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Topic: FAKE FLOWERS ARE NOT CHEAPER: A message to brides from a floral insider  (Read 5248 times)
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abby w.
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« on: March 28, 2012 06:20:07 PM »



Since starting my career in the business of selling wholesale flowers over a year ago, it has become my mission in life to spread this message to the brides of the world:

SILK / FAKE / ARTIFICIAL / PERMANENT FLOWERS ARE NOT, NOT NOT CHEAPER THAN FRESH FLOWERS.

I mean it.  I sell flowers for eight hours a day, five days a week.  I promise you that I'm not lying.

When you think about it, it makes sense that artificials would cost more.  Think of a fresh-cut flower like a potato.  You spend a little bit of money on it, expecting it to go bad after a week.  Now, think of an artificial flower like a watch.  You spend a lot of money on it because you expect it to last a long time.  

It breaks my heart to read posts from brides which say "I really wanted real flowers but they were too expensive."  I can understand.  Some brides don't give a rip about florals, or want some that last as keepsakes, or even would rather make their own from paper, fabric, etc.  But some brides really care, and find themselves restricted by budget.  It's to these brides that I'm speaking.  

There are a few caveats to remember.  I'll give them.

1.  You can afford real flowers if you buy wholesale.  Sam's club is a great example that some craftster brides already know about.   The flowers come uncut, with leaves / foliage, and with packing petals (the dead ones on the outside you can pull off without damaging the flower's head) still on, but all that work is easy to finish.

2.  You can afford real flowers if you arrange them yourself.  It's a little nerve-wracking to arrange your first centerpiece.  I know from experience.  But if you practice with some cheap flowers (think Trader Joe's, your garden, your office building's flower beds Tongue)  you'll start to understand how to build and shape an arrangement.  You can do it.  You'll be better than you think.

3.  You can afford real flowers, but maybe not all real flowers.  Most orchids, calla lilies, lily of the valley, and lilac are horrendously expensive, even at the wholesale price I sell them for every day.  They are traveling to you from Hawaii, Thailand, Malaysia, or Japan--you're paying for that travel cost.  I've never bought them for myself, and I have a 50% off employee discount.  These are the kind of flowers you may consider skipping altogether.  Instead, get to know the flowers native to your region.  You'll have a unique bouquet (think wheat!  so cool!) , and one that's inexpensive as well.  Also, try to remember what's in season--sometimes prices are lower if it's the flower's traditional growing season.  But if you must have one of these, consider mixing some fakes in with a mostly-real bouquet.  They'll be disguised.


Obviously, I think it's important to support local businesses like florists.  If you really want real flowers, artfully arranged 100 times better than you could ever do by yourself, make it a priority in your budgeting plan and steal money from other areas that don't matter to you as much (as we know, you can't have everything, wedding day or no).  But for those on shoestring budgets, it makes me feel so good to let you know that you truly can have real flowers if they're important to you.

That being said, I wish all of you brides so much fun, joy, and happiness in the planning of your unique, special wedding day--and I wish you as little stress (especially stress over stupid money) as possible!

Flower love 4 lyfe!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012 06:40:03 PM by abby w. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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ivoryh1632
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012 12:51:51 AM »

Not a bride but I've helped out on a few weddings and I totally agree with what you're saying. Last wedding I helped with we got 100 roses for about $50 from costco that were really great quality and lasted a lot longer than I expected them to.

That being said, a lot of brides go fake not just because of the actual money spent on flowers but the cost in time it takes arranging them yourself and stressing out about getting everything fixed up the night before/morning of the wedding. If you go fake, you can have all your arrangements, bouquets and bouteneers (sp?) done up months in adavance if you want. One less thing to worry about last minute.

Definately not trying to argue with you or anything, just another point for people to factor in when planning.
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abby w.
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012 04:50:40 AM »

I thought about that too.  One major advantage of artificial is that you can get the flowers done and out of the way and move on to another project.  For brides that are diy-ing and have a ton of projects planned, it seems like a huge advantage to be able to do so.  And I think the week of the wedding is so stressful anyway, it's hard to think of adding one more thing--let alone a huge project like flower arranging.

I definitely see the pros of the situation.  Like I said, this post is really meant for people who would prefer to have fresh flowers, but are unsure if they can fit them into their budget.

Did you have fun arranging the CostCo flowers?  What did you guys end up doing with them?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012 04:56:43 AM by abby w. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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hoboe
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012 06:40:34 AM »

I had to do a lot of shopping and meet-and-greet with florists before I found one that could do what I wanted in my budget range, which was very low.  You can save a lot of money if you able to borrow supplies from the florist (vases, flower holders), arrange to have one of your family or friends pick up of flowers and loaners and then the return of items.  Not all florists will do that, and you might have to pay a deposit, but it made the difference for me.  I only had bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres.  I borrowed vases to keep the bouquets in and a family member did all the pick up and delivery.  I did use a few fake floral items for decoration, but I borrowed most of those, and made a lot of the non-floral items.

