Why is My Florist Telling Me There’s a Flower Shortage?

Bride holding a brightly colored bouquet of gerbera, roses and delphinium tied with blue ribbon.

Photo Credit: Baer Images Hawaii

It’s almost the summer of 2022 and the days of COVID are starting to feel far behind us (at least, as of now in the US)... mask mandates are disappearing, people are gathering, life is starting to feel, although far from perfect, back to normal... so as we start to reschedule all the wonderful events we've been putting on hold, like weddings and celebrations, why are you hearing your florist say things that feel like a lot of no’s or maybe’s? 

A lot has been going on behind the scenes of the floral industry and it may take a few more years before it can operate as smoothly as it did pre-pandemic. When the lockdowns began in 2020, with nowhere to go, massive crops of flowers were left to waste and die in the fields of flower farms spanning as far as Holland, Ecuador and beyond. Many went out of business, some farms planted less for the following years to come, and others moved away from growing event-quality florals to ones for major supermarket chains. Even as some farms are slowly switching back to event flowers, the process is time-consuming and laborious, having to wait until harvest-time to uproot and begin a new cycle. As if that weren’t enough, add on the poor weather conditions experienced in the major growing areas from the past year yielding low growth, transport delays from ground and air occurring on a weekly-basis, labor shortages, the rising costs of fuel, and inflation – all at a global-level and you can see.. wow.. what a sh*tshow.

So what does that mean when you sit with your floral designer?

Because of all that unpredictability, it means we truly do have a flower shortage at a time when there are more weddings and special events than ever. But trust your floral designer! Knowing what we know, we are finding creative ways to flower your event.

Flexibility is Key
While everyone in the industry is working their best, it might mean we won't be able to get particular flower in that particular color and we won’t know ahead of time. While we may not be able to promise that perfect color rose, we might, instead, have several other flowers available to us that will give the same effect within your budget! 

Prepare for a Little More Sticker Shock
Because of supply and demand, flowers are more expensive per stem, sometimes double the price now at wholesale/market. It may mean being ok with less or finding more creative ways to deliver a visual effect of abundance – maybe using larger face flowers, focusing on really wow elements for your event vs providing florals for every part of your day. (See “The Best Ways to Spend Your Floral Budget”), or incorporating non-floral elements to your decor. Discuss ideas with your floral designer to see what you can move around in terms of budget.

Hire a Floral Designer for Their Overall Design Style
Trust is a huge factor in your relationship with your wedding vendors and especially at this time with your florist. When looking for a florist to work with you, consider their overall style and breadth of work. While all florists are able to emulate an inspo photo or copy an example if you request it, if changes need to be made on the fly, you will feel far more comfortable with a florist whose style you resonate with – either in their signature style or their adaptability and range. 

One would hope you could rely on knowing how your flowers would look for that day but this is the time to truly trust your florist and know they are working their absolute best to create something beautiful for you regardless!