Engaged and Overwhelmed Part One | How to Talk About Money and Your Wedding

Engaged and overwhelmed? Then this 3 part blog series is for you! I’ll be giving you how-to steps to stay calm, plan your wedding and actually enjoy the process.

Firstly, congrats to all you newly engaged couples! Secondly, ENJOY THIS TIME as you jump into planning, organizing, googling and sending a billion emails tryin’ to make this wedding thing actually happen the way you envision it. Try to remember you’re going through this process because of LOVE.

Let’s just face it, talking about money can be hard. And it can be especially difficult when it comes to your wedding, when you might not even be the one with the checkbook paying for it. Real talk. It’s uncomfortable, but we all need money to live and thrive and do the things we love to do. So I’ll go first and try to make it less awkward for everyone.

I’m going to breakdown the true costs of doing business as a floral designer, the hidden costs, and what it takes to keep the lights on, so we can keep designing for our couples! Like any other business, we gotta pay the bills. If I didn't have to make money, right this moment I’d be lounging on a sunny beach and traveling around the globe, nerding out at every botanical garden I could find. But, I gotta pay the bills too and creating epic wedding flowers for rad couples is a pretty awesome way to pay them.

Just like a good coffee shop doesn’t just charge for the beans (hello Portland hipster coffee culture!) you get what you pay for, and if you want really nice things you gotta pay more for them. Here’s our breakdown of bills beyond the flowers and the “oh yeah they have to pay for that too”s : taxes, accountants, insurance, site visits, mood boards and proposals, buckets, rental trucks, cleaning supplies, freelancers and lots more!

Not to mention probably one of the biggest cost factors: our time and design skills, cause these flower babes don’t just arrange themselves! We’ve got to process and actually create the flowers that show up at your wedding. Anyone can stick flowers in a vase, just like anyone can, in theory, cook. But I bet you wouldn't want to eat everyone’s cooking…am I right? To know which flowers last and understand how flowers change as they age, certain flowers that require special care and handling (like stem stripping, splitting, and burning) is something that takes time to learn. I’ve been in the flower industry for 15 years (omg I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and I’m still learning new things about flowers all the time.

Now that you’ve got a better idea of what really goes into the cost of your flowers, it’s important to figure out for yourself what a realistic and comfortable floral budget is for your wedding and how to talk to potential vendors to find the right person for you. Each wedding is unique and each couples floral emphasis is different, but flowers generally make up 10-20% of the overall wedding budget and not all florists are priced the same. My aesthetic, design knowledge and the skills I’ve acquired are all factored into the cost of my services and I hope you’ll find them worthy of the value I've given to them!

Once you’ve got a floral budget in mind, how do you spend it? Might sound like an easy question, but there’s more to it than that. Think about which elements are most important to your vision, your venue and your timeline. If the ceremony is the most visually important part of your wedding then make sure you’ve got a good chunk of the budget dedicated to that. If you’re reception is going to be a long, lavish dinner then perhaps you go all out with the tablescape. Don’t necessarily just go with what a florist suggests and how they’ve portioned out the budget for you. Make sure that the floral elements that are most important to you are at the top of the list!

Hopefully this has made the wedding planning process a little easier and made you more confident to dive into that money conversation with family and potential wedding vendors too!

While we’re talkin’ bout money, here are some great resources for alternative registry ideas. As a lover of travel, I think honeyfund is totally fabulous! You can plan your whole honeymoon and have friends and family chip in, like a traditional registry, to pay for adventure items or even tiki drinks at a poolside bar. Fine china or a trip to China? I know which I’d pick. Prefer to stay home? Zola is another great alternative registry option that lets you set up a fund for a downpayment on a house or existing home renovations. For even more registry ideas, head over to Brides to see their top picks.

Stay tuned for part two of our engaged and overwhelmed series where I’ll be talking about the importance of hiring wedding vendors and finding the right vendor team for you.

Click here to learn more about wedding flowers for your day or if you're ready to dive in and start planning your elopement or wedding with us then get in touch.

Let me know in the comments below if this info has been helpful and any questions or other topics I should cover in future posts. I’d love to know!