Planning the flowers for your wedding day should be one of the fun parts of the wedding process and it’s my honour to assist you along the way. If you have a ‘Q’ that I didn’t ‘A’, please send me an e-mail and I will get back to you with an answer ASAP!
WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I am based in Paarl in the Western Cape.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING AS A FLORIST?
I have been working in the floral trade since 2006 and officially arranging flowers for weddings since 2008.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO YOU BOOK WEDDINGS?
I am booking weddings anywhere from 3 months to 1 year in advance. I normally only take on one wedding per weekend, so my dates fill up quite quickly, especially between September and May, when it is full wedding season.
WHAT DOES YOUR SERVICE INCLUDE AND EXCLUDE?
I source all your flowers and hire items directly related to the floral décor on your tables, ceremony- and pre-drinks areas, such as vases, candles, plinths, candlesticks and arches. Although flowers are my main priority, I am more than happy to offer suggestions and guidance in any way that I can, to help the overall flow of your day go smoothly. Linen, draping, furniture, stationery, cutlery, make-up, wedding dresses, photographers – you name it and I’ve probably got an opinion, a suggestion, or a referral for you! Some things, like lighting, is a very specialized service, which in most cases needs a qualified electrician/expert. The same goes for hanging of any installations from the roof of your venue. This normally requires a specialist rigging company, to assure stability and the safety of all your guests.
I AM KEEN TO COLLABORATE ON A STYLED SHOOT WITH YOU. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE CONTACTING YOU?
I absolutely love styled shoots and believe collaboration is much needed in our wedding industry! I see it as my marketing tool, as I do not use any other form of marketing at this stage. I initiate one or two shoots per year, which I fund myself. However, flowers are expensive and becoming more so each year. Just to give you an idea – most flower prices have increased with about 30% from the 2021 to 2022 season! Flowers are perishable products, which I unfortunately cannot re-sell or re-use after a shoot. I don’t have a flower shop, so I cannot even recycle the flowers into bouquets. The average cost of flowers for a styled shoot ranges between R2,000 – R10,000 and that excludes all my traveling fees and time spent to plan, order flowers and source all the décor items. Other service providers do not have such a huge expense when collaborating on a styled shoot, and even if they do, all of them can re-use or re-sell their products, or create something at the fraction of the florist’s bill. I am very happy to sponsor my time, labour and expertise if you want me to collaborate on your shoot, and will happily supply you with the flowers at cost price, if I feel that your vision for the shoot is in line with my style. Please email me with your ideas, for me to send you a quote.
WHY ARE FLOWERS SO EXPENSIVE AND WHY DON’T YOU JUST HAVE A LIST OF WHAT THINGS COST?
Flower prices are unfortunately one of those things that fluctuate every day. Most flowers are bought on the Johannesburg- or Holland market, both of which operate as an auction. Prices are therefore determined by supply and demand. There are so many other variables that affect my final quote, for example the type of flowers you prefer, if they are locally available at the time, or if they should be imported, exchange rate, the size and height of the arrangements, the containers, the overall volume, the colour, how close your wedding day is to (flower) holidays such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, New Year or Secretary’s Day and how far your venue is from my base (Paarl).
HOW MUCH DO YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS COST AND DO YOU HAVE A MINIMUM SPEND?
I always have a very skilled team of professional florists working with me on all my weddings, in order to execute your dream wedding flawlessly, therefore we do have more or less a minimum spend. The ‘average’ couple should plan to spend about 10 – 15% of their overall wedding budget on flowers. To give you an idea, my most basic weddings, with no hanging floral installations begin at about R450 – R500 p/p. This means a 100 pax wedding will start at about R45k – R50k. Once hanging or more complex/large floral installations come into play, this amount can easily double/triple, due to the scale, volume of flowers, skill level and the labour significantly increasing.
OK, SO I LIKE YOUR STYLE AND WOULD LIKE TO GET A QUOTE FOR MY WEDDING FROM YOU. HOW DO I GO ABOUT IT?
1. Please e-mail me with your requested date. I’ll send you a wedding questionnaire to complete, which I use to get a better idea of what you have imagined for your big day.
