What Do You Charge For Fresh Flower Placement

Business By kvand Updated 6 Aug 2014 , 1:09pm by cai0311

kvand Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 9:27pm
post #1 of 21

Hi All,

 

My apologies if this has been discussed to death but I searched for it and couldn't find anything.

 

I run a legal cake business. I often have brides who what fresh flowers on their cake.  I explain to them the concerns with using fresh flowers etc and have a part of my contract that mentions it again but they are good with it. So I have said I will place prepared, prearranged flowers (like a topper or small corsage arrangement) on the cake no charge as part of the delivery charge.  The problem is lately I get there with the cake and there is a vase or bucket with a bunch of loose stems.  Crap! I can do it but it adds time and supplies to the order so I am thinking of scrapping the whole free placement business and just charging a fee for fresh flower placement.  I am not interested in having brides drop off their flowers the day before or in the morning of as I don't have proper space to store them and am usually so busy on wedding mornings I don't have time to deal with people dropping off flowers etc. What do you do? What do you charge?

 

Thanks in advance!

20 replies
MimiFix Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 9:39pm
post #2 of 21

Tell them no charge for prearranged flowers already prepared. But XXX amount for preparing and placing loose stems.

TheItalianBaker Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 11:15pm
post #3 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix 
 

Tell them no charge for prearranged flowers already prepared. But XXX amount for preparing and placing loose stems.

 

Ditto.

 

Last time I asked a bride to send me ONE BIG PEONY no extra charge, she came with several super small little miny flowers..

-K8memphis Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 12:53am
post #4 of 21

i touch base with their florist and make sure everybody is on the same page well in advance of the wedding -- but i'm not one to nickel and dime a bride -- it's no biggie to put some flowers on imo -- now if it's a tower of roses with full 'tiers' of flowers or a whonking cascade --yes that'd be an upcharge -- but otherswise slap 'em on & go

costumeczar Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 1:38am
post #5 of 21

I don't charge extra, but I try not to use fresh flowers at all. If I do have someone who insists, I assume that the florist will leave me loose flowers and it will take me five minutes to put them on the cake, no big deal. I bring a pair of scissors with me and have at it. I'd prefer to not put a separate line-item charge, because chances are they'll have the florist put them on the cake if you charge them for it. Florists are the worst when it comes to that, because most of them don't think about the food safety and just jam the stems into the cake.

 

The pre-wade arrangements also tend to be too big for the cake, and I end up having to take them apart, which takes longer than dealing with loose flowers.

 

Maybe if there are going to be fresh flowers you can add an upcharge into the cost of the cake without mentioning it as a separate charge? That way your time will be covered but it doesn't give the bride the option of telling someone else to place the flowers on the cake.

mattyeatscakes Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 3:50am
post #6 of 21

A

Original message sent by MimiFix

Tell them no charge for prearranged flowers already prepared. But XXX amount for preparing and placing loose stems.

But as the OP said, the day of, she gets a vase full of loose stems and not a prearranged flower which (i am assuming) was what she and the bride agreed upon. This must have been a disconnect/misunderstanding from the bride and florist? And by the time of the wedding, the baker should have already been paid in full. Even if this was in her contract, so what now? Does she send a bill for the extra work? :/

MimiFix Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 11:33am
post #7 of 21

There should be communication between the florist and caker prior to the day of delivery. That should take care of this issue. I always initiated the contact since I knew that brides may forget or not bother with this detail. (BTW, this is not a situation that happens a lot since most brides do not want fresh flowers.) If there is a problem at the time of delivery, just place the darn flowers and smile. 

-K8memphis Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 12:26pm
post #8 of 21

Ayeah what Mimi said because this is not how to handle it-- at one wedding the venue coordinator rushed out to give the departing b&g a bill for extra servings/service-- I'm talking right after they threw the rice and snapped the pictures -- yoiks

kvand Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 5:33pm
post #9 of 21

AThank you for your comments ladies!

I have in the past called florists who have been short and annoyed with my calling to confirm flowers so I stopped doing it since apparently I was the only one in my area doing it. Lol. I tell all of my clients who insist on fresh flowers they should have their florist contact me to discuss the flowers for the cake. They never contact me!

So far when I have arrived to find a bucket of stems I have just smiled and placed them on the cake. I always have my delivery tool box with me that has flower picks, florist tape, straws, scissors, wire cutters etc.

I'm not talking about charging for placement of a flower or a single topper arrangement. I'm talking about cascades or multiple large arrangements. There's a big difference between popping a couple stems on a cake and spending 20 minutes fiddling with ugly flowers that need to be teased out a bit and outer petals removed etc.

I have not sent a bill after the fact and don't want to do that so was looking for other ideas. Someone suggested having a fresh flower usage form that talks about potential issues of fresh flowers, and takes a credit card for if I arrive to find a bucket of loose stems. What are your thoughts on this one?

I really don't mind if this is a deterrent to using fresh flowers:-)

Oh and there is a clause in my contract that says only me or my staff should place anything on the cake due to food safety and cake stability.

cakebaby2 Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 9:14pm
post #10 of 21

AMy cake toppers pr cascades match the wedding flowers and are made and deliered by me to the venue. I always advise gumpaste flowers between tiers and against fresh cascades becaise i dont want to hang around a venue arguing with cake decoratrots about placememt of blooms. Cheap florists are like cheap bakers you get what you pay for.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Aug 2014 , 9:30pm
post #11 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by kvand 

 There's a big difference between popping a couple stems on a cake and spending 20 minutes fiddling with ugly flowers that need to be teased out a bit and outer petals removed etc.

... Someone suggested having a fresh flower usage form that talks about potential issues of fresh flowers, and takes a credit card for if I arrive to find a bucket of loose stems. What are your thoughts on this one?

 

idk the difference is maybe about 10 minutes -- what? my thought on the fresh flower usage form is that it is too much --

 

just charge in advance when the cake is ordered -- you know at some point that it's a cascade or a tower of roses -- and most cascades are easy unless it's like violets on a 400 serving cake -- it's just part of the equation to have a bucket of flowers waiting for you at the reception, some are prettier than others because they are living/dying things --  20 minutes is bad only if you have not prepared your schedule -- 

 

i offer a service -- i tell my brides who pay me handsomely 'don't worry about a thing i take care of everything for you'

(including harvesting flowers from other arrangements if necessary ;) :-D no extra charge

jenmat Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 2:38am
post #12 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

I don't charge extra, but I try not to use fresh flowers at all. If I do have someone who insists, I assume that the florist will leave me loose flowers and it will take me five minutes to put them on the cake, no big deal. I bring a pair of scissors with me and have at it. I'd prefer to not put a separate line-item charge, because chances are they'll have the florist put them on the cake if you charge them for it. Florists are the worst when it comes to that, because most of them don't think about the food safety and just jam the stems into the cake.

 

The pre-wade arrangements also tend to be too big for the cake, and I end up having to take them apart, which takes longer than dealing with loose flowers.

 

Maybe if there are going to be fresh flowers you can add an upcharge into the cost of the cake without mentioning it as a separate charge? That way your time will be covered but it doesn't give the bride the option of telling someone else to place the flowers on the cake.

I'm with this. It's really not that much more time, and if a design is a cascade of flowers, there is no way there will be a pre-arranged cascade to place. So you would know that ahead of time that there will be loose flowers. If you feel you need to charge, then I would do a case-by-case. If they want a cascade, you tell them that there is a charge to place them and that you are the only one who can do it. 

