You may be wonderful why the average fresh flower costs about $5.00 a stem and if you order about 20 of those flowers, why would the florist be charging you about $150.00 for your fresh bridal bouquet. Keep reading. This may help you understand why.
Floral designers have a complex and varied job. We are not just artists, but also trades people who train and apprentice for years to learn our craft. We must also be botanists who learn about the care and handling, lasting ability, and behavior of the flowers we handle. We are also customer service specialists who deal with custom orders, grievances and emotional clients (including brides). Every time we create an arrangement, we use ALL of our specialties in order to calculate the final price. Formulas are used to ensure we're charging a fair amount that is consistent with the current market. We use formulas when pricing everyday arrangements, silk flowers, funeral flowers and of course wedding and special event designs. One formula your florist might use to calculate a price might be as follows:
Retail Cost of Flowers + Hard Goods Cost (ribbon, wire, etc.) x labor (a percentage of 30% - 50% depending on the labor time) = The Price YOU Pay
Keep in mind, the average bridal bouquet will take a seasoned floral designer anywhere from 1-3 hours to create. If you think a bridal bouquet is simply a fancier version of the average table arrangement you see at the supermarket, think again!!!
From the time your wedding flowers arrive at the flower shop, they receive special treatment. The bundles of flowers are unboxed and unwrapped. Each stem is inspected for quality and the lower foliage is then stripped off. Stems are placed in a special hydrating solution for several hours to recover from their journey to your florist. After a few hours they're moved to a floral preservative and placed in a storage cooler. When the bouquets are about to be assembled, the flowers are removed from the cooler and the designer carefully chooses the best flowers for the Brides bouquet. All the flowers are laid out and any special preparation is now done. (Wiring individual blooms, bending the stems, etc.)
Now its time for the designer to build the bouquet. This may take several hours as the designer wraps the bouquet with ribbon and places in the accents (pins, jewels, etc.) The flowers are then misted with an anti-transpirant to ensure the flowers will last throughout the day. Finally, the bouquet is wrapped in cellophane and placed in a box which is labelled with the bride's name and the wedding date.
As you can see, wedding design requires a tremendous amount of labor. Multiply the above steps for each bridesmaid and then add about 20 minutes per boutonniere. If you add in all the extras: 45 minutes for cake flowers, 2 hours for the large church arrangements, 8 hours and 3 designers working to create your 20 towering table centerpieces, you'll notice that time is the florists greatest expense, especially because they are working with a perishable product.
It takes a full team of people to create an average size wedding, so remember that you're hiring the whole shop for your event. Also, as your floral team is working on your wedding, they also have to attend to other clients. This means that your florist will probably be working on your wedding order from early in the morning and well into the night on the Thursday or Friday before you say "I DO".
(This info from bloomsflorist.com. Even though these are their words, I totally agree and appreciate that they have put this on their website. Remember silk flowers are equally as labor intensive, and sometimes more depending on the choice of flowers and the choice of design.)