According to national industry averages, the floral bill for most weddings is $1100. Los Angeles’ higher cost of living can boost average wedding flower prices to $2000 - $3000 and it’s not uncommon to see a $15,000 floral bill for an elaborate Westside wedding.
This year we’re seeing more DIY brides and their planning teams balancing their spending priorities with elegant DIY wedding flower bouquets and arrangements designed with bulk flowers from the Los Angeles Wholesale Flower District - a six block area of wholesale flower growers and importers in Downtown Los Angeles.
It’s become much easier for Southern California DIY brides to discount wedding flower costs 75 – 80 percent without sacrificing style. There are many weblogs, communities, books and resources to guide and inspire crafty DIY brides. Two blogs, the Southern California based http://www.greylikesweddings.wordpress.com and http://www.diybride.com are rich with floral motifs, shared experience, organizing templates and fashionista style. One of our favorite books to guide DIY florists with floral design basics and flower type selection is the Frugal Florist: Do-It-Yourself Flowers on a Budget by John Klinger
This is the first of a series of DIY tips for navigating the Los Angeles Wholesale Flower District to plan, purchase and produce professional quality wedding flower bouquets and arrangements using DIY friendly wholesale bulk flower sources at the California Flower Mall to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your wedding floral budget.
To begin, get acquainted with the geography and the subtleties of doing business here. The Downtown LA Wholesale Flower District is a six block area of wholesale flower growers and importers located in the Los Angeles Fashion District between 7th and 9th St and Wall and San Pedro Street.
While the main business of the district is wholesaling flowers to florists, some markets also court the DIY wedding trade. The 50 vendor California Flower Mall, the newest premier market comprising one half block of the six block district, leads the trend in catering to the DIY florist. CFM is a full service flower mart with amenities that makes it easy for DIY wedding planning teams to do business: a hospitality lounge for meetings, free front door secured parking, extended operating hours seven days a week – Sunday hours are designed to accommodate those with busy work week schedules - and, distinct from other markets admission is free.
It is important to note when navigating the district that the two original flower markets on Wall Street between 7th and 8th St. brand themselves with a website named the Los Angeles Flower District. Many DIY bridal teams post mixed experiences sourcing bulk cut flowers from the Wall St. flower markets which cater heavily to the trade using a floral trade “badge program” to limit wholesale purchasing options for unregistered buyers. They also limit hours of public access, and charge admission and parking fees to limit general public traffic.
Distinguishing which of the hundreds of flower vendors here are DIY friendly can be daunting to first time buyers – with so many choices many wonder where to start. DIY brides and their planning teams are invited to make the California Flower Mall their wedding flower home base. Next time we’ll share tips on planning a visit to LA’s Wholesale Flower District to select a wholesale wedding flower vendor and assembling a DIY wedding floral team to coordinate personal, church and reception flowers.