Have you ever encountered a wedding client who firmly believes that a specific flower variety is the sole ticket to achieving their desired look? The culprit behind this mindset can often be traced back to the persuasive powers of social media, where non-floral designers sway individuals into thinking that a specific flower is the only path to a particular style. But fear not, for we’re about to share ways to navigate through this type of flower frenzy.
Picture: Our Moon Gate 55-0H59561-GD featured in a wedding shoot.
Seasonality of Flower Varieties
In the floral industry, we are well aware of seasonality, supply capacities, and environmental impacts on flower availability. While it’s true that most flowers can be obtained throughout the year, there are certain drawbacks when it comes to out-of-season blooms — their quality can be poor, colour varieties can be limited, and they tend to be more expensive.
That’s why it’s important to speak to your clients about these factors when planning their wedding florals. Clients won’t blame seasonal aspects for unavailable or high-priced, less-than-quality blooms. But they might use the unavailability of their desired flower variety to question your ability as a florist.
Focus on the Look, Not the Flowers
How can we encourage wedding clients to think about using different types of flowers when their wanted blooms are out of season? Tyler Paterson, Florists Supply Director of Cut Flower Operations, suggests a simple approach: “Focus on the look, not the flowers.” This means turning the client’s attention to the overall look desired rather than the specific flowers needed to create it. In other words, take in all given information and use it to present a unique vision that appeals to them. This will establish you as a reliable professional and allow you to offer a variety of options that will fit within a couple’s budget.
“Focus on the look, not the flowers.”– Tyler Paterson, Florists Supply Director of Cut Flower Operations
How to Suggest Substitutes for Fresh Flowers
It is important to communicate the seasonal reality of flowers. Highlight the pros of using in-season blooms in place of those requested out-of-season. Illustrate how other fresh options can achieve the look by showcasing them in samples or lifestyle pictures.
For example, local peonies have a short season, usually running from April through June. When they are sought out of season, garden roses are great recommendations to use instead. Many garden roses look like peonies, have year-round availability, and can be cheaper. Of course, you should work with your wholesaler to find the best possible blooms if your client insists on peonies. Still, it never hurts to discuss other options that offer the most value to your customer.
Fresh peony (left) vs. fresh garden rose (right)
Substitutions for Popular Wedding Flowers
View our list below for more flowers and their recommended substitutes:
- Waxflower: Leptospermum, Baby’s Breath, Rice Flower, Limonium Heather Statice and more.
- Dahlia: Chrysanthemums, Carnations, Clematis, Anemones, some Gerbera Daisy and more
- Ranunculus: Roses, spray roses, Anemones
- Tulips: Lilies, Alstroemeria, Spray Roses, Calla Lilies
- Delphinium Larkspur: Snap Dragons, Stocks, Gladioli, Bells or Ireland
- Hyacinth: Freesia, Asters, Tweedia, Hydrangea
Contact your Florists Supply Cut Flower CSR for more options.
Are Permanent Botanicals a Good Substitute for Fresh Flowers?
Occasionally a wanted flower doesn’t have a suitable substitute, or it holds a sentimental meaning to the wedding client and needs to be used. In such cases, a permanent botanical is a great alternative to its fresh counterpart.
Right now, roses like Quicksand and Playa Blanca are very popular for weddings and other special events. These roses come in unique colours and are wanted in markets around the world. As a result, the demand for them is high, but there are only so many stems to go around. And with such specific hues, it can be hard to find a good fresh substitute. Another option is to suggest a permanent rose as a solution like the ones featured below.
Single Permanent Rose 29-0FSR729 (left) vs Fresh Bunch of Quicksand Roses (right)
Single Permanent Rose 29-0S32723 (left) vs. Fresh Playa Blanca Rose (right)
Make sure to discuss your use of permanents with the bride or groom before including them in your designs.
Has the Quality of Permanent Botanicals Improved?
Decades ago, permanents got a bad reputation for being cheap or fake looking. Today, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Suppliers have invested lots of resources in research, time, and care to create quality products that look very close to their fresh flower companions. We now see permanents that feel real to the touch and have life-like stems and foliage. If you have skeptical clients, show them a sample or two to convince them otherwise.
Four Benefits of Using Permanent Botanicals
Here are a few benefits of permanent flowers you can share with your customers:
- They are available during any season and can be used in all environments.
- Permanents can be less expensive than fresh flowers.
- They are long-lasting and can be reused or saved as a wedding souvenir.
- Safe for pets and children attending an event.
Our solutions to dealing with out-of-season flowers are just suggestions. Before contacting your wholesaler for out-of-season flowers, consider talking to your clients about substitutes. If you’re still unsure, our helpful team of Customer Service Representatives can assist you with that too!