When it comes to wedding expenses, sometimes it’s hard to understand just why a particular element costs what it does, or why there’s such a range in rates. Something as seemingly simple as cake can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $12.00 a slice! Well today we thought we’d take a look at bridal bouquets to see if we could better understand some of the factors that might result in a certain price tag…

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

1. The Flowers

Let’s start with the most obvious thing: the flowers themselves. For all flowers, there is the cost of labor and resources required to grow and transport them, which can fluctuate based on things like weather and the cost of gas. And of course some flowers are easier to grow and/or transport (in-season sunflowers, for example), while others are more difficult and delicate (say, cattleya orchids).

Just like with fruits and vegetables, seasonality affects both the quality and cost of flowers. If you want peonies at the tail end of the season, they won’t be as full or lush as their peak-season counterparts, so you’ll need more stems to get the same effect. You might even be able to get peonies in November, but they have to be shipped from around the world, meaning you pay extra transportation cost.

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

2. The Florist

Sometimes called a floral designer, the florist you hire will play a role in what you pay for a bouquet. The more experienced, skilled, and in-demand the florist, the more they can charge for their work.

In addition to their time and talent, and the retail mark-up on materials, florists have overhead expenses you might not expect, and that gets factored into what they charge: rent and utilities (retail space or work space), transportation costs (to and from market, to and from venue), and supplies (tape, foam, tools, buckets), to name a few. And as with everything else, their costs depend on location (overhead will be higher in San Francisco than in Milwaukee), which results in a higher or lower mark-up on their product.

Florists may also have to purchase more flowers than they’ll actually end up using in your bouquet. Even if a bouquet will only include 6 tulips, the florist might need to buy twice that many to guarantee they open the right amount at the right time, and that they aren’t damaged or bruised.

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

3. The Bouquet

And then there’s the bouquet itself. A large bouquet of tulips will obviously cost more than a smaller bouquet of tulips. If your bouquet includes more delicate flowers that require refrigeration, you may end up paying more. And what about the size of each flower? Garden roses and lily-of-the-valley might each cost $10 a stem, but you’ll need far fewer garden roses to make an impact.

Something we see a lot in wedding magazines and blogs is bouquets tied with beautiful ribbon – not something that immediately comes to mind as an expense! Though some brides prefer a simple ribbon wrap, a more elaborate ribbon embellishment will cost more – and that cost goes up depending on the quality of the ribbon, which can run anywhere from $4 to $20 a yard.

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

If you’re thinking about your own wedding bouquet, and wondering how all these things might factor into what you carry down the aisle, here are three similarly-styled bouquets, each from the same Los Angeles-based florist, with three different price tags…

 

$150 Bouquet

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

Some of the reasons this might be a $150 bouquet: medium size, use of a few expensive garden roses, use of less expensive sweet peas and crab apple to fill things out, simple color scheme and design.

 

$250 Bouquet

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

Why this bouquet might cost $250: slightly larger size, uses more large flowers than the previous bouquet (such as peonies, lilac, and ranunculus), uses fewer “filler” flowers like sweet pea and crab apple, accented with four unique ribbons.

 

$350 Bouquet

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

Now for a major splurge! Reasons this bouquet might run you $350: quite a large bouquet, almost no “filler” flowers except to add some texture, uses more of the expensive flowers (such as lilac, peonies, garden roses) with the addition of even more expensive clematis, tied with antique French velvet ribbon, more elaborate overall design and color scheme.

 

While it’s good to have a sense of what’s available for your budget, a smaller budget doesn’t have to mean low expectations; it just means being more flexible. A good florist should be able to listen to your ideas and then work within your budget to create something that you’ll love – even if it’s not an exact replica of what you originally had in mind. Who knows – you might just find that a bouquet starring ranunculus can be just as beautiful as a handful of peonies!

 

Thanks to Twig & TwineAdelphi Productions, and Christina McNeill for sharing these inspiring bouquets with us! You can see more photos of these bouquets in the gallery.

Photographer:  Christina McNeill / Florist: Twig & Twine / Event Planner, Stylist: Heather Johnson Mullin with Adelphi Productions / Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum in Santa Barbara, California
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If you follow me on Instagram, you know what a sucker I am for beautiful flowers – I just can’t get enough of them! Today, Heather Williams from Twig & Twine and Heather Johnson Mullin from Adelphi Productions are here to share three beautiful bouquets with us, each one designed with a particular bride in mind…

The Romantic Bride

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

This sweet and peachy bouquet includes ranunculus, garden roses, honeysuckle, and oregano, tied with three types of ribbon.

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

Says Heather, “In a soft palette of ivory, butter yellow, peach and light orange, this lush, round bouquet speaks of Spring. Loose honeysuckle gives it a slightly asymmetrical aspect, ranunculus and garden roses form a large cluster of gorgeous blooms, while decorative oregano adds a garden touch to soften things up.”

 

The Earthy Bride

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

This loose, textured cascade includes anemones, ranunculus, sweet peas, scabiosa flowers, garden roses, peonies, decorative artichoke, thistle, veronica, spirea, and geranium.

