Wedding Business Idea: Feedback Wanted!

Hi ladies,

I am a regular on here and have my own planning thread at the moment. I have come up with an idea for a business and would like your honest feedback and whether it is something you would consider for your own wedding (not touting for business, just to identify if there is a market for it.)

One of the things I've really been shocked by when planning a wedding was the price of a florist. I know there are many threads on here on this theme, but wow they can be expensive! I am going for a glamorous look so DIY isn't really an option for me, neither is saving money by collecting jam jars etc. I was getting quotes of £1800 - £2500 and I just don't want to pay that amount of money, but I don't want to compromise on the look I want to go for either.

I read some threads about people using fake flowers and started to think: is there a market for people to rent out table centre pieces made from fake flowers? That way, I can use my wedding budget to get the centre pieces made and can rent them out afterwards as a source of income. My Mom is friends with a retired very high end florist (previously done arrangements for Elton John etc) and she would make them for me, so they would be very beautiful. This is the sort of thing I had in mind:

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Whilst I have a 'Lavender Glamour' theme, I would do them in cream so they are more universal. I'd also rent out all the mini vases and tea lights that go around the bases. That way people can have the look without the cost involved. Everything would be of a very good quality. I know there is some dislike of fake flowers (TBH my MIL is not keen on the idea at all!) But candelabras pieces aren't meant to be touched anyway. For my own wedding I will probably use fresh flowers for the surrounding groupings which the guests can take home.

So what do you ladies think? Is it a go-er? Fake flower bouquets are getting more mainstream, is there a market for centre pieces too?

Thanks in advance xx

Posts

  • Sam60Sam60 Posts: 249

    I think so! My only concern is about price, but being a bride yourself, I'm sure you would be 'sensible' with what you charge (so many things I was looking to rent, and it works out around the same to buy - so to make your service attractive it would have to be cheaper than a 'to buy' comparitor) xx

  • I was planning on charging about £50 per centre piece, which is much lower than real flowers and lower than the component cost. For 10 tables would be £500 but for such a high impact grouping I think that is very reasonable. 

    Thank you for your feedback xx

  • Sam60Sam60 Posts: 249

    I haven't got floral quotes yet, but yep, that sounds good to me! Especially when you think about how good they would look if done by your contact! xx

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    Hi MrsM!

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas 

    Honestly, it is SO strange that you posted this because H2B and I met up with another engaged friend of ours today and she was saying how she is so shocked at the cost of flowers that she is considering fake flowers. I definitely think you have a market for this and the arrangements you've posted are simply gorgeous! As long as you can replicate these looks, you will be able to quash the perception that fake flowers are tacky with no problems I imagine. 

    I also think offering the whole 'look' is fantastic - my grievance with our wedding is that our florist just does the flowers so I have had to arrange additional help to set up the rest of the table decorations. It would be reassuring to know one person is responsible for decorating the tables and understands exactly what I want (given that I won't be there on the day to check it beforehand!). In fact, this is exactly what our friend was saying today too! 

    The only things that spring to mind for me (although I have absolutely no common sense when it comes to business!) are:

    - Would you be able to branch out and develop your own arranging skills to eventually offer bouquets/top table arrangements to tie in the whole look (and so brides can keep their flowers afterwards)?
    - Similarly, could you adapt to people's themes easily? To give my friend as an example, she wants an Alice in Wonderland tea party so she is looking at flowers that would need to be a little more random and fit in with the various other bits she has bought to create the theme. She is really panicking about not finding someone who can do the setting up for her on the day so I guess it's worth knowing brides may want more than just a floral decoration service and will pay for the reassurance! I guess it depends how willing you would be to adapt in the future or if you have a solid enough business keeping to the 'classic' theme! 

    Good luck with your venture 

    x

  • Thanks for the positive feedback Lubes :)

    My plan is to keep it quite small initially; I will have to rent them out twice to cover my costs but then I will look at expanding out. I'd like to get into managing decorating venues and the whole look as you say. I'd start off with cream and then if there were demand for other colours I will expand out. I won't really get into the flower arranging side as I do not have a talent for it so I will just use my contact. Ill look at adding the usuals (sashes and chair covers) if it takes off. I really want to keep it just to rental as I feel the gap in the market is for the people who dont want to spend the money to keep it. I'll keep them deliberately simple at first so they can complement any theme (eg. For an Alice in Wonderland theme I'd do silly stuff like put hats on the flowers and use the random stuff around the flowers)

    Xxx

  • Anyone else got any more ideas / feedback? I'd love to hear it :)

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  • SammykateSammykate Posts: 3,975 New bride

    I think it's a great idea, as others have said it will need to be cheaper than buying the items yourself! I'm thinking of having birdcage centerpieces and they cost just as much to hire as they do to buy- so I may as well buy them and sell them on afterwards!

    It would also be good to thinking about having a product aimed towards the more budget end of the market- I can see where they are good value spending £500 vs £2500 but a lot of brides don't have £500 for centerpieces (myself included!). Could be somewhere to branch out into?

  • I think the idea could work - but personally I think your prices are too high. We had artificial flower bouquets which were perfectly fine. I thought they were lovely. The church was predecorated for Harvest festival (success!) and Mum and I made some fairly impressive buttonholes. 

    If you're aiming at budget brides you may find you need a budget price. I decorated all 10 tables for £100 and I still have everything. You'd want five times that and I wouldn't get to keep it.

    On the other hand, maybe I was just cheap!

  • Thank you for your feedback ladies :)

    Regarding budget, I've always stuck to the mantra that when setting up a business you should stick to what you are passionate about and what you understand. While there are other directions I can take this in the future if it takes off, I ant to stick to what I know and what I understand for now, and that is the high end look. While the budget angle is very valid, I'd rather the USP was that you can get this look for much cheaper than real flowers. Kitten gave a fantastic angle I hadn't thought of: you have seen them previously and know what you are getting. The £50 per candelabra I feel is a good price as round by me florists charge £20 just to hire a candelabra! Obviously you don't need to hire all 10; if its a smaller wedding you get the wow factor for £100 with two candelabras. My hire costs are actually more competitive than a lot of wedding companies (my research has shown most bits you can hire have to be hired 1-1.5 times to return the original investment, this is about 2-2.5) so I am confident on my positioning.

    It has been great hearing all your thoughts, I leave work in 8 days time and then have to try and make this a reality! I ordered my candelabras yesterday it is starting to feel a bit more real.

    Any ideas on a business name? Xx

  • Sam60Sam60 Posts: 249

    How exciting!!! Make sure you aren't taking on too much though, what with everything else you have going on at the moment, and your own wedding.

    I would say you had to have 'legacy' in your name - your user name has real meaning, and the flowers will be your legacy :-) xx

  • This sounds like a great idea, there are lots of vintage hire companies that loan props things for weddings.

    i have just started a vintage ice cream business and think you just have to go with your instincts once you have done your research!

    A name that says what your company does is a good way to go, 

    Best of luck,

    Sarah

     

  • What about 'Boutique Blooms: Silk Wedding Flower Specialists'?

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