Whether you're just beginning your wedding planning journey or you've already booked some of your vendors, you might be pleasantly surprised at the high quotes you're receiving from photographers, florists, and caterers in the GTA in 2023. With Ontario's inflation paired with post-COVID wedding prices, couples are having a hard time keeping to their budget.
Wedding flowers are expensive because they are often imported from South America, there's a lot of processing and labour involved, and flowers are perishable and high maintenance.
For couples on a tight budget, here are some more affordable, and alternative florists you can contact for quotes in the Toronto Area:
If you don't have your heart set on real flowers, consider renting artificial bouquets for your wedding. Bushel and Bloom is a one-person operated home business that offers some of the most competitive wedding flower pricing in the GTA, with bridal bouquets starting at $50. Since this business is operated out of a private studio, there are less overhead fees that are passed to you, the client. Bushel and Bloom offers pre-made flower collections, or custom options. Artificial flowers have more customization options, don't need refrigeration, and are less delicate and temperature sensitive than live flowers.
Farmer florists are becoming a popular choice for laid back weddings. This lovely family operates a small flower farm on their property during the spring and summer and offers seasonal blooms for wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and centrepieces. Their flowers are grown without the use of pesticides. If you're not too picky about colours, definitely consider reaching out to a flower farm in the GTA.
Wild North Flowers is one of the top-rated wedding florists in the Toronto area with over 500 Google reviews. Although their full service option is on the higher side (clients with flower budgets of $7000 or more), they do offer a la carte wedding flowers. If you just need the essentials, you can select from a few of their pre-made bouquets and centerpieces and reserve them for your wedding date.
Callia Flowers is a great mail-order option for brides that just want the essentials. Callia offers cheaper than industry rates on bouquets and other personal flowers because they source seasonally available, local flowers. Most florists need to import flowers in the off-season, resulting in a higher quote for you. If you don't have your heart set on getting white roses in April, investigate what Callia Flowers has available during the month of your wedding. You won't be getting peonies in December, but that's ok!
A great way to save money is to do the labour yourself. As a bride, "Costco" is probably the last word you want to hear. However, it's not tacky to save hundreds of dollars by purchasing an assortment of flowers the night before your wedding and DIYing it with your bridal party to make your own unique bouquets. You can watch some bouquet-making tutorials on YouTube in advance and ensure you have the essential equipment ready - over night refrigeration space for your flowers, fresh water with "plant food" to maximize the life and colour of your flowers, floral wire, floral tape, garden snips, and satin ribbon of your choice to wrap the stems with.
Another very well-known, highly-rated DIY flower option is Lily on Thames. This vendor offers colour-specific packages that you can pre-order for your wedding date. You'll receive your flowers in the mail a few days before the wedding, in addition to the many amazing tutorial videos to help you and your family assemble the flowers.
In conclusion, wedding flowers are expensive. Everything and anything associated with the word "wedding" in the Toronto area seems inflated and overpriced right now. You might be finding it hard to justify spending $4000 on fresh flowers that'll be wilting and in the bin by the end of the night. But, if you do some research and talk to a lot of potential vendors, it's not difficult to find someone in your budget. If you're willing to consider alternatives such as seasonal flowers from a local flower farm, or renting artificial flowers, you'll be sure to save hundreds if not thousands on wedding flowers. Besides, it's not many times I hear about wedding guests actually remembering the flowers. Remember that your wedding day is about you and your family, not the decor.