"It is a privilege and dream-
come-true for me to grow and deliver intoxicating beauty."
- Paula Rice
Paula Rice is a professional cut flower farmer and florist providing intoxicating beauty to North Idaho for 15 years. She loves growing and playing with flowers and seeks ways to keep her passion alive and strong by finding solutions to the complexities of operating a growing and designing business in zone 4. It has been quite the education. When she’s not working the fields, you can find her walking the fields, eating raspberries, and wondering what she should make for dinner.
Understanding how to order wedding flowers and what to expect when visiting with a florist will empower you to enter the conversation confidently.
While it’s impossible to provide all the details for every wedding, walking through a few scenarios with me in this post and using our links at the end, will give you a deeper understanding of what you are looking at in terms of cost so you can make a plan.
How do you find out how much wedding flowers will cost? Usually, you meet with a florist, who creates a proposal and presents a price. You are either shocked or surprised by what they present and then you have the “budget” conversation. Once you adjust everything, you book the date and move forward or go elsewhere and start the process again.
Because people are often uncomfortable sharing their budgets, the process can be long and time-consuming. Maybe you worry about sharing your budget because you don’t want the florist to take spend it all? Are you afraid your florist will be offended by your budget?
Eventually, everyone needs an idea of what the flowers will cost, and your florist needs some boundaries and direction. Learn from the following scenarios:
Teri loved all colors of purple and especially sunflowers and black-eyed Susans. These were her childhood favorites. We met, and she provided some ideas of things she liked on Pinterest. After discussing all the places she would want flowers for her ceremony and reception, I began the process of creating a quote for her.
Teri wanted a rose-petaled aisle with aisle arrangements as she walked to the altar.
It was a small, intimate wedding with 75 guests. The flowers were the decoration for her event, and she wanted to make it beautiful.
When I sat down to create the quote, a process that takes a bit of time choosing flowers, checking current pricing, building floral recipes, and estimating labor and time, I realized that I hadn’t asked for her budget.
Yikes! The sky is the limit. I could take this anywhere.
Listening to her story and perceiving her confidence in what she wanted, I made some assumptions. But I still wasn’t sure, so I provided her with a quote range.
She could choose a simpler design at $2,800 to a lusher design at $5,200 with a complete installation. This would allow her to choose what she could afford.
“Thank you so much for your time and the beautiful inspiration, but my wedding flower budget is $700 total.”
Boy, I needed to know that. A budget of $700 was not even enough to buy just the flowers for all she had envisioned. No time, no labor, no delivery, and no setup.
Don’t worry, the story ends beautifully. We had to think broader and get creative.
I guided Teri to use more seasonal flowers in a garden-style design instead of the traditional round style she had chosen, it would use fewer flowers. And we were lucky enough to be in lilac season, a flower that was in her colors and would provide the bulk we needed.
Then we chose the spaces and elements that would provide the most impact. Yes, some things had to be dropped, like the rose-petaled aisle and the floral installation. (The floral installation alone was $550.) Other areas were scaled back. We halved the aisle arrangements and repurposed them to the reception tables after the ceremony.
She rented the containers and vases, dropped delivery and setup, and went with a wedding package to pick up.
And because she wanted the tables to be a bit lusher, she increased her budget. We added on some floral bud vases to compliment the “double-duty” arrangements from the aisle.
Unless your budget is open-ended, you will want to have a rough budget in mind. You don’t want your designer to create something out of your ballpark. I spent time creating a quote and inspiration board for something that didn’t even have a chance of happening… and florists do this all the time, whether they overshoot or undershoot. It seems like a backward process.
Christy called and wanted a $100 bridal bouquet and a boutonniere. Our basic price for a bridal bouquet is $175, but we are in our session and can do something beautiful from our fields to ensure everyone has lovely and memorable wedding flowers.
I gave her our price list of ala carte wedding flowers, and because she was price-checking, she would talk to other florists and possibly call us back. That is fine.
Christy did call back and wanted to schedule an appointment to discuss exactly what flowers I would put into her bouquet and see examples of my work. Sounds reasonable, yes, but there are some l business logistics running in the background here that needs explaining.
