Why do wedding flowers cost so much?

What are the most expensive wedding flowers?

Flowers are a staple in wedding decor, from bridal bouquets to venue arrangements. However, determining the cost of wedding flowers can be difficult. This is due to a variety of factors including the number of blooms you wish to use, the type of flowers you want, and the time of year you want them. The higher amount of flowers you want to use, and the higher variety, the more budget you will need to allocate. If you are looking to save on the costs of your wedding flowers, it may be beneficial to take a more minimal approach.  

Read on to discover what the most expensive flowers are for weddings, as well as how you can budget to cut costs for your floral arrangements. 

Phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis orchids, better known as moth orchids, are considered to be the most expensive flower you can use in your wedding floral arrangements. This is for a variety of reasons. Firstly, unlike other alternatives, orchids are priced per stem, which means that when florists buy them in bulk it is considerably more expensive. According to Icy Tales, orchids are on average $100 per stem (around £82). On the other hand, if you wished to use a more traditional flower like the rose, this would only cost you $3 per stem (close to £2.50). As you can see, the price range for these flowers is remarkably different. 

What’s more, orchids of any kind are typically rare to source, as they are not found in common places and often need to be imported from outside of the country. This means that an extra travel cost will be added to the already high price of these flowers. In terms of their physical appearance, orchids are very unique. Consequently, they are highly sought after by people who want to make their big day more beautiful and distinct.

Lastly, orchids can typically last a lot longer than other types of flowers, with their shelf life ranging from one to six months. This makes wedding planning and transportation a lot easier, as it means a florist can prep ahead of time without worrying about the orchids withering. It also means that you can keep your wedding bouquet and decor for a considerable period of time after your wedding - you can even go as far as re-planting them, to keep them as a long-lasting memento in your garden!

Lilies of the Valley

If you are looking for a more traditional flower, then you should consider using lilies of the valley in your arrangements. These blooms grew in popularity, thanks to Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, who has been the singular most iconic bride in the last century, and who used lilies of the valley in her royal bouquet. They are perfect for someone looking for a classic, chic style, and for anyone who doesn’t want the entire focus of the day to be on the flowers, instead using them to add to the overall vibe.

According to the Florist Review, a small bouquet of Lily of the Valley typically costs around $500 (£410), and larger bouquets can be anywhere up to $1,200 (£985). One reason for this cost is the fact that these flowers are very small, so in order to make them look more substantial in an arrangement, you will need to have a considerable amount of them, and the average bouquet will include 75 of these stems. Furthermore, these flowers are native to Asia and Europe and thrive in the cool temperate of the Northern Hemisphere. This makes sourcing and handling them quite tricky, as they are known to travel badly, which can also impact the rise in cost.   

King Protea

Protea bouquets have evolved from a popular trend to a staple in bohemian wedding flower arrangements. Native to Australia, and being the national flower of South Africa, this unique flower is well-suited for hotter temperatures and adds an eye-catching statement to any bouquet. The flower was named after the Greek god Proteus, who was known to be able to morph into a variety of shapes, similar to this diverse flower. There are multiple types of Protea flower, with the most popular, and most expensive being the King Protea. This is the largest type of protea and comes in a variety of shades, including white, green, red, and pink. 

The availability of proteas depends on their location of growth. They typically thrive in the Northern Hemisphere, and are in season from spring to early autumn, making them a popular choice for summer and autumn weddings. This is also what can make them so expensive, as they are dependent on the season and location of your wedding. According to Veranda, proteas can cost around $65 (£53) per stem. Luckily, as they are a bold, dramatic flower, you would only need to use a handful throughout your arrangements to make a real statement!

Why do wedding flowers cost so much?

The cost of the flowers in a bouquet is often determined by the amount of work put into producing it. Some flowers take a significantly higher amount of time and labour before they can be harvested. For example, Orchids take up to seven years before they can be harvested. Factors such as the investment by the breeder, the months of labour that goes into growing and farming the blooms, and the time it takes before the flowers can be harvested all play a role in the eventual expense of these floral arrangements. 

