Marriage Equality Florist: Opportunity Knocks

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With the recent change in the law, florists have a golden opportunity to gain extra business through promotion of flowers for Same Sex weddings (Marriage Equality LGBTI). This window of opportunity is a gain for florists to promote well priced wedding flowers and introduce new styles. Use your multi-media avenues to promote goods and services.

Cashed up couples

A concept to be considered is varying ages of couples and many are well cashed up. It is wise to consider specific designs to suit couples. In my last article for the AFI magazine I mentioned the trend in Europe to large, wired wedding bouquets. My main concern is pricing. Prices of wedding bouquets dropped with the popularity of hand-tied wedding bouquets and the danger has also been that most people feel they can make a posy of flowers. They cannot, however, construct a fully wired bouquet and as an alternative glueing on an interesting frame is another viable alternative. The need for wedding flowers for same sex weddings should create a demand for individualistic designs. Make sure your pricing is appropriate. The industry used to use the rule of 300% margin on all wedding flowers as a minimum and more high-profile florists would work on 500 to 600%. Basically, consider what your time is worth per hour. If you considered one hundred dollars an hour, you will find most photographers charge $250 or more per hour. Many florists charge less than one hundred dollars per hour and for the legal responsibility and the time involved and associated with weddings you should charge this as a minimum. It is perhaps a good time to review your pricing and you will find that many in the LGBTI community will not be bargain hunters.

Review your pricing for this market

Make no mistake, all associated industries to weddings charge a higher percentage than most florists. Please bear in mind that the indenture for floristry apprenticeship training is three years. The ploy of beating a florist down as they have ordered the flowers last is just that, a ploy. Don’t fall for it. Servicing LGBTI weddings allows florists to re-think their wedding market and their prices.

Types of bouquets

A wide variety of bouquets should be considered and also different types of buttonholes. Flamboyance should be a feature in some of your styles. There is also the chance for more associated decorating at the place of service and the wedding venue. Think out of the box with your ideas and come up with flower designs specifically designed for this market. Consider a tie made with flowers. You could use a plain coloured tie as a base and make a decorative wire frame over the top of the tie. The colour of the tie becomes the backdrop and you would then glue flowers, possibly baby succulents and maybe chain of hearts/ string of beads, flowing over the flowers. These would all be applied with glue over the frame. You may have two bridal bouquets for one couple and some share the holding of a larger bouquet. A groom may hold a bouquet of flowers and also wear a large buttonhole/corsage.

Bridal ideas

Another popular idea is a couple entwined with a garland or lea equivalent of flowers. Do not forget hairpieces and these can be simple or elaborate. Flowers for receptions are limitless. Hanging installations have been used by a number of celebrities and cake flowers are usually a strong feature with multiple sprays. Rainbow coloured flowers such as roses, orchids and chrysanthemums are popular and flower content with glued applications can be quite minimal. If flowers are deconstructed the content can stretch a long way. Consider deconstruction of native flowers. A protea is a great example as the bracts can be used in small groups and create a feathered effect. Feathers are another ancillary item to combine with flowers and colours in feathers can vary considerably.

Great opportunity

It is exciting for florists to have a new window of opportunity. Act quickly and develop styles that are specific to this market. They will dictate individuality and you can charge accordingly. Review your pricing structure and market your individual ideas. Accept the challenge and enjoy the rewards to your business.

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This long buttonhole makes a statement. This one is made on a gold aluminium frame and all components have been glued to this frame. Leather strands have also been incorporated. This can be attached with strong magnets to the lapel.

A tie of flowers. A frame has been constructed using wire and wire pearl strands. All available from APACK. All flowers are glued and garlic has been included. Promote this form of popularity. Total time to make this item was thirty- one minutes including the frame.

Written by Gregory Milner for the AFI magazine 2018.

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