I also used regional and in-season flowers.  They look the best, have the best pricing, and if it's not in season it is most likely grown in a greenhouse in your area if it's regional, keeping cost down.   
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ivoryh1632
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012 09:50:08 PM »

The bride never ended up deciding exactly how she wanted things, so us bride slaves just kinda winged it when we got there and kept it simple. (you can click on the thumbnails for bigger pics)

The bride's bouquet, I'm not sure who found the silver leaf thingies or where they got them from, the bottom was just wrapped in black ribbon. She was the only one that had a bouquet because, and I quote, "if the bride's maids have bouquet's people won't understand that this is my day and I'm more important than them"  Roll Eyes ugh, I think the big white dress may give them a clue


Each table had one or two vases on them, I don't know why I don't have a picture of it facing the right way but I made these big crazy loopy bows for the vases. We got the vases for super cheap at some resturaunt supply website. I wanna say it was less than $20 for a dozen (maybe 15, I dont remember) and that included shipping. They were a decent size too, I think about 8"tall and 4" at the opening.



And then the groom's mom had the genious idea of putting some in the cake, which really looked nice and made it look a bit more like a wedding cake and not just some cheap sheet cake. I'm still not sure what the story was of why the cake was undecorated in the first place, I think they assumed that the groom's brother would decorate it but they didn't tell him until the day before and he had to fly in from another state so he didn't have any of his tools on him or something like that. But for a last minute idea, I think it looks pretty good.


Oh and then we found some realistic looking fake roses at hobby lobby that went in the bride's hair, which I think we really lucked out that the shade of red matched the real roses almost exactly. Not the best picture, but you get the idea.
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lacey0828
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2012 11:12:45 PM »

I bought all my flowers at the local grocery store, and at the time I worked for a place that would take floral orders and send them to florists, but I would even to this day never pay florist prices. It's hit or miss on what they will have on the day you buy them (unless you go with roses or some other common flower) so you have to be open to different varieties. I just wanted a nice summer bouquet that had white and purples. My mom arranged them all for me since that's her specialty. If I had to do the arranging, I definantly wouldn't have done real flowers. There's no way I would have time to do all the bouquets. The reception hall provided flowers luckily, because if we had to add centerpieces to the list, then absolutly no way would I do real flowers.
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KLKing
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012 12:08:27 AM »

 I was raised under foot of a mother who was wedding florist. There is no substitute for real flowers.  
real flowers deserve to be a priority! I agree with this writer. The only place silk flowers are cheap is at the dollar store-and they usually look it!
   Be realistic in your expectations. You can cut back on your dress, I know. I sell and make wedding gowns. There are so many shops desperate to sell a dress, you can get a great dress at a great price if you look. The money saved on your dress can be put to better use, like your flowers and
other things.
   Don't be afraid to make other things that can be put away in advance.
Like invites. Make them. Save a chunk of change.
   Look for ivy and other greens growing in non-private areas.
If you are doing your own flowers, make sure they are done as late as possible. If you don't have a cooler, they won't make it thru the day if they are not fresh. That's why you should not buy them from a retail store, like the supermarket.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012 12:17:04 AM by KLKing » THIS ROCKS   Logged

SneakyFoxeh
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012 02:00:20 PM »

I really hate to do this, but I have to disagree with you here.  In many instances, fake flowers are cheaper than the real thing.  Especially if you buy the fake flowers wholesale. 

Also, they last longer, way easier on allergens for the bridal party and guests, easier to arrange and can be done ahead of time (which equals less stress on the bride and groom). 

I made all of the fake flower arrangements at my wedding, and they looked wonderful!  Everything from the corsages and bouquets to the table centerpieces.

And, as a side note to one of our members on here, they don't look ugly or beyond fake.  Realistic quality is actually pretty easy to find, you just have to know where to look.  Smiley

My flowers looked so nice, that I've made a nice side business afterwards selling fake flower arrangements locally and online. 

As a side note to all of the brides out there, don't let wedding industrial complex type people tell you what you should do when it comes to flowers with their imaginary rule book of standards for weddings.  In the end, it's just a choice and there is nothing at all wrong with choosing one side or the other (or heck, no flowers at all).  Grin
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ivoryh1632
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012 09:27:33 PM »




As a side note to all of the brides out there, don't let wedding industrial complex type people tell you what you should do when it comes to flowers with their imaginary rule book of standards for weddings.  In the end, it's just a choice and there is nothing at all wrong with choosing one side or the other (or heck, no flowers at all).  Grin


could not agree more with you there, i was talking to someone at work that was helping her girlfriend plan her wedding and the planner told her that she couldn't have the wedding in peacock colors because peacock feathers "aren't in season" i was like, i'm pretty sure peacocks aren't fruit, and i could go down to michaels right now and find a ton of them lol
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Painted Sparrow
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012 10:16:00 PM »

