When one thinks of Valentine’s Day, a heart-shaped vision of velvety red roses, artisan chocolates, poetic love notes, and a pricey prix fix menu often come to mind. After all, the first three of these expressions of love have been a hallmark of Valentine’s Day for more than two hundred years.
While I may be slightly biased because of my well-documented love of flowers, I believe giving flowers is the simplest yet most meaningful aspect of Valentine’s Day. Flowers can symbolize so many sentiments — from friendship and admiration to romance, love, or marriage. Alas, every February 14th horror stories surface on social media of flowers gone wrong—wilted blooms and, even worse, dying flowers and foliage.
So I turned to Audra Gannon, the owner of Flora Couture, a floral design business, to shed some light on ordering flowers the right way. Her shop caters strictly to weddings (like mine!) and larger special events—she does not deliver arrangements for holidays, such as Valentine’s Day—so her advice is objective! Feel free to forward this to the special person in your life you hope will be buying you flowers.
Britt: When should someone place a Valentine’s Day order?
Audra: The earlier, the better. I suggest at least 1-2 weeks ahead of Valentine’s Day. Ordering late in the game—February 12th or 13th—can be to your detriment. It will be difficult to accommodate special requests for color or flower type, and shops can run out of popular flowers and greens.
Britt: What’s the best way to order Valentine’s bouquets?
Audra: Support your local boutique florist! Florists are professionals; they can help you order the perfect arrangement. You will get a better product for your money, including higher-end florals and unique designs. There is also greater transparency about stock quality and availability.
Britt: But what about online?
Audra: While online companies are convenient for distant loved ones, having been on the giving and receiving end of online orders, I am rarely satisfied. If you must order online, keep in mind that appearances can be deceiving. If the photo boasts six roses, for example, that is what you get…in the entire arrangement. In other words, arrangements can look less full or foliage-heavy in person. If you insist on online orders, try upscale options Calyx Flowers or The Bouqs, the latter of which will not ship a vase with your order.
Britt: How much should one spend?
Audra: Be prepared to state your budget, but expect to spend at least $85 for a vase arrangement. Remember that smaller arrangements can be nice for office delivery. Not everyone—including me—has the desk space!
Britt: Since it’s Valentine’s Day, are roses the best (or only?) option?
Audra: Roses are traditionally associated with Valentine’s Day and are loved by many, but there are definitely those who do not care for roses, and those who prefer non-traditional arrangements. Potted plants are excellent alternatives to traditional vase arrangements. A client of mine once ordered a potted Phalaenopsis orchid for his wife and a succulent garden for his daughter. How unique!
Britt: Do you recommend any shops locally?