How Much Do Wedding Flowers Typically Cost?
It’s fairly difficult to get price quotes for wedding flowers from a florist because there are simply so many different variables. What type of flowers will be chosen? How many of each flower will you need? What will be in season during your wedding? What bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres will be needed? What about large arrangements? Dinner table centerpieces? Ceremony aisle décor?
The best way to get a good quote for prices is simply to ask what they charge on average for bridal bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. You can then go from there when comparing florists to one another price-wise. These professionals also have a variety of rentals that they offer that you previously saw in my article on lorists and What They Provide. From the start, there’s truly no way of knowing what will truly be needed for your wedding until you sit down with someone and start talking through everything.
Within the wedding flower industry prices tend to depend more on the season and the different flowers than they do anything else. What may cost one price for a flower in the summer may sky-rocket to a much higher price for that same flower over the winter. Across the board though, florists tend to charge about the same amount for the different pieces they provide.
The Real Question
Like every other wedding vendor, the possibility of hidden costs and fees is just as likely with florists, as they too have delivery fees, taxes, labor costs, liability insurance, etc. to consider when putting together their customer contracts. However, honest florists will reveal these costs up front as necessary costs for doing business. Some may even try to temper these costs by offering you freebies, like a free toss bouquet so you don’t have to give up your original bridal bouquet.
But before we can even address the range of prices offered for products and services, it’s important to address the bigger topic here. The flowers that are chosen, and in what number, will truly determine the cost of the flowers for the wedding. If you choose the most expensive flower, and then request it in bulk flooding every area of your wedding, you’re sure to have a large bill at the end. If you choose flowers wisely though, your wedding can still be flooded with beautiful flowers, but at a much lower cost.
By looking at the prices of each flower, and some of the other variables that go into the pricing of wedding flowers, you will be much more educated going into a meeting with your florist. Let's get started.
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Cost of Different Types of Flowers
First realize that flower price can change slightly by geographic location as well as season. Obviously, orchids are much more reasonable in Hawaii than they are in any other state. If the flower is native to the area, and in abundance, you can be certain that it will be of a much more reasonable cost than any other. Choose something exotic, or even non-native, and you’ll be paying the price for it as well. The price brackets reflected here are from online sources, as if florists themselves were ordering them for a wedding. This will give you the most accurate estimate that can be found.
For exact pricing and even tons of great pictures of each of these flowers, visit www.fiftyflowers.com. Here is what you can expect for flower pricing wherever you are.
$10 or more per stem (most expensive)
$5 to $10 per stem
Alliums, Amaryllis, Eucomis, French Tulips, Gardenias, Peonies, Viburnums
$4 to $5 per stem
Birds of Paradise, Calla Lilies (mini and regular sized), Casablanca Lilies, Dahlias, Fern Fronds (Monkey tail), Garden Roses, Hydrangeas, Kale, Lily of the Valley, Proteas
$3 to $4 per stem
Anthurium, Celosias, Dendrobriums, Eremurus, Glorisa Lilies, Lilians, Nerines, Pincushion Proteas, Succulents, Sunflowers, Tuberoses
$2 to $3 per stem
Agapanthus, Anemones, Asiatic Lilies, Asters, Astilbes, Bouvardias, Campanulas, Chrysanthemums, Day Lilies, Delphiniums, Freesia, Gerbera Daisies, Green Fuji Mums, Larkspur, Lisianthus, Monkshood, Narcissus, Ranunculus, Rice Flower, Veronica, Yarrow
$1 to $2 per stem
Asclepias, Baby’s Breath, Bells of Ireland, Cat Tails, Cornflower, Craspedias (Billy Balls), Crocosmias, Daisies, Dianthus, Eucalyptus, Fiddlehead Ferns, Gaillardias, Gladiolus, Godetias, Grape Hyacinths (Muscari), Hyacinths, Phlox, Poppies, Gypsophilas, Heather, Hypericum Berries, Iris, Jester Leucadendrons, Kangaroo Paws, Liatris, Limoniums, Matsumotos, Queen Anne’s Lace, Roses, Sedums, Snapdragons, Star of Bethlehem, Statice, Stephanotis, Thistles, Trachelliums, Wax Flowers
Less than $1 or under per stem
Alstroemerias, Carnations, Cosmos, Daffodils, Scabiosa Pods, Stock, Sweetpeas, Tweedia
Availability of Flowers
The easiest way to understand this variable is to compare it to something familiar. Just like fruit and vegetables, each one has its own time of the year where it is in season. At those times of the year it's easier to get a hold of them, and therefore there are more available. This also means that the price goes way down because they are in abundance.
If you go looking for peaches at a time of the year when they are not in season, not only is it going to be much harder to find them, if you can at all, but the price for them will be sky high. The same goes with flowers. You can likely get any kind of flower you are looking for at any time of the year, but if it's not in season for the wedding, you may incur much higher costs than normal as the florist finds a way to get you the flower.
You've seen the wedding movies where the florist is flying in orchids (or any other flower) from another country for the wedding, right? That's what's happening. The bride in the movie wants that particular flower so bad that she is having them flown in from another country where they are available.