1.) Our design model here is to look at photos of things you love and create something original from our fields using your inspiration. You will not get an exact replica of someone else’s work. Nor will you be able to pick the exact flowers.
During the creative process and using what the fields are providing, I make decisions and choices, stem by stem. I let the flowers inform the overall design…and for someone with a smaller budget, this works great.
2.) If we must order a particular flower, we are required to buy bulk quantities. Too small of an order would not use everything. Christy’s desire to choose particular flowers would not justify the bulk purchase price.
3.) Our Ala Carte Wedding Menu is reasonably priced because we take out a lot of the steps that a full-service, custom design requires. To meet her budget, Christy needed to be open to what the season was providing and our design style.
It’s not her fault that we couldn’t work the way she expected. We’re not a “traditional” flower shop. We are a small design studio and setting up an appointment to discuss her expectations for such a small order would have eaten up her budget.
4.) We may not have exactly the flowers you want. Our specialty here at BeeHaven Flower Farm is growing the flowers we design. This is what makes us unique. We grow acres of flowers to choose from but growing can be a bit of a moving target.
Every year is different and every week brings something new into bloom. We don’t always know what the weather will do and how it will affect the flowers. We learned not to guarantee a certain flower; this way we don’t stress about it; there is always something and we can enjoy our work.
I let Christy know that, at her price point, we could create something from our fields, in her colors. If she could send us a picture of something she liked, via e-mail or texting, it would be enough to provide us guidance on her style.
I further offered places to check out our design style through our social media postings @beehavenflowerfarm on Instagram, as well as see the wedding portfolios on our website so that it did not require a sit down to look over my portfolio.
I love to create floral magic from my fields, it is what brings joy to my work. I work to bring your idea to life and channel what you love. But I want to enjoy the creative process of building something unique and original without stress and overly detailed expectations.
Letting the season shape your aesthetic, this way you will save money on your wedding flowers and reduce stress. A lot of what you see as you browse the internet for wedding inspirations is super custom and premium priced.
For example, a florist may have created a one-of-a-kind, drop-dead gorgeous bouquet for a small, styled wedding shoot. Next, they edit the pictures to create a muted or moody look. Ultimately, those flowers may not even be commercially available or come in the exact colors you are seeing.
They then post these photos on social media to showcase their talents and everyone clicks like. The algorithm responds by boosting its reach, making it really popular. Ultimately, the florist created very few pieces. They may not actually have the resources to replicate this look for an entire wedding.
Judith provided me with a list of the exact flowers she needed for her wedding and asked for a price quote. She had done a lot of research and clearly had been watching the latest trends. She had something very particular in mind.
Here is her list:
White Larkspur or Delphinium
Spray roses- Champagne
Koko Loko roses
Queen Annes Lace (Dara)- Chocolate
Wax Flower (purple & white)
A soft blue flower – Maybe a cornflower or love in a mist?
Butterfly Ranunculus (Rusty Orange)
Coming to a farmer-florist is absolutely the right choice for these types of specialty cut flowers. We actually grow many of these flowers. But….and this is a big BUT….they must be in season.
Judith’s list includes flowers that are very new to the market. They are not yet regularly and abundantly grown commercially, making them expensive for several reasons and even ungettable:
Here is a snapshot of what Judith’s order would have cost at the time of her request. (I had to choose some substitutions because some flowers were unavailable.) Reminder: this is the wholesale cost.
The Koko Loko roses on her list are indeed great, but they are extremely limited. They will be around $6+/per stem WHOLESALE COST!!! making them way more at the retail level …IF you can even find them.
Below is the best source for the Koko Loko roses I could find. You’ll notice that there are only a few Koko Loko roses in this picture. There is no guarantee that they would actually be in the bundle. Pretty though, right?
Furthermore, nothing is guaranteed when ordering flowers these days. Covid and beyond changed all that. For vague terms like terracotta ranunculus, champagne spray roses, or rusty orange butterfly ranunculus, substitutions will abound.
