OK, so this title is a little misleading. The seasonality we want to talk about doesn’t refer to the amazing flowers that come and go each month, but the way that working with flowers changes throughout the year in a commercial sense.
For the specialist wedding florist the working year is essentially compressed in to a few months. The August Bank Holiday is the epicentre of UK weddings. People are (by some distance) most likely to get married on this weekend, while the surrounding months of June, July, August and September account for well over half the year’s weddings. There aren’t many industries in which your work is so truncated in to one season. There are advantages though - thankfully almost nobody gets married on Christmas day (about 25 couples a year in the whole country).
Flower deliveries follow a broadly opposite pattern. June, July and August are our quietest delivery months, because everyone is on holiday and/or saving for one. December is busy for 3 weeks then we close, while in January everyone is too busy to order flowers because they are so upset at how little money they have and how restrictive their new years’ resolutions have turned out to be.
Our busiest delivery day of the year is unsurprisingly Valentine’s day, but the weeks either side of it tend to be very quiet, since people are worried that if they send flowers people will think it’s for Valentine’s day and get creeped out. Mothers’ day is the second busiest, but doesn’t seem to suffer from the same proximity effect since very few people will make a similar assumption.
Workshops tend to be busiest in the Spring. We suspect this is mostly down to the novelty of the re-emergence of flowers invigorating everyone’s imagination and convincing them they’d want to work with flowers all day every day. Trust us. It isn’t for everyone.
At the time of writing (early July) we at Petalon have to pivot somewhat. Though we began as a purely flower delivery service we quite quickly got pulled in to the wonderful world of wedding floristry for purely creative reasons. Little did we realise that 5 or so years down the line we’d be a bit dependent on it to keep our machine grinding on throughout the lean summer months! A blessing in disguise in every way, it picks up as deliveries slow down and we suddenly find ourselves stepping away from the studio and driving around the country singing crap songs in a Luton van at stupid o'clock. Our new studio space design has centred around this capability to be more flexible in the way we work, switching from bouquet making to centre pieces and back again from morning to afternoon.
So seasonality can actually be pretty magic for us. It takes literally years to stop getting terrified that orders won’t come back up again after they go down in the summer, or that next year we won’t get the quantity or quality of wedding bookings that we’ve had in the past. But after those years have passed we’re nearly managing to just sit back and enjoy it this year. Nearly. And we have the privilege of variety that so many of us strike out on their own in search of. It brings fresh challenges and fresh panics, but once the autumn rolls back around we’ll be able to sit down with the steady stream of wedding photography and look back on some unique pieces of work.
You can check out our wedding work here. Even if you’re thinking of getting married on Christmas Day.
You can check out some more nerdy marriage statistics here