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Making Your Wedding Business Work in a Recession

There is no doubt that as a country we are in the grip of a recession. For those of us who deal in wedding bookings we are already seeing the inevitable reductions in the size of the orders, or our couples challenging us to make best use of their budget.

So what does this mean for us as florists and what can we do to mitigate these changing circumstances and still keep our businesses profitable and our profile current and engaging?

This venue dressing idea uses simple chrysanthemums with floating candles

One of the best ways of maximising a budget is to repurpose arrangements and use the same arrangement twice. We all know that the ceremony table long and low can be transferred over to the top table, but with a little thought and maybe a change of mechanics other things can be used twice. In my own business we have used bunches of flowers as pew ends and then into bud vases for the reception and bridesmaids’ posies repurposed as table arrangements in simple vases. I make my pedestals so that the tops can be removed and transported to the reception. If you are a florist offering to move such items, please make sure you charge for your time and fuel.

Bride's bouquet using seasonal narcissi

Think outside the box a little and offer cheaper options that require little work from you, such as plants for table centres, which can then be used as gifts or favours. Small pots of violas, herbs or even alpine strawberries make beautiful favours and decorate the table at the same time. Or mini olive trees, orchid plants, ferns or lavender in simple hessian or tulle coverings make affordable table centres.

Work with seasonal flowers and suggest keeping the luxury flowers for the bouquet, working with the colour theme of the wedding but using more budget friendly flowers for the tables. Most people don’t remember exactly what flowers were on the tables, just the colour (and of course that they looked lovely). Don’t be afraid to use flowers such as carnations or Santini chrysanths in the table arrangements. Both come in an amazing range of wedding-friendly colours, including the caramel and toffee shades that are so trendy now. Obviously, simple vases are much cheaper than arrangements and I think we will still be filling jam jars for a while yet!

For personal flowers you could think about offering wrist corsages for bridesmaids instead of bouquets or a range of cheaper, dare I say gyp bouquets, or even better, be the florist who comes up with the “next gyp bouquet” and save us all!

We cannot do much about the economic climate but we can be the authority in our field, give our couples total confidence in our professionalism and our expertise to deliver the wedding of their dreams. It is about managing expectations and having a few ideas up our sleeve to create the look they are wanting without losing their business to the inevitable competition. We are creatives, we’ve got this.

Images: Viv Bradford and Interflora


Viv Bradford trained in West Germany in the late 1980s before returning to the UK, where she has pursued many roles in the industry from running retail premises, teaching floristry, working in wholesale, business coaching florists and running an award-winning studio florist specialising in weddings.

Viv also created and runs Facebook groups Flowerphiles for experienced florists and The Floristry Geek for students and those new to the industry, which concentrates on educational content.


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