I used all fake flowers for my wedding & they were just as nice as real flowers, actually, they were much more practical. I got married on New Years Eve in MN, there was a blizzard the night of the wedding. I chose fake flowers if only because we wanted a lot of photos outside, & I didn't want droopy flowers for my wedding pictures. I also wanted very specific flowers, cream dahlias, blue poinsettias & some other ones I can't quite remember without checking. With fake flowers, it was really easy to get the colors I wanted, even to buy fabric paint in specific colors, without having to worry about being in season or even existing! lol

The bottom line of it goes perfectly with what has been said above, your wedding is for you & your soon-to-be spouse, do what you need to do to make it your perfect wedding. If anyone tells you it has to be done a certain way, forget 'em. Sorry to be blunt, but it's really about what the bride/groom want to do, there is no official set of rules about how to do your wedding. I love the "imaginary rule book of standards" phrase, because that is exactly what it is! Make your own wedding rules! Wink
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012 10:16:34 PM by Painted Sparrow » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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ivoryh1632
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2012 10:58:42 PM »

Painted Sparrow - did you use fabric paint to paint the fake flowers? i'm just curious cuz me and my sister have been talking abotu trying to do that for a couple projects but have no idea where to start on the process so the outcome doesnt look horrid
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012 06:40:59 AM »

Painted Sparrow - did you use fabric paint to paint the fake flowers? i'm just curious cuz me and my sister have been talking abotu trying to do that for a couple projects but have no idea where to start on the process so the outcome doesnt look horrid

I used the Design Master spray paint for the flowers, but I actually didn't spray paint them. One of my pseudo-sisters-in-law is a floral designer & she did all of the coloring & putting together for me. They turned out looking really good, the colors were even & looked great. But I don't know how much of that was the paints or her. lol I do know that the paint is great to work with, it was the primary choice in a costume shop I used to do work in & I used it to color some glittery snowflakes for my wedding cake & it worked so well to just get a light mist of color.

Lucky day, I was just looking up the Design Master Website & one of the front page pieces is a video of how to spray paint flowers! Smiley
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ivoryh1632
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2012 12:36:32 AM »

awsome! thanks for the info, you totally rock! i can tell you right now that my sister's gonna love you forever for this info  Grin
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LauraM
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013 09:14:30 PM »

I think half of a flower's beauty is in the scent, delicate stem and leaves and I've yet to see a fake flower that I liked as much as real ones, even if the petals look good, I feel like the stem looks awkward. Flowers are an experience and I just prefer the natural ones. As a wedding photographer, I started making fake bouquets to keep as props for bridal sessions so that brides wouldn't have to spend $75-300 on a pro bouquet, but after seeing how they photographed well only at certain angles, I started getting grocery store flowers and wrapping the handles myself. Then the bride gets to take them home and have a nice reminder of her session for a week or so.

Note: Even at 50% off, the false bouquets I made were around $50. The ones from the grocery store were $9, and it takes me 10 minutes before a session to throw it together.

I can see the appeal of both sides for sure and I don't think there is anything wrong or right with either. It's just a matter of opinion. Smiley Variety is the spice of life!
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ivoryh1632
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013 11:07:52 PM »

LauraM - Is it ok if I pm you with a couple photography questions about your bridal sessions? Just don't wanna get into it here since its off topic
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LauraM
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2013 02:20:41 PM »

Sure! Fire away. Smiley
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Bokonon
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013 08:32:38 AM »

I'm planning on using a combination for my wedding. I've alwas loved button/brooch bouquets, and I am planning on making one, but I am going to use real wholesale flowers for table decorations and such.
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StaciRose
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2013 02:39:00 PM »

I half agree and disagree with the writer! I would have been getting married this year, but called the wedding off. One of my biggest dilemmas was whether to use real or fake flowers. In NZ, real flowers and fakes are SOOOOOO expensive for the most part. For a tiny posie of pretty looking flowers that don't look like they belong in a junk store I would be looking at NZ$25 - $50. I wanted to be able to use the boquets as house decor after the wedding, but I Love the smell of fresh flowers and I really think they add a dimension that fake flowers can't often bring.

That being said, after months of scouring the shops I found a $2 store that had 100 red and 100 white roses that seemed to made of some sort of velvety stuff - they are so realistic looking! I brought them all for $300 (discount from the store) which means I have enough to make center pieces, displays etc and do a mix of real and fake flowers.

For valentines day I was able to make use of them and did a dinner outside - I stuck all the fake roses in random bushes and got comments all night on how lovely my rose garden was hehe Cheesy

If I get married again, I would have some real flowers on the tables where people will be looking at them all night with ivy and stuff, and more fake flowers in the bouquets.
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ivoryh1632
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2013 09:25:54 PM »

sorry to hear your wedding was called off, but i have to say that i loved how you put the fake roses in your bushes and people thought they were real, i may have to do that someday, i can't grow anything
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