What’s more, usually for a wedding you will hire a florist to take care of the bouquet and decor for you. This means that they are not only responsible for supplying the correct flower arrangements, but also for setting them up in the venue and making sure everything is decorated the way you want. This means that the price of floral arrangements for weddings not only includes the cost of the flowers, but also the extra services being provided by the florist.

In recent years, the wedding industry has been significantly impacted mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused a high number of couples to adapt their celebration plans. The Knot Real Weddings Study surveyed over 15,000 newlywed couples in 2021, to gain an insight into average wedding expenses in the United States. They found that 68% of couples hired a florist for their weddings, which on average cost around $2,300 (around £1,888).  

How much should you budget for your wedding flowers?

As mentioned, the cost of wedding flowers can vary greatly depending on factors such as the type of flowers, the number of blooms, and the services provided. According to the team at Pesh Flowers, a full package including flowers for the bridal party, bouquet, and reception decor, can cost upwards of £1,000. 

It is important that you communicate clearly with your florist about your specific budget, as it can help them to create beautiful arrangements for your big day that can fit within your price range. You will also need to keep in mind that many florists charge around three times the wholesale value of a stem, which includes a variety of services, including ordering, conditioning, arranging, delivering, and installing the flowers. 

What factors will affect the cost of wedding flowers?

There are a large variety of reasons why wedding flowers can rack up a significant cost. Here we have listed the three main factors that can affect the cost of wedding flowers:

Location of your venue

It will come as no surprise that the location of your wedding in comparison to the location of your florist can have an effect on the cost of your flower order. Florists often travel long distances for big events, however, the further away the venue is, the higher the delivery charge will be. What’s more, florists in major cities like London are more likely to be more expensive, especially if they are more sought after by customers.

Your wedding date

The flower market often changes throughout the year, with prices rising during different seasons. One example would be for Valentine’s Day, with the prices for red roses soaring, due to higher product demand. If your wedding date is closer to a significant holiday like Christmas, or Mother’s Day, it is likely that the selection of flowers will be more limited, and henceforth more expensive. 

Your floral order

Finally, the style, details, and size of your flowers will undoubtedly have an effect on the price you are spending on them. It can also be down to certain event details like the size of your venue as if you have a large venue, the chances are you will need more floral decor, and consequently have to pay more. Put simply, the more space you have to cover, the more flowers you’ll need, and the more you will have to spend. 

How to cut the costs of your wedding flowers

There are many ways in which you can reduce the cost of your wedding flowers. Here are some of the key things you should consider if you need to budget your floral arrangements:

Prioritise key areas of your venue

Even though it can be tempting to go over the top and create the wedding venue of your dreams (Mandy Moore, we are looking at you), price-wise, this can sometimes be seriously unrealistic. You don’t need to have floral arrangements in every corner to still have a beautiful venue for your wedding. Prioritise key areas, and create lasting arrangements with your florist that you will remember fondly for years to come. 

Buy in season

Typically, flowers will be more expensive if they are not in season for your wedding date. If you stay organised and plan your flowers specifically around the date of your wedding, it will be cheaper for you in the long run and will make it a lot easier for the florists to buy and source your arrangements. 

Use a mixture of flowers and greenery

Using greenery and leaves is often much less expensive than blooms, and can bring a fresh, sophisticated look to a venue. 

Give your florist free reign

You may be thinking that we are crazy for suggesting this - and you aren’t wrong! Giving up even the smallest amount of control on something so important for your big day might seem daunting, but in the long run, can be really beneficial for your budget and your brain. As long as you have laid out your ideas and budget clearly with your florist, the chances are they will get your arrangements spot on, and at a price that doesn’t hurt your purse too much. 

Repurpose your flowers

Using the same flowers from your ceremony in your reception venue can help you save a significant amount of money. Just ask your florist if this is a service they offer, and work from there.


The Knot Real Weddings Study

Pesh Flowers

Icy Tales 

Florist Review


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