Beyond the Bottom Line

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Beyond the Bottom Line

By Meg Owen

Meg is a floral designer, a wedding planner, and the owner of Meg Owen Events.

Ok, can I first say how excited I am that Let’s Revel exists?  For many years now, I’ve scoured through national wedding websites and rolled my eyes at their “wedding calculators” and “Best of” lists and “Helpful Tips” only to find broad strokes and generic cliché advice. As a wedding professional, I gotta say, running a business that requires you to be an artist and a salesman 24/7 (no repeat business in the wedding industry) - the need to stay up with current trends/pins/color palettes, the correspondence and time spent on proposals and fighting an uphill battle of hobbyists - it is exhausting.

So imagine when we hear, “Weddings are so expensive, they totally jack up the price because it’s a wedding”.

Punch to the gut!

And all of us in the industry collectively say, “We wish.”

I understand that all you see is the total price, and it can be overwhelming.

So I’m here to guide you through the costs you may not see.  

Although I’m a floral designer, much of our businesses are similar, so imagine my business like a pie chart with five main categories: Product, Labor, Waste, Operating Cost, Net Profit.  Let’s look at each category briefly to help get to the bottom line:

  1. Product and Supplies

What does the raw product cost to create what you need? For a floral business, this goes far beyond just “getting flowers for cheap”. It includes flowers, vases, compotes, chicken wire, floral tape, foam, and so much more. Even if you buy flowers from your local grocery store, there are so many supplies it takes to create those beautiful personals, amazing centerpieces, etc.  While we don’t buy new clippers and buckets with every single flower order, part of our costs is to use it all. Those snips are going to dull, the buckets will break and need replacing. The foam, wire, tape, chicken wire, etc. are a one-time-use for each event.

2. Labor

How many people will it take to produce your vision? Is your florist paying a team to help process the flowers so they can get back into water quicker to last longer? Are they hiring design freelancers? Set up crew? Cleaning crew? Are they taking the floral boxes to recycle, are they composting the waste?  Will they pay themselves for their time and effort, the hours of consultation, preparing and revising proposals, sales process, reciping out the arrangements, ordering, editing the order, driving to market, etc. Because this post is about bottom line figures, I won’t elaborate on experience and design skills and what that might cost an hour vs. a novice designer.

3. Waste

I’m sure everyone dreads that word, but it’s inevitable. There’s a small portion of “unsellable goods” in any business. Maybe for clothing stores, it’s items that have been damaged or imperfect. In my world, it’s the roses with heads that have fallen off, it’s ranunculus that have stem rot, it’s that darn hydrangea that didn’t even hold on until it came out of the box. We don’t want waste, but we have to account for the things that are out of our control.

4. Operating Cost

Here’s where the list could get really long. What bills does your florist have to pay to keep the doors open? Marketing, repairs, rent, storage, accounting, taxes, legal fees, replaced vases that have broken, wear and tear on the vehicles of floral transport, gas, etc.  It’s a very glamorous unglamorous life.

5. Net Profit

And probably the smallest piece of the pie, the net profit. And many companies choose to invest back in their business. A portion of what you invest will likely assist in your designer’s continuing education. But guess what! Someone before you paid for that designer to be where they are now so you would love and hire them. It’s a constant paying it forward.

The bottom line is…

No wedding professional does what they do for the money. The great ones give over and above their calling because they truly love their career, and they love their clients. Yes, weddings can get expensive. After all, you’re producing an entire one-day event for hundreds of guests. There’s a lot riding on us professionals to make sure you’re happy. Because when you look good, we look good.

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What is Let’s Revel?

Let's Revel is educating engaged couples on how to create the wedding experience they dream about but have no idea how to create.  Let’s Revel is soon to launch a web-based solution for engaged couples and wedding professionals frustrated by outdated wedding planning websites.  We are introducing a new opportunity to connect you with certified wedding pros. That means no scammy amateurs, no ghosting, less stress. Only the good stuff. The way the Internet was supposed to work. Click HERE to get the low-down when we launch.

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