According to a recent survey, the average amount spent on a florist for a wedding — including personal flowers, centerpieces and other decorations — was between $600 and $804. That's roughly 3%-4% of the $20,300 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 numbers are 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 $150 and $200.
Average wedding flower costs
We analyzed 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.
We found the prices of bridal bouquets could vary considerably from $60 to as high as $965 each. The average cost of one was $175. Something as small as the petals for the flower girl could cost as much as $35.
This table shows the typical price range for the most commonly ordered wedding flowers across various cities with a moderate cost of living. 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)||$60||$65|
|Flower girl crowns||$35||$40|
|Church altar flowers||$550||$1,585|
|Reception dinner head table||$550||$1,585|
|Reception dinner tables||$550||$800|
|Mother and grandmother corsages||$20||$30|
Items that some couples consider optional, based on other details of their wedding, are typically priced as shown in the table below.
Less common floral items for weddings
|Floral arch or arbor||$550|
|Cake or cake table||$170|
|Flowers at the end of the rows||$100|
|Flower girl’s petals||$35|
|Ring bearer’s cushion/nest||$20|
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).
- 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, calla lilies and tulips. Others are especially cheap at certain times of the year when they are in season. Seasonal offerings will also vary depending on your geographic location.
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 certain hydrangea varieties 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.
The cheapest and most expensive types of wedding flowers
We surveyed wholesale prices from several internet-based vendors, including Slow Flowers Journal, Mila Design and We Love Florists, for popular wedding flowers 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, often a minimum number of stems is required per order. Larger quantities may get you a discount. Color variations may also affect the price.
Expensive popular wedding flowers (prices per stem)
|Orchid, phalaenopsis, long||$28.00||$98.00|
Varieties of orchids make up the majority of the most expensive wedding flowers. The phalaenopsis orchid, also called a moth orchid, sits atop the list at $98 per stem on the retail market and $28 per stem wholesale.
Cheap popular wedding flowers (prices per stem)
|Carnation, assorted colors||$0.50||$1.75|
|Calla lily, miniature||$0.65||$2.28|
|Carnation, mostly red||$0.65||$2.28|
|Tulip, standard type||$0.65||$2.28|
|Calla lily, standard, white||$0.70||$2.45|
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 to let them execute your vision in a cost-effective way since they 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 brick-and-mortar shop and employees — they may need to charge more than a person who works alone out of their house. They may also bring some intangibles to your wedding flowers — training, skills and experience, which might cause them to charge more than a 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 setup, service and/or delivery fee, which might be a flat rate or a percentage of the total bill (customers report this fee can be as high as 15%). Florists may also offer to pick up any rentals, such as 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 setup and delivery.
If you plan to try to negotiate these costs, it’s best to do so up front and to 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 final 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 to help pay for an amazing honeymoon.
A florist’s profits on wedding services vary widely, depending on a number of factors, including how in-demand their 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.
We collected price information from multiple sources available in August of 2021. Cost-per-piece data in the study came from Thumbtack.com and Flash.com. Slow Flowers Journal, Mila Design and We Love Florists provided per-flower prices, and data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was also used.
Prices are averages and samples, so your price might be different.