2. Once I receive back your filled out questionnaire, I will send you a quote as a starting point within 3-7 working days.
3. Normally I conclude all correspondence via e-mail. If you feel you still need to meet me in person, we can schedule a consultation via Zoom or Skype, or in person. But this will normally only take place after I’ve sent you an initial quote.
WHERE DO YOU DO CONSULTATIONS?
I do consultations in Paarl on a weekday between 9am and 4pm. Consultations are by appointment only.
ARE YOU WILLING TO TRAVEL FOR AN ON-SITE CONSULTATION?
Absolutely! Consultations on site will however incur travel fees from Paarl.
HOW DO YOU DO CONSULTATIONS IF WE LIVE FAR AWAY, OR OVERSEAS?
You are welcome to Skype or do a Zoom call at a mutually beneficial time for both of us.
WHAT DO I BRING ALONG TO THE CONSULTATION?
Please bring along your initial quote, a picture of your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, colour swatches, venue and a specific wedding date and time. Additional pictures of bouquets, centerpieces and flowers will be very helpful!
SO I’M HAPPY WITH YOUR QUOTE AND I LOVE YOUR WORK, HOW DO I BOOK YOU?
I request a non-refundable booking fee of 50% of your accepted quote to reserve your wedding date on my calendar. I can unfortunately not reserve any date for you until the booking fee has cleared my account. I work on a first come, first served basis. The 50% booking fee will be credited towards your final invoice.
I LIVE FAR AWAY, OR DEFINITELY KNOW THAT I WANT TO MAKE USE OF YOUR SERVICES WITHOUT HAVING A FIRST CONSULTATION. CAN I PAY YOU A BOOKING FEE TO RESERVE MY WEDDING DATE ON YOUR CALENDAR AND THEN MEET WITH YOU CLOSER TO THE BIG DAY TO GO OVER THE DETAILS?
Absolutely! Once your date is booked, we can solidify details and make decor choices when it is convenient to you. Your first consultation after paying your booking fee will be free of charge.
WHAT FORM OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
EFT only. Please no cash deposits, as this incurs massive bank costs. You can choose to pay all at once or do monthly payments. I do however require that the balance be paid in full one calendar month prior to your wedding date.
DO YOU ACCEPT SWIFT PAYMENTS?
Yes, I do. Please just make sure that all bank charges are settled on your side and not deducted from the payment, so that the full invoiced/quoted amount arrives in my account
DO YOU GIVE DISCOUNT FOR CASH PAYMENTS?
No, I unfortunately do not offer discount for cash payments. I feel that florists work differently then most other suppliers; we don’t just rent out stock that stand in our warehouse, we actually have to buy perishables on each job, in order to supply a service and deliver our product. We can unfortunately not re-sell or re-use any of it afterwards. It would be a totally different ballgame if I was for instance a supplier of furniture, lighting or other hired items. Then I would happily give a discount for cash, as I don’t have to buy anything I can’t sell/hire out again afterwards. The prices of flowers also fluctuate from day to day on the flower market, so we are already taking a financial risk as flowers may even spike in the week before the wedding, or quality of certain flowers may be bad and then we have to foot the bill to buy (costly) alternatives.
DO YOU TRAVEL?
Yes, I most certainly do and I love it! I travel to pretty much anywhere in South Africa, even abroad! The travel fee and accommodation for me and my crew (if needed) will be included in the quote. The price usually depends on the distance and amount of hours/days spent on site.
CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT THE FLOWERS THAT I WANT OR THE FLOWERS THAT YOU SUGGESTED ON MY QUOTE (THAT ARE SUPPOSEDLY IN SEASON) WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR MY WEDDING DAY?
