Setting your budget for floral and decor:
Setting the budget for your wedding is an important task. It’s about finding the balance between the wedding you want and the wedding you can afford. If you don’t love flowers, well you’re probably not reading this blog so let’s focus on you brides who love flowers and more specifically my designs which are lush, textural and full of all kinds of seasonal and interesting flowers.
You’ve got your date, the venue, the photographer and the dress. You might have even used one of those handy wedding calculators to help you budget. Well, it’s been my experience that those work just fine for those brides that don’t really care about flowers. But that’s not you. You found me because you saw my work in a magazine, on a wedding blog or one of the vendors I work with often raved about me and my team (because we are super awesome to work with by the way) .
Let’s go back to the calculator, sometimes those calculators spit out downright unreasonable numbers, like $500 for a reception with 25 tables. I don’t know a florist in Philadelphia who can do a centerpiece that looks like something on my site for $20 each. I’ve seen those calculators suggest that the floral budget should be 4-8% of the overall budget. When you work with a creative designer who works in season with an abundant and lush style, that budget percentage may go to 10-12%. If you want custom designed ceremony backdrops, a lavish chuppah or suspended floral designs or full towering tall vase cascading above your tables then you might be closer to 20%.
My suggestion is to get an idea of pricing for your florist before you’ve booked every other vendor. Sometimes when brides come in 4-6 months before the wedding, the only place left to cut is floral and décor and we hate to be the bearer of bad news. And if you’ve had to cut you floral budget, you might not be able to have everything on your wish list. It’s about adjusting your expectation along with the budget.
Book your appointment early, I’m happy to give you an estimate a year or so before your wedding that way you can have the look you love at a price that works with the rest of the wedding. I think it’s better to have all the information first and then you can make your decisions. We also book up early for key wedding weekends so this way you can make sure we’re available for you as well. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about your wedding, we’re happy to help!
This rustic Pennsylvania shoot from the Fall was just featured on Ruffled.
Photographer: With Love and Embers / Styling, Concept, Stationery and Design: Kristy Rice of Momental Designs / Wedding Dress:Tara LaTour / Food Styling: The SoupChic / Vintage Rentals and Styling:Maggpie Vintage /
If you haven’t been following along, over the summer T.O. and I bought a new house in the East Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. We opted to do a major remodel on the kitchen side of the house as it had not been updated in quite a while. While most of the work is completed I’m going to be sharing it as we finish the last remaining details. I’ve tried to bring home flowers each weekend with me as I’m training our cats NOT to eat them. They are sort of cooperating. I like the contrast of the giant jar and magnolia with the kitchen. I tend to design my environments to be as neutral as possible so the flowers and art can stand out.
We combined the small kitchen and breakfast room to create one large open space with our family room at the other end. The old sink is going in my home floral studio which is still in progress and I might make the glass cabinets into a bar. Still thinking about that but I know I saved them for a reason. We’re still looking for a work table to use as an island and a small table to eat at.
The small arrangement above are the remains of a bouquet class I took with Ariella Chezar. It was a wonderful class and I really loved the color palette. We are 98% finished with the kitchen, we just need the steel chimney cover for the hood and a door for the microwave cabinet. I am so thrilled with how it’s turned out and it’s truly a pleasure to cook in, it’s a dream kitchen!
What would your dream kitchen look like? What flowers do you love to have in your kitchen?
Our next class is coming up on Sunday 3/24. We’ll be making tall foyer designs with an assortment of flowering branches like Witch Hazel, Magnolia, Cherry, Pear and more. We’ll be accenting the design with seasonal flowers to create dramatic designs. There are still a few spaces and you can register here.
Hope to see you soon!
My inspiration this month is definitely found in the spring blooms returning to the market even though proper Spring won’t be here for several more weeks. Lilac, spirea, delicate fritillaria, hellebores, narcissus and so many others are really pushing me to try new color palettes and flower combinations. They’ve also got me thinking of my new garden which will be a long time coming as we’ve still got a lot of work to do outside the house. Lately, I’m digging super short stemmed bouquets like this one.
Why so short? These fritillaria and hellobore blooms don’t grow very tall and need to drink a lot so we cut everything to the length of the shortest stemmed flower in the bouquet so they reach the water. This bouquet also gave the me the opportunity to use a snakeskin I’d been
hoarding saving for a rainy day.
Magnolia is a personal favorite and this creamy bloom looked so insanely good with with plummy Japanese ranunculus and NJ hellebore. All the blooms are incredibly long lasting if a bit on the pricey side. I’ve heard this type of magnolia called a ‘Tulip’ magnolia. It’s gorgeous and I will definitely have to get one of these for the new garden.
We were busy for the last couple of weeks with the Philadelphia Flower Show. I’ll be sharing photos from our display with the Parks Department in the next week or so but for now take a look at this gorgeous clematis from Raymond Evison Clematis who was exhibiting at the Show.
So, you want to be a florist?
My friend Eileen of Flower School NY and I both believe that “florist” is going to be the next “chef” as far as career choices go. It seems everyone wants to be a floral designer these days which is exciting and also sometimes a little frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, choices and competition are great for the industry. The onslaught of new forward thinking florists around the country are rapidly changing the 100 year old standards of the old school family florist and the wire services. It challenges growers and suppliers to be more creative as well ensuring better products and more choices for us as designers. But, it’s really helpful to know that being a floral designers is not all picking wildflowers in a field in cute Hunter boots. It’s a little less glamorous then most would believe and a lot messier.
A great way to take a look into running a floral business is the Flower Shop series at Flower School NY. We get into the specifics of what your business is going to be about, pricing your work, making a profit and marketing your brand. The next class is 3/25-3/26 and you can register here.
Magnolia bouquet by Sullivan Owen, photo by Sullivan Owen
Back in November, the Sullivan Owen team packed up a couple of box trucks with all our worldly floral possessions and moved 3.4 miles across town to Fishtown to our new studio in Paper Box Studios. Our closest neighbors outside the building are 8-10 beautiful horses who live across the street at the 76 Carriage Company. Inside the building are lots of creative businesses including Dollface, Wren & Field, Courtney Apple, Red Balloon PR and Printfresh.
Why did we move? Queen Village, though a lovely neighborhood didn’t really have the space that we needed and there was a bit too much parking traffic to deal with on a busy wedding Saturday. While we’re no longer in a traditional storefront space, we have a ton of room to have a big client meeting space, a huge work room, 2 walk in coolers and a big storage garage. Plus a cozy napping sofa for my market days when I get up at 3!
Here’s a quick Vine from inside the space and some random snaps. I’ll share more photos soon as we
slow down clean up to take them!
Friday around the studio vine.co/v/b15E5TzYe5x
— Sullivan Owen (@sullivan_owen) February 1, 2013
It’s really nice when we get to stay in touch with our couples. Laura & Steve were married at Holly Hedge back in June of 2012. Steve is sweet enough to send Laura flowers on occasion so we still hear from this lovely couple. Laura loved green, both the color and the texture of greenery, ferns and foliage. What she didn’t like was any traditional face flowers which initially stumped me but in the end I loved the results. Each bridesmaid carried a single type of bloom and I think the effect was very cool. Thanks to Love Shack Photo for the images!