Oh and I hate hate hate the prearranged toppers- they are always huge and never balanced. I usually end up taking them apart. I always ask for loose flowers. 

cakebaby2 Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 7:27am
post #13 of 21

AA good florist wpuld never make a huge inweildly topper fot a tpp tier but i take the point that placing flowers is not something cakers want tp do at a venue. Gumpaste is the way tp go a scaled down version of wedding flowers.

costumeczar Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 11:12am
post #14 of 21

A

Original message sent by cakebaby2

A good florist wpuld never make a huge inweildly topper fot a tpp tier but i take the point that placing flowers is not something cakers want tp do at a venue. Gumpaste is the way tp go a scaled down version of wedding flowers.

Oh, they all do huge unwieldy toppers. The ones they leave me are generally about 5-6" tall and look ridiculous plopped on top of the cake. To make it better, they put them in a plastic dish with the oasis,and you usually see the dish as it sits on the cake. I rip those apart all the time. Look at this...i wrote this one after I got to a venue to find what was basically a garland for a mantel waiting for me to put on the cake. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2013/07/an-open-letter-to-florists-im-sorry-i.html

Dayti Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 1:57pm
post #15 of 21

 

Ugh...problem was the florist was working on it when I walked in with the cake, and he still had a bunch of other arrangements to do...I just took it when he'd finished and put it on and said nothing. He knew in advance that the top tier was 6", and I had sent him photos of what the topper should look like and pointed out the difference between ones that looked great and ones that didn't, but the darn topper still ended up wider than the 8" tier!! He also built it on a ceramic dish, oasis soaking wet, I had no dowels...I instructed the staff to add the topper just before people walked in and then prayed it didn't sink... Bride loved it though. 

-K8memphis Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 3:09pm
post #16 of 21
 

 

plus you can help yourself to extra parsley for your spaghetti :-D

Cevamal Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 8:08pm
post #17 of 21

AIf you don't mind discouraging fresh flowers, why not charge a flat fee for fresh flowers on a cake whether it's a cascade or a pre arranged topper?

cakebaby2 Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 9:11pm
post #18 of 21

Both Dayti and CZ have shown truly horrible toppers, I've never seen anything like them in the UK outside of a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding theme. Utterly common and yuck(a technical term)

My toppers are winsome, romantic, gauzy masterpieces, light as a feather and understated and I've never had a problem with the cakes or the decorators with whom I always liase unless they have skipped off early leaving a naked cake behind.

If those two examples are the level of florists you are used to dealing with then I'm not surprised you get hacked off. Brides obviously saving cash for cakes by getting the cheap florist.

I do huge wedding installations at churches, venues and all the bridal flowers, which are seen long before the cake  takes centre stage and I hate to see "floral wrecks".

winniemog Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 10:02pm
post #19 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 
 

i offer a service -- i tell my brides who pay me handsomely 'don't worry about a thing i take care of everything for you'

(including harvesting flowers from other arrangements if necessary ;) :-D no extra charge

 

Gee K8, I can just see you wandering around the reception hall, pinching flowers from random arrangements so that your cake is perfect! I wish I were getting married again so I could have you on my side!!

-K8memphis Posted 5 Aug 2014 , 10:29pm
post #20 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by winniemog 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 
 

i offer a service -- i tell my brides who pay me handsomely 'don't worry about a thing i take care of everything for you'

(including harvesting flowers from other arrangements if necessary ;) :-D no extra charge

 

Gee K8, I can just see you wandering around the reception hall, pinching flowers from random arrangements so that your cake is perfect! I wish I were getting married again so I could have you on my side!!

 

 

heheheheheh  -- usually the ones in the bucket are great -- but once in a while...

cai0311 Posted 6 Aug 2014 , 1:09pm
post #21 of 21

AI don't charge extra for putting flowers on a cake because it takes 5 - 15 minutes. All I need are a pair of scissors and some drinking straws to inser into the cake to them put the flower stem into. I keep straws in my "set up kit" so no matter what I find at the reception I am prepared.

I contact the florist the week of the wedding to confirm their delivery time so I know I don't deliver the cake before them and someone else has to put the flowers on the cake. During that conversation I ask if the bride showed them the cake sketch I made (usually no) and verbally confirm the number of flowers and type.

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