Hellooo it's been long time no speak as my little blog has taken a bit of a backseat this summer and for that I am sorry! In between moving locations (more on that in my exciting next post!) and the huge amount of postponed weddings we are dealing with, the poor blog has been neglected. I am here today to talk to you about flower prices and why we have seen such a big increase lately. Yes, it is not as pretty as seeing lots of gorgeous wedding flowers, or as exciting as discussing the next wedding flower trends! But, it is just as an important topic to discuss, as we have all been through such changes over the last 18 months through Brexit and of course Covid. The impacts are being encountered throughout every industry and I am here to talk to you about the impact of the pandemic on flower prices.
The pandemic has created absolute havoc within the wedding industry, with literally hundreds of thousands of weddings postponed (some countless number of times) during 2020 and early 2021. Rightly so, couples wanted to have the big day they had planned and so most have postponed until a time when weddings could go ahead, restriction free. Restriction free weddings only came into play recently, so since then the wedding industry has been working manically to accommodate these delayed weddings. Where normally we would never do 4 weddings in a week, we have had to accommodate couples new dates and so have seen this crazy level of workload throughout this summer, to ensure everyone has their best day possible, with the best flower possible too! Whilst we are absolutely thrilled to be back and work and in full capacity, we are all squeezing in two years worth of weddings into one summer pretty much!
So what does this mean for flower prices? Most of my flowers come from the dutch auctions in Holland, the prices fluctuate daily, so whilst we can tap into our extensive flower knowledge and gauge estimated prices normally. This summer has been very difficult to predict. Like any business, flower prices work on supply and demand and if we are seeing two years worth of weddings in one year this is an unprecedented amount of demand. It is crucial to highlight that Holland supplies not just us in the UK, but the whole world... so again people's weddings have been disrupted over the whole world, meaning we are all in this position!
Supply and demand mean that when something has huge demand, or less supply, the cost will increase, because ultimately the product is worth a lot more and will go to the highest bidder. I am no economics expert, but this is basic knowledge and is not just happening in the flower industry. It is happening throughout all businesses. The cost of food has increased and building materials have increased for example.
In terms of supply, the growers can only grow so much, flower produce cannot be grown out of thin air. Growers will be of course working to their maximum capacity of course, but flowers take time to grow and with the restrictions being so up in the air and impossible to predict, the growers would have struggled in terms of their planting schedules. Lots of growers would have suffered in staff shortages due to Covid isolation/illness, the logistics or working in new ways. Most of our beautiful garden roses are grown in Equador, where the weather is the perfect climate these varieties, they can just grow outside rather than in poly tunnels like in Holland. Equador is currently experiencing snow, which has had an impact on the roses actually being able to be shipped out of the country and into the auctions, again affecting supply. Also garden roses are just the most beautiful flower, and everyone wants them in their bouquets... so demand is huge!
Weddings are totally trend led too, so we are all loving the nude 'Quicksand' tones and the mocha/toffee tones this year... alongside the ever traditional and popular white wedding palette and blush/pale pink. These types of flowers are in huge demand, because more couples are requesting them for their weddings. This means there are less available to buy, and the price that they are sold at increases. Some flowers have increased by up to three times their usual price! These are just a few of the supply and demand factors that are coming into play right now, and are ultimately increasing the cost of flower prices.
I use this blog as a creative space to share weddings and inspiration, yet also as an informative space and I believe it is really important to talk about what is going on right now and how the impact of Brexit and the pandemic is being felt throughout our industry. In terms of me personally and how I am working within my business. Some weddings taking place now, would have been quoted for in 2019 when we were all blissfully unaware about the pandemic, although were completely aware about Brexit. I had been informing my couples that flower prices were more than likely to increase due to Brexit (grrr who's idea was Brexit anyway, insert hand plant/face emoji right there....!!!) I had been transparent that prices were more than likely to increase and we would assess the situation nearer the time. Rightly so, everyone was more than understanding of the situation. I believe that being transparent is the only way and everyone knows where they stand!
We could however, not predict the pandemic. And so as prices are rising again, this is an informative post to let everyone know what we are dealing with, and how it is even more difficult to quote for next week/ let alone next year. When my couples book me, we have the understanding that flower prices may fluctuate and this is written into my terms and conditions, that as much as we can do our best to estimate, final prices will be fixed nearer the time. This is where budgets come in handy and having a total budget in mind that you are prepared to spend on flowers is really helpful, because items can be tweaked a lot easier if we know the overall figure you are looking to spend.
Going forward I hope this all settles down, once the backlog of weddings has levelled out after this summer, I am sure we will see a return of more stable pricing, but until then. Please bare with us and be understanding in the fact we are having to be flexible in our pricing right now, because as much as I love my job and I truly do... we still have bills to pay and our businesses can only be viable if we are making a profit. If flower prices are trebling, then unless we increase our overall pricing, our businesses are not sustainable.
I hope this post has been informative and given you some insight into the behind the scenes of how we actually get our flowers! It is by no means whatsoever a 'moany' post! I would love to hear how other suppliers are getting on and other sectors in the wedding industry also? I have heard that some cake wholesalers have been running out of chocolate! I mean, running out of chocolate.. I told you this was serious stuff!