From the outside, a florist’s job looks like an absolute dream, playing with flowers all day! But there is a lot of work that goes into the floristry biz that you might not be aware of. We are here to pull aside the curtain! Giving you an insight into the prep, the labour and the time all talented florists put in for your big day. We sat down (virtually!) with the lovely Linley from Anatomy of Flowers to get the goss on wedding flowers. So when the day comes you send an email to your favourite florist and receive your quote, you can have a better understanding of everything that goes into that final price.
What prep goes into getting the flowers ready, prior to working your magic?
“Oh so much! After we have had a final meeting, making sure we are all across any last minute floral changes, I will sit down and work out every single flower that will feature in your wedding. I write down what I will be using and how many stems or bunches I will need to put in your bridal bouquet, corsages, ceremony backdrops, hanging installs, bud vases. If it has flowers in it you can guarantee I have worked out down to the stem how many I will need. Think of it like a recipe book for your wedding, with recipes for each individual item. From here I will place my order with the flower markets. I usually do this between 4 and 6 weeks from your wedding date.”
“Now it is time to collect your flowers! I do this on a Thursday or a Saturday morning depending on what day your wedding falls. I get to market nice and early, collect my trolly that has been put aside with everything I have ordered. As Mother Nature is so temperamental I cannot always get everything I have ordered. So with the help of the market fairies (seriously don’t know how I would do market mornings without them!). I will pick flowers from the market floor to substitute for anything that was unavailable. Sometimes this means coming back the following day if a shipment has been delayed. “
“Now that I have collected all your florals from the market, it is time to head back to the studio. Here I get everything cut and placed in water, and the delicate flowers into the fridge. Once everything has had a good drink, I will start prepping the flowers. This can mean many different things depending on the type of flower. It can vary from just stripping all the foliage off the stems, all the way to peeling every single petal of a rose by hand. From there we allocate! Remember those recipes I wrote out weeks ago when I placed my market order? I now place each recipe into their own bucket, so when I start making each item I can just grab a bucket and get making.”
How long does it usually take you to complete florals for a wedding?
“Each wedding is different! It really depends on how many items you are having, and what type of florals you want. Most weddings take approximately a day and a half to make. For example, it takes on average 45 seconds to reflex a rose. This is when you peel each petal individually to get them niiiiiiice and fluffy. There can be up to 1000 roses per wedding sometimes, so that definitely adds a whole extra day to our prep and a few extra hands.”
Do you need to hire additional staff to work on wedding jobs?
“Depending on the size of the wedding yes! I have a wonderful circle of freelance florists that I call upon if I know the wedding is too big to do solo.”
How does the season factor into the pricing of wedding flowers?
“Flower prices definitely fluctuate throughout the year. I like to focus on buying what is in season, as the price is usually cheaper than when they are out of season. This also means they are grown locally so less transportation and a lower carbon footprint – win win! Let’s look at peonies for example. These are in season in early Summer, however we are able to import from France and Holland in June. The price is significantly higher because they have travelled significantly more than when they are in season locally. A bunch of imported peonies can cost up to $90 wholesale. Mind blowing!”
Can you guarantee to have certain type of flower for a persons wedding day?
“I wish I could but I really can’t! Flowers are incredibly delicate and the weather can impact them dramatically. Hot weather can cause crops to wilt, whilst heavy rains can cause them to become waterlogged and drown; we really are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Imported roses are often held up in customs and on rare occasions destroyed for not meeting Australian pest control guidelines.”
Are you under time restrictions when you bump in at a venue, and are there any specific venues you love working in?
“Venues can vary on this, but as a good rule of thumb you will be given two hours before the wedding start time to bump in all the florals. This gives us a two hour window to unload the van, dress the entire venue head to toe, clean up after ourselves. Plus ensuring the venue is looking its absolute best before packing away our tools and buckets in the van. When it comes to bumping out this will usually occur at midnight once the wedding has concluded. We, along with all the other suppliers and vendors will be given one hour to remove everything from the venue.”
“I can’t go past Gather and Tailor as a favourite venue. The beams, oh the beams! They are absolutely perfect to create epic dreamy floral installations that run the full length of the building. Other Melbourne venue faves would have to include The Wool Mill and Myer Mural Hall. We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning venues in Melbourne!”
What is one thing you wish couples knew about wedding flowers and floristry?
“I wish couples knew how much time and physical labour went into their weddings. I also wish couples knew where their flowers were coming from. Don’t be afraid to ask for locally sourced florals over imports! They really are just as lovely.”
If you are looking for a talented team of florists to bring your floral dreams to life, be sure to reach out to Anatomy of Flowers! They are a talented bunch that will be sure to bring the floral goods to your event. Pair that with styling by Nudo and you are set! A big thank you to Linley for sitting down with us. We hope this has given you the insider knowledge on all that hard work that florists put in behind the scenes.
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If you’re looking for a wedding planner or stylist in Melbourne and would love a team of dreamers and doers on your side to guide you through the journey step by step. Drinking glasses of bubbles, and making wedding planning fun, then head to our contact page to chat to one of our friendly team.