Florists make up for the lack of flowers during the wedding boom

Baskets of bouquets, boutonnieres and flower girls. Flowers can be considered as one of the most essential things for a wedding. With about 2.47 million weddings taking place in the US this year, 2022 will have the most weddings since 1984, according to Wedding Reports, a research company that tracks and forecasts wedding industry data.

Chicago is on par with this national trend. Last year, Cook County, which saw 25,869 weddings in 2021, ranked fourth out of 3,109 counties for the most marriages, according to the Wedding Report.

Celebrations postponed due to COVID-19 are one of the cited reasons for the boom. And while florists are seeing a growth in the business, they must also know how to meet the high demand with a shortage of flowers.

So far this year, demand has been overwhelming, said Tara Weavers, creative director and lead designer of TaxFlora, a flower shop in Logan Square.

“The number of inquiries we were receiving for 2022 weddings last year was almost unbearable and we are still receiving requests for 2022 weddings,” Weavers said.

Weavers has arranged flower arrangements for 12 weddings so far and more than a dozen are scheduled for the rest of the year.

“I was working more than 80 hours a week and pulling all-nighters on a weekly basis,” Weavers said. “When booking 2022 weddings last year, I set a strict limit on how many weddings I have booked for this year so as not to compromise the integrity of our work for our couples.”

Weavers said they aim for TaxFlora customers to have a design that is uniquely theirs. But to do so, she had to navigate providing the newlyweds as soon as possible with a shortage of the “usual suspects” such as peonies, ranunculus, and roses.

“Every day since COVID-19 there seems to be a new problem to solve,” Weavers said. “We have so many farms closed and suppliers are unable to provide our basic products that we are constantly pivoting and striving to provide our customers with what they want.”

Molly Kobelt, co-founder of Field & Florist, a flower farm and floral design studio with retail locations in Wicker Park and the Monadnock Building in the South Loop, is facing similar challenges to meet high demand, especially As well as securing hardgoods like vases and candles from .

“Previously, we used to get one to two inquiries a day,” Kobelt said. “Now, we regularly get four to six a day for weddings of all sizes.

“By the end of the year, we will have done 25 large-scale weddings and over 50 small events,” Kobelt said. “We are also receiving more last-minute requests than ever before.”

Field & Florist has a flower farm in Sawyer, Michigan, and grows flowers between April and October. Kobelt said and seasonal flowers are at the core of his business and design work.

“Now more than ever, we are relying on using seasonal blooms from our farm and other farms,” ​​Kobelt said. “Growing many of our own flowers allows us to focus on getting specialty varieties and colors not commonly seen in wholesale markets.”

Over the years, Kobelt said he noticed that muted rust and peach have remained popular.

Kobelt explained that Fields and Florists would have to limit the number of weddings based on the number of employees. Since the shop has two retail locations, the bandwidth thins between May and September when farming season and wedding season coincide.

Despite these obstacles, Kobelt said Fields and Florists will continue to focus on sustainable growing practices and unique blooms to attract people to their garden-inspired stores.

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