In the interest of learning more about the industry, we did a survey of wedding florists. Here's an analysis of the industry. We hope you enjoy! You can download the full summary of the results by signing up for our newsletter here.
We sent the survey from to our newsletter list for this blog "The Business of Flowers." We also posted this on several floral forums.
99 florists responded to the survey. 84% of respondents owned the shop that they were responding about. We had responses from 6 countries with the vast majority (85%) being from the United States. For those outside of the country, we gave them financial options that were equivalent to USD in order to ensure consistency in value. Respondents have an average revenue of anywhere from $10,000 to over a million.
Purpose of Shops
The highest percentage of respondents (28.3%) were florists with a home-based studio that solely focused on weddings and events. The next largest group (27.3%) were retail shops who did an even mix of retail work and weddings. In total, 48.5% of respondents were retail-focused operations and 51.5% were focused on wedding and events.
The responses concerning the number of years in the industry were varied. A very slight majority (20.2%) had been in the industry for 8 to 12 years, followed closely by 3 to 7 years (19.2%), 28 to 35 years (17.2%), and then 13 to 20 years (16.2%).
You did how many weddings??
46 of the 99 respondents said they do 11 to 30 weddings each year. We'll call them group A. This was nearly half the survey results. 27 of the 46 respondents in Group A (59%) had weddings between $1,000 and $2,000 and 13 of them (28%) had weddings between $2,000 and $4,000. Second place amongst the number of weddings was tied with 18 respondents each. One group of 18 said they did 31 to 60 and the other group said they did less than 10.
Of the 18 florists who did less than 10 events, 8 of them were mainly retail shops, which makes sense. It also makes sense that another 8 of them have home-based businesses. Of the home-based who do less than 10 events, the majority have a total revenue of less than $20,000 which, depending on the market, indicates it's more of a part-time opportunity.
That's not to say that home-based studios can't be profitable as one of these had an average of $4,000 to $8,000 for their weddings and another home-based florist did 91 to 120 weddings at an average of $2,000 to $4,000. The vast majority of home-based florists (26 of 28) likely have revenue of less than $100,000, based on the information given.
What kind of budgets do other florists get?
45.5% of respondents said that their average wedding budget was between $1,000 and $2,000. The average of almost 3 in 1o respondents was between $2,000 and $4,000. Of the 18 florists who have average budgets under $1,000, half of them are mainly retail florists. Only 7 of the 99 respondents said their average budget was between $4,000 and $8,000 - yet, two of those did 150+ weddings a year. No florists in this study selected that their average budgets was over $8,000.
When should I get the client their proposal?
Over 1/3 of florists (36.4%) say their brides receive their proposal day or two after they meet. Just under another third (31.4%) say that it takes 3 to 6 days to prepare the proposal, followed a week or more (12.1%), the same day (11.1%), and in the consultation (9.1%). Another way to look at the numbers is that 1 out of 5 florists have proposals back to the bride the day they meet. 16 out of 20 florists who get proposals back the same day have over a 75% booking rate.
Of the 9 who hand over the proposal in the consultation, 7 of them do not use any calculation software to do the calculations. An incredibly high proportion (6 of 9) have a booking rate of over 91%. Based on our numbers, this could indicate florists who hand over proposals in the consultation double their chances of having a very high booking rate. Something that can't be ignored is that it also could be due to florists charging less and missing hidden costs since none of these 6 use a software (or even excel) to check their pricing. It may just be correlation, but 5 of the 6 who hand over the proposal and have a high booking rate consider themselves retail florists.
When should I stem count?
4 out of 10 florists build their stem count into their proposal and pricing. Of the 40 who do this, 65% use a software. That's a pretty incredible statistic. It's double the 33% who use a stem count later in the process and who use a stem counting software.
Of the 59 florists who stem count after the proposal is handed over, 37 of them do it right before they order the flowers; 13 of them stem count after the bride is booked; and 8 of them don't stem count at all.
How many florists use a software to help with their proposals?
45% of florists surveyed use no software at all. This is indicative that a large portion of florists create proposals based on what they've charged before or what they estimate it's worth. From anecdotal experience, many florists think that younger or newer florists are more in need of a software. Based on the numbers, it seems that florists of all levels of experience make up the group who do not use a software.
30 of the 99 florists said that they use an excel sheet, whether made by themselves or another person. Based on our experience, this doesn't necessarily mean that the spreadsheet includes a stem count but it's a given that a large number would.
The highest percentage of florists who use a software with stem count goes to Curate with 8.1%. It is good to note that this number is likely skewed upwards due to the fact that we sent out the survey to our followers. Lobiloo was the second highest-used software in the survey with 3%, followed by Ularas with 2%, and Details Flowers at 1%. Other software mentioned were 17hats, Floranext (2%), Wedding Wire, and "Fingers and toes, or a calculator."
How do I raise my booking rate?
A surprisingly high number (34.3%) said they book between 91% to 100% of the clients they meet with, followed by 23% saying that they book between 76% and 90% of the brides they meet with. Only 16% of florists report that they have a booking rate under 50%. This leads to two possibles conclusion. The first being that brides must typically be willing to book with the first or second florist they meet or that florists over-estimate how effective they are at booking.