A guide to buying wholesale wedding flowers

Flowers are a very important part of a wedding and play a pivotal role in the décor. They add a touch of beauty and can transform a stark setting into a magical place. After the gown, the venue of the reception and the wedding card have been sorted out, floral arrangements become a crucial aspect of wedding planning.

Choose a wholesale flower merchant with a huge range of flowers available including roses, lilies, dahlias, gladiola, amaryllis, tulips, daisy etc. Many online wholesalers have several varieties of flowers.

In order to decide upon the floral arrangements, a few preliminaries

- Survey the venue to decide what floral design/ arrangement would look best in the space available.

- Decide on whether you will be using fresh flowers or artificial flowers

- If you would like to have a flower based on a certain theme, for instance, if it is the yuletide season, you might like to have poinsettias, or your favorite flower might be the calla lily.

If you have decided to use fresh flowers, ensure that the flower you have decided upon will be available at that particular time.

Once you have decided on the flower arrangements, you have to select the source of flowers. If you have decided to have fresh flowers, there are a variety of sources in the locality from where you can procure flowers wholesale. The first two options are the cheapest, as buying flowers in bulk, closest to the source from where they originate, ensure the maximum saving.

Wholesale markets are one of the cheapest sources of fresh wholesale wedding flowers. They are normally to be found in large metropolitan areas and are open to the public once the wholesale buyers have done their buying. Try and get details on conveniently located wholesale markets and the timings, if any, that they are open to the public. Visit a couple of wholesale markets to check out if they meet your requirements and if you can pinpoint a vendor who meets your criteria of price and availability of flowers. Farmer’s markets are a great source of wholesale wedding flowers, with the advantages of getting them relatively cheap and yet less troublesome and more accessible than finding an actual wholesale market. You can scan farmer’s markets in your locality for several weeks to get a fair idea of the variety available and whether it has what you’re looking for.

It will also enable you to get an idea of the prices if you would like to compare it with other options at your disposal. Once you’ve narrowed down on a certain vendor who best suits your budget, flower selection and other prerequisites, try and negotiate the best deal that you can. If you are happy with the outcome, place your order and get all his contact details so that you can follow up with him closer to the wedding date.

Local grocery stores have floral sections that are ideal for catering to floral requirements for weddings on a smaller scale. They offer a wide variety of flowers and a range of prices to suit different budgets. They may also be able to order in specific flowers or colors that you need and put together floral arrangements on a simpler scale. Local florists are a slightly more expensive option to source wholesale wedding flowers from but you may be assured of greater quality. If you are looking for a variety in floral arrangements in terms of decorative arches, floral sprays for church pews, etc. this is a good source. Local florists are also likely to take more care over specific flower arrangements that you have in mind and cater to your individual tastes.

Mail order is another option for sourcing wedding flowers, but you must factor in the cost of shipping, the possibility of last minute hiccups if the flowers arrive late, or in a less than presentable condition, details you don’t want to be bothered with on the final day. You could order a very small arrangement just as a test run to see how satisfied you are with the packing and quality of flowers on arrival. Unpacking of flowers from the packing material itself is quite a problematic task, one you don’t want to be saddled with when there are so many other important things happening on a wedding day, especially a large-scale wedding.

Care of wholesale wedding flowers

Do remember that taking adequate care of the flowers is crucial and you have to ensure there is someone to oversee all the arrangements, as the bridal party is normally busy with other details. Ensure that you have adequate information on how to keep the flowers looking fresh and enough people dedicated exclusively to helping you with the task.

Flowers need to be unpacked immediately. You may need to clip a couple of inches off the stems and immerse the stalks into buckets of water kept exclusively for the purpose, while the flower heads stay wrapped in paper or cellophane. The water may need to be treated with fresh flower conditioners that can be purchased from the wholesale market or a florist. Certain fresh flowers need to be kept at specific temperatures while others need certain light conditions.

You will also need to order sufficient greenery like ferns, that can act as a filler in floral arrangements and give a fresh look to the entire floral arrangement.

Do it yourself vis-à-vis through a florist

If you are planning to source flowers wholesale on your own steam, check with family and friends who have had experience planning weddings and taking care of floral requirements. But do remember there is a lot of planning and painstaking effort that will go into this, something that may be difficult to do closer to the wedding day.

If you have the budget for it, you can save yourself a lot of effort (though not expense!) by sourcing flowers through a florist. Check out your local yellow pages or floral guides or surf the net. Beware of phony florists though, so make sure you have a phone number and address and pay a personal visit to the shop.

For an additional fee, some florists are willing to deliver flowers, move them and take care of last-minute glitches. Make sure you have all the details ironed out in terms of delivery schedule, costs of setting up the floral decorations, payment schedule etc. If a florist is working out too expensive for the entire floral set-up, you can have your bridal bouquet ordered from a reputed florist who comes highly recommended, as that is something that most brides want to be just perfect, since it features on so many wedding photographs.

Artificial flowers

Alternatively, if you think fresh flowers are too much of a hassle, you can opt for the artificial variety. In terms of cost, if you are looking at genuine, honest-to-goodness, silk flowers they often cost the same or even more than a fresh flower of the kind. But they involve far less effort to maintain before the wedding day dawns, and based on the time available and help at your disposal, they might prove to be a more convenient alternative.

Ultimately whether you choose fresh flowers or artificial, whether you source the flowers on your own or hire a company to take care of the entire arrangement, it all depends on the resources available, both time and money, and that your day turns out to be as memorable as it should.