heart since I grew up in a Walmart household, and we were very grateful for affordable goods.)
You can buy a chair at Ikea.
It will be more expensive than Walmart, but generally won’t break the piggy bank. It will be the product of the imagination of a savvy designer, but still made of standard materials and mass produced in a factory. It will probably look stylish in the moment, and company that comes to your house might notice it and even ask where you got it. They could go get the exact same thing. That’s cool. I have a serious love affair with Ikea for this very reason. It’s decidedly reliable mass design.
And then you can buy a chair from a master craftsman, the type that often seems to live in Maine.
It’s expensive. But you greatly value artistry and having something so truly unique. The chair will be made out of hundred year old solid oak. The craftsman will have walked his woodland, knowing each tree in it, and picked the perfect specimen for the project. He will have cut the tree down himself and milled the lumber by hand. He will have waited patiently for the lumber to cure to avoid any cracks or flaws. He will then spend hours sawing, whittling, carving, sanding and joining the pieces together. It becomes a one-of-a-kind piece of art. It couldn’t be duplicated if he tried. When company comes to your house, they notice it immediately. You feel proud to have it and love sharing its story with your guests. After all, you really enjoyed getting to know the craftsman who took such care in creating it. It’s a cherished piece. It makes the room. It’s timeless. It’s worth every pretty penny.
It’s up to you to choose where to buy your
chair 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.
Because they are.