The employee filling the order will use their best judgment based on what is actually in the cooler. And they will be unapologetic if they get it wrong. (That terracotta ranunculus is probably arriving orange). Or worse, they send you nothing at all, and you are left scrambling last minute to fill that void. We generally accept substitutions because that is better than nothing, sometimes☹
Try as I might to have reliable sources; I have experienced this repeatedly. If you want to be safe, go with industry standards; flowers that are timed and regularly grown.
In consequence, our policy, when we are asked to special order flowers, is that you assume the liability and risk of what is sent. There is a chance they will send substitutions because some flowers are not available when the time arrives. That substitution may not precisely be the color you wanted or even close enough of a substitute in your opinion. But, think about if you would rather have a substitution or no flower at all for that spot.
We will discuss whether you would accept substitutions or not. In the end, the only refund they will give is for a product that is bad or damaged. To help mitigate that risk, it’s a good idea to have some photos as a source of inspiration. We want everyone to have a clear idea of what you are hoping for. This way, we/they can source flowers and colors similar to your photo if something cannot be found.
To keep the price reasonable, you want to be open to what the season provides. Here at BeeHaven Farm, we sell our flower bunches from $10 – $20 per bunch. We go off a color inspiration and work within a range of those tones and tints in the flowers we grow to create your look.
Providing us with an inspirational photo as a visual for your style is an opportunity to create something seasonal, unique, and beautiful, something you can eventually even grow in your garden.
I’ll give you this, the flowers on her list are a perfect storm of beauty. They are specialty-type flowers that are not impossible to get but can be spendy. They are way more reasonable when sourced in season and locally.
Flowers are the one thing that transforms your event and pulls everything together, they are the main decoration. You can drape curtains, lay expensive linens, and rent lovely place settings and seating, but it isn’t until the flowers arrive that the space is truly transformed.
Your flowers are forever captured in the photographs, a testimony of how beautiful your wedding day was and what welcomed and delighted your guests.
As a good rule of thumb, you can expect to spend 10-15% of your total wedding budget on flowers. But, if you are looking for Pinterest-worthy, abundant designs, I would suggest allocating 20-25% of your total wedding budget to flowers.
Most couples in Bonners Ferry, spend between $1000 -$2500 from our ala a carte wedding menu. Some spend less, and some spend more. Remember, it’s your day, and the day should reflect your taste and style.
This wedding budget calculator is an excellent resource to further help you consider the overall budget of your entire event. There are two tabs within this excel spreadsheet.
Being a grower and florist requires me to carve time slots for workloads and stick to them. I work on the farm and in the studio in time blocks. This helps me get the growing done and then come in, receive and work on orders in the studio.
By following our process, you are receiving an opportunity to make a plan and learn about what to expect for the cost, before we meet face to face.
We offer a simpler process for discovering your budget and booking your wedding flowers online.
By now, you’ve learned how much your wedding flowers may cost and understand what you need to know. You have equipped yourself with the knowledge to create a basic plan and visit with a florist.
What next? Jump straight to our Inquiry form on the Weddings page and see if your wedding date is available and start the process of booking your wedding on our calendar!
Interested in designing your own flowers? This is a must-read. It will get you fully prepared and ready to plan and design your own DIY wedding flowers.
Lilacs are a beautiful and fragrant flower that is sure to add elegance and style to any garden. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, making them the perfect choice for farmer-florists who want to start growing these blooms in their gardens. With just a little effort you can enjoy beautiful lilac blooms […]
When buying and designing your own DIY wedding flowers, there is a lot to be prepared for. Make this plan ahead and you’ll have no problems.
What to Expect When Ordering Flowers from a Farmer-Florist; How Much They Cost and What You Need to Know Understanding how to order wedding flowers and what to expect when visiting with a florist will empower you to enter the conversation confidently. While it’s impossible to provide all the details for every wedding, walking through […]
"My name is Paula Rice and I have been growing and playing with cut flowers in zone 4 for 15 years. I speak many dialects of flower quite fluently and have loved creating a life rooted in growing."
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