I’ve been surfing various flower wholesale companies to see who has what, always fun to see what is coming into season. Check out some of the pretties (click on flower image to go to the website). Oh, and peonies are back!!
How do you calculate out your fee for deliveries & installations? What is a reasonable fee for these services?
I charge 15% of the subtotal for delivery. There is a separate line charge if I have someone helping me, and another 5% to come back to strike, if I have am required to stay to “flip” the ceremony, or if there are multiple delivery locations. If I am traveling outside my typical area, I would also charge a separate mileage fee.
Blair of Sweet Blossoms, Maryland
I think of how many will be needed to setup and strike the event, how many hours the event will take, what vehicle will I need, gas, parking and then I add a little more because we always spend more time than venue/planner/client tells us on delivery times and that’s what we charge.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois
We are a new Wedding and Event floral company, in our 2nd year and I had the same quandary. We are located in Lancaster, PA. Not a big city, but a very spread out area with lots of barn type and Winery venues I solved delivery charge by doing the following for each Bride:
Use Google Maps to determine the Following:
Calculate the mileage to the ceremony location.
Calculate the mileage from the ceremony location to the reception venue if different.
We also add 5 miles for driving around Winey or barn location because they are spread out.
Calculate the mileage from venue back to shop.
Calculate driving time.
Add all the numbers together and use this number as your base for all other charges.
$1.00 per mile
$40.00 an hour for driving time.
The wage of the delivery people.
Mileage to ceremony location is 10 miles or $10.00.
Mileage From ceremony to reception barn is 10 miles or $10.00.
Mileage around barn venue 5 miles or $5.00.
Mileage back to shop is 30 miles or $20.00.
Driving time 2 hours $80.00
Plus 45 minutes for delivery of items. There is always time involved “the Bouts go here and the Bouquets go there and put the arrangements here”.
Driver who is also manpower for carrying arrangements $15 an hour
Helper $12 an hour.
$94.50 total for 2 hours and 45 minutes for staff.
Total $10.00 + $10.00 + $5.00 + 20.00 + $80.00 + $94.50 = $219.50 to Deliver.
For set up we do the above plus we made up standard charges:
Placing arrangement $2.00 each
Aisle Decorations $2.00 each
As we have become acquainted with repeat venues we sometimes adjust to lower costs.
Wedding Flowers By Cyndi, Pennsylvania
Do you have suggestions or advice for Lynda? Please leave us a comment!
Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: email@example.com
Your name: Jenn Sanchez
Your Business name: Jenn Sanchez Floral Design
Your Location: Ventura County, California
How did you start your business?
I have taken art lessons since I could remember and have always been attracted to painting anything in nature. I eventually began to paint only flowers, and my mother (playfully) suggested I try arranging them. For my 18th birthday, she surprised me with a wholesale license in my name, and shortly after took me the Los Angeles flower mart. I instantly fell in love with all the varieties, colors, and textures of flowers and plants I had never seen before. I began to take a few weddings over the following couple years, more as favors to friends than business, and in the more recent years decided to make it a career!
How many years have you been in business?
I have been in business for a year and a half.
How do you create your style and where do you draw your inspiration?
My style is mostly drawn from the natural movement already created by flowers. Nature is the best floral and foliage arranger, I just try and emulate that on a much smaller scale. My inspiration comes from looking for beauty in the every day, whether music or movies, a random advertisement or a conversation with a friend. I know, some of those sound so removed from the work I do but for me it is so closely related. Whether visual or auditory, so much of that evokes a particular emotion and its those moods I want to come through in my work.
What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Well, I do live in Southern California which has nearly perfect weather conditions year round, that really gives us the opportunity to grow and harvest so many flowers locally. We have such a wide variety sometimes the options can be overwhelming! You really have to know what you want before walking into any market.
What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
The medium I am working with. I love anything that gets my creative wheels turning, but working with flowers is by far one of the most enjoyable. Constantly working with a dying product can be very challenging at times, but their delicate and detailed petals along with endless possibilities in arranging make up for any stress that may cause.
Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
No, I have been operating out of my home since starting, but in the near future I hope to have a studio space shared with other creatives.
Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
Yes, I can work with the client or bride to style and design their event. Flowers really are the finishing touch to a often a much larger idea, so helping people plan and create a cohesive look is something I love to offer to clients.
What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
The toolbox itself! My husband is a cabinet maker and he made me a lightweight small carry toolbox that perfectly fits all my necessities. I don’t know how I would stay organized without it!
Hi Flower Friends,
I recently sent out a Q&A to our newsletter subscribers and usually I receive plenty of replies, but this time only a few trickled in. My guess is that many of you are still very busy with wedding season and answering emails from brides. Sooo… I’m posting the Questions here and am requesting that you email me your answers – firstname.lastname@example.org — and I’ll post the answers in the coming weeks. Hopefully this will help us get a good selection of answers!!
Read thru the 7 questions below and you may answer as many of the questions as you like.
The Question and its Answers will be posted on flirty fleurs — www.flirtyfleurs.com — weekly on Thursdays!
How do you calculate out your fee for deliveries & installations? What is a reasonable fee for these services?
I’m currently vacationing in Thailand, and spending a lot of time gazing at the amazing bougainvillea. And it’s something I would really love to use more of in arrangements but have never considered it further due to their incredibly short vase life. Does anyone have an suggestions on conditioning or treatments that these fabulous flowers can benefit from to increase their longevity? For example does anyone know if dipping cut stems in alum (similar to hydrangea) would work?
I’m curious about freelance rates around the country. See lots of requests for freelancers but never any info on the pay. What is the typical going rate in each city?
I am currently in the process of renovating a new location for my business. In this new space I will be building a 8 x 10 floral cooler. Working with contractors can be scary and frustrating. I am wondering if any other business owners have already been through this process? And if so; any advice to pass along? Mistakes that your contractors or yourself made? Approximate cost for the job?
I just bought my own little flower shop this past February. Unfortunately, being young and going into business for the first time, I was very naive. The elder brother and sister I had purchased the store from were suppose to retired (One was 58 and the other 62 years old). I thought everything was going well until Passover, in April, where I only received a handful of orders. The store, being next to an affluent Jewish neighborhood, this was very unusual. I learned a few days before the holiday, through a customer, that the previous owners had solicited the client list that they had sold me, and took their orders. Not only that, but they were working out of a wholesaler’s warehouse from whom I also bought my own flowers! Talk about being double crossed. I threatened for legal action and the day before Passover, the previous owners agreed to give me the orders.
So here’s my question: Is there anything I can do to protect myself for future holidays? Can wholesalers do this? Isn’t it damaging for the florist community?
(previous owners did sign a non-compete stating they are not allowed to operate a flower shop directly or indirectly within 3km for 5 years)
This weekends wedding was a beast for me. It was a whopping 11 tables and 6 cocktails, easy-peasey, right? But there were rentals of pillars and backdrops and the loading dock was a country mile from the set up sites. It was 15 minutes of walking, 2 service kitchens and two elevators from the truck to the reception site. With this kind of obstacle course, efficiency is paramount for timely delivery, calm work environment and my aching feet. I am interested to hear what tricks of the trade there are for load-in. How are trucks packed? What’s the preferred dolly/cart? Are florists designing based on what they can transport the easiest? One of my biggest strengths is making something work, no matter how hard it is to accomplish. This is also one of my biggest weaknesses. I do not want to be killing myself with load-in if there is an easier way. Thoughts?
Would you consider a post regarding the line between being the florist and being an event designer? Recently I had a bride come in with picture of what she wanted for floral. We finished the quote and then she wanted to know what chairs, dance floor, invitations, hanging lights vs festoons vs up lights, etc. I am all for providing opinions and feedback. That’s not what this was. This was more of a expectation for a design rollout. She even told me, “well, the florist designs the wedding”. I think this is from an era where the only design choices were linens and what color bow to use to cinch that net filled with Jordan almonds. Now the bride’s wearing cowboy boots and emerald jewelry in her engagement photo because in a year she’s getting married in a barn and her bridesmaids will be wearing emerald dresses. In this age where the drinking straws match the pendants, which coordinate the menu cards, which have the same font as the “Pick a Seat” sign, which has a small, hand-drawn sketch of cowboy boots which harken back to what the bride wore in the engagement shoot a year before, I am not interested in event design. Can you provide some feedback on where the line is? I want to be helpful, but I don’t want to provide free design services either.
The bottom line – how do you make it clear to a bride when you want to do flowers only vs when you want to offer full event design services?
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