Size of the Blooms
But there's no reason to get all excited just because the flower you're looking for is on the least expensive list. There are so many other variables that go into the price of wedding flowers besides the type of flower.
Consider also the size of the boom and you'll begin to understand. Alstroemerias, a very common flower you can find at the grocery store for a great price, are really cheap. In fact, if you order them from an online store like fiftyflowers.com, they cost less than a dollar per stem. However, each stem only comes with a few blooms and it takes a whole lot of them to make any kind of difference, even in a vase.
In order to create a bridal bouquet, much less any kind of large arrangement, with this flower, you would need a great deal of money. On the other side of the argument, hydrangeas and Casablanca lilies are on the more expensive side of the scale, but they are so large that you would only need a few to make a good sized bridal bouquet, or to fill a flower arrangement.
It ends up being more about how many flowers you use than which ones you choose in the end. Just don't go ordering the most expensive flower in the largest amounts and everything should work out pretty evenly in the end.
Choosing Flowers in Season
By choosing flowers in season at the time of the wedding, you can ensure the availability of the flowers being requested for the big day, and keep the cost down for wedding flowers. Here's a basic listing of which flowers are available at what times of the year. This may be slightly different for different parts of the world.
Something you may not know is that the seasons are switched from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern. For instance, Winter in the Northern Hemisphere is from December to February, but is just the opposite, being June through August in the Southern Hemisphere. I have made sure to outline the difference in each season below, so as not to confuse you, regardless where you are living. Keep in mind that for areas that have sunlight for six months and darkness for the other six months of the year, the flowers available at different times of the year will change as well.
To find out exactly what is in season for any wedding month, it is best to ask a local florist. Most flowers are going to be season-specific, meaning that they are only available in your area during a specific season of the year (i.e. Tulips are strictly a springtime flower). In order to find them out of season, they must be found in another part of the world. Some however might be available for two or more seasons. Let’s find out what flowers are available at different times throughout the year.
So springtime typically arrives between March and May in the Northern Hemisphere (so this includes the United States), and between September and November in the Southern Hemisphere. Most flowering plants bloom during springtime and include:
Agapanthus, Alstroemeria, Amaryllis, Anemone, Apple Blossom, Aster, Bird of Paradise, Bouvardia, Brodea, Calla Lily, Camellia, Carnation, Casablanca Lily, Cherry Blossom, Corn flower, Cosmos, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, Daisy, Delphinium, Delwood, Forsythia, Freesia, Gardenia, Gerbera Daisy, Gladiolus, Gloriosa Lily, Grape Hyacinth, Heather, Helleborus, Hollyhock, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iris, Kangaroo Paw, Larkspur, Liatrus, Lilac, Lisianthus, Magnolia, Narcissus, Orchid, Paper Whites, Parrot Tulip, Peach blossom, Peony, Phlox, Poppy, Protea, Pussy Willow, Queen Anne’s Lace, Ranunculus, Rose, Scabiosa, Seeded Eucalyptus, Snap Dragons, Solidago, Star of Bethlehem, Stargazer, Statice, Stephanotis, Stock, Sunflower, Sweet Pea, Tulip, Tweedia, Veronica, Viburnum, Wax flower, and Zinnia
Summertime arrives between the months of June and August in the Northern Hemisphere, while those in the Southern hemisphere experience it between December and February. Many of the flowers blooming during this time is:
Alchemilla, Allium, Alstroemeria, Amaranthus, Amaryllis, Aster, Baby's Breath , Bird of Paradise, Bouvardia, Calla Lily, Campanula, Carnation, Casablanca Lily, Chrysanthemum, Cockscomb, Corn flowers, Cosmos, Daffodils, Dahlia, Daisy, Delphinium, Dianthus, Didiscus, Euphorbia, Foxglove, Freesia, Gardenia, Genista, Gerbera Daisies, Ginger, Gladiolus, Gloriosa, Green Goddess, Hallaconia, Heather, Hydrangea, Hypericum, Iris, Kangaroo paw, Liatrus, Lilac, Lisianthus, Magnolia, Orchids, Peony, Phlox, Pussy Willow, Queen Anne’s Lace, Scabiosa, Slippers, Snap Dragons, Star of Bethlehem, Stargazer, Stock, Sunflower, Sweet pea, Tuberose, Tweedia, Veronica, Zinnia
Autumn falls between September and November in the Northern Hemisphere as well as in the Southern hemisphere. This is the one time of the year when the seasons truly align. Some of the flowers you’ll see in the Fall are:
