The day to design your wedding flowers is quickly approaching. You’ve made your order, and you’re now weeks or days away from the arrival of your flowers. There are some crucial tips and tricks on what not to do. Wedding flowers are an investment no matter the size of your wedding budget, and by avoiding these mistakes, your flowers will be nothing but fabulous on your wedding day. So start gathering your buckets, shears, and designing space and read along as I share the 5+ mistakes that you can make with your wedding flowers. This list has been complied with real-life comments and feedback from customers and professional advice from myself and Emily (our In-House Wedding Consultant) who have worked in the flower shop setting. We both have seen firsthand how things can go sideways pretty quickly.
Not getting your flowers into water quick enough
It’s amazing how long flowers can go without water. They are snipped from our partner farms and delivered fresh to your doorstep. Once your flowers arrive, you should cut their stems and place them in water as quickly as possible. You may notice your flowers might arrive looking a little sleepy. This is 100% normal and this is why your flowers need to begin hydrating immediately. Our operations team has calculated how long your flowers can be out of water before they become unusable, which is timed perfectly with your delivery. If you miss this window, it becomes increasingly difficult for the flowers to be recovered. This means that you absolutely cannot keep your flowers or greenery in the box. Everything in the box needs water once it has arrived. This also means that once your flowers are designed, your bouquets need to be stored in a vase of water. Pro Tip: Flowers should be placed in water no longer than 30 seconds after they are snipped. The cells in their stems work to close or heal after cut, and if you don’t place them in the water quick enough, their veins will not properly open to receive the best hydration. Designing a garland with flowers for your special day? Not to worry, water tubes will keep those blooms fresh and hydrated while the rest of the greenery can be displayed without water.
Setting flowers in front of the window
You might think that because flowers need the sun to grow, that they would enjoy it once they are cut. But unfortunately, that is one of the most harmful things you could do to your flowers. The sun puts off heat, and when placed in the light of an open window, this heat will rapidly accelerate the blooming process of your flowers. It could age your flowers by days in the manner of hours, leaving them wilted, droopy, and losing petals. Pro Tip: The best place to store your flowers, both during hydration and after they are designed is in a refrigerator, no colder than 40 degrees, or a dark and low-temperature closet or basement to keep your blooms cool.
Placing your flowers near draft
A draft can be found in front of an open window or from air vents. Much like the sun, the constant stream of air will prematurely bloom your flowers. Drafts agitate the flowers and can also dry them out. The agitation comes in the form of the air putting the flowers in a constant state of movement. This movement ages them quicker and can result in bruising, wrinkling, or petal loss. The air stream, whether it’s constant or on a cycle will trick the flower into thinking it needs to drink more water. Then, the flowers will either drink the water in their bucket or vase much quicker, which can lead to them sitting in no water. Or the shock of the draft will stress the flowers out, leading to their petals becoming transparent, veiny, and old. Pro tip: While you should store your flowers in a cool space, make sure you place them as far away from the source of the air conditioning unit as possible. You can diffuse an air vent with fabric or cardboard in a pinch.
Transporting your flowers in an uncovered truck bed or open window
Getting your flowers from your design space to the venue can be tricky, especially if you have a multitude of centerpieces and other arrangements. A truck might offer the most space to transport all of your pieces in one trip, but without being covered, you will destroy your flowers. Normal driving speeds put a direct stream of air onto the petals and greenery. Would you grab a flower by the stem and whip it through the air? Of course not. The inertia from either will strip the petals off the stems, leaving them bald unrecognizable, and unusable. This advice also goes for driving your flowers with the window rolled down. Pro Tip: Transport your flowers in a vehicle with reliable AC. If the weather is hot, cool the car down before you place the flowers inside, and make sure the vents face away from the flowers. If the weather is cold, you can heat your car to a semi-comfortable level but should try and keep the cab on the cooler side as you do not want to overheat the blooms. If you need more space, renting a van from a moving company is a handy resource. Check out this video on how to easily transport your centerpieces!
Storing your flowers in too hot or too cold temps
This mistake was discussed above, but I wanted to share a little more about this topic. You can ruin your flowers beyond all recognition by getting them either too hot or too cold. Flowers should be kept in a room, fridge, or an area that does not exceed 70 degrees and is not cooler than 40 degrees. Keep in mind that this advice does not apply to the venue or when pictures are being taken. The flowers can spend a few hours in hot temperatures with proper hydration, but when it comes to storage, try to keep your flowers in the recommended temperatures. Flowers that are exposed to too much heat for more than 12 hours will begin to wilt, drop petals, and grow bacteria at a much faster rate. And flowers that are kept at cooler temperatures will take much longer to open or potentially freeze and be ruined. It should also be said that if you plan to use something like a recreational cooler to keep your flowers cool, you should monitor the temp of the cooler, as well as make sure that the flowers never touch the ice.
Taking flowers out of water too soon
Whether the stems are loose or arranged, flowers should only be out of water for no more than 30 minutes. Once a stem leaves the water it is still searching for water to drink. Its veins will start to close off and begin to dry out. When designing, try to leave your stems in the water until you need them. Do not lay them out on a table for the duration of your arranging. This would mean that they are only out of water for a matter of seconds, going from their hydration bucket to your vase filled with water. Arrangements that will be used during your wedding, like your bouquets, should be kept in a vase of water until the very last second. Now for items like boutonnieres, flower crowns, and dog collars, that you have to cut down to a smaller stem size or remove the stem entirely, hydration becomes more difficult. By keeping these arrangements in a cooler, the low temperature works to slow the process of deterioration. Pro Tip: Design your boutonnieres with an extra inch of stems left on. You can keep them hydrated by putting them into water tubes and then cut them to the desired length once your wedding or event is about to start.
Keep the water in your buckets and vases fresh
As living organisms, flowers and greenery naturally have bacteria. Once in the water, the stems will naturally grow. This bacteria can lead to the destruction of your flowers which can be seen by their petals wilting, browning, or other showing other signs of petal damage. There are a few ways to keep bacterial growth down. If you don’t have flower food, change the water in your buckets or vases once every 24 hours. If you have flower food, you will only need to add water instead of replacing all of the water. You should keep your flowers in a cool place as warmer temperatures will speed up the bacteria’s growth. Pro Tip: Keeping your vases and buckets clean is one of the best ways to reduce forms of harmful bacteria from growing. Be sure to clean each water receptacle with hot water, soap, and a drop of bleach before your flowers are stored in them.
Managing your time while designing your flowers
Taking on the task of designing your own wedding flowers is something that anyone can do. But one thing I hear often is the surprise at how long designing takes. As a professional florist, it would take me an average of 30-40 minutes to design one bridal bouquet. When the time comes to design your own flowers, time management is essential. Gather a team to help you in this process. It’s a fun way to bond with family and friends, and involve others in the fun of your wedding. Having many helpers will also diminish the amount of time your flowers need to be out of the water and can get back into proper storage. Don’t forget, FiftyFlowers offers many helpful tips and tricks on our YouTube channel on how to design flowers for your special day.
There are many important details to keep in mind when designing your own, and after reading this blog, you’ll be even more prepared. Our customer service team is always one click away and able to answer any extra questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Youtube and Social Media for the latest updates and professional advice on your wedding flowers.