Buying your wedding flowers online from a wholesale flower farm needs careful consideration and research. Be sure to compare prices and figure out how many flowers you actually need. Many wholesalers require you to buy large quantities, but fail to actually give you wholesale price.
Wholesale pricing is reserved for those who hold a retailer's license and avoid paying sales tax because of intent to resell and collect the tax at that time. Farms usually require large quantity purchases (cases or bunches) in order to get a break on the price.
Once the internet became a great marketing outlet, flower farms have begun selling to individuals. They still require large quantities purchases . . . but neglect to give those great discount prices!
Their focus is to sell a lot of their main crop, such as roses or calla lilies. They tend to overprice greenery, however, putting a demand that you buy a huge quantity at high prices.
This distressed me, because greenery is typically the cheapest product for florist, who use it to add contrast and interest to designs while stretching the flower budget farther.
I was astounded to see prices for an inexpensive product like galax leaves, which a popular site claims that it retails for $350 for 10 bunches. They offer to sell it for the "wholesale" price of $16.99 per bunch . . . and require you to buy 10 bunches. WOW!!!! To add insult to injury, they tell you they are selling it in "Grower's Bunches" that typically have 8 to 10 stems per bunch.
This inflated price made my jaw drop. Typical grower bunches of Galax is 25 leaves, not 10. Plus a real wholesaler can pick up this popular greenery for very little I sell it retail on my own website for about $7.99 for 25 stems - and allow you to buy a single bunch if you need it. If you want to save more money, I'll sell you 10 bunches for $69.00 . . . about a $100 savings over the "wholesale" website's pricing!!
I'm not going to sell you the hype about free shipping, etc. I try to sell the DIY bride fair retail prices, charge overnight shipping fees that are charged to me from FedEx and give the bride the option of buying single bunches. In the long run, this will save her money and allow her to actually create gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces.
I carry everything you need in one place, including the fresh flowers and greenery, the hard goods like bouquet holders, florist foam and containers . . . and have the fresh products that you need in order toprocess your dry packed flowers properly and keep them at their peak freshness for as long as possible.
Above all that, I have created step by step flower tutorials, showing you exactly how professional florists create beautiful designs in a short amount of time, simply because they have the right products at their disposal. Creating flowers quickly is the key, because florists have to recover a great deal through labor charges. Don't be angry - they have a lot of overhead such as keeping a large refrigerator cooling 24/7 and paying gas and delivery man wages.
My advise is to always plan ahead, order your products in plenty of time, figure out exactly what you need by using a wedding flower calculator and having your work space prepared and ready to work the moment the flowers arrive. Don't bite off more than you can chew - simple can be beautiful!
Be flexible and realize that fresh flowers are a grown product. The colors vary and are NOT like a box of crayons. Choose contrasting colors that accent and flatter your bridesmaid dresses, rather than match them exactly. Colors you see on your computer screen can vary from seeing them in person.
Lisianthus has a garden "wind blown" rose type look. It is available in white, pink, lavender and dark purple. Be careful when processing this flower not to crowd the heads too closely together - they need space to open fully without touching.
Photo courtesy Festivities via Flickr