As fresh flowers are a living product, there are occasions that a particular flower may be available one week and gone the next. Some flowers you see on overseas blogs and on Pinterest are not commercially available in SA. (I know, I hate it too and it creates endless frustrations for all florists in South Africa!) Some flowers on the other hand might only be available in someone’s garden (like jasmine, sweet peas or magnolias for instance). I will however do my utmost best to source and supply you with the flowers of your choice, (if they are in season of course), but I cannot be held responsible for not finding flowers that are not commercially available, wholesale agents who cannot source your choice of flowers, bad weather that negatively affect the quality or harvesting of flowers, farmers who do not deliver, or for any unforeseen circumstances that hinder me from acquiring your choice of flowers. Having said all that, I can guarantee your colour scheme by choosing flower varieties available in the week of your wedding that will complement that, while sticking to my personal design aesthetic and flower preferences. Please keep in mind that a lot of inspiration pictures these days have a filter applied over the photo by the photographer, that creates unrealistic flower colours that is not available in ‘real life’.
CAN I MAKE CHANGES TO THE DESIGN PROPOSAL AFTER WE SIGN THE CONTRACT?
Yes, we can continue to work together to plan your wedding flowers until 4 weeks before your date. Please note that prices will be adjusted accordingly and no changes will be allowed after that.
DO YOU DO MOCK-UPS?
I unfortunately do not offer mock-ups anymore. It is very difficult to do a mock-up for a wedding only taking place in a few weeks or months, as the availability of flowers and greenery at the time of the wedding might not be the same as at the time of the mock-up. I have to work with what Mother Nature offers me, and subsequently what is available on the flower market in the week of your wedding. So I’d rather work according to a colour scheme and design style, then having to replicate a previous arrangement with exact flowers and stem counts. I’d much rather you choose me as your floral designer, because you have looked through my website, admire the quality and style of my work, than to restrict and hold me to a mock-up. Rather spend the money you would have spent on a mock-up to add more flowers to key areas of your wedding day.
HOW MANY DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING DO YOU PURCHASE/COLLECT FLOWERS?
I normally order the flowers about 2 weeks before your wedding day, to ensure my agents have enough time to coordinate imports and place their orders from suppliers. I normally collect your flowers two days before the wedding to leave enough time for the conditioning and prepping of the flowers before I start arranging.
CAN MY FRIENDS OR FAMILY ‘HELP’ YOU WITH THE FLOWERS, TO CUT ON COSTS, OR JUST BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT SO MUCH?
I unfortunately do not allow friends or family to ‘help’ with floral arrangements in any way, which means that I will act as the sole and exclusive floral provider for your event. I take pride in my work and have a specific style and standard I try to convey throughout all my weddings, which I do not wish to compromise. This rule is really just to protect my professional image from assumptions that might occur from the event’s attendees and photos later arising on social media and the internet. I unfortunately only use assistants trained by myself.
I WANT TO USE MOSTLY GREENERY OR FORAGED ITEMS FOR MY WEDDING. WHY IS IT STILL SO EXPENSIVE?
Foraged greenery, flowers, pods and berries give an interesting look and amazing textures to your floral arrangements that you can’t buy commercially, but the misconception is that it should be for free. My feeling is that you are actually paying for the florist’s knowledge of where to pick, which greenery will last and not wilt in your arrangements, the time it has taken to find those specific trees, shrubs or flowers, doing water tests, travel fees, drive time, getting up at insane times of the morning to go and forage, prepare and hydrate before you can start arranging. So to make a long story short; no, unfortunately foraged items are not for free and prices will unfortunately not be lower if I use (only) foraged items.
CAN I SUPPLY YOU WITH THE FLOWERS FOR MY WEDDING DAY, OR SUGGEST FLOWER FARMERS OR WHOLESALERS FOR YOU TO BUY FROM?
I prefer to use my own flower suppliers, as I know their quality and standards are in line with what I feel comfortable using in my arrangements. Should you have a friend or family member who supplies/grows flowers, I retain the right to decide if I wish to buy flowers from them or not. I also do not work with flowers supplied by the client, as I cannot take responsibility for their quality or conditioning prior to purchase, and therefore the quality of the end result of the décor and flowers.
I LOVE YOUR WORK SO MUCH, BUT CANNOT AFFORD YOU TO DO ALL THE FLOWERS FOR MY WEDDING DAY. DO YOU OFFER AN OPTION WHERE YOU ONLY DO THE MORE TECHNICAL FLORAL ELEMENTS, LIKE BRIDAL BOUQUETS, FLORAL CROWNS OR THE ARCH, WHILST MY FRIENDS OR FAMILY DIY THE REST?
