The Problem with Peonies

Peonies.  Fluffy, romantic and ever so trendy right now.  9 out of 10 brides I talk to tell me that they “love peonies”, and whats not to love?  They are soft and feminine, very romantic, and come in some yummy colors.  Pinterest and bridal magazines are filled with peonies which of course, makes them very desired by brides.
If you have your heart set on peonies for your wedding, there are some considerations you need to make and also realize that they might not always meet your expectations.  Here’s some thing to know about this very popular flower:

Availability.  In California, these flowers are usually available from March to mid-July with a prime grow season of April and May.  Other places that grow them are Alaska (June-September), Chile and New Zealand (October-December), and Holland (September/October).  There are also some farms in Canada and a few other places, but not as big of a production as the others listed.

Size.  All the pictures show the big, beautiful, snowball-looking blooms, but those are only available in the prime grow time.  Most peonies are about the size of an egg when they first start to open.  Still beautiful, in their own way, but they aren’t always as big as you see them in pictures.  Definitely something to remember if you are hoping for a bouquet of all peonies.

Price.  The cost of these flowers is almost ridiculous.  Wholesale, the least I spend is $36 for 5 flowers.  That is about $7-$8 per flower.  Then factor in the shipping costs of the flowers from other countries, and you are looking at about $10 per flower.  The only way for florists to make any money off of them is to charge 3-4x the going rate.  Now you may be asking, 3-4x the amount!!!  Thats $30-$40 per flower!  Well, getting them ready for the big day takes some work.  They arrive in tight balls that we need to pamper and coax open.  Usually takes about three days of constant care for these flowers.  Then there are the buds that never open which means we have to buy extras to make sure you get the big fluffy flowers.  Once open, they also tend to have a short shelf life, so we have to time the opening just right to get it into the bouquet and then quickly get it in a cool environment so they can stay nice and fluffy for the wedding.

Now don’t be discouraged!  You too can have peonies in your bridal bouquet.  You just have to be prepared for the cost and, if its off season, be thrilled if your florist can get their hands on peonies or be willing to have a second choice.  Let me tell you, it is a miracle to find them off season!  If you aren’t able to fit the cost of a peony or two in your budget, then think of garden roses.  They are a little less expensive then peonies (but not much!) and give you the same soft, fluffy, romantic look.

Good luck with the planning of your wedding!  If you are interested in finding out more information about peonies or my services, contact!