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Reality Check Part 2

So what accounts for the varying prices across the country and how do these costs compare to the Seattle area?

Well, several things affect the cost of your wedding flowers –

Dahlias are cheap in September because they are grown locally and they are in season. They are a dime a dozen at the farms around the Puget Sound. But try finding dahlias for your February wedding and it’s not so easy. They will have to be imported from somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere which gets me to my next point…

Distance from grow point
Anything that has to be imported automatically costs more than something grown locally. It’s entirely logical; now you are paying for the cost of transport, import taxes, fuel for trucks and airplanes etc. Most flowers used by florists in the US are imported from Canada, South America or Africa because those countries have a long growing season and warm climate (or in the case of Canada, large greenhouses!)

The style and intricacy of an arrangement will also affect its cost. A more involved bouquet with lots of different floral elements and techniques such as wiring for delicate blooms such as orchids will require more labor than a hand tied bouquet of a single flower.

Cost of Doing Business
In my opinion, this is the primary reason that the same arrangement is priced differently in different part of the country. In addition to raw materials, a florist has to account for rent, labor, utilities, trucking, insurance and sales tax in her pricing and this cost can vary enormously across the country.

So where does Seattle fall in terms of floral pricing?

On the higher end. Seattle is an expensive city for property and this affects the price of rent for a shop or studio. We are also in a part of the country where, while the weather is generally mild,  the growing season for flowers is short and outside of the summer months, most flowers have to be imported into the area.

But there are several ways to keep your costs lower!

  • Choose in season flowers.  Tulips in the Spring and dahlias in late summer are two common examples but both are gorgeous flowers that come in many different colors and styles.
  • Choose simple, looser and smaller arrangements. The less wiring and labor involved with your bouquet, the less expensive it will be and it stands to reason that a smaller arrangement with fewer flowers will cost less than a large elaborate one.
  • Don’t get married the week of Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. These two holidays are when flowers are most in demand but short in supply because of the time of year. The prices direct from the grower skyrocket and florists have to raise their pricing to cover the increased cost. So you get a lot less for your money than you would on any other day of the year.

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