These questions will help you when choosing a florist for your wedding, price isn’t everything – knowledge is!

1. When do you get the flowers for the wedding?

Most flowers arrive at the beginning of the week of your wedding. Some flowers even arrive the week before. This won’t mean your flowers are “old” it means that they will be fully open and at their most perfect. Some flowers can take up to 7 days to fully open (lilies in particular) so you don’t your florist to be getting the flowers 2 days before the wedding, as they might not open in time. As well, if flowers that were ordered come in totally damaged or otherwise unusable, the extra time gives the florist a chance to reorder that flower or find a suitable substitution.

2. When do you create the bouquets?

It seems like the right answer would be as close to the wedding ceremony as possible, but this is not correct. Flowers can bruise and these bruises, just like on you or I, develop over time. This bruising can be caused in shipping or while creating the bouquets or other floral pieces. Be creating the bouquets a day or so before the wedding the florist can monitor any bruising and take care of any potential problems. When made at the last minute (night before or morning of) sometimes the bruising starts showing up just as you are posing for your first pictures. Not good.

3. What happens if my flowers become unavailable?

Flowers are a product of nature and nature can sometimes wreck havoc. When booking your flowers try to stick with flowers readily available and in season. If your flower comes in damaged or quite frankly doesn’t come in at all – Don’t Panic! Your florist should have a number of different suppliers that they deal with and more than likely will be able to get in your flower from somewhere else.  But if your flower is not available anywhere, they should be able to recommend a substitution that will still give you the same overall feel.  So yes, while your Grandmother carried Lily if the Valley in her bouquet and you wanted to as well, but now the flowers didn’t come. Ask yourself, will it ruin your wedding not to have it in your bouquet –  the answer is No. Instead, to honour your Grandmother, why not have a picture setup at the church or incorporate her image in a small cameo that is placed in your bouquet. A creative florist will always be able to come up with something.

4. Do you treat the flowers with anything?

Another big reason flowers don’t last is that they start drying out – not from the stem but from the bloom! Verify that you florist will spray your flowers and completed bouquets, boutonnières and corsages with an anti-desiccant spray. This is a fancy word for a product that puts an invisible coating on the flowers that helps to prevent them from losing moisture by evaporation. The sprays go by names such as Crowning Glory, Finishing Touch and Hawaiian Mist.

5. Are the bouquets sent out in water?

You want your flowers to last as long as possible on your big day, so how your flowers come to you matters. If you are getting hand-tied bouquets, ensure they are sent out in vases of water.  Flowers start drinking as soon as you cut their stems, so they need to be in water to ensure that the cells of the flower stem are kept open. If they are not sent out in water the flowers continue to try and get water up the stem and instead end up sucking up air molecules. These molecules block the flower stem and long story short the flowers gets unhappy fast. If your bouquet is created in a hold of some kind, it has a built in water source, so you do not need to worry about it coming out in a vase of water.