Monday, April 19, 2010

Florist Bamboozlement

I would love some opinions on this one. We are a bit unsure which florist to pick or whether we should just pick none and I’ll do them myself.

I like to work on a three quote rule, so with flowers we approached three florists to get quotes. We went to the florists armed with his photo: 

 We aren’t really too fussy about flowers though so, as advised by one of the florists, we made a list of other in-season (hopefully) flowers that we would also be happy with. These were carnations, peonies (have written them off though because we have been told by florists they are expensive), dahlias (apparently not a good wedding flower – too fragile), daisies and chrysanthemums (that picture is a certain type of chrysanthemum but we’d be cool with a different type).
Oh, and our quotes are based on 1 x brides bouquet of straight yellow flowers, 2 x bridesmaids bouquets which are just smaller versions of the brides bouquet, 1 x buttonhole which will just be a single flower.

Now, here are the results….

Florist A:
Were extremely rude, unhelpful and obviously didn’t want our business so after one visit and three phone calls from me they are out of the running without even having got to the quote stage. I could write an entire post about these mofos… but I won’t.

Florist B:
My fiancé has been dealing with these guys as they are under his work. From what I’ve heard from him they are extremely helpful and polite. They also came recommended to me by someone else so I know they do a good job at wedding flowers. They are unsure if at that time of year they will be able to get the flowers we have pictured but can definitely do one of our other options. We are still waiting for a firm quote from them but they have given us an indicative price of $160 for my bouquet, $130 for each of the bridesmaids and $15 for the buttonhole.
Grand total: $435 (this seems fairly standard based on what I’ve read on forums… possibly a little bit on the high side).

Florist C:
This is our local florist. She seems lovely … but she smokes inside her shop (or at least it STINKS of cigarettes and she has an ashtray inside). Isn’t this illegal? Anyhow, she seems a little too overconfident that she can get the pictured flowers in. I don’t have faith she can, but my fiancé and I discussed it later and I don’t think we’d care if she declared a few days before that we’d have to have one of our other options. My other issue with her is that we have no idea of her skill level. Then again, I don’t think what we want really requires much skill. Even she said that it was a really easy job because all she would have to do pretty much is wire the flowers and bring them into a bouquet.
Her price: My bouquet she quoted as $60, $50 for each of the bridesmaids bouquets and $10 for the buttonhole.
Grand total: $170 (less than half the price of florist B).

We have one final option which is that I will do the flowers myself. We went up to Northwood St, Leederville (heaps of wholesale flower shops are here and some sell to the public) on Saturday to get an idea of how much would this cost. Doing it this way we would probably have to have roses because they have good solid stems so will be easier for me to work with.
My rough guestimate: $45 for my bouquet, $30 for each of the bridemaids bouquets, and then say another $15 for the buttonhole and some extra flowers. I would also need to do a practice run so I reckon another $30 for that.
Grand total: $150 (almost the same price as Florist C. I think this is probably because this is roses versus a much cheaper flower).

My concern is that Florist C just seems too good to be true. Any ideas why she might be so much cheaper?


  1. hmmm. She does seem a little too good to be true, but maybe her self-presentation (smelly shop) means she doesn't get much business, so needs to be more competitive? For the price that she's quoted you, maybe you could afford to have a sample bouquet made? even paying an extra $60 might save you more money in the long run, or give you advance warning that her work is sub-par, which will also save you money in the long run. Have you also asked her what the price would be if she tells you two days prior that she can't get your preferred flower in?

  2. Does Florist C have a portfolio of flowers done for weddings? I've heard that's what you need to look for... it should give you some idea of her work for actual events. If she can't produce this then you have to wonder about her experience.

  3. Hmmmm.. I think getting a sample bouquet made and asking if she has a portfolio are both good ideas. I just need to suck up the courage to actually do it. :p This is probably going to sound really stupid ....but I would kind of feel rude asking her for either and like I was doubting her ability (which I am, but I don't want her to know that). I think for now I will delay the inevitable and wait for a firm quote from Florist B and when their expensiveness is official then I guess I'll have to suck it up and further investigate Florist C.

  4. Heya Amy! I don't think anyone would think you were rude for asking to see those things, you could just pitch it in a "before we make a final decision we'd love to see how it would look in real life" or "I just want to see some examples of other things you've come up with in case I'm being too limited in my thinking". But at the end of the day, even if you say "may i please see some examples of your work" and say it nicely, I still don't see how anyone in the business could think that was rude :)