Dear Beautiful Brides/Grooms/Lovers Alike,
So, your big day is just around the corner and you’re wondering what could go wrong. Everything from contacting the vendors to seating arrangement is surely running through your mind.
As you tie up all the loose ends, you’re probably realizing that your flower orders are about to arrive. Panic can set in pretty quickly. Is it enough? Should you have ordered less? But the biggest question is, how do you keep the flowers alive and fresh for your big day?
Your flowers should arrive 2-3 days before your wedding and will need care during those days. If you’re DIY-ing your own wedding florals and are doing more than just a few stems of roses here and there, you might want to take note.
The Proper Tools
Flowers come in all different kinds of varieties, and each typerequires its own special care. No matter the flower though, these itemsare always needed in order to set you up for success:
- A pair of sharp scissors.I prefer a pair of sturdy sheers for those thick stems that scissors might not be able to cut through. For all other stems, I use a floral knife, but if this isn’t your everyday gig, I would stick to sheers for safety reasons.
- Buckets. Buckets. Buckets.Not just any buckets with water, but a clean sanitized bucket. Dirty buckets will kill your flowers over-night.
- A rose dethorner and gloves and other tools.
For a smooth process, I recommend preparing everything you’ll need the day before your flowers are expected to arrive. Fill the buckets with water, set up a few work tables, and for the more delicate flowers, gather smaller containers.
When your flowers arrive, immediately unbox, de-thorn, shed off all leaves, cut at an angle (ALWAYS) and put into water. The standard rule of thumb is: once a stem is cut, you have less than 10 seconds to put it in water. A stem is like a vein, once cut, the “skin” will want to heal itself and start the catalyzing process much like a scab forming. If you don’t put it into water immediately, then it heals over and won’t be able to absorb water.
Roses are a special kind of situation. They are generally packed in a standard quantity of 25 stems per box with the heads wrapped in cardboard boxes.This is because roses tendto droop. Instead of unwrapping the roses, grab your shearsand cut off an inch of the stems, then put them into the water. Don’t worry too much that you’re breaking the 10-second rule. The flowers will still absorb water, and the cardboard will keep the rose bloom straight. Let it sit that way for an hour, then you can begin the process mentionedin the paragraph above. This way, the roses are well hydrated and you won’t have droopy blooms!
For greenery, I cut any (🌹)that doesn’t have a woody stem, such as eucalyptus. Woody stems, like willow, I leave in the boxes. They don’t need water to survive and can last for a week. Less work is always better when you’re on a time crunch!
Allow your flowers to drink over-night. Avoid putting them in direct sunlight unless it’s less than 2 days before the event and you need them to bloom immediately. Put them in the coolest part of your house. Most cases, it’s your basement or living room.
For roses, take off the guard petals (petals that are on the very outside of the head) and carefully pick out any bruised petals. There shouldn’t be a lot, but it happens as transporting anything can cause some damage. These flowers havetraveleda long way to your home! They may get a little beat up, but once you pick out the petals, your flower will be good as new.
Special case, special care: Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas can be very tricky. Just like the name implies, they LOVE water. Their stems are very thick and sometimes, depending on the variety they can be wood like. That is what the strong sheers are for!
Cut them at an angle and split a bit of the stem down the middle. Since their stems are so big, one cut isn’t enough for it to soak in water. If you find a hydrangea that doesn’t look so good, don’t worry! They’re just a little dehydrated. If it doesn’t perk up after being in water, take it out and submerge the entire head into a bucket of room temperature water. Let it sit there for about an hour then carefully removeexcess water (Insert how). Re-cut the stem and put it back in water. Their petals are where they absorb the most water, not from their stems. After submerging, it will feel heavy. Let it drip, don’t try to shake it off or else you’ll break the stems.
Hydrangeas are afraid of heat and are never recommended for outdoor weddings in the summer, especially if there isn’t a water source. If you must have it in your bouquet, make sure to mist it overnight and even the day of. Most likely, it will be out of the water for picture taking and such. I bring my own little mister, just in case. This keeps your bouquets looking fresh on your day throughout the entire day!
Finishing Touches: Essential care
Flowers can be tricky. They’re the one aspect of the wedding that doesn’t last long but that you also can’t order the quantity and type last minute either. Unlike a cake, or linens, you can’t waltz into a Kroger and grab 100 stems morning of. Essential care makes a huge difference.
Once you’re done arranging your bouquets, cut the stems and put it in water. Same for centerpieces.
Things you should NOT do:
- Overpackyour flowers in a bucket. If it looks too squished, you might need another bucket. Without enough room, they can’t bloom as well and you might end up killing a few stems.
- Always order more than you think you’ll need. Flowers can die. You might lose a rose or two. I usually end up with a small number of left-over flowers.
- Not shedding off the leaves. Leaves sitting in water will create bacteria. So, unless your house is a floral cooler, where it is cold enough to slow down the bacteria growing process, you should get rid of all the leaves.
- Using an old pair of scissors or dull knife. Nothing kills a bloom faster than a badly cut stem. The dullness will squish the stem and the flower be able to get water.
Overall, flowers are such a joy to care for and create amazing arrangements! Take your time in the process and enjoy the blooms!
I hope you find this article helpful! Any comments, questions, or suggestions arewelcome in the comment section.
Till next time!
Happy wedding planning