Let’s Discuss Small Budgets..

Hi Flower Friends,
I received the following email from one of our readers and I think she raises a very good concern. Let’s face it, not every bride can spend thousands of dollars on flowers and decorations. I realize many of you have minimums for clients, but someone out there must be taking care of the smaller budget brides. To those designers, what advice do you have for our reader? (and all the other readers wondering the same thing). Please leave a comment below, or if you have photos of pieces you’ve designed for budget brides, please email those to: info@flirtyfleurs.com.

“I’m working as a new designer in a medium-sized, quite financially-conservative (and overall conservative) town.
I have been able to find tons of articles online and in print from high-profile designers about making sure you charge for the full value of your work, educating your customers on the value of what you do, explaining the pricing behind their pinterest and bridal magazine finds– but the average wedding budget here is probably $10,000-$12,000, with the DIYers obviously clocking in as low as they possibly can.
At the small local flower shop where I used to work, the average budget for wedding flowers was $500-$1200. They wanted roses in a little posy. They wanted gerberas, they wanted daisies. To put it bluntly, it wasn’t a matter of educating the customer or upselling them, this was their budget, and they weren’t willing or able to spend more.
Some of my workarounds so far have been monotbotanic/ monochrome arrangements so I can order in bulk, loading up on greenery and garlands vs. spending on flowers, selling market bunches for the diy crowd, but I am always looking for new ideas.
Are there any websites, portfolios, thoughts or articles that you or your contributors could recommend for someone in a small town with small budgets? I would love advice on making a small budget look more thoughtfully-styled.”

pink peonies in a bud vase

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  1. We have been doing a lot of hybrid DIY weddings. We design the personal flowers and the bride (or friends) design the reception flowers. With our bulk flower program, the bride orders all the flowers through us and we make sure that everything coordinates and the flowers are ready to use when they are picked up. We also handle any issues that may arise. The bride saves money and doesn’t have to worry about the quality of the flowers or about processing. We also guide them in designs that are easy to create. If a budget is tight, they are going to do what’s needed. If we can offer a compromise, everyone is happy.

    We also provide ‘shopping lists.’ Once we’ve discussed the designs, we tell them how many of each flower they will need. Most of the time, they order from us. Occasionally, the budget is so tight, they’ll go to a big box store like Sam’s (in which case, we tell them what they’ll need to do to process and store the flowers). Either way, they are happy with our service, which leads to recommendations and future business.

    More than anything else, I’m honest with my clients. I tell them what’s possible and I’ll quote whatever they want. Most of my brides on tight budgets realize that they aren’t going to get the extravagant designs. They just want it to be pretty, fit their style and theme, and meet the budget. I LOVE the big weddings, but I also think everyone deserves a beautiful wedding, no matter what the budget. There are enough floral options that this is a realistic goal.

  2. Tracy Park says:

    I understand that shops have to stay on top and not turn business down. For me once I started showing the more “high” end style thats what the brides wanted. You know you can made a Gerber bouquet look good. by adding an orchids or some lily grass its all in design and trends. I am sick of seeing the local shops around here showing styles from 1972. all you have to do is pick up any magazine and see the new trends in flowers, You don’t have to have all high end stems to make a design look “instyle” shop local farmers markets, and growers in season to set great blooms, Not to toot my own horn BUT I can make a dandelion look in style and trendy 🙂 good luck..

  3. As far as small-town, smaller-budget inspiration goes it sounds to me like this designer is doing all she can to work within customer while keeping the look as clean as possible with monobotanical designs. That would definitely be my first go-to trick to keep things on budget. I’d prefer to see a smaller posy of roses than a big bouquet of random eclectic “cheaper” blooms.

    Respecting your customer’s budget is important and you have to respect YOUR need to stay in business by only providing as many flowers as they can afford and not overfilling to make it look “better”.

    Every couples deserves a beautiful wedding even if they cannot afford elaborate designs. It’s important to be enthusiastic about providing that service for your town!

  4. The first thing I kill to save money for anyione with a budget under $2000 is the centerpieces. Depending on the budget, they most likely can have an altar arrangement or aisle arrangements, but the centerpieces are super difficult to squeeze in. Plus all these brides are looking on pinterest and wanting carbon copies of style me pretty feature weddings.