Acashia, Allium, Alstroemeria, Amaranthus, Anemone, Asiatic, Lily, Baby's Breath, Bittersweet, Bouvardia, Carnation, Calla Lilies, Camellia, Carnation, Casablanca Lilies, China Berry, Chrysanthemum, Cockscomb, Cosmos, Daffodils, Daisy, Delphinium, Echinops, Freesia, Gerbera Daisy, Gladiolus, Gloriosa, Hyacinth, Hypericum, Iris, Juniper, Kangaroo paw, Kalancheo, Liatrus, Lily, Lily of the Valley, Lizianthus, Magnolia, Misty Blue, Orchid, Paper Whites, Parrot Tulip, Peony, Pepper Berry, Phlox, Protea, Queen Anne's Lace, Quince, Rover, Roses, Rowen Berry, Salvia, Scabiosa, Slippers, Snap Dragons, Solidago, Statice, Star of Bethlehem, Stargazers, Stephanotis, Stock, Sunflower, Sweet pea, Tuberose, Tweedia, Veronica, Yarrow, Zinnia
The season comes between December and February in the Northern Hemisphere. However, in the Southern Hemisphere winter occurs between June and August. Depending on the area, flowers may be really difficult to find, especially those under a thick layer of snow. However, they are blooming in nearby states for those brides interested. Some of those flowers that may be found at this time include:
Acashia, Alstroemeria, Amaryllis, Asiatic Lily, Aster, Bouvardia, Calla Lilies, Camellia, Carnation, Casablanca Lily, Chrysanthemum, Cyclamen, Dahlia, Daisy, Delphinium, Evergreens, Gardenia, Gerbera Daisy, Ginger, Gladiolus, Gloriosa, Helleborus, Holly berry, Hydrangea, Kangaroo Paw, Larkspur, Liatris, Lily, Lizianthus, Magnolia, Narcissus, Orchid, Pansy, Paper White, Parrot Tulip, Peony, Pepper Berry, Phlox, Poppy, Protea, Queen Ann's Lace, Ranunculus, Roses, Snapdragon, Star of Bethlehem, Stargazer, Stephanotis, Sunflower, Statice, Sweet pea, Tulip, Veronica
Durability of Flowers
Finally, one last variable to consider is durability. Although this variable does not affect cost directly, it should make a huge difference on flower choices. Talk to the florist before making any final choices.
If the wedding will be outdoors, you will want to consider which flowers will easily fall apart or wilt in the sun and wind. Alstroemerias and hydrangeas, for instance, are some of the most delicate flowers. You can count on these flowers not withstanding the entire event.
Carnations and roses, on the other hand, are very hardy and you don't have to worry about losing them before the night is over. If choosing flowers indoor, however, it shouldn't matter quite as much.
There are many considerations that need to be taken into mind when choosing the right flowers for a wedding. They might be beautiful, but are they expensive, available, and durable enough to withstand the big wedding day?
Let's look now at the pricing of all of the other products and services that florists offer.
Although many flowers are season specific and will be difficult to get at certain times of the year, there are many that can still be found throughout the year that are not particularly affected by the changing seasons.
The Alstroemeria, Anthurium, Asiatic Lily, Aster, Bouvardia, Calla Lily, Carnation, Casablanca, Chrysanthemum, Day Lily, Delphinium, Freesia, Gerbera Daisy, Gladiolus, Kangaroo Paw, Liatrus, Lizianthus, Star of Bethlehem, Stargazer, Sunflower, Sweet pea, and Veronica are some of those.
- Bridal Bouquet - $75 to $350
- Toss Bouquet – free to $150
- Bridesmaid Bouquets - $30 to $275 each
- Boutonnieres - $10 to $20 each
- Corsages - $15 to $40 each
- Ceremony Décor - $375 to $950
- Reception Décor - $700 to $1200
- Flower girl flowers - $100 to $200
- Flower petals - $20 to $250
- Wreaths - $15 to $300
- Centerpieces - $10 to $1,200
- Aisle Arrangements - $15 to $450
- Napkin Flowers - $2 to $30
- Cake Flowers - $8 to $150
- Pomanders - $25 to $125
- Archway swag - $10 to $400
- Candles - $1 to $50 each
- Plants - $25 to $350
- Balloons - $3 to $300
- Flowers in Bulk – $100 to $500 (flowers differ in price by type, see above)
- Chuppah, Arch, and Gazebo arrangements – $300 to $5,500
- Car, Stage, Lobby arrangements - $40 to $600
- Containers (vases, bowls, baskets, buckets, boxes, crates, barrels, mason jars, lanterns) – $1 to $60 each
- Shepherd’s hooks – $4 to $7 each
- Candelabras – $25 to $80 each
- Columns – $15 to $250 each
- Mirrors – $7 to $35 each
- Aisle Runner – $14 to $250 each
- Garden Lights (Twinkle lights, Christmas lights) - $.0.99 to $60 a string
- Chuppah, Arch, Mandap, Gazebo, etc. - $12 to $225
- Consultation fee – free to $50
- Delivery and Setup – $15 to $275
- Additional Designers – $50 to $250
- Retrieval of Items – $25 to $100
- Labor fee – 25% to 30% of total floral costs
These prices, and even all of the facts presented, may be different in your area, for your wedding month, with your florist. The only way to truly know the truth about what your florist is charging is to ask.
My intention was simply to educate you on the cost of flowers for your wedding. Hopefully this will make your experience with wedding florists, and wedding flowers, that much easier. Good luck!
© 2013 Victoria Van Ness