Cut-flower care and handling tips for flowers and guests.

All weddings are magical, momentous occasions where family and friends gather to celebrate the joining of two lives. Flowers are always the showstopping part of the celebration, adding style and ambiance. Fall and winter wedding dates have gained in popularity in recent years and with good reason. Florists have embraced these seasons, creating unforgettable designs that leave lasting impressions.

As you know, the time of year a couple chooses for their special day will dictate, to some degree, the flowers and natural elements available for their décor. Popular choices for this time of year include garden roses, callas, Protea, Scabiosa, novelty disbud Chrysanthemum, Hypericum, thistles, and various species of Eucalyptus and branches. Although most of these botanicals are fairly hardy, you shouldn’t underestimate the elements when processing flowers and creating and transporting designs.

Fall and Winter Wedding Flowers Need a Little Extra TLC

Depending on the time of year, the location and if the ceremony and reception will be indoors or outdoors, there are considerations for your floral designs. To ensure your flowers last from the time they’re designed to the last dance, we off er these five helpful tips.

1. SANITATION It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to clean and sanitize anything and everything that comes into contact with fresh cut flowers and branches after every use with a floral cleaner like FloraLife ® D.C.D. ® Cleaner. That includes storage containers, tools and work surfaces. This is your best weapon to combat bacteria and minimize exposure to pathogens that can be deadly to flowers.

2. HYDRATE AND NOURISH Flowers must be hydrated well, especially when receiving dry pack. Receiving wet pack? Be sure to check water levels, and add water with flower-food solution, if needed. For best results when processing dry pack or re-processing cut flowers, cut and dip stem ends into an instant hydration solution such as FloraLife ® Quick Dip before putting the flowers into containers prepared with properly proportioned flower-food solution. This will help keep flower stems unclogged and free flowing. This is a must for roses and Gerbera. After such a long journey, flowers really need to be nourished and fed properly. Using a flower-food solution such as FloraLife ® Express will provide flowers with what they need to flourish.

3. PROTECT FloraLife ® Crowning Glory is your go-to for designs or products fresh out of water (e.g., corsages and headpieces) or arrangements that you are biting your nails about wilting and water loss being an issue (e.g., an outdoor reception). FloraLife ® Finishing Touch is a spray that fortifies the flowers in arrangements by promoting flower opening, color development, foliage quality and hydration. It can be used on all arrangements that are designed for extended use and have access to a water source via a vase or floral foam. No matter your design, a finishing spray is peace of mind that the designs you pull out of the cooler before an event will be just as fresh as the ones you put into the cooler.

4. NOT TOO HOT, NOT TOO COLD If the wedding is indoors, be sure to avoid direct sunlight, heat and drafts. When it’s cold outside, typically the heater will be working overtime to keep things cozy. If you are having an outdoor event, be sure temperatures don’t dip too low, or flowers can freeze and be irreversibly damaged.

5. NATURALLY GOOD Displaying Christmas greens outdoors is easier with cooler temperatures; they will last much longer in a cool outdoor environment. If you are displaying designs indoors that include lighting, be sure to use LED lights, which are cooler, and avoid using open-flame candles whenever possible.

The “New Normal”

2020 has been a year that has redefined our existence, especially when it comes to social events such as weddings. As we navigate the “new normal,” adaptation will be the key. With the situation being so unpredictable, allow extra lead time when placing orders in case of extenuating circumstances such as last-minute mandated lockdowns or reduced airfreight space available. Extra precautions such as cleaning and disinfecting before, during and after the event will need to be taken to ensure that each event is not only a joyous but also a safe celebration. FloraLife ® D.C.D. ® Cleaner, in either its concentrated or ready-to- use spray formats, can make easy work of keeping everything clean and disinfected, with the additional benefit of lasting longer due to its residual effect.

As we all know well, frequent hand washing is one of our best defenses against viruses—no less than six to 10 times daily, to be precise. Single-use SOAP packets are perfect for hand washing, especially in public facilