Comparing apples to oranges – comparison shopping wedding florists

May 29, 2012

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This isn’t a statement to this particular bride in any way shape or form, the experience for me just brings up the thought of comparison shopping and my recommendations for brides in general about florist shopping!

I got an email from a bride we provided a proposal and custom design for that ended up getting a proposal for the same flower selections, etc. from another florist, and that florist gave her a lower price. I understand brides like to shop around, as I was a bride just six months ago — which is completely fine and I’m just sad because she was adorable and I would have loved to have had her as one of my brides! A bride would be silly NOT to shop around for different options/prices/etc.

When comparing your options, you can’t compare apples to oranges.

How to get your dream vendors within your budget: If you absolutely love your vendor, ask them what other options there are to keep the same concept, but get the price down to get it into the budget. I very well could have offered an easy solution that would have trimmed a few hundred dollars that would not have even affected the overall design. Then, the bride could have used the florist she preferred artistically.

Why is one florist more expensive than another? How do I compare? When comparing one florist to another you must take into account that they may both be planning to use a different amount of stems, exact flower types, different quality in wholesalers, and most of all — the floral design talent and technical skill. So, really, you can’t compare them. Just because another florist may do an estimate for the same designs, but at a lower price point, doesn’t mean they would have been the same design [it’s not like comparing car prices]. The designs can utilize the same flowers, but that doesn’t mean the finished product will look the same. It’s like two different cooks using the same ingredients…doesn’t mean both dishes will taste or look the same! Both florist are most likely planning to design it differently and you just can’t compare apples and oranges, especially on price. I think some brides get confused and think both florists would have a set amount of stems to use, but really it depends on the florist. Yea, the flower types might be the same, but there are so many factors that play into the final product. You also need to make sure to use a florist that is familiar with the types of flowers and design styles you are interested in. A florist that is not as familiar with using sensitive flowers like the currently popular dusty miller, will wilt by the time you walk down the aisle if not prepped, preserved and kept hydrated until you are holding them in your hands.

Factors that play into your floral designers finished product:

– the designer. PERIOD. end of story! Artistic talent in this design based field is the fueling ability to create magic on your wedding day. Then, there’s technical event floral design skills. Take two different painters, Van Gogh and Picasso — they both use oil paint, the same type of canvas, but then end product looks completely different. It’s all about how the designer gathers the materials, arranges the materials, and the way they place the flowers together with their artistic talent and technical design skills. [Because some brides have taken our designs to other florists and had them “copied” *notice the quotes, as there is no way to copy another designers scheme and skills* at a cheaper price, we will be soon charging for custom designs and consultation as a way to also reduce price shopping — any opinions welcome, please comment below!]

Is the florist you chose a factory wedding florist? If they put out many weddings [3+] in one weekend, how do they plan to be involved in the end hands-on design work of your bouquets, etc.?

– the grower that provides the flowers and what quality they are [different growers have different quality levels, even for the same type of flower], the wholesaler that stores them and their preservation process

– how the floral designer preps, stores, preserves your flowers from the time they arrive at their store, cutting them, storing them in the proper temperatures [orchids need different temperature air than many other flowers, some florists don’t follow this!], designing them, delivery, to the time you walk down the aisle with them [or the reception… :)]. Recently I saw the work of another florist on a local photographers wedding blog, and the flowers were wilting…they didn’t properly take care of the flowers on the day of the wedding and didn’t help the bride understand that those particular flowers wouldn’t hold up in warm weather. The result was wilting flowers in all her bridal photos. If she had gone with an experienced wedding florist, this would not have happened, it was a complete waste of money for her bridal bouquets! An experienced wedding florist knows there are other options other than putting a bouquet in water that will hydrate a bouquet so well you don’t need to put it in water at all…all day!

Many other small factors play into it, but these are the main points that affect the look of your flowers!

Post questions or comments below!

Amanda, Owner

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