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Help! Keeping flowers fresh

Hi everyone,
My fiance and I have been trying to figure out whether we should go with a florist, or do our own flowers (or even a mix of both). My fiance and I don't have any concerns about working with the flowers ourselves since we have experience with arranging them. I've gotten estimates from florists and have also made an estimate for ourselves for flowers, vases, supplies, etc. and it would save us a decent amount to do our flowers ourselves. I'm worried about the logistics of it though, because we'll be staying in a hotel near the venue (since we live further away) the night before the wedding, so we don't have to make the drive up there on the morning of the wedding. I guess the point I'm getting at is I'm worried about keeping the flowers cool and fresh overnight so they still look great for the wedding when we're at the hotel, since we won't have a large fridge/cooler to keep the flowers in. Has anyone done something like this, or have any tips/tricks/etc?

Re: Help! Keeping flowers fresh

  • Did you ask the venue if they have a refrigerated space? It was brought up to us by ours (we didn't think to ask), because our wedding is on a Sunday and a lot of florists are closed Sundays. You might try to see if they have a space they can keep cool. Some flowers are less temperamental as well, and may not require the refrigeration. It will depend on what you like.
  • Even though most florists are closed on Sundays many still will do deliveries (i.e. funerals, weddings, hospitals, FTD/Teleflora, etc.) when it's a special order. Don't base their storefront hours on whether they're available or not, base it on whether you've asked.. 

    Also, just because a site has a refrigerator doesn't mean it's set at the proper temperature for flowers.  Or, that they can even store flowers in there (food laws - which many site coordinators don't realize). 

    OP - have you actually given a florist your budget of what you're comfortable with spending or did you just give them a design/counts and let them dictate to you how much it's going to cost to pull it off?  There needs to be some negotiations put forth before you limit the idea of using a florist out entirely given what you've said thus far.  If you didn't give the florist the monetary amount you're comfortable with spending, they aren't mind readers, you need to go back and start figuring out how to get your vision to fit with your budget.  You'll have the same problem with cake if you used that approach because these involve creative elements in the value of time and skills.  The more ornate you go, the higher the price tag. 

    Recognize also that the value of your time the days leading up to the wedding is going to triple or more for whether or not you've got the time..  It's one thing if you're a florist for a living, with access to all supplies/materials/equipment/benches/etc..  It's another issue entirely when you're doing a time-sensitive DIY project in a location that you've also got to bring everything in with you, and factor in cleaning up the mess at.  Hotels typically won't provide things like the garbage cans necessary for cleaning up the mess.  You can keep your hotel room pretty chilled and be just fine but that's not necessarily comfortable for sleeping/getting ready.  It also may not save you a penny to DIY because of the add-on costs.  Sure, you can often save some money by buying vases in bulk to provide your florist, but it's minimal at best.  Also, check into wedding package deals through places like Sam's, Costco, FTD, Teleflora, etc. as that may be a viable option as well if there's absolutely no way a florist can take your order.  It's a lot easier to chop bases off of prearranged flowers than it is to do the arranging yourselves, or just grabbing them from a preselected delivery site from your florist when you really need to be entertaining your guests and preparing yourself for the major change you're about to make.  Consider those costs before partaking in ANY DIY project!

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