So often clients will ask me a rough estimate of cost on certain things such as flowers, photography, DJ’s and more. I’ve decided over the next couple of months, I’m going to interview vendors to give answers to your commonly asked questions. I sat down with Sally from Stella Grey Blooms, one of my favorite florists in Chicago and here’s what she had to say!
Let’s start with a little background. Stella Grey Blooms is a Chicago Floral Boutique that offers traditional to contemporary… to trend setting floral designs.
Owner, Sally Papedis, with a background in fashion and interior design turned her creative talents to floral design. Her attention to detail, color and balance (and sometimes off-balance) can be seen in what has been referred to as “floral art”. Sally teamed up Nancy Konstantos (a drummer in an alternative band), who has over 25 years of experience in the floral industry. They share the same creative vision in floral design – that sometimes you need to learn the rules to break them to create something truly unique. They have been booking weddings since 2017.
Jessica- What would be your advice for couples working within a budget regarding florals?
Sally- If you are on a strict budget, find a professional florist you can trust and let them know your budget and your vision. Then the florist can recommend cost effective florals that are in season and make several recommendations to cut costs.
We have done wedding florals for as little $500 to over $5K and each couple was just as thrilled at the end of the day because we provided them their vision and met their budget.
Jessica- Love this! Because you really can have the wedding of your dreams on a budget, you might just have to get a bit more creative than you once thought! Jessica- What would be your advice for couples working within a budget regarding florals?
What’s the average cost of flowers?
Sally- I would say for an average wedding you should estimate $2k for the basic floral needs. However, the costs will vary up or down depending on the florals you choose, how many are in your wedding party and the size of your wedding and if you want flowers at the ceremony and the reception.
Jessica- Favorite floral arrangement & why?
Sally- We had a couple that wanted to maximize the impact of the flowers at the reception because the venue was very industrial and cold… and they wanted to provide a garden feel. So we created a 6 foot long floral waterfall for the head table of open peach roses and a variety of greenery that was the “wow” factor they were looking for.
And the carnation wall of over 300 hand strung carnations and 6 hours of labor… but it was so worth it when the bride said, “This is better than I expected”.
Jessica- I know that wall- it was beautiful! Below is a picture!
Jessica- Dos & do nots on refurbishing floral…taking ceremony flowers to receptions, using bridal bouquets at head tables, etc?
Sally- Everyone wants to use the bridesmaids bouquets at the reception but it’s a lot of responsibility on the wedding party and the wedding coordinator. There is so much going on the day of and to make your bridal party responsible for the florals doesn’t always work out. I’m sure you agree, Jessica.
Jessica- I do. I really do.
Sally- If you are transporting florals from the ceremony to the reception, have it done professionally- do NOT leave it up to a groomsmen- and minimize which arrangements to take that make the most sense. For example, the large centerpieces, garland and wreaths make sense. Every single aisle flower or wall sconces does not. The less movement the better as things get moved around, ribbons get crushed and don’t look as nice as they initially did.
Jessica- How difficult is it to get out of season florals? Would you suggest they pick something else?
Sally- Yes, always have a backup flower. You can usually get florals out of season but you are going pay a higher price, the size most likely will be smaller and the color might be off….because its nature… and we have no control over what comes in. Best to stick with what is in season, and again, always have a back up flower option.
Jessica- What is a must have, in your opinion, when it comes to flowers?
Sally- Must have is the perfect Bride’s bouquet. If the bride is happy, then everyone is happy!
Jessica- I’m obsessed with the bouquet below! And neutrals mixed with jewel tones is so in right now!
Jessica- Have you received any outrageous requests?
Mini hockey sticks in boutonniere, the couple were huge hockey fans and even had hockey sticks in the back of the church.
And we had a few request for silk flowers… not gonna do it.
Jessica- okay, I love everything about hockey, including a hockey themed wedding, not gonna lie. And I can’t stop laughing at the not going to do silk flower comment…amen!
Biggest mistake couples make when it comes to flowers?
Sally- Couples underestimate the cost of flowers –
Jessica- So true! I think they underestimate the cost of a wedding altogether. What is your favorite trend of 2019?
Sally- Garden roses, lots of greens and bringing the outdoors in.
Sally, it was such a pleasure chatting with you. I am a huge fan of your work and look forward to working together again soon!
Or stop by and say hi! Stella Grey Blooms is located at 2057 W. Irving Park Rd in Chicago.
Scroll down to see more of their fabulous creations!