Lessons: Price Sheet

12 March 2012

Today, I really feel compelled to address the issue of a price list.  Many clients often request a price list via email.   This doesn't surprise me as price is a very important issue and topic.

Our typically response goes something like this:   "In lieu of a price list, we have a Saturday floral minimum which is $4000 for full service floral design before delivery/setup/design.  Also there is a 8.5% sales tax."

(For those curious, this information is also on our website under a label called "pricing".)

If you are planning a wedding, before you ask a floral designer for a price sheet, might I suggest ---- look on their website for pricing or minimum guidelines.  You might be able to find the answer far quickly than requesting it via email or making a phone call.   Some designers may not have a price section on their website but you might find a questionnaire that can help.

For example,  when viewing the website of Holly Chapple Flowers, in her online questionnaire, I found that any order of flowers between $2000 to $4000 has to be a pick up order which tells me that most of her lower end weddings are between $2000 and $4000.

JL Designs has a label on their website for pricing and she is as direct as I am.  In fact, I love the way she phrases her pricing. Carissa of JL Designs writes in her website....
From JL Designs

"Although we cannot give accurate pricing without a consultation, the typical JL DESIGNS client should look to spend between $5,000.-$15,000. on florals, with our average bids coming in around $8,000."

Flower Divas located in the South Bay area of San Francisco, has a client estimation request form.  If you complete it, it will redirect the finished and completed form to her and she will tell you what your floral estimation will be.

Though not a floral designer, I love what Kelly Oshiro came up with.  Kelly Oshiro of Kelly Oshiro Design, does not have a pricing tab on her website but when prompted,   she sends out an information packet which includes her fee and how the process works.  Even though it's not on the website, it is something that you can request.

The point is when asking for information, send an email and ask a designer if they have any more pricing information to share.  And you will find that many do though like below, it's not a price sheet or menu of items but more an average or range.

Having said all this, if you are wondering why the pricing sheet or menu may not exist, well, it's simple really.  Getting pricing for a floral design especially for larger events and weddings is like a bid process.  Each project is a customized, unique process.  Wedding floral designer bid for the project through meeting with each client either on the phone or in person.  The proposal are written for a specific event.   Very few have preset packages in which they can quote a package price.

From Fifty Flowers

If you want to just order standardized flowers, where you can see the images and see exactly how many pieces are you getting, you can go to a retailer or wholesale wedding vendor like a Fifty flowers.  I'm sure out there some floral designers have packages.  We tried it many years back and we found that our clients didn't get it. They wanted their flowers, their way, not preset.

The image below is from Fifty flowers.  It reflects how their flowers in a box works.

From Fifty Flowers

This package idea is like ordering food from  Whole Foods Catering, you can get a tray of food for xxx dollars based on their pre set menu.  I'm sure they can do a customized menu but you won't  find "Lobster and Porcini Mushroom Risotto with a Lobster Broth and Leeks" because that has to be specially priced out based on seasonal food costs.  Right?

See below for WholeFoods Party Platters for Midwest Regional Stores.

From Whole Foods

I can sympathize that it's hard to determine pricing and if a website doesn't show it, how can you find out what a vendor charges.

First and foremost, when researching your vendors, assess each vendor's portfolio and work.  What looks high end, medium range, moderate to you.  Which designer's work is closest to the style that you like?  Assess through your own experience which one looks like it's a luxe brand, which ones might look more price friendly.

I'm sure when you look at three or four designer's website and their portfolio, you can rate what their presentation, creativity and overall design.

If you don't know what to budget for flowers or even other categories, email and ask them what would a wedding at your venue, on your date with x amount of guest cost? It's a range that they might be able to give you but until they get down to the nitty gritty, it's still a range.  A good starting point.

The only way to get a customized proposal is to meet with someone or at least start a dialogue.  Over email, it's very possible to get a quote written as long as the information that you give to a designer is something they can "write an estimate" for.  

Fundamental, this is just my personal belief, a price list doesn't make any sense unless it describes exactly what you want.

Bottom Line:  If someone's work looks like a style that you like, if their presentation or portfolio has work(s) that mirrors your own wants and needs, if their portfolio shows you that they have the creativity to create something, don't be shy.  Connect.   Make a consultation or at least start an email dialogue.  If their price range isn't what you feel comfortable, go to the next.  Picking a floral designer based on their price list seems ambigious.

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Property Dealers in Delhi NCR said...

Fabulous Posting!! Keep it up, Thanks for sharing.

norah said...

As wedding is a one day experience, this day must be prepared-well and as magical as how the love of the couple grows. Great post, indeed.

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Beverly Yip said...

GO NANCY! You're the Best of the BEST!

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