I am not very keen on this idea. Ideally I’d like to be in control of the whole ‘look and feel’ of the floral décor on your wedding day, as I have a professional image to uphold. In such a case, where most of the florals are done by friends or family, my professional image might be tarnished from assumptions that might occur from the event’s attendees and photos later arising on social media and the internet. Please e-mail me so we can discuss your ideas, as every situation is different.
WHEN DO YOU SET-UP THE FLOWERS AT THE VENUE?
I normally finish table arrangements at my studio and only transport them to the venue for set-up. This can be done a day before the wedding, or early on the morning of the wedding. Larger arrangements, like arches, floral runners or mass arrangements are normally done at the venue itself, on the day of the wedding.
DO YOU SET THE TABLES AND THE PLACE NAME CARDS AS WELL?
Unfortunately not. My delivery and set up fee, includes ONLY the setup of the décor items that I have quoted for. Should you require me to set up any other décor items or name cards, this can be negotiated for at an additional set-up fee.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO SET-UP THE FLOWERS AT THE VENUE?
It all depends on the quantity and complexity of designs and can typically take anywhere between 4 – 8 hours, sometimes even longer.
CAN YOU MOVE FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR ME FROM THE CEREMONY AREA TO THE RECEPTION?
I accept full responsibility for the delivery and set-up of both the ceremony and reception flowers, but will leave the premises before guests start to arrive. As a result, moving of floral arrangements after the ceremony has begun, has to be arranged with the staff of the venue, a friend, or a family member. If the reception and ceremony takes place at different venues, it will be the client’s own responsibility to arrange transport for the flowers to the reception. It can, however, be done at an additional fee.
DO YOU BREAK DOWN THE FLORAL DÉCOR ON THE DAY AFTER THE WEDDING AND RETURN HIRED ITEMS?
Yes, I do. This fee will be included in your quote. I need access to the ceremony and reception venue the morning after the wedding (the Sunday/Monday) to clear, clean and pack up all the hired items. You should please arrange with the owner or manager of both venues that I am granted access between 8am and 11am.
WHAT IF MY VENUE NEEDS TO BE CLEARED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE RECEPTION, AS THERE IS ANOTHER FUNCTION THERE THE FOLLOWING DAY?
No problem – this can be arranged. There will however be a surcharge for after hours clearing, right after an evening function. Should you book after hours breakdown, you will need to give a definite time for my staff to be there.
CAN I ARRANGE FOR CLEARING OF THE HIRED ITEMS AND FLORAL DÉCOR TO SAVE ON COSTS?
I used to offer an option where the bride could allocate someone to clean-up the day after the wedding and return hired items to the hiring companies in order to save on costs, but unfortunately too many hired items went missing, were not packed correctly, broke, were delivered to incorrect premises etc. I therefore do not offer this option anymore. I prefer to do the strike down and returning of hired items myself, as these items are hired in MY name. In the event where the venue is too far away from Paarl (more then 150km), the bride has the option to arrange for clean-up and the return of hired items herself, but in such a case, all hired items have to be hired in the bride’s name and will therefore be the full responsibility of the bride until satisfactorily returned in perfect condition.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR BRIDES-TO-BE?
1. Choose your florist carefully. Browse their previous work and make sure their style suits your vision.
2. Create a pin board of your floral likes and use it as a guideline. Don’t get hung up on specific flowers or colours, as some flowers seen on international blogs are not available commercially in South Africa. Production of flowers is also not guaranteed: for example, lots of rain in some parts of the country can have significant effects on quality, availability and price of preferred flowers.
3. Trust your florist and allow them creative freedom within your guidelines. Trying to micro manage every aspect of the creative process only results in dull and unimaginative arrangements with little room for fresh, out of the box ideas.
4. If you’re on a tight budget, omit flowers in places where guests will spend minimal time. Flowers hanging from pews, large arrangements for the ceremony, pre-drinks, bathrooms, boutonnières and corsages can be allayed to save money. Rather spend money on your reception tables, where guests spend most of their time and have time to take in the beauty.