We asked Rowenna, owner of Botanica Flowers to give us a bit more insight into her company and to help brides understand exactly what goes into a wedding.
How long have you been in the wedding industry?
For 7 years.
What made you get into weddings specifically?
I thought that I wanted to own a flower shop, however after working in one for a while, I realised that I preferred the whole process involved in wedding flowers – creating a proposal with clients that depicts their vision and then turning this into a reality. I love the creativity involved, as well as getting to know my clients on a personal level, creating designs that are reflective of them. I love how my team and I can take a blank room and completely transform it into something breathtakingly beautiful.
Do you have to study to be a wedding florist?
In South Africa you do not. That is why I feel it is important that you review potential wedding florists’ past work to see their style and consistency to build the trust that they will deliver on your brief. Take the time to have a look at their previous weddings, paying close attention to the flowers and make sure you are happy with what you see.
How big is your team and how important is your team on a wedding day?
My team is my everything! The size of my team depends on how big and intricate the wedding setup is. I have my core team who are involved in most of my weddings and then if I need more help, I look to many of my floral friends and peers who also have their own businesses and work on a freelance basis. You need to have a skilled team who you can trust, especially for big weddings as you need your team to know how you work, be able to interpret your brief and follow through with beautiful designs.
How do you price your flowers for weddings, is it per person or does it depend on the type of flowers? We always get this question, “I have 100 people at my wedding, how much will my wedding flowers cost?” As professionals, we know that there is much more that goes into flowers, but can you explain this in more detail for those that are not sure how much these things cost?
Flower pricing is all dependent on the types of flowers wanted as well as the size and intricacy of the design. You have to remember that you are paying for more than just the cost of the flowers. It starts with the cost of the collection of flowers and decor from multiple suppliers, the preparation of the flowers, removal of packaging, cleaning of leaves and thorns on every stem. The cleaning and preparation of all vases. The designing of the arrangements. Transportation, unpacking all flowers and hired items. The styling of the flowers and decor on the tables. The completion of designs on site as well as the designing of installations such as arches and hanging structures which happen on the day. There is also the break down and pack up, and return of all hired items the day after the wedding. The time to create the proposal and all email correspondences also need to be included in this.
What trends do you see for flowers in 2021?
Less is more – Paying homage to the individual bloom. Smaller, more intimate weddings. Dried elements contrasted with fresh luxurious blooms. Using natural elements that are eco friendly. Floral design that is timeless and ties strongly to nature.
Do you have a minimum spend when it comes to weddings?
Yes I do, but this is also all relative to the amount of guests/the size of the wedding, which I take into account.
How many weddings do you do a year, and would you ever do more than one wedding on a wedding day?
I generally do between 30 – 40 weddings a year and generally do not do more than one wedding a day, because I feel that each of my clients deserves 100% focus on their special day.
I would love to explain to couples what exactly goes into setting up a wedding, can you give us an idea on how a typical day goes for you.
For an averaged sized wedding, we would start with collections of flowers from various wholesalers 2/3 days prior to the weddings, as well as the collection of hired decor items. Once the flowers are collected, they need to be prepped and conditioned and allowed time to drink. We also need to clean, and do all the mechanics for the vases as well as the mechanics for all of the other designs. The day before the weddings we will sort all the flowers according to all the designs needed and start on the table arrangements, bouquets and buttonholes. If we are unable to work at the venue, all the completed designs need to be carefully packed and transported to the venue. We normally leave very early on the day of the weddings as unpacking, checking arrangements and doing the designs on site all take a lot more time than we always think! We are normally on site for between 7-8 hours with between 4-6 staff members for an average sized wedding.
Do you supply other items besides just the flowers, or does the client need to get these items from another supplier?
We generally supply all table top decor items – tablecloths, napkins, candle holders, underplates etc to make sure your whole look comes together.
How has the lockdown and the corona virus pandemic impacted your work?
COVID has had a dramatic impact on our industry. Many weddings have been postponed to later dates and some cancelled which means my next season is full of last season’s clients, which has a negative financial impact on my business. We have had to be agile and look at new facets to the business, which has been challenging, a little daunting, but also quite exciting. We are now doing weekly beautiful bouquet deliveries, have started our online shop, and we are also involved in an online teaching platform teaching all things flowers!
Your top 5 tips for couples with regards to decor and flowers.
1. Choose a look and style that depicts you as a couple
2. Make sure this look and feel works with your chosen venue.
3. Don’t try to include everything you like on Pinterest/Instagram and put it into your flowers and decor
4. Choose a florist whose work you love
5. Give your florist some creative freedom – I guarantee this will lead to better, more awesome designs!
To get in contact Rowenna and chat about your wedding flowers, you can view all the details on her website: