How to accomplish your DIY wedding during a time of social distancing
Weddings were difficult enough to prepare for before a pandemic swept the nation, but now, with social distancing to account for, there’s even more challenges to overcome. Your choice in florist can either help you smooth the path to the altar, or add more hurdles to your wedding plans.
If you are looking to cut costs and still have fresh, beautifully arranged bouquets at your wedding, the do-it-yourself route will be the best option with the highest value. You’ll be able to order flowers in bulk straight to your home or venue, and if you choose the right florist, you can order them straight from the source. But, there are lots of DIY florists to explore online.
When you’re looking for the right florist, especially online, you’ll need to ask the right questions to ensure you’re getting the highest quality flowers at the best value. If you know what you’re looking for, and what to ask, your flowers will be beautiful and affordable.
So, what should you ask a virtual florist before you hire them?
At Alma, we are experts in our industry and we know what makes a great florist and what to watch out for. To help you find the best florist for your DIY wedding, we’ve compiled a list of the most important questions you should ask when looking for the best virtual florist.
Flowers are typically picked a few days before they bloom, so if you receive flowers that haven’t opened up yet, you know they are truly farm-fresh. Many florists will send you flowers that have already bloomed either the day before or the day of your wedding, which means they could be anywhere from a few days to a week old. If your wedding flowers are already multiple days old, they can quickly start to look tired through the day — especially those used in the bridal party bouquets and corsages due to lack of water. At Alma, all of our flowers are picked straight from the source and shipped within 24 hours, so you never have to worry about drooping petals.
Learn where your flowers are coming from so that you have an idea of how far they are traveling. Flowers sourced from other countries will typically be less fresh and more expensive than US-grown flowers. At Alma, our farms are primarily California-based, with some in Oregon and Washington. All of our flowers are grown right here in the United States.
Different florists have different processes from farm to vase. Some are cut and tightly packaged and shipped to a local florist, where they will be kept cold in water for multiple days until they are sold. At Alma, we cut the stems on the farm, arrange the flowers and package them immediately. When they arrive, they show up just as they looked only hours after leaving the ground.
Flower waste is a large yet little discussed contributor to environmental harm, so choosing a florist that is eco-friendly is another important consideration in your search. Ask your potential florist how they manage flower waste, such as cut stems. At Alma, our flowers are picked per order and sent direct-to-consumer, so there are no stems being cut to waste away at a warehouse. You also receive your bouquets in sustainable boxes that are decomposable.
Often, florists will specialize in pre-made bouquets or customizable options, where you can buy individual stems and mix-n-match them to your liking. Think about which option you would prefer, and make sure to check in with potential florists to see what they cater to. At Alma, we actually offer both premade bouquets and mix-n-match options.
Finally, you should be aware of how many people are a part of your floral purchase, for financial transparency as well as managing public health concerns. Often, flowers pass through a number of “middle men” before they make it to the bride. Typical distribution chains go something like this: farm, distributor, wholesaler, florist and customer. At Alma, our flower journey is from farm to customer, skipping the steps in between
Many florists are accustomed to orders that are half a year prior to your wedding date, however, some allow you the flexibility to place your order much closer to your wedding day. Ordering from a florist too early can result in phone calls before your event, letting you know they are out of stock — maybe on the statement flower you were really hoping for. Determining your timing will help you throughout the wedding planning process, so you can figure out how quickly you need to make prudent floral decisions. At Alma, we are dedicated to providing our customers with fresh, in-season flowers, so our orders can be made no further than two weeks before your event.
If you’re looking for a virtual florist that can deliver fresh, beautifully arranged bouquets straight from the source, visit our website and explore our fresh picks. We are floral suppliers and florists, which allows us to care for you and your flowers better!