According to a survey conducted in 2014 by theKnot.com, the average amount recent brides spent on a florist—including personal flowers, centerpieces and other decorations—was $2,141. That's roughly 7% of the $31,213 average that brides report spending on their wedding in the survey. However, both of these amounts are more than what most couples pay, because the number is pulled higher by big spenders. Depending on how large the wedding is and how many flowers are desired, a thrifty bride and groom can spend considerably less on a florist, often between $500 and $1,000.
Estimate Your Wedding Flower Costs
We surveyed prices charged for wedding items by a number of florists in the U.S. The table below shows the lowest prices we saw, as well as the highest. Of course, a bride’s actual costs could range from $0 if she picks a bouquet from her garden, ties it up with a ribbon and calls it a day, to a fortune if she insists on Rothschild's orchids which cost $5,000 per stem. See how your floral hopes compare.
This table shows the typical price range for the most commonly ordered wedding flowers across various moderate cost of living cities. Depending on where you live, and the complexity and the quality of your items, actual prices will differ.
Common Floral Items for Weddings
|Bridesmaids' Bouquets (each)||$30||$100|
|Flower Girl (each)||$15||$75|
|Table Centerpieces (each)||$20||$250|
Items that some couples consider optional, based on other details of their wedding, are typically priced as shown in the table below. We've organized them from the types of flower arrangements with the most expensive high-priced end of the range and onward, based on sample costs we obtained in cities with moderate costs of living.
Less Common Floral Items for Weddings
|Head Table Flowers||$50||$125|
|Cake Table Arrangement||$25||$120|
|Guest Book Table Arrangement||$15||$75|
|Gift Table Arrangement||$35||$75|
|Aisle Runner (each)||$35||$59|
|Blessed Mother Bouquet||$15||$30|
|Other Corsages (each)||$10||$30|
|Other Boutonnieres (each)||$5||$20|
|Pew Decorations (each)||$5||$15|
What Affects the Cost of Wedding Flowers
The costs of your wedding flowers are largely determined by two factors: the price tags of the flowers themselves (which includes shipping them to your florist from where they were grown, which is often South America); and the cost of the labor needed to order, receive, preserve and arrange them.
Certain flowers cost less, typically because they are easy to grow and are produced in abundance throughout the year. Some examples of inexpensive flowers you might choose for your wedding: carnations, baby’s breath and alstroemeria. Others are especially cheap at certain times of the year when they are in season, like chrysanthemums in the fall. Seasonal offerings will vary depending on your geographic location. Mums will be at rock-bottom prices in September in the Northeast but they’ll still cost a pretty penny in Arizona, where almost every flower needs to be trucked in.
Flowers are much more expensive when they are difficult to grow and thus produced in smaller quantities. An example is the peony, which takes two years to bloom. Orchids and calla lilies are also among the higher-priced varieties. If you choose these for your bouquets or boutonnieres or centerpieces, you’ll see your florist bill rise accordingly. However, don’t let price alone be your deciding factor. A single peony might be expensive, but it fills out a centerpiece differently and makes more of a visual impact than a single carnation.
We surveyed wholesale prices on several internet-based vendors, including Fifty Flowers and Blooms by the Box, for popular wedding flowers available at the time this article was written in October 2015 and found quite a spread between high and low-priced flowers, and between high and low prices for the same flower, as shown in the table below. These are wholesale prices per stem, however, typically a minimum number of stems (at least 10) are required per order. Larger quantities may get you a discount of 10% to 15%. Color variations may also affect the price.
Expensive Popular Wedding Flowers (Sample Wholesale Prices per Stem)
|Lily of the Valley||$5.70||$9.00|
Cheap Popular Wedding Flowers (Sample Wholesale Prices per Stem)
|Queen Anne's Lace||$2.25||$2.25|
|Tea Roses or Spray Roses||$1.25||$2.51|
Another factor that can raise your bill: being overly choosy about your flowers. You might want a dozen standard roses in your bouquet, but nowhere else at your wedding. If these roses come in boxes of 25, you’ll still have to pay for the entire box. It pays to choose a trustworthy florist, and let her execute your vision in a cost-effective way, since she will know these nuances.
The florist’s labor costs are usually incorporated into the price of the arrangements, which is why a bride might pay three to five times as much per stem as the amounts listed above. If the florist has high overhead—a bricks-and-mortar shop and employees—she may need to charge more than a person who works alone out of her house. She may also bring some intangibles to your wedding flowers—her training, skills and experience, which might cause her to charge more than her competitor. The value should appear in the final product, and in the photos that last a lifetime.
Extensive or elaborate arrangements might also increase the labor component of your flowers. A cascade bouquet takes more time and attention than a basic nosegay. A complicated altarpiece will be priced to account for the time and effort required to get the flowers just so.
Other Costs of Wedding Flowers
Your flowers will most likely be subject to your state’s sales tax; and your florist may tack on a set-up, service and/or delivery fee, which might be a flat rate, or a percentage of the total bill (brides report this fee can be as high as 15%). Florists may also offer to pick up any rentals of things like vases for centerpiece hardware at the end of the night (for a fee, of course).
The extra charges add up fast, so make sure you consider them when you’re budgeting the cost of your wedding. Some, like sales tax, are unavoidable. However, you might be able to take on some of the work yourself (or foist it on an unsuspecting family member) to avoid paying for things like set-up and delivery.
If you plan to try to negotiate these costs, it’s best to do so upfront, and get all promises in writing. Also, when you select a florist, make sure any money you provide when you sign the contract is considered a deposit, not a retainer, just in case the business closes before your wedding. You’ll be more likely to get your money back if your upfront money was classified as a deposit. Put the deposit and the completion payment on a credit card that pays rewards, if you can, and once you add in all your other wedding expenses, you might end up with enough miles or cash back for an amazing honeymoon.
A florist’s profits on wedding services vary widely, depending on a number of factors, including how in-demand her services are. But many small, local florists claim they don’t make much money on wedding flowers. Their goal is to wow you with their work so you come back every time you need a birthday bouquet, a get-well arrangement, or beautiful blooms for any occasion.