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

“For this cascading bouquet, I imagined the bride walking down the aisle cradling it in one arm rather than holding it with two hands. Instead of large blooms, I used decorative artichokes as a main focal point to keep things interesting, and the result is a rustic picked-from-the-garden look without feeling too wild. The bouquet is finished with various loose ribbons and a soft ivory lace.”

 

The Bold Bride

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

This uniquely spirited bouquet includes peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, hellebores, lilac, an air plant, and umbrella fern.

Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine Christina McNeill, Twig & Twine

“This is definitely the outspoken bouquet of the bunch! She is bright, bold and unusual. A large air plant offsets the coral peonies, fuchsia garden roses and lush dark lilac. Umbrella fern accents the edges and creates a frame. This bouquet definitely isn’t for a bride looking to blend in. It’s still feminine, but the mix of lush blooms along with non-typical greenery makes for a nice contrast.”

So which type of bride are you? I’d say I’m a “Romantic” but there are things I really love about all three of these looks.

 

Thanks to Christina McNeill for sharing photos of these beautiful bouquets with us!

See all of the photos from this lovely shoot in the gallery.

Photographer: Christina McNeill / Floral Design: Twig & Twine / Event Planner, Stylist: Adelphi Productions / Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum in Santa Barbara, California
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Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar

Let’s escape to Maui! Ariella Chezar recently held a workshop there, and on the last day she walked attendees through her process of creating a perfectly designed table – which they all got to enjoy later that evening for an end-of-workshop dinner party!

Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar
Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar
Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar

Says Ariella: “The gold and violet ribbon (wrapped around the votives above) was the jumping off point for the table design. It’s funny, I’ve never really loved purple that much, but these days I’ve really been enjoying this sort of violet/lavender color and I think it looks amazing with gold (what doesn’t!?). The ombre La Tavola Sinai Sunrise Amethyst was a beautiful base with a gold coated linen underneath all.”

Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar
Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar

“The location for the party was the old Baldwin estate – tons of history, incredible old trees, and a beautiful colonial house.”

Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar

Have carnations ever looked so lovely as they do in these chair garlands? As part of the workshop, Ariella takes attendees on a tour of the local cut flower farm, where they found purple bananas that she incorporated into the centerpiece (below).

Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar
Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar

“I always try to have my events look of the place,” says Ariella, “and the Hawaiian fabric that we made into napkins helped to achieve this.”

Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar
Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar Anna Kim, Ariella Chezar

Interested in Ariella’s workshops? Check out her website for dates and info.

See more of this bright, tropical wedding table in the gallery.

Floral Designer: Ariella Chezar / Photographer: Anna Kim / Venue: Historic Baldwin Estate on Maui, Hawaii / Linens: La Tavola Linen
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Photographer Linnea Paulina paired up with stylists Kae + Ales to bring us this totally unique table setting. I love that they blended woodsy spring foliage (and hellebores!) with exotic-feeling orchids and olive wood details. It’s romantic without being too sweet or fussy.

The centerpiece includes orchids, hellebores, scabiosa pods, and foraged foliage.

I love the olive wood details – what a lovely contrast to the gold-rimmed plates and flatware (which are available at West Elm – totally accessible).

The arm-style bouquet echoes the centerpiece with it’s mix of flowers and foliage.

Photographer: Linnea Paulina / Creative Direction, Styling, Floral Design, Calligraphy: Kae + Ales / Flatware, Dinnerware: West Elm / Rose Gold Rings: Tiffany & Co 
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I’m pretty sure St. Patrick’s Day marks the unofficial start of Spring, so it feels like perfect timing for this bright and herby Ethereal 75 from Maggie at Eat Boutique and Heidi at White Loft Studio. With orange bitters and quince and apple citrus syrup, this signature cocktail is a new take on the classic French 75.

From Maggie: “J’aime un Français 75. I do, I just love a French 75! It was first created at the legendary Harry’s New York Bar in Paris and eventually (gratefully) brought to New York’s Stork Club, a joint owned by an ex-bootlegger and frequented by glitterati of the 1930s and 40s. Champagne bubbles send the gin’s herbal aromas straight to the top of the glass; that botanical kick lingers, and almost medicates, in the best possible way. A sprig from a garden plant reminds you that gin is really mostly leaves, herbs and berries, so it has to be good for you, right? For this recipe, feel free to substitute your favorite brands and/or make your own citrus syrup. I prefer a dry Prosecco (over a sweet Prosecco).”

 

Ethereal 75
Serves 1

Ingredients:
• 3/4-ounce Berkshire Mountain Ethereal Gin
• 1/2 ounce Quince & Apple Citrus Syrup
• 2 drops Scrappy’s Orange Bitters
• 3 ounces La Marca Prosecco
• 1 3-inch sprig of garden oregano

Directions:
1. Pour gin, syrup and bitters into a Champagne flute. Carefully add Prosecco.
2. Garnish with a 3-inch spring of oregano, cut from a potted plant or the garden.

 

See more of this early Spring signature cocktail in the gallery.

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