Confessions of a Floral Designer

OK y’all. Let get real and talk about pricing.

I know this is not the most favourite subject of anyone but it is the subject that comes up most in my business.

And it is a very difficult one, at least for me it is… because like anyone else – I really do love a bargain 😅. But truth be told: I have been selling so many of my bunches for bargain prices that people are starting to expect it from me. And that should not be the case.

About 2 years ago I made a bold statement on social media not to make excuses anymore for my prices as I’m not a supermarket nor a bulk seller. I’m just a small business owner. But I have seen myself fall into the same trap again.

Especially because I’m selling my own homegrown flowers, people (and especially myself) take the work that is involved for granted.

So just to mix things up a little I want you to take a look at these wedding florals on the picture. and tell me how much money is left over to pay myself after subtracting all the costs of the stems. I’ll give you a breakdown below

I only recently started to sit down and do the maths on my bridal bouquets and the way I quote weddings as the numbers were not adding up. And I have to say I was shocked: After working a full day and a half on a wedding I may be left with approximately €50 for my own labour let alone any money to invest back into my business.

I was guilty of the typical ‘adding more and more’ syndrome. As I wanted to wow my clients (which I surely did… That’s at least one big plus) I added too much product, taking my own time and my own produce for granted. And I shouldn’t.

The Breakdown

So let’s take a look at it: what costs go into a wedding arrangement such as the lush and large one shown in the picture above.

First there is the consultation. It usually takes half an hour to an hour. We talk all things wedding. Portion of this time is allocated to the Bridal bouquet alone.

Second there is of course, the cost of flowers. In this bouquet very few flowers were bought in (only 3) the rest was grown in our own garden or foraged. The arrangements counts 47 stems (70 if you would include all the seperate lavender stems and nepeta that were thrown in which I rather price per bunch) with highest wholesale value of 2.57 per stem ex VAT (3 of those ones) mean value per stem would be close to 1.30 ex VAT.

On top of that there are the cost of sundries (twine and ribbons to finish), mileage for pivot up and bringing home the flowers and sundries I may have bought in (my wholesaler does not deliver to my address) the overhead cost (light, rent, heating etc.), the labour and a design fee (which I never add as I’m taking my creativity for granted 😩). If no delivery fee was included in the initial quote you’d need to add that to in the cost of the bouquet.

Conclusion of the story

Wedding florals are pricey and yes you will need to allocate a chunk of your wedding budget to it. But you have to keep in mind that you are not just getting your supermarket bunch. You are getting a unique tailored product that is put together with the greatest care by people who listened to your view and vision for the day. The blooms used for the day are also pricier as they are either purchased from a high quality wholesale or grown with care in Irish soil. Lastly there are a lot of hidden cost to a wedding arrangement that you would not think about.

Like any business owner I want this business to be a success. A raging success if possible 😅. But in order to do that a little mind-shift is necessary. For me most of all.

My own decision is taken on the matter. I do not only want to be there for my brides today, but also for the bridal couples in 10 or 20 years time. And to be able to do that I should not only grow my flowers in a sustainable manner, but run my business sustainably too. This means increasing my prices according to the amount of product I use in my arrangements and getting rid of the bargain hunters mentality.

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