I’m frequently told that I have the best job in the world, getting to ‘play’ with flowers every day. And that’s absolutely true! But it’s soooooo much more than just ‘playing’ with flowers … I am trying to run a successful, sustainable business that delivers on the promise of amazing wedding and event flowers for every single client that comes through my door.
So when I am offered the opportunity to provide a quote for a couple’s dream wedding, or a super special event, there are soooooo many things that I need to consider. In reality, it’s not just about the flowers, it’s also about all the other ‘stuff’ that goes into running a successful business – one that’s not going to go belly-up due to poor-management before we even get to your big day. So I thought it would be a great idea to give you, my potential client, a bit of an idea of what goes into each and every quote that I produce. Many of these things you would be aware of, but there are a few that just might surprise you!
Business running costs: ASIC business registration, business name registration & renewals, domain name registration and renewals, email registration and renewals, business insurance, rent or mortgage repayments, fridge hire or repayments, accounting fees, preparation/maintenance of forms (price guide/questionnaire/hire catalogue/quote/invoice/ wedding flower contract etc)
Marketing costs: advertising, social media marketing, web development and renewals, signage, attendance at wedding expos, participation in styled photo shoots
Motor vehicle costs: car finance repayments, insurance, fuel, servicing, roadside assistance, tyres, cleaning
Staff costs: hiring, wages, ongoing training to perfect the latest techniques and to stay ahead of the trends
Stock costs: researching new products, ordering, for country florists – return travel to courier depots to collect deliveries, unpacking, storage, replacing damaged/stolen stock
Client costs: research, planning, quoting, revisions to quotes, invoicing, sending courtesy invoice reminders, following-up overdue invoices, paying supplier invoices, job scheduling, flower ordering, HOURS on the phone and/or email with clients discussing your order/providing advice/making revisions/calming nerves/confirming on-the-day schedules
Flower costs: ongoing liaison with growers and wholesalers regarding your order, confirmation with growers/wholesalers of your order/delivery on the day of pick-up or despatch, liaison with alternative wholesalers should your preferred flowers not arrive or be available, for country florists – return travel to multiple growers/wholesalers and/or the courier depot to collect your flowers, HOURS of unpacking/stripping/prepping/refrigerating your flowers
Prep costs: washing/bleaching buckets, fridge cleaning, preparing packaging and labels, washing/cleaning vases, lanterns, arbours and all other hire items (includes HOURS removing wax from candles ☹ )
Sundries: the little ‘extra’s’ you may not notice like twine, tape, ribbon, pins, preservative sprays, packaging, stickers, tags
Hire fees: there’s the obvious items you hire from us like vases, lanterns, arbours, hanging rigs etc, but there’s also the hidden items required for installation like ladders, rope, chains, hooks, cable ties, sand bags, tent pegs, tape measures etc)
On the day: last minute flower arranging, packing your flowers for travel, labelling everything to ensure each item is delivered to the right address(es), loading the car/trailer, driving to your accommodation(s) and venue(s), unpacking the car/trailer, delivering your flowers (and sometimes helping flower girls position their flower crowns, mums tie on their wrist corsages, groom & groomsmen pin on their boutonnieres etc), set-up of your ceremony flowers, set-up of your reception flowers, staying on-site throughout the ceremony to move your ceremony flowers to your reception location (and sometimes travelling from one venue to another), final reception set-up and photos
The day after: return to the venue(s) to collect hire items, removal of hanging installations, re-packing flowers for the bride & groom or family members to take home (or donate to a charity/hospital/nursing home etc), disposal of waste, return to the studio, unpack the car/trailer, cleaning of vases and other hire items, storage
What is NOT included in your quote:
So now you know the gazillion and one things that ARE included your quote … but have you ever given any thought to what’s NOT included??? Sometimes, when you are comparing prices on a piece of paper, it’s easy to forget all the little extra’s that you get when you deal with a professional florist, as opposed to a DIY situation and/or your bridesmaids or Aunty so-and-so doing your flowers! Here’s just a few:
The additional hours of phone or email contact with you that are NOT included in your quote
The additional hours of phone and email contact with the growers/wholesalers to ensure you get your preferred flowers, including on the day of delivery, if your flowers are not available and substitutes need to be arranged – I can ‘hand-on-heart’ say I will kill myself trying to get you flowers that you will love (and won’t even notice when your preferred flowers aren’t in there!)
A guarantee that your wedding will be my only booking on the day – my aim is not to make a tonne of money by booking multiple clients every weekend, and I will not rush from one wedding to another – I will stay on-site at your venue for as long as it takes to ensure everything goes 100% according to plan or, if problems arise (and it doesn’t matter how much planning takes place, unforeseen problems can still occur), I will be there to fix things for you
The absolute love, passion, and dedication I have to ensuring your wedding flowers are even better than you could possibly have dreamed they would be
I totally get that you have a budget to work to (I was a bride once too!) and it makes perfect sense that you will want to get a few quotes to compare … but please ensure you are comparing apples with apples! Of course a professional florist isn’t going to be as cheap as Aunty so-and-so buying poor quality flowers from a deli or supermarket, but before you make that decision, ask yourself these simple questions:
Do I realistically have the time to deal with the ordering/confirming/delivery/transport/set-up on the day of my flowers (or the multitude of issues that inevitably happen with DIY)?
What strategies do I have in place to deal with these issues and will I be happy with compromise? (And this does not mean phoning a professional florist at the last minute to rescue you because once you make that decision, I’m sorry to say you are on your own baby!!!)
How many photos will my flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony, reception etc) be in; how many years will I be looking at these photos; and will I be disappointed every time I look at my photos and regret NOT spending just a little bit more to employ a professional florist, who will deliver the dream?!
I hope this little bit of info helps to make your wedding flower decision a little easier … and that that decision is to hire me, or another professional florist just like me 😊
Thanks for reading,