I remember finding this question through a Google search before I booked Flower Designs, when I was wondering how their prices compared to other florists in the area. All I can say, is yes, they are very expensive.
I've edited this, as I wrote my original post when really quite annoyed by the service I'd received, so am going to try and make it a bit more balanced.
I was impressed by the apparent quality of the finish on their blog, but was disappointed with the whole process of using them as a wedding supplier. At the initial consultation, when all they've done is verbally acknowledge your top budget, you're told that if you don't pay a 'first deposit' there and then, you'll be likely to lose your date. At this point, all we'd done is tell them that our top-end budget was £7-800, which we thought was extremely generous, and had been given no indication that this was unrealistic for what we wanted. With hindsight, I shouldn't have let myself be pressured into paying the deposit, but human nature dictates that if we're told something might not be available, we want it! The next stage of the planning process is to go away and create a moodboard, to give the florists some idea of what you want. This seemed like common sense, and as I had a very detailed vision for the wedding (who doesn't, I suppose!) I worked really hard on it, and bought a nice frame to put it in. You have a moodboard appointment to discuss what you've collated with the florist, and the next step is a bouquet appointment, where they make up some of the designs as examples of what you will get on the day. This system may work really well, if you have the appointment with the person who's going to be making up the flowers- I have no idea. But the main florist, was ill, and instead of postponing the appointment, we saw her husband. I don't know if he's a florist, too. He seemed perfectly capable and we didn't really have any misgivings at this stage. But something had gone wrong, because at the next appointment, the bouquet one, what I was shown was in no way reflective of my moodboard. We had an autumn wedding, because we love the foliage and the outdoors in autumn, but I had been clear from the start that I didn't want any of the autumn stereotypes in the wedding. The leaves etc. were to stay outside, and I didn't want to see a pumpkin within a mile's radius of the venue! At the next appointment, however, the table they'd set up to show me was, as I said, in no way reflective of the moodboard. There were pumpkins, and feathers and birds nests scattered across the table centre. It might have been fitting for a wedding in the woods, or something, but not for what we had in mind and what was depicted in our moodboard. What's more, I had specifically said that I didn't want lilies of any kind, because I'm allergic, but there were lilies. It was like they hadn't listened to anything we'd said, or consulted the moodboard at all. I was on my own at that particular appointment, as my now-husband was away with work, and was completely lost for words. They said to say if I didn't like anything, and although I didn't want to be rude, I asked them to take away quite a lot of what they'd laid out for me. What was left was still very unsatisfactory, and I didn't really know what to do. I decided to sleep on it, and get in touch once I'd shown my husband the photos of what they'd done, if he felt as I did. He did. Bearing in mind this was the month before the wedding, I emailed and sent several photos that I'd used in my moodboard and just asked them to basically copy what was in those. I also asked for another bouquet appointment, but that request wasn't even acknowledged, just outright ignored.
At this stage, I was pretty convinced
...that the wedding flowers were going to be a disaster, so I was actually pretty relieved on the day. The flowers weren't what I'd envisaged, by any stretch of the imagination, but nor were they strikingly out-of-place. And I can't see, even looking at the photos now, where all the money we spent went. The bouquets of the 3 bridemaids and myself were re-purposed for the reception, as table centres, and we used the same room for the ceremony and reception, so it's not as if two venues had to be dressed.
Overall, I was disappointed in my dealings with Flower Designs. I understand that you have more appointments with them than you perhaps would with other florists, but if they haven't necessarily listened to what you want in the first place- or if there's been some sort of communication breakdown within the organization, then that's just a waste of time as well as money. I wouldn't recommend them, and wish I'd gone elsewhere, where I'd have felt like someone was genuinely interested in my vision for my wedding. It's not that I objected to spending over £1200 on wedding flowers (though I do think that's excessive)- it's more that I think that for that kind of money you should be able to see where it's gone, and feel happy with the experience.
Hi im a florist and I love flower designs' work (havent read the rant above yet though! eek )
I would say yes they will be expensive, due to the size of their designs, and the types of flowers they use. Im not sure if this is how they work (to a minimum spend maybe) or whether they only show their high end weddings. I suppose its best to ask!
If you would like a copy of my bride guide which has a price list on I can send you it to give you some ideas on what things will cost you let me know. It will be different down south though as we get flowers cheaper up here x
Beth- just read your reply- I must admit I put kisses on emails! Haha. Thankfully though I do think I am just genuinely friendly and my brides always get a full quote before booking.
So hmm...I was very interested to read this. May I ask whether they ended up sticking with the budget you gave them? Its odd they didnt follow your brief, things can obviously not match up with a brides vision sometimes but its odd for them to use things you specifically said you didnt want
I have noticed they do samples and things, personally I dont do this (unless the bride really wants one and will pay for it) as its so costly for us to do- did they charge for it? They must absorb the cost somehow. as well as the cost for all the millions of appointments people seem to have! (I do one/two consultations and make a quote and pinterest board and I dont get paid for those which is enough in my opinion!)
Its odd to have gotten stuck with an invoice so close to the date. I usually send out prices and they stay the same unless the content/size etc is altered and the bride is made aware of that. I then confirm everything and send a final invoice a month or so before the event.
Strange to see how other people work but very interesting. Sorry you had a bad experience x
Hi...I've realised that I must have been extremely hormonal on Saturday, as I would never normally have been that ranty! So I've edited my posts above to reflect that.
But I still, even in a very good mood, wouldn't recommend them. I think a full written quotation prior to booking is essential- you can't just take it on trust as a consumer, but sadly that's something I've only learned through experience. FD ask for two deposits, so we'd paid £350 (half our original budget) by the time I saw the ideas they'd put together for the wedding, which were all wrong.
They don't explicitly charge for the appointments, but clearly that's reflected in the overall prices you pay with them. I've just checked my emails, and I got the invoice (first written down indication of cost) on the 17th of September, and we got married on the 4th of October- so I do think that that's unreasonably close. I had the figure of top-end £7-800 that we'd discussed at the initial consultation in my mind at that point, even though I wasn't planning to have bridesmaids' bouquets and then changed my mind. I assumed that because we discussed it, and they said that the bouquets would be used as table centres later, which we'd have needed even without bouquets, that the impact of that would be negligible. Anyway, they send you a 'menu', ostensibly so you can pick and mix what you want and can afford. I had to adjust my expectations massively at this stage, and still ended up paying approx. £500 more than expected. The first we heard about travel expenses, amounting to £140-odd was on the 17th Sept, too, so that was an additional surprise. Another thing I only realised at this stage was that you rent their accessories- e.g. candelabras, urns, etc.- they don't just come with the flowers which you pay for. I'd, perhaps naively assumed, knowing nothing about floristry, that you paid for the flowers and they provided their containers. So that was a pretty big additional cost that hadn't been mentioned previously.
Thanks, sorry you had to endure my original rant- I was pretty irate, as you probably realised!
Bless you! Hope you are nice and chilled now
£500 more than expected would cripple a lot of people, so not, not really acceptable (and I tend to always err on the side of the florist by nature haha!)
Yes you do usually pay a hire charge. I do a lot of things which can be with or without flowes but I usually state this so for example to hire a plain birdcage its £10 including candles, for a birdcage with flowers I charge from £30 and put ''including hire and candles'' so at least its clear. I wouldnt say ''£20 per centrepiece'' and then whack £10 x however many tables on later in hire charges. Im suprised they dont get a lot of shocked and angry brides going off on one at them at the end! Maybe why they take a large deposit x