Following on from our recent posts about wedding flower costs and averages, I thought it might be helpful to do a quick summary of example wedding flower budgets and what you can expect to receive from us within your budget.
There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to sorting through a budget for your wedding flowers. It’s important to know, as a couple, how important fresh flowers are for your wedding day – you may feel flowers aren’t a central focus for your day or you may feel your flowers are ‘the thing’ that will bring your unique day to life. Also, give some consideration to your venue: does it need the additional decor florals provide or is it a beautiful venue itself and you don’t need to go over the top?
As a good rule of thumb, we suggest your floral budget account for 10-15% of your overall wedding budget. If, on the other hand, you are looking for Pinterest-worthy, abundant design, we would suggest allocating 20-25% of your total wedding budget. Most of our couples spend between $3,500-$7,500 but some spend less or budget more based on your preferences. Remember, it’s your day and the day should reflect your taste and style.
Below is by no means a complete list. Like everything else wedding-flower-related there are so many ‘what ifs’ and ‘except this’ scenarios. The following is meant to be a rough guide to help you plan which items could be covered within a your price range.
Most often, this will allow for bridal bouquet, a few bridesmaid bouquets as well as buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen. Depending on the number in the bridal bouquet, it could account for buttonholes and corsages for a few additional family members
If you are having a very intimate wedding and no bridal party, it could account for your bouquet, a buttonhole as well as a small feature installation at the ceremony or reception
$1500 – $3000
Depending on the size of the bridal party, this will cover off all personal flowers (bouquets, buttonholes) as well as a allow for some table decorations at the reception. We would suggest smaller arrangements on each table or a collection of bud vases and feature blooms to fit within the budget
Or, instead of table flowers, this could allow for a large feature at the ceremony (perhaps an archway with florals) or the reception (perhaps a hanging foliage installation with a few pops of flowers throughout)
Alternatively, if you’re bridal party only includes two additional people, this budget could allow for a ceremony feature element as well as a reception installation. We could then look at using candles to decorate the tables instead of flowers.
$3500 – $5000
This budget could cover the personal flowers as well as a feature element at the ceremony and the reception. It can also cover off smaller table arrangements or bud vases for the table decoration as well as candles.
Or, if there is just one of either a ceremony archway and / or reception installation, there will be budget to cover off our standard sized table arrangements.
$5500 – $7500
This price range falls within our typical full service wedding – most often this includes personal flowers, a ceremony floral feature, an installation at the reception, as well as flowers and candles for the tables.
Having said that though, if we are building a custom ceremony element (i.e. chuppah), this budget may only account for personal flowers, the ceremony feature and a few touches at the reception.
$7500 – $10,000
With this budget, we are often looking at a collection of personal flowers, large statement / impact pieces at the ceremony (for example, urn arrangements or an archway PLUS aisle flowers OR a feature chuppah installation). For the reception, the budget could allow for a hanging feature as well as flowers and candles for the tables.
It’s almost impossible to provide all the details on each and every budget because every couple’s wedding is unique. The above looks to provide some guidance on what items can be accounted for within a budget.
You’ll note we haven’t mentioned lots of the smaller pieces so often requested – flower crowns, cake flowers, rose petals, junior bridesmaid posies, gift table arrangements. There are literally hundreds of permutations and combinations so we have left these out to try to keep things simple.
Also, prices will vary quite a bit depending on the number of flowers used and how many premium blooms are to be included. Peonies, orchids etc. are more premium flowers and the budget needs to account for this.
It’s also important to be aware labour charges can vary dramatically as well – each venue has it’s own rules on when we can set up and when we need to pack down. All of this has an impact on costs for the day. Labour charges also change depending on the time of day we need to set-up / pack down as well as the day of the week (Saturdays and Sunday incur premium labour charges and early morning set-ups and late night pack-downs also incur premium labour charges).
From our perspective, we are super excited to work with couples regardless of their budget. We have no minimum spend and are always happy to provide suggestions on where the money is best spent, where to get ‘the most bang for your buck’ at your venue and how to make the greatest impact on the day.
Finally, remember every florist prices differently and it might be that florists in your area charge more for some items than we do. We’re simply looking to provide this as a guide to help manage expectations, rather than as a bible for the purposes of a formal quote.
Friends, giving you the run down on what I’ve learned to date about dying your own silk ribbons.
A few photos are posted at the bottom of this post and hopefully my rambling outline is helpful. But if in doubt, there is so much information about this online, that you can Google it and easily sort through more details.
Generally speaking, you really need to embrace the idea of going along for the ride. It basically all comes down to science but because we’re working with natural products, there is a lot left up to Mother Nature and how the chemical reactions all happen.
My biggest learning is to stay open to the colours not turning out at all like you imagined (and nothing like that of what results others post on Pinterest).
Even the pH of your tap water will impact the end colour so I certainly wouldn’t go into this hoping to make exact matches of specific colours.
I will say though, I haven’t yet made a colour that I don’t think we’ll use. Because we’re dealing with natural dyes from natural products, they seem to marry quite well with flowers. It’s a beautiful thing. A little bit magical.
If you are after a specific colour range, I would suggest Googling ‘Natural Dye + Your Colour’. People are always experimenting with everything – and I mean everything. Grass, flowers, bark, fruits, herbs, flowers, extracts and plants are all options.
There really is no limit to what you could think about using but my current favourite is avocado skin or avocado pits. They are different shades of peachy / pink / blush.
I can guarantee you that your shade of blush will be different to what I create – because the avocados you use will be different and your tap water is different.
This really is play time. Stay open minded about what happens on the other side and don’t be shy about experimenting a lot.
What kind of silk do I buy?
Nature Silk Crepe de chine. You can get it on Amazon, Ebay and I’m sure other places. Yes, 99% of the time it’s going to come from China and that is what you want (that is where the world’s silk worms actually live).
You can buy it in different weights, referred to as momme: the lower the momme number (12), the thinner the silk; the higher the momme (40), the heavier it is.
I started with 12 and I really like it – it’s lighter weight than the expensive stuff I’ve bought from well-known silk ribbon brands but hangs beautifully on our bouquets.
It’s about $30 for 1/4 metre but you get a load of ribbons from that one piece of fabric. You’re almost always paying close to $0 for your plant matter to dye with so it’s a low cost creative experiment really.
Create your pot of dye first – every fruit, veg, herb, plant, extract etc. behaves slightly differently so the amount of time you boil and let your mixture stand is totally up to you.
I put the avocado skin in a pot of water and let is simmer for 3-5 minutes and let it sit in the water for another 20 minutes. None of these times are exact so just go with what feels right.
I cut up my ribbons before I put it in the dye, making ribbons about 2-3 cm wide.
Avoid attempting to cut strips of fabric and use the old sewing trick of making a small snip and then tearing it down the fabric. You get those beautifully frayed edges, super straight lines and a beautiful product in my opinion. Pull off any loose threads and you’ve got yourself your base ribbon.
After you’ve removed the skins / plants etc. from your dyed water, place the ribbons in. If the water has cooled down a lot, put it back on the heat for a few minutes to get it back to a simmer and then you can turn it off.
The longer you leave the ribbons in the water, the more colour the ribbons will have.
Remember too, the ribbon colour in the pot will be different to what the ribbons look like when they’re dried (usually goes a touch lighter). Hang them to dry and you’re good to go.
We straighten ours with an old hair straightener on its lowest setting.
Can I use a fabric other than silk?
You can but there is a whole other process involved when you use man-made materials.
Natural dying is easiest when you use natural fabrics (silk, linen etc.) and natural pigments from plants.
There is lots of opportunity to trial man-made fabrics but you need to add on a ‘mordant’ stage. I know nothing about that process so if you’re interested, Google it and you’ll find out more about it.
Experimenting with Vinegar + Baking Soda
Making the world of natural dyes even funner, you can play around with changing the Ph balance of the water – more acidic by adding Vinegar and more alkaline by adding baking soda.
Again, dozens of people are posting about this online so if you’re curious about how baking soda or vinegar will affect the colour of a specific plant, Google it.
But this simple addition opens up a whole other spectrum of colours.
My biggest advice is to make sure you add in the baking soda / vinegar before you put in your ribbons – don’t try to add it in after you’ve put in your ribbons otherwise it leads to an uneven colouring.
I put it in after I’ve strained out the plant matter, but before I put in the ribbon.
How much do you put in? About a tea spoon. I’m far from precise with this one so it’s basically just a spoonful. Put it in and stir it around and you’ll see the colour change instantly.