Protect Your Wedding Flowers
Image credit: flowers-timms, Unsplash
The History of the Wedding Flower
Flowers are an integral part of any wedding. The use of flowers during wedding ceremonies developed out of the ancient practice of adorning brides and grooms with aromatic herbs and garlic, to ward off evil spirits and give the happy couple an auspicious start. Gradually, herbs and spices gave way to aromatic flowers.
The oldest known book on flower-arranging is Japanese and dates from 1445. Flower-arranging as an art form was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks, who learned it while in China.
Golden Apple of Discord: did you know that the practice of the bride throwing a wedding bouquet over her shoulder for a single woman to catch comes from Greek mythology? The goddess Eris tossed an apple in the middle of the feast of the gods at the wedding of Peleus & Thetis as a prize of beauty, thus sparking a dispute among Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite that led to the Trojan War!
Floriography is communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. Ultimately, flowers will have different meanings for different people and cultures, so it’s just about selecting what feels right to you. Can’t think of the flowers that would make sense for your wedding? Well, you could always consult an online flower dictionary (in case you didn’t know that was a thing).
Arrangements today are used mostly for their decorative and visual appeal. Enter Instagram, Kim & Kanye. Kim’s impressive wedding day flower wall [Amazon Affiliate Link] was built to match her Givenchy dress!
Most Popular Wedding Flowers
Some flower types are more suited to weddings than others. Let’s review some of the most popular flower types for weddings:
- Rose: of course we must begin with the classic rose, widely considered a symbol of beauty & love; you cannot go wrong with these at your wedding.
- Nosegay: these small flower bouquets are especially suited to weddings.
- Ranunculus: ideal for spring, summer or fall weddings, the budget-friendly & cheerful ranunculus has yellow or white bowl-shaped flowers.
- Peonies: showy flowers ideal for spring or summer weddings, traditionally pink, white or red.
- Hydrangeas: with rounded or flattened flowering heads of small florets, hydrangeas are a beautiful choice for any wedding.
6 Tips to Protect Your Wedding Flowers
Flowers are delicate things and need to be protected. Wedding flowers can be insured as part of a wedding insurance package, but that will only help save the day if you discover the damage in time to submit a claim and order replacements (there are other things insurance can cover—we’ll talk about that later). Also, some things that can damage flowers won’t be covered by an insurance policy, like mold, mildew & spores, improper handling, or wear and tear. Here are some pro tips to help get those flowers to the ceremony safe and fresh as a dahlia.
- Unbox & Bucket
Get your flowers out of their boxes and into water buckets as soon as possible. Keep the boxes so you can transport the flowers later. Remove any plastic wrapping, paper, foam, or string. Store the flowers in buckets of different sizes to match the lengths of the stems and hold the flower bunches together neatly, so they’re not squished. The wrong sized bucket can damage your flowers.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Flowers are thirsty, and they need clean, fresh water. Check the water levels regularly (every hour or so) when they’re fresh out of the box, as they may need to be refilled. The flowers should be sitting in about 4 inches of water. Change the water every 24 hours, and use flower food—if the flowers call for it! You can purchase flower food from any local florist, but speak with them first, as some varieties actually do not like flower food.
- Trimming and prepping the stems
Immediately after getting your flowers in water, you should be trimming and prepping the stems. Remove foliage that falls below the water line, as this may cause bacteria or rot. Use sharp scissors, and trim the tips of the stems at an angle. If you don’t make a clean cut, you could damage the stems and prevent water absorption. An angled cut creates a larger surface area to absorb water, and keeps the stems from sitting flat in the bucket, blocking the water-absorbing cells.
- Store in a cool, dry place
Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight. If they’re looking perfect, keep them dark and cool. Do not refrigerate flowers, as the temperatures are too cold and may cause damage (unless they’re dahlias or peonies that are about to burst – these varieties can handle refrigeration). If they need to bloom a little bit more, put them somewhere warmer and brighter but still out of direct sun, as this may damage the flowers.
Also, keep flowers away from fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies emit ethylene gas as they ripen, and this tells other flowers to drop their petals and turn into fruits and veggies themselves. Or maybe you want to walk down the aisle with a basket of fruits and veggies? Could be… tasteful?
Keeping flowers cool, fresh, and fed is easy, compared to the perils of transportation. Use those flower boxes [Amazon Affiliate Link] you didn’t throw away (remember?) to create a carrying case for your arrangements. Cut ‘X’s into the box lid, and push the arrangements through the ‘X’s so they’re sitting snugly inside the box. Cut smaller ‘X’s for hand-held arrangements, larger ‘X’s for vases.
The stems should be tucked safe inside the box with the flowers sitting nicely on top. This prevents the arrangements from shifting around during transportation. You may need two people to move the boxes, depending on how heavy the vases are.
- Get Wedding Flower Insurance
Adding a Wedding Enhancement Package onto your Front Row Wedding Liability Insurance policy will cover loss or damage to any wedding flowers during the period of 7 days prior to the wedding date shown on the individual binder of insurance online and up to 24 hours after the reception date shown on the individual binder of insurance issued online. It can also cover costs of rearrangement. Say you have to reschedule the entire wedding, because a hurricane has grounded flights and your extended family won’t be able to attend. The florist has already delivered their shipment. They’re not obligated to give you a second flush, but a good insurance policy can cover those extra, unanticipated costs.
Wedding insurance may also cover “failure of supplier” due to bankruptcy, liquidation or insolvency. What? You hadn’t thought about what to do if your florist goes bankrupt right before the wedding? Well, your insurance broker has. Let them worry about hurricanes and bankruptcies. You’ve probably got enough to worry about.
6 Tips to Protect Wedding Flowers
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