What is the per guest cost for this table? by Nancy Liu Chin

I’m so pleased to be writing another article for the Flirty Fleurs Blog. Alicia has been so inspiring to me as I await the new ideas, new flower tips, and behind the scenes stories from her perspective.

One of the things I often sense from clients today is that they have these fantasy inspiration boards through pinterest or lover.ly that to them should be achievable. After all, if it’s so easy to find all this wedding “eye candy”, it’s got to be fairly reachable for any budget, right?

Unlike when I was wedding planning in 1999, where the average bride would only see a handful of real weddings in magazines, today you can see plenty of new real weddings every day (actually – not just a handful in magazines but dozens upon dozens of real weddings on blogs, on line digital magazines as well as through pinterest, facebook, twitter and instagram), so there is no shortage of real weddings! What was once seen as special, unique, and one of kind, today with the oversaturation of “real weddings”, it would make anyone planning a wedding now to feel like all things are within their budgetary grasp.

But is it?

What is behind the cost for a real event, might just surprise you.
Let’s break down this Gatsby inspired Art Deco table featured in April 2013’s Grace Ormonde’s digital wedding issue.

Grace Ormonde

Nancy Liu Chin Floral Design

This table photographed by Kevin Chin and designed by Charmed Events and NLC Designs.

Black Gold White Table Setting

black succulent

Black Gold White Table Setting

Black Gold White Table Setting

Black Gold White Table Setting

Black Gold White Table Setting

Black Gold White Table Setting

For this 24 foot long table, let’s break down the costs – for 24 guests

3 8 feet table Black – $225 each
30 Louis Chair Black chair with Gold Cushion center – $17.50 Each
5 Black Acrylic Lamps – $45 each
1 Gold And Black Back Drop – $500
30 Gold King A. Dinner Fork – $1.20 each
30 Gold Dinner Knives -$1.20 each
90 Gold Salad Fork(30 for salad, 30 for 1st course, 30 for dessert)- $1.20 each
60 Gold Salad Knives – $1.20 each
30 Gold Teaspoon – $1.20 each
30 Black C. Napkin $2.25 each
30 Black Onyz Goblet – $1.56 each
30 Champagne Glass $- 1.46 each
30 Wine Glass -$1.46 each
30 Water Glass – $1.46 each
30 Black Charger – $3.15
30 Gothic Plate – $.1.00 each
90 Gothic Salad Plate(30 for salad, 30 for 1st plated course, 30 for cake) – $1.00 each
30 Cups – $1.00 each
30 Saucer – $1.00
30 Dinner Plate white with Gold – $.57 each
4 Chevron Runner – $30 each
20 gold logs – $5 each
4 gold arrangement with all white lisianthus – $70 each
3 gold arrangements with white irises – $55 each
12 narrow glass with white phalenopsis – $40 each
20 black succulent – $7.50 each
24 gold votives – $2.25 each
15 assorted Mercury Distressed Candlesticks – $10 each
15 Pillar candles – $12.50 each
3 oval gold arrangements with white cyclamen – $55 each
8 pieces of gold sand blasted grapevine – $25 each
4 cans of gold spray paint – $5.50 each
2 bunches of loose white phalenopsis orchid – $150 each

*setup, delivery, taxes and breakdown costs are not included.

What is the per guest cost for this table?

A: $170 per guest!

It’s sometimes hard to understand but a reception is not just about the flowers but it’s a combination of many parts.

This was a ballroom table so look forward to my next article will I will break down a farm/rustic table.

Contact Information:
Nancy Liu Chin Floral & Event Design

Thank you, Nancy, for this insightful article! As always, you are such an inspiring treasure in our floral industry!

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  1. A thorough and thoughtful breakdown that I’m sure so many wedding designers will appreciate. Even brides with reasonable floral budgets are sometimes looking for something that far exceeds the “average” price point for a tabletop.

    Endless sources of wedding inspiration are both a blessing and a curse to the modern day couple. Thanks for a fantastic post, Nancy! I’m already looking forward to the next one!

  2. Wow, so interesting and helpful! Are those prices just to rent? Besides the flowers, spray paint and pillar candles, which I assume cannot be rented.

  3. Wonderful information Nancy, I always enjoy your informative posts. The table is really gorgeous, as is the space, so appropriate for that era.

  4. Great post! Give or take a few dollars here and there on the rental prices, it sounds about right. We actually pay more for succulents in my neck of the woods, and I’m guessing we pay a little more for our orchids being in the Midwest. But the majority of it sounds fairly similar to what we would charge for such a design.

  5. Nikki
    The prices are to rent.
    The only thing I could not include was installation, taxes and setup fees as those vary for distance as well as area.
    Otherwise, this was the cost to create this table. I’m going to work on a rustic/farm table which I think might be less. But the take away in general is that what you see published is a lot more than just flowers to create a look. As floral designers, I definitely see us leading the way to being more than just a shop of flowers. Of course for some, they don’t want to get involved with rentals. I can appreciate that. But you will see that in more and more editorials that there are many floral designers who are now more floral and event designers which is what it was many many decades ago.

  6. That is such a great point! Couples are looking for as much design help as possible since weeding through all the inspiration can be overwhelming. They’re looking for overall recommendations for a cohesive look and that means more than flowers; it’s overall style.