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Wedding Flowers- How the transport and installation affect the cost of wedding flowers

This last post, addressing factors that contribute to the cost of wedding flowers, looks at the final stage of the process from farm to client.

On the morning of your wedding, the studio is humming with activity. The final touches are placed on your wedding bouquet. The ribbons are applied to all of the bridesmaids bouquets. The staff is going about the business of carefully loading each floral design against a master check list. In addition, we bring tools, supplies and extra flowers with us in the transport. When all is safely loaded into the cargo vans the flowers begin their final destination. The un loading process is just as meticulously done. We are following a strict time line based on coordinating our arrival with that of the photographer. Your wedding bouquet, which will be the most photographed flowers of the day, has been placed in your hands and it is on to the Church or Temple followed by the set up for the reception! If there are variety of designs we work with a floor diagram to be sure the floral centerpieces are placed correctly on those specific tables.  If we are moving designs from the ceremony to the venue, a staff member will stay behind to be sure they arrive in pristine condition. The installation is complete!!  Our final responsibility is to be sure that our company returns promptly at the end of the reception for what is referred to as “the breakdown” There is a saying “leave no petal behind” and it refers to the policy that all floral material must be removed from the venue at the end of the event. The cost of your Labor, Delivery and Custom Installation charge covers our time, travel and staff salary. Additional time is paid to the staff members who return to clean up all floral

And that is the complete process that we follow from beginning to end for each of our brides. I hope it has shed some light on the true value of your wedding flowers!!




Wedding Flowers – how the production process affects cost

Photography by Mikaela Marie Photography

My last post reviewed the process from our initial meeting to the selection of your wedding bouquet and the design elements for the reception. Lets look at more of the  factors that contribute to the cost of wedding flowers. Check out the production process!

The week of your wedding

The flowers have arrived and have passed through customs. Every floral shipment is inspected to be sure that it meets strict government guidelines.  For many flowers within 24 hrs they have been picked in the field, gathered, sorted and placed onto a plane ready to fly into multiple destinations in the US. When they arrive at the wholesaler they are unpacked and placed in either dry storage or into water buckets.  Most florist will plan to pick up their wedding flower orders on either a Tuesday or Wednesday.  When I arrive at the wholesaler, I am checking to be sure that the exact number of stems of each requested flower has been set aside for your wedding. I open the boxes and hand inspect each flower…I am looking for freshness and that the order is exactly as anticipated.  If there is a shortage of a particular stem, or a missing floral product, most likely I will be returning the next day to pick up the late arrival.  If there has been a mishap and a particular stem will not be available, my buyer has already warned me and a substitute flower has been located.The boxes and boxes of wedding flower goodness are transported from the wholesaler to my studio. Each box is opened and each stem is counted again…This is the beginning of the work of “processing.”  Each stem is individually inspected and  given a fresh cut and dipped into a hydrating solution. Guard petals or a bruised outer stem is noted and removed. The flowers are placed into waiting  buckets which have been pre cleaned and disinfected to prevent any bacterial contamination.

Over the next 24 hours the flowers will condition and relax…Hydrangea heads will open, roses will begin to unfurl.  I watch over each bucket to monitor its progress. If a certain stem such as a peony opens too quickly, it immediately goes into the cooler to “hold”.  It will then be at the perfect peak for your wedding day. It is my job to be certain that each stem is handled properly. I also know what flowers will open more perfectly if they are not cut a second time.  Did you know that Freesia will bloom all the way to its tip if left untouched? How about Dusty Miller and Dahlia’s? They do well with freshly cut stems being plunged into boiling water…

These are a few of the elements that contribute to the beautiful lush custom designs a wedding floral designer produces. It is our expertise  knowledge base and time involvement  that contributes to the cost of wedding flowers

Next we will look at the design and delivery process!!

Wedding Flowers…how preparation affects the costs of wedding flowers….

The Process of preparation

You have chosen the floral designer who will be responsible for translating the vision for your wedding flowers into reality. Floral proposals have been reviewed, each stem selected for its color, texture and beauty. Great job!! Lets examine how this process contributes to the overall cost of your wedding flowers.

Now I will begin the work to create the transition from paper to reality.  Even before we meet I have reviewed your photos or Pinterest page to get a visual feel of your designs. I am evaluating the overall look and mix of textures in your color palette. I may need to check the availability of a particular stem that appears repeatedly in your images. If you have chosen a vessel that is unique to your vision, I will begin to source the product. This requires researching multiple sites. And finally, the container source has been checked to be sure the it has not been discontinued or on back order

One month from the date of your wedding, the order for every stem that I will need to produce your designs has been placed with the wholesaler or grower. If environmental issues such as extreme heat in California or flooding in Thailand has affected availability, new product sources will need to be located. My buyer will weigh in but ultimately it will be my decision and responsibility to make those adjustments.

