Why Are Wedding Flowers so Expensive in Toronto?

Most couple spends about 10-15 percent of their budget on flowers and decor, with the average spend being $2300. Take a deep breath though, there is a lot of wiggle room when it comes to decor. If your venue is naturally beautiful, you can focus on just personal flowers. I also urge you to explore budget-friendly alternatives such as artificial flower rentals (that's exactly what Bushel & Bloom does), or DIYing your flowers from Costco.


When receiving a flower quote of over $4000, some couples might feel overwhelmed. If you find you're getting multiple quotes that are well outside of your budget, you might need to go back to the drawing board and see what flowers are really needed. It helps to understand the hidden costs behind your flowers.

1. Wedding Flowers are Perishable

All live flowers have a life span. From the moment they're picked in the field, a lot of labour, processing, and refrigeration is required to keep them looking alive. They have a long way to travel before even getting to your florist. Once your florist receives the blooms, they have to refrigerate them and use chemicals and artificial plant food to keep them fresh-looking for your wedding day. Due to their short shelf-life and possibility of getting diseased, florists need to over-order to ensure there will be enough viable and healthy stems available for your wedding day.

2. The Middle Men of the Flower Industry

When it comes to wedding flowers, it's not as simple as "farmer to florist". For some blooms, there is a long road to travel. If you're getting off-season flowers, your florist is likely purchasing from a flower wholesaler in the Toronto area. Then, your wholesaler is purchasing from a supplier in South America. As you can begin to see, each middle-man needs to make money, meaning the flowers are marked up each time. The South American supplier buys the flowers from a local flower farm, who then charges a higher price to the Canadian wholesaler, who then ultimately charges your florist an even higher price for the final stem.

3. A Long Way to Travel

Transportation costs are very important to think about in the flower industry. If your flowers are coming from South America, they require refrigeration and water during transportation. They need to travel over 7000km in a refrigerated cargo plane, then be transported in a refrigerated truck (while always being in fresh water) multiple times. At the end of it all, you, as the client, is responsible for paying this transportation overhead. And now with "fuel surcharges", the price per stem for your florist is only climbing higher.

4. Labour and Processing Time

Your florist and possibly their staff have a lot of work to do from the moment they receive the flowers. To keep your blooms fresh and to promote blooming, florists need to ensure all stems have fresh water with artificial plant food, adequate space for refrigeration, and sometimes use chemicals to enhance their colours. Each bloom also needs to have foliage removed and requires fresh cuts along the bottom of the stem to prevent disease. 

In addition, there is all of the labour required the day or two before your wedding. Each boutonnière, bouquet, and centerpiece is delicately hand-assembled by your florist and their staff members.


5. Delivery & Setup Charges

You might have the option to pick up the flowers yourself on the morning of your wedding, but most couples opt to have them delivered. In some cases, there is complex setup needed at the venue. The florist has to expertly pack the flowers in their vehicle in a way that water won't spill and flowers won't go flying. This work itself can take some time. Once your florist arrives at the venue, there could be additional setup fees if their staff need to assemble pieces on site or attach floral pieces to arches. If your florist needs to come pick things up at the end of the night (such as vases or an arch), you may also be charged a late night pick-up fee.


6. Florist Overhead Costs

The final thing to keep in mind is that your florist is running a business. Not just any business - a business that deals with perishable goods, and requires a lot of labour. Here are just a few overhead costs your florist has : 

  • Rent (unless they work out of their home)
  • A commercial flower cooler that runs 24/7
  • A delivery vehicle and gas
  • Staff and labour costs
  • Website hosting and website maintenance
  • Time required to book new clients
  • Marketing and ads
  • Customer Management System
  • Annual business fees
  • Credit card processing fees and taxes
  • Florist supplies (floral foam, vases etc.)
  • Shelving, Coolers, and lots of space
  • Continuing education (workshops)
  • Time, and more time.

Keep in mind that florists aren't just arranging flowers all day. The average florist in Canada only makes about $17.85 per hour. It's a labour of love! Florists put a lot of time and energy into booking clients, caring for blooms, managing current clients, and preparing wedding orders on top of their administration work.

In conclusion, when you're getting draw-dropping quotes from florists, keep in mind that there is physical perishable good involved (your flowers), and a lot of time spent caring for and preparing your order. Having beautiful, fresh flowers on your wedding day is a dreamy thought, but it might not be for every couple. There is so much wiggle room in a flower budget. You can keep it simple by having just essential flowers, order just a single stem for each bridesmaid to hold (this can look super cute in photos), do bud vases for centerpieces, explore local flower farms and seasonally available flowers, or consider artificial flower rentals. 


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Hey, I'm Sarah

I'm a florist that rents out high quality faux flowers all over Ontario. Faux blooms are predictable, more affordable, and highly customizable. I offer rental bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, arch decor, centerpieces, garlands, and pretty much any flower decor you could want at your wedding! And the beautiful thing is, the flowers at your wedding will be repurposed for many, many other couples in the years to come.

Contact Sarah