Murphy said most brides spend between $499 and $1,799 on a bridal gown, with the average at about $1,200.
“I’ve done this for 14 years. The prices have gone up and what people are willing to pay has gone up. Even five years ago we were thinking, can we sell a $1,000 dress?”
People decide what they want for a gown and they will cut their budgets in other ways if they have to to pay for it.”
A conversation about flower trends with Van Tol at Hilltop Florist quickly turns to burlap as well.
“We’ve seen the burlap and country look for a while,” Van Tol said. “But now it’s moving more toward Victorian/classical.
“We work hard to keep up with the trends, for the regular store and for weddings. Our wholesalers have classes we go to on what’s new and on the mechanics of how to put (arrangements) together,” Van Tol said.
Those mechanics have also gotten more complex, going from simple corsages to complex body flower jewelry with beads and bling.
“Weddings are really specialized and require somebody that’s experienced. We pride ourselves on that. The mechanics are important, you don’t want it to fall apart.”
Hilltop usually has from one to four weddings on any given weekend and business has spread throughout the year. “It used to be a spring thing but now it’s year around. September and October are very popular.”
Van Tol said flower costs for a wedding can range from $200 to $4,000. “The average is from $800 to $1,500, depending on the number of bridesmaids they have and whether they do fresh arrangements for center pieces,” she said.
“We work with the couples on the price ranges because it’s very individualized. I had a bride in a few days ago where they’re doing it very simple and going to a Justice of the Peace on Monday morning.”