Common Mistakes: Thinking Flowers Are Too Fragile

fresh flowersI can’t tell you how many times I have heard my clients mention that If I install a job too early in the day the flowers will be wilting once the event begins. There is this great misconception that flowers are way more fragile than they actually are.

I am sure the florists would agree with me. The big secret is about how you take care of the flowers and how you plan the installation.

We have been know to do very elaborate sculptures with flowers, sometimes even out of water, and they last just perfectly. A great example, of course, is the hand-tied bridal bouquet. These bouquets can usually survive over 12 hours without wilting (depending on the type of flowers chosen).

Here are some tips for using flowers in events:

  • It’s vey important that the flowers are fully open and strong on the actual day of event. So, it’s up to you to figure out the correct timing of when to buy and when to put them water. I feel like I’m cheating my clients of the beauty of flowers if I use them closed.
  • I learned about the longevity of flowers out of water by testing them myself. Here’s how you can test: buy flowers, and put them in water until open fully. Then, take them out of the water and leave at room temperature to see how long they last before they start wilting. This practice is very important as you make hand-tied bridal bouquets or floral sculptures.
  • I have been asked a thousand times if I use silk flowers in my events. The answer is, yes, sometimes I do for ceiling installations. My rule is a very simple one. If a guest or client can actually reach out and touch my flowers, they are always fresh. If they can’t, sometimes they are silk.

How do you feel about using silk flowers in your events? Do your clients mind? Do you ever mix fresh and silk flowers together?

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  • http://YOURWEBSITE Gloria Brown

    Preston, this is a very interesting post and also a very important topic! Silk flowers have improved tremendously within the last few years! I use silk flowers, especially “real touch” flowers and they work great submerged in a vase of water. Last week I submerged real touch orchids in water (with acrylic ice on the bottom) for a friend on a budget. Her color was purple and she loved the display! http://www.downeastvintage.com/preston/submerged real touch.JPG

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Gloria Brown
  • http://YOURWEBSITE Erik H.

    Thanx for the tips Preston.
    Very nice Gloria.

  • http://YOURWEBSITE arlan dionaldo

    i always follow this rule: if the guest cnt touch the flower then it is permissible the flower is silk ones especially hydrangeas and phalenopsis. however, high quality ones are preferred of course.

  • http://www.ljflowers.com Laura

    Although I have never used silk flowers for any weddings, it seems like a really great alternative to arrangements that are hung from the ceiling…with the bride’s approval of course. I did do wedding centerpieces only for a bride that made her own silk flower hand helds…of course I could tell they were silk, but in the photos they did look real and vibrant. I also agree that flowers are a lot more hardy than most clients think they are. I cannot tell you how many brides worry that I am setting up too early…even when the flowers are in vases with water! You are right that it is all about timing and care! Thanks for the tip Preston!

  • http://www.thefrenchbouquettulsa.com/blog Savannah

    Great post. Preston! The battle between silk and natural is always a live one. Normally it’s always the natural choice for The French Bouquet, but occasionally if there’s something large scale, such as our bloom-decorated trees, it may be best to use the ‘ol silks. Basically, it’s what looks best, what works best, and what makes the client happy.

    But there isn’t anything quite as beautiful as a natural flower, perfectly opened, and surviving throughout the long nights’ event looking absolutely exquisite! Figuring out the blooming time and decorating timing is a fine art that we’ve been working on and perfecting over the years. Thanks for the inspiration and topic, Preston! Always a pleasure!

    Be sure to visit us and our blog at:
    http://www.thefrenchbouquettulsa.com/blog
    http://www.thefrenchbouquettulsa.com

    And our little green sister, Petite Fleur at: http://www.petitefleurtulsa.com

    All the Best,
    Savannah

  • http://www.heartfeltcreationsflorist.com Rai

    Since our studio deals mainly with brides on a tight budget, we use silk flowers all the time. We have brides now requesting all silk over fresh, simply because they like silk more. “Flowers die” is the main reason they give me for wanting silk. We will also mix fresh roses with silk hydrangea, or fresh greenery with silk flowers. Silk flowers can really stretch a dollar, and in this economy, its what is working for us!

  • http://www.blog.splendidaffairs.co.za Eve

    Too true!!!
    When we buy flowers for our home we expect them to last for a good few days!
    There is no reason why well conditioned flowers and well prepared containers/oasis should not last :-)
    Great post, as always!

  • http://www.dragonflyevent.com Thom Green

    Preston, you neglected to mention the miracle of Crowning Glory. I heavily spray everything. Case in point: I just finished cleaning out the truck from Saturdays BatMitzvah, the flowers are still perfect and without a water source. Use lots of it I say.

  • http://YOURWEBSITE DEBORAH DAWKINS

    I HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME WITH HYDRANGEA. WE HAVE REFRIGERATION, BUT THEY STILL BEGIN TO WILT BEFORE THE EVENT. NOT ALL OF THEM,BUT ENOUGH TO MAKE ME WANT TO PULL MY LOCKS!!

  • http://IDON'THAVEONE DEBORAH DAWKINS

    HYDRANGEA,HYDRANGEA,HYDRANGEA OH HOW THEY WILT! WE REFRIDGERATE THEM OVERNIGHT SPRAYING BEFORE AND AFTER AND STILL THEY WILT:(! WHAT’S A FLORAL DESIGNER TO DO? I FIND MYSELF ANXIOUS BEFORE THE EVENT WHEN I INCORPORATE HYDANGEAS-

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Tere

    Yes, I use silk flowers in all of my centerpieces because most of my brides can not afford fresh florals. I use the most life-like flowers I can find and most of the time their guests think they are real until they touch the centerpieces. Plus I use a flower scented spray (not to much) just to give the room a hint of floral smell.

  • http://www.fleurinjy.com Injy Teymour

    A tip to avoid hydregea to wilt is to heat the end of the stem from the bottom with a lighter or a candle , as it’s a wooden stem then place it in water.

    Priston I totally agree with choosing type of flowers & when to choose to order it… Cheers to all :)
    R

  • http://www.thinkstudiohouston.com Ryan S

    I ordered pussy willows today and they didn’t make it in. It was for a client sample today and I was absolutely forced to use artificial pussy willow. Once the client saw the arrangement, they weren’t aware that it was fake until I told them. I may start using them more often!

  • http://YOURWEBSITE sheena

    I long for the day to work with you…. It is my dream
    Aslo I am anticipating my wedding day…. i would looove u to coodinate it