Why are wedding flowers so expensive?

It seems like such a cliche question, but really, why are wedding flowers so expensive?  I’m sure a lot of brides are shocked to find out that their $1500 allotted floral budget isn’t going to cover the wedding of their dreams… and there’s good reason why.  I’ve broken down a few points of interest maybe you didn’t know about the tedious world of flowers to share just why flowers are so pricey:

  • Prep Work:  Most likely you’ve worked with us to see the vision and inspiration of your big day.. picking out colors, what designs will look like, a Pinterst board of inspiration, but behind the scenes we are noting many other details that make all the difference in a wedding planned perfectly and well.. well, there is no other option in our book of design.  Behind the scenes, we are choosing specific flowers we see suitable for your designs, specific rose varieties, we are sourcing containers from various resources, making sure they aren’t on back order, and that we can get enough to meet your needs.  This is all more than a month out.  At the month of mark, we are getting final counts in, fine-tuning our floral recipes (recipes we create for each design so that we order enough products, and so that we have a plan of attack on the week of when we have countless arrangements to make), placing orders with vendors, ordering all of the supplies we need to create each of these items:  oasis, wristlets, liners for containers, ribbons to match, etc., etc.
  • Production Work:  On a typical week, our flowers arrive on a Tuesday, and this is where the start of the production week begins.  Each bunch is accounted for, each stem, cleaned of foliage, and each bunch is freshly cut and dipped into re-hydrating solution.  Foliage is important to be removed below the waterline, as this will contaminate the water, and be grounds for bacterial growth which clog the stems.  Most flowers are transported out of water from other countries or from farms right here in the State of California, so re-hydrating is a very important measure in keeping these perishable products at their full liveliness.  This is common practice.  Buckets are freshly bleached weekly to prevent bacterial growth as well and ensure this process is as cleanly as possible.  Flowers such as roses may be stripped completely of thorns and foliage depending on their use.  Then, flowers are either kept out of the cooler where we monitor their bloom, or placed directly into our coolers to keep flowers tight and ready for the design week ahead.
  • Floral designs are hand-crafted art.  There are countless hours that go into the placement and design of each arrangement and/or floral piece.  Flowers are further processed or prepped to be created into bouquets, centerpieces, or personal flowers.  Each stem is given a fresh cut, carefully designed and placed into an arrangement ensuring the composition and artwork is reflective of the clients’ overall look, and then is misted, checked for ample water, and is carefully placed into our coolers.  It takes hours upon hours to create every design, from bouquets to each hand-created boutonniere, corsage, centerpiece, aisle flower and detail.  You can ensure every flower had thought and purpose as it was being incorporated into each design.  Vases are cleaned & packaged, and votives are prepped with candles.  A toolkit is prepared with anything imaginable we might need while on delivery.

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  • Delivery & Transport:  When it comes time to transport and deliver flowers, each design is packaged, misted and placed into our air-conditioned transportation to arrive to the wedding venue.  Extra time is allotted to ensure arrival with no challenges.  Flowers are unloaded and placed in the coolest spot, and then on-site set-up begins where we place each arrangement, ensure everything is just as outlined in our paperwork, and add any other touches to the look.
  • Keeping on Our Toes:  I’m going to let you in on a little secret… Nothing ever goes as planned.  No matter how much time and energy we spend on making sure everything goes just as we’d like, something keeps us on our toes every week.  Maybe the roses we ordered in aren’t as big of heads as we’d like, or a crop comes in looking not as great as usual, we have to improvise and adjust almost every week due to the changing product we work with.  Sometimes this means spending a little more than we budgeted on our end to ensure our product meets our high standards.  We’ve learned to be flexible with this process, as there may be something unplanned that comes up and needs quick and immediate action to ensure our end-product is to our standards.
  • This doesn’t all get done alone.  It takes a team to create a wedding… from the prep work, to the designs and all of the details, to the delivery, we have an entire team working on your wedding to make all of this come to fruition.  I guess what I’m trying to get at is that this all costs money in the form of labor to create and get these products delivered.

So, you ask, why are flowers so expensive?  What it comes down to is that we aren’t just providing a service of selling ideas and a product.  We are literally creating, designing and producing a look from initial ideas to actual creation.  Each experience is customized to each client.  Each week it starts again.  So, knowing what you know now, what are your initial thoughts on this subject?  Did you happen to learn something you didn’t know?  Do you want to see more blog posts like this?

Napa & Sonoma Vintage Rentals

We absolutely love Napa & Sonoma Valley weddings!  From the rolling hills of vineyards and world-renowned wine, there are so many wonderful things about the Napa & Sonoma Valley, and the beautiful weddings we get to take part in.  If you are planning a vintage or winery feeling wedding, there are a few of our favorite vintage and unique rentals that work right into the look and aesthetic of this feel!  We offer a wide range of vintage rentals from farm tables, to accessories to wedding ceremony backdrops, tabletop glassware and more!

Wooden_PewsOur vintage Alma wooden pews are the perfect aspect to incorporate into your guest seating for the ceremony.  These blend nicely with the scenery and lend to tying in the natural surroundings to your wedding decor.

bistro_chair-600x900Our Cross Back Bistro chairs are natural and blend nicely when paired with our pews or our farm tables.  We have 200 in stock of these available to rent.  Because they have a woven seat, no chair pad is necessary, but standard sizes do fit.

Our accent and decor collection of wedding vintage rentals of blankets, bohemian tapestries and linens, figurines, vintage busts, chandeliers, dreamcatchers, ornate gold frames, dessert display items, parasols, Moroccan lanterns, brass and silver platters, rug, cake stands, a vintage bike, vintage books, vintage bottles, vintage cameras, vintage globes, vintage radios and typewriters, windows and wood log cuts.

Our Architectural collections includes wedding rentals of birch arbors, wood arbors, a curly willow arch, a ladder bar display, vintage standing doors, stands and a variety of graphic backdrops.

IMG_8341For our collection of wedding centerpiece rentals, we carry an array of candelabras in gold, silver and black finishes, mercury glass, milkglass, wooden boxes, rustic birch containers, crystal, brass, birdcages, candlesticks, brass elements, teapots, compotes, votives and candle holders, apothecary jars, colored glass, tall glass vases, gold containers, gold urns, hobnail jars, mason jars and lanterns.

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Our extensive vintage furniture wedding rentals includes settees, sofas, love seats, chairs, mismatched chairs, bistro crossback chairs, dessert buffets, dressers, trunks, side tables, farm tables, wood tables, tufted furniture, coffee tables, sideboards, buffets, leather chairs and sofas in a variety of colors including red, blue, marsala, burgundy, green, kelly green, white, black, peach, ivory, in finishes of leather, linen, brocade, tweed, tapestry and velvet.

Our linen collection includes vintage and unique rentals of crocheted overlays, Bohemian tapestries, blankets, and vintage tablecloths.

Our natural collection features item to rent such as wood rounds, moss balls, twine balls, birch containers, wood wrapped containers and driftwood.

IMG_8363Our tabletop collection of vintage rentals includes vintage mismatched china in dessert, appetizer, dinner, salad and bread and butter plates. Other vintage rentals include mismatched goblets in blue, green, yellow, pink, teal, navy blue, amber, crystal, clear, brass and silver. We also offer vintage and unique rentals of chargers in black, silver and gold, champagne saucers, mason jars, coffee mugs, silver flatware, gold flatware, gold utensils, silver utensils and teacups.

Some of the lovely places we have had an opportunity of designing weddings at include:  Viansa Winery, Beaulieu Gardens, Napa Wedgewood, Chardonnay Golf Course, Jacuzzi Family Winery, Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch, Tra Vigne, deLorimier Winery, The Meritage Resort & Spa, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, B.R. Cohn Winery, MacArthur Place, Paradise Ridge Winery, & Auberge du Soleil.

If you are planning a Napa or Sonoma Vintage wedding, or are in need of vintage or unique rentals, please contact us to begin the planning process!

TOASTED San Francisco Wedding Show

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We’re all about doing things fresh, fun and unique! This year, you’ll find us at the TOASTED wedding event in San Francisco with the most forward-thinking, trend-setting besties of ours in the industry. If you watched the video, this sure seems like a fun time, right? So, be sure to join us!

We’ll be featuring some of the hottest trends in the wedding world and giving away awesome goodies to those who stop by our booth!

After all, we believe your wedding should be as awesome, stylish and amazing as yourself!

For more details about this event, and to get tickets, check out TOASTED SF website.  The event takes place on January 25th at The General’s Residence at Fort Mason Center, and doors are open from noon-4pm.

San Luis Obispo Vintage Rentals

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Photo:  De La Barra Photography

We are excited to announce Botanica Events is now serving The Central Coast and San Luis Obispo area with our vintage wedding rentals.  Vintage wedding rentals are available from Paso Robles, to San Luis Obispo, to the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara.

We offer a wide range of vintage rentals from farm tables, to accessories to wedding ceremony backdrops, tabletop glassware and more!

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Our accent and decor collection of wedding vintage rentals of blankets, bohemian tapestries and linens, figurines, vintage busts, chandeliers, dreamcatchers, ornate gold frames, dessert display items, parasols, Moroccan lanterns, brass and silver platters, rug, cake stands, a vintage bike, vintage books, vintage bottles, vintage cameras, vintage globes, vintage radios and typewriters, windows and wood log cuts.

Our Architectural collections includes wedding rentals of birch arbors, wood arbors, a curly willow arch, a ladder bar display, vintage standing doors, stands and a variety of graphic backdrops.

0EJU4itl1PTpe6UrEkjv5t5tVpDBr_yDftuGZJ2kkZg-200x300For our collection of wedding centerpiece rentals, we carry an array of candelabras in gold, silver and black finishes, mercury glass, milkglass, wooden boxes, rustic birch containers, crystal, brass, birdcages, candlesticks, brass elements, teapots, compotes, votives and candle holders, apothecary jars, colored glass, tall glass vases, gold containers, gold urns, hobnail jars, mason jars and lanterns.

Botanica_Events_0158-200x300Our extensive vintage furniture wedding rentals includes settees, sofas, love seats, chairs, mismatched chairs, bistro crossback chairs, dessert buffets, dressers, trunks, side tables, farm tables, wood tables, tufted furniture, coffee tables, sideboards, buffets, leather chairs and sofas in a variety of colors including red, blue, marsala, burgundy, green, kelly green, white, black, peach, ivory, in finishes of leather, linen, brocade, tweed, tapestry and velvet.

Our linen collection includes vintage and unique rentals of crocheted overlays, Bohemian tapestries, blankets, and vintage tablecloths.

Our natural collection features item to rent such as wood rounds, moss balls, twine balls, birch containers, wood wrapped containers and driftwood.

bistro_chair-200x300Our tabletop collection of vintage rentals includes vintage mismatched china in dessert, appetizer, dinner, salad and bread and butter plates. Other vintage rentals include mismatched goblets in blue, green, yellow, pink, teal, navy blue, amber, crystal, clear, brass and silver. We also offer vintage and unique rentals of chargers in black, silver and gold, champagne saucers, mason jars, coffee mugs, silver flatware, gold flatware, gold utensils, silver utensils and teacups.

If you are planning a wedding in The Central Coast of California and are in need of vintage rentals, then make sure to book us before someone else beats you to it!

Style: Great Gatsby

We are loving the inspiration that has arisen from the revival of the Great Gatsby time.  We are seeing a lot of brides choose this style as inspiration for their weddings.  This time era is typically categorized with the following design elements:

Art Deco Shapes // Glitz & Glamour // Metallic Elements

Gatsby_WeddingCreating cake designs, escort cards, table menus and invitations with art deco designs brings this look to life.  Typically we see colors of black, gold, whites and reds, but you can certainly incorporate other colors in or combinations thereof.  Metallic elements are key, and you can even mix tones of gold, silver and rosegold altogether.

With this trend being so prevalent, we’ve pulled and tagged some of our favorite pieces of our inventory that work well with this theme.

Be sure to remember that Botanica Floral & Event Design is here to provide you with design elements of your choice. Check out the link below to see some inventory items that can work for you!

Gatsby_Wedding_RentalsGatsby_table_designPhotography:  de la Barra Photography

Seating Vignette Design

how_toWe obviously love the special touches and additions added to a wedding to make them unique and special, but we also need those items to be functional!  Today, we’re talking about seating vignettes, how to use them, what’s the minimum you need to make a big impact, and suggestions to making it affordable.

A seating vignette is a styled seating arrangement of upholstered sofas, benches, trunks, coffee tables, rugs, wingback chairs or some combination thereof to create a seating area for your guests to lounge in. They are functional in that they offer a place for guests to relax; especially if you have elderly folks at your wedding, but it also can be used for seating around a dance floor, during cocktail hour, or for a casual wedding ceremony where multiple seating vignettes are arranged around where the couple will marry.

Camille SetteeThere are a few essential pieces we feel are necessary for a seating vignette.  This will help break down the rules we see fit for choosing a seating vignette:

  • Choosing the Right Pieces:  You’ll need some larger “grounding” pieces for the vignette, this can be a larger sofa, or a combination of two large sofas or settees.  From there, you can pair two arm chairs across from each other or next to each other.  Some sort of coffee table is essential for guests to place their drinks on.  We suggest a trunk, a traditional coffee table, or some mixed crates of various heights.  Additional tip!  A nice rug makes all the difference if you are on a flat surface.
  • Placement:  Will there be a focus for the seating vignette to face?  This will determine how to place the pieces within the seating vignette.  You may want to face an opening towards a dance floor, or where people will congregate. Or, you may want a closed off style where seating faces the center from all four sides.

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  • How many people are you looking to seat?  Typically, most seating vignettes can seat 5-8 people. This will determine what pieces you choose.
  • Color/Look/Style:  What is the look you are going for?  Are you looking for something leather, or something velvet, or patterned?  This is where you can tie in your wedding colors and look!
  • Finish off with accents:  Choosing great upholstered pieces is fantastic, but you have to accessorize after you’ve got the basics.  …just like any good outfit!  We suggest pieces on any side tables, or coffee tables.  AND!  Be sure to throw some pillows into the mix as well!  On a solid sofa, a sequin or patterned look is awesome!  Or a nice throw blanket for when the evening gets cold!

Hope these tips help you a bit in choosing a seating vignette!  We are always here to help assist you in designing the perfect seating arrangement for your event! Check out our vast selection of furniture at Botanica Events!

Top 3 Mistakes Brides Make…

Today we’re talking about the top 3 mistakes brides make when planning their wedding flowers.  We’ll address these issues, and I’ll offer some advice to making sure you don’t fall victim to the 3 deadly sins of planning your wedding flowers.  As a side note, this post follows our Unspoken Flowers Series which addresses, de-mystifies and sheds light into the world of a floral designer.  Be sure to check it out!! For us floral designers, we get 3 days to create and make everything perfect for our brides.  Working with a product that is essentially dying from the moment it enters the door of our studio, there isn’t much room for error.  Sounds kind of stressful, right?  But, it’s the months leading up to this that truly ensure everything goes to plan perfectly.  It’s the time, effort and care you take in planning all of details up to the wedding that will ensure everything will go to plan, and your dreams will be brought to reality.  So, here’s the top 3 mistakes brides make when planning their wedding flowers: 1.  Lack of information provided: When I sit down with a client, I want them to aesthetically walk me through the start to finish of their wedding.  What linen colors are they using?  What rentals have they chosen?  Are they doing any lighting?  What are the men wearing?  What are the women wearing?  Do we have swatches of these items?  What decor items do you have?  All of these questions extract the correct information so that I as a professional can properly make suggestions based on the look you are going for.  When we don’t have these items, it makes your wishes and desires very hard to create, especially since I can’t read minds :)  After all, your idea of blush may be very different than what your designer’s idea of blush is. To Avoid This:  Provide all pieces of the puzzle when asked, & provide them at least 45 days out from the wedding to your designer.  At Botanica, we mark everything needed from our clients in red on their descriptions and details of their order.  We also schedule design meetings with our clients in which we use these times as opportunities to getting this information.  Pinterest is a useful tool in sharing ‘general’ ideas and overall feels. 303f93eec6179773fc5c2aa6f7481384 Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 12.23.27 PM2.  Lack of organization: If you’ve chosen to plan your wedding by yourself, sans a wedding planner (which I fully endorse hiring one), you have GOT to be sure you are reading your contracts, documents and keeping on top of your homework that your vendors are giving you.  I always say, we can design the most beautiful flowers, but if you don’t let us know the details and timeline for the day of, what have we spent all of this time doing if you haven’t given us enough time to properly set them up and go above and beyond.  I’ve found that the majority of brides are late in getting their final payments, details and information needed for us to place their orders and schedule their deliveries.  So, what does that mean?  It could mean not getting the flowers you want, the colors desired, or the containers needed.  It could also mean additional fees added to your delivery and order. To Avoid This:  Read your contracts carefully.  If there are deadlines for items needed, mark this off on your calendar a week before they are due, and reach out to your designer if you are falling behind on tasks and payments you need to make.  Communication is better than avoidance.  Start talking about your timeline, and draft one, whether or NOT you have a planner.  It’s so, so important for all of your vendors to know what the game plan is on the day of.  And, if you don’t have a planner, we’ll see anything that could be an issue and let you know up front, rather than running into a dilemma on the day of. 3.  Unrealistic Expectations: The world of flowers is mysterious.  There are so many tricks and things of knowledge that I would only know about because I have been working with flowers for over half of my life.  But, here’s the good news… I’m going to be completely honest about what I know based on my experience.  I know the pinterest ideas you pin are cute and adorable, but they are NOT always realistic.  I had a bride sent a photo of boutonnieres this past week made of anemones.  Sure, they photograph gorgeous, but to uphold throughout the day, hugging, and in the heat… think again!  They would be dead within an hour or two.  There are so many factors that go into flowers: availability, time of year, supply and demand.  Did you know that the majority of weddings we did this year had Juliet garden roses, blush tones and grey accents?  Think about the fact that EVERYONE had the same colors (thanks trends!)  With only so many flowers in these colors available every week, there becomes a supply and demand issue.  But, that may be getting onto a new topic…. Anyhow, to be more realistic about what you’re looking for, you need to trust that the person you’ve hired to be your designer is someone knowledgeable and able to carry out your look.  And, someone who is honest in what is or potentially isn’t available for your wedding. To Avoid This:  Share overall conceptual ideas you like & flower types liked.  Trust the person you hire.  We are selling artwork.  I realize when a bride hires me, she is hiring my look and brand, she’s not picking out a cookie cutter design out of a floral book.  We pin ideas of conceptual inspiration, but when we go to design and create the wedding, it is completely unique in itself.  Never a perfect recreation. Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 12.11.56 PMI hope some of these points help you in planning your wedding!  Feel free to leave your comments, feedback and questions for our next post!

Unspoken Flowers: A New Blog Series

Unspoken Flowers

Ever wonder what it’s like being a floral designer?  Want some extra tips to ensure your wedding flowers turn out just as you’d like?  Be my friend, and follow me along some of the journeys I take day in and day out within this mysterious industry of flowers!

Having graduated with a degree in horticulture, the knowledge I gained and learned by the books is great to have, but it’s the experiences and the things I’ve learned from working with many other great designers and having run and operated my business for the past 7 years that have given me the knowledge and understanding of this ever-changing industry.  I’ve been involved in the floral industry since before I had a driver’s license, and made my first floral arrangement in the 4th grade.  I guess you can say it’s in my blood.  But, enough about me, I’m sure you have some questions of your own on this perceptively glamorous industry of weddings and flowers.

So, feel free to email me your questions, concerns and dilemmas!  You can contact me at : audrey@botanicaevents.com

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Laurel Garland

A laurel garland with citrus accents makes for the perfect accent to a bar display.  We love this look, and thought it was a fitting design for this bar for a Sonoma wedding.

 

Laurel Garland

A Wine and Roses Evening

There are some things in life that are just meant to be. Peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, chocolate and strawberries. If we are lucky enough, we find someone who we are meant to be with. Sometimes we meet them in a pub, a coffee house, or through friends. Usually people will date for a few years, get engaged, and get married.

But there are other times, in very rare circumstances, when two people will meet as children and just know that they are meant to be together. George Straight’s song, ‘Check Yes or No’ comes to mind. We recently got an opportunity to do a wedding with just such a couple. Jessica and Doug met in elementary school and were immediately drawn to each other. The years and the military separated them, but as adults, fate placed them both in jobs in Central California. The rest, as they say, is history.

This love filled day of personalized fun and uniqueness was set at the ever fabulous Wine and Roses Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa. The gorgeous pictures seen were taken by True Love Photo.

The details in a ceremony and reception are what solidifies a moment in someone’s mind, and this wedding was full of them! Pfeiffer Event Planning did a phenomenal job at planning and designing this day.

We love this intricate hanger, and the dazzling jewelry matches wonderfully with these bedazzled heals. The earrings can be found at Adore. bridal detailsThe time a bride spends getting ready is almost as important as what she puts on. When planning your big day make sure to allow plenty of time for sleep, breakfast, and relaxation. Hiring someone to do hair and makeup for you and your bridal party can lift a big part of the preparation stress off of your shoulders. Jessica’s hair was done beautifully by Tina Romo. Her flawless make-up was done by Shana Beals Makeup Artistry & Skin Studio. 
getting readingOf course, Jessica is absolutely stunning on her own but this dress, oh this dress. We love this ruffled number, bought from La Soie Bridal. thedressA little personality can make a wedding unique. The amount of personality at this wedding made it unforgettable. Check out this garter! It’s obvious that there was thought put into every inch of this event.FandomThe lush gardens at Wine & Roses, Restaurant and Spa are a perfect backdrop to the elegantly draped curtains, luxurious chandelier, and breathtaking couple.
ceremonyWe loved putting together these beautiful bouquets. The pops of hot pink from the bridesmaids bouquets pull colors from the floral pieces in the pictures above, as well as the surrounding gardens. Jessica’s magnificent bridal bouquet used lisianthus, spray roses, dusty miller & ranunculus. We also added sparkly pearl brooches to add a bit of glitter and shine.
FlowersInvitations, place cards, and table numbers that match add a cohesive motif to a wedding day. Jessica and Doug’s invitations, place cards, and menu cards were done by Angela Dal Bon for Invitations Inkpaper funThough the entire purpose of a wedding is for two people to commit themselves to each other, a huge perk of getting married is the wonderful party that comes after the ceremony! This reception was beautifully designed by Pfeiffer Event Planning with silver and gold accents and shades of pinks. The gorgeous cakes were done by Above and Beyond Cakes. The floral arrangements and roses also draw from and accent the pink motif of the evening. reception tablesA unique part of Doug and Jessica’s reception was the amazing performance by the folks from Golden Turtle Lion Dancereception1Finding a home in a another person is a priceless miracle that not many people have the opportunity to experience. We are so happy for Doug and Jessica, and wish them many years of joy and happiness. We felt so blessed to be a part of their big day.
the couple

To read more about Doug and Jessica in the blog that Real Wedding published, please click the photo below.
Real Weddings

Venue and Caterer: Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant and Spa // Photographer: True Love Photo // Videographer: Real 2 Reel Video // Wedding Planner/Designer/Favors: Pfeiffer Event Planning // Bridal Hair: Tina Romo // Bridal Make-up: Shana Beals Makeup Artistry & Skin Studio // Florist: Botanica Floral & Event Design // Cake: Above & Beyond Cakes // DJ/Entertainment: Music & More Entertainment // Bridal Earring: Adorn // Bridal Gown: La Soie Bridal // B&G Rings: Sharif Jewelers // Lion Dance: Golden Turtle Lion Dance