And finally your final guest count affect stem counts. Behind the scenes, I will be monitoring this and making those necessary adjustments.

Coming up, the production process from farm to venue..


Photography by Kristen Gardner Photography







Why Wedding Flowers Cost So Much


From the initial meeting with your floral designer to the moment in which you are presented with your wedding bouquet, there are numerous steps that contribute to the production of a perfectly executed floral design. This process contributes to the overall cost of the floral designs for your wedding

With the start of  engagement season  you will be establishing your wedding budget. That budget will determine which wedding vendors you choose. First selected are those that are time sensitive such as the reception venue and the wedding photographer. With the major players in place, color palates selected and an overall vision established, selection of your wedding floral designs are next to be crossed off your “to do list”

You may experience  a bit of a sticker shock when discussing the cost of flowers.  There are multiple factors that contribute to the cost of wedding flowers. Those $20.00 lush pink Peony at Trader Joe’s will not accurately reflect the cost of your wedding designs. Some of the contributing factors that need to be considered:

Wedding flowers require a tremendous amount of preparation.

Wedding flowers require a specific amount of production.

The design process is a multi- step plan.

The floral preparation process is specific to each flower.

and finally…

The role of support staff in the process and the transportation to the venue

In the next several posts we will examine these key factors and how they all work together to produce a beautifully styled floral design.










Mary’s Bouquet-Washington D.C. Floral Design


In this season of Christmas, I thought I would touch on the subject of the Catholic Tradition of “Mary’s Bouquet” The presentation of a special bouquet of flowers at the foot of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an established Catholic tradition which takes place during the celebration of Holy Matrimony in a Catholic Mass. The flowers are presented to the statue as an offering of love for the Mother of God.
When our wedding floral design company receives a request for this floral design, which is traditionally a small bouquet of white flowers, we suggest a design of white Roses.Their pure color conveys respect, pays homage to new starts and expresses hope for the future. During the ceremony, the bride and her groom will move to a small altar adjacent to the main altar, kneel and offer a prayer to Mary asking her to pray for the success of their marriage. Mary’s Bouquet is a traditional offering that recognizes how flowers play an integral role in religious ceremony.








Your Initial Wedding Floral Consultation- How to prepare

Couples preparing for their wedding will need to make multiple decisions regarding their wedding day and the choices and options may seem overwhelming. We suggest an initial consultation to discuss your wedding flower choices after your venue has been chosen and advise as early as a 9-12 months in advance for busy months such as May, June, September and October and 6 months in advance for any other time of the year.

 Pick the perfect palette

To prepare for your initial consultation with your floral designer, you should have already selected your color palette. The colors you have chosen will determine the different floral options your florist will select to create your unique designs. Be prepared to give an approximate number of guests which will determine the number of tables. Also plan to provide how many attendants in your bridal party will require flowers. Your florist will guide you through the multiple options from place card table designs, aisle decor or a fresh flower cake topper. Bring photos from wedding publications, your Pinterest page, as well as designs featured on wedding blogs for inspiration!

 Blooms in your budget

A word about your budget…a floral designer can work within your budget but it is helpful to share that information at the initial meeting. Although some designers have a minimum many are willing to work with you to produce a unique and beautiful design tailored to your vision and budget. The current thinking is to allot 8-10% of your overall budget to the floral designs for your wedding day. The floral designer will make suggestions how some designs can be re purposed during the event. For example, feature your beautiful bridal bouquet on your the sweet heart table.

With some preparation and forethought,your floral consultation can be an enjoyable and productive part of the planning process.

Floral Design Washington DC Weddings

Hello we are live at long last!!!  Welcome to the first posting on our gorgeous new fine art web site. This has been a most interesting journey, starting with a period of introspection and reflection. It has provided me with the opportunity to dig down deep pulling up memories and experiences from my childhood.  All of those experiences are the sum total of where my floral design business is today.  It is gratifying to stand here today and think back on how I came to be here in this time and space.


I thought I would begin our first blog entry with some thoughts regarding who is my perfect client. This is something that most creatives ponder frequently.

The Petals and Promises Bride…

…..Is that bride who has a sense of whimsy but who is also elegantly traditional with a sense of fun. 

…. is someone we are meant to work with and someone who will truly love and appreciate working with us!

….Loves her fiancé fiercely and is committed to building a deeply enduring relationship and legacy

….has a secure sense of her own style and does not feel pressured to succumb to passing trends.

…she dreams of a wedding day  filled with romantic candle light, surrounded by beloved  friends and family, smiles and perhaps a few tears, carrying a beautiful lush bouquet as she steps into the next big adventure of her life.

She is ready to invest her trust in our team to design and create an exceptional floral experience

And finally, she knows that we will work tirelessly to make her dreams come true.

Is she you??


Welcome to Petals & Promises! I’m Lisa and here you’ll find my most recent work and beautiful flowers. Thanks for stopping by!




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