Post-Covid Flower Shortages and Your Wedding

When Covid first brought the world to a stand still in March 2020 there were dramatic stories and images of flowers at the Dutch auction and even in the fields being destroyed. Shipping lines had stopped. Shops were closed. Events cancelled. But as the pandemic continued the demand for beauty and a way to connect–without actually being present–quickly brought flowers back. As an agricultural product they became essential.

This industry is resilient and resourceful; we successfully navigated and adapted to shortages and limitations.

Backyard wedding with flower garland on fireplace.
Allee J Photography

As more and more states (and countries) open up, and events resume, the demand for flowers is increasing. But, at risk of stating the obvious, flowers take time to grow. The lock downs of the last year—which have hit different flower producing countries at different times and for varying lengths—have affected the processes of planting, harvesting, and shipping.

(Shipping bottlenecks are a continual problem in all industries. Have you noticed that your Amazon Prime packages are often more than 2 days now? Or that there are still periodic holes on your grocer’s shelves?)

This all adds up to a worldwide flower shortage that is likely to continue for some months. There is less availability and wholesale prices are increasing.

It all sounds rather doom and gloom doesn’t it? First, the situation is not hopeless. But, you might be wondering what this has to do with you. After all, it’s my problem as the florist right?

Current clients

If you’re my current client, your floral colors and style will match your proposal. If I have to sub a flower you specifically requested, I will communicate with you before the wedding.

Also, your contract is set. I will absorb any price increases.

Future clients

If you are in the process of looking for a florist for a 2021 or 2022 wedding–whether you book me or someone else:

You may find that the quotes you are receiving are higher than your friends or family members paid (for a similar wedding) in 2020 or before. Flower margins are already tight (it’s a high overhead business, if you are into economics) and I can assure you florist are only increasing prices as much as they need to.

Hold specific flower requests loosely. Know your florist will do their best to get your favorite flowers but all proposed blooms are ideal, not guaranteed. (If a florist does promise you a specific flower you should hold that assurance loosely. There are too many, and extra variables at play this year.)

Backyard wedding with flower garland on fireplace.
Allee J Photography

The hope and assurance

With all these caveats you might be wondering if it’s worth it? How do you know if your flowers are going to be as beautiful if you imagined?

This is where trusting a professional is your best assurance.

I created this fireplace garland during the thick of the 2020 US lockdown for a backyard (family only) wedding. All my wholesalers were closed.

Luckily I had extra greenery and a handful of flowers that were still usable from a wedding that was cancelled at the very beginning of the shutdown (a couple weeks before). Plus our local grocery store still had some flowers. Nothing was as fresh as I usually insist on my product being. All the flower varieties are fairly pedestrian. But the colors were correct.

If I was able to create a beautiful backdrop out of leftovers for this couple who was on wedding plan C/D then I can absolutely create beauty for you out of what my amazing wholesaler has available; even if it isn’t your first choice flowers. They will be fresh, beautiful, and on point for your style.

In this Instagram world premium flowers often hide poor mechanics and design. How can you not swoon when a garden rose or peony is the star of a bouquet? And, of course that ceremony arch with the pampas grass and dried elements looks modern. But a true designer can create beautiful arrangements out of whatever is available; and, an artist can do so in fresh, scroll stopping ways.

If necessity is the mother of invention then this is going to be the year for new and marvelous designs. The experienced and established floral designer will be able to successfully honor and create your wedding vision.

You can and should have flowers. There will be enough. And your designs will be uniquely you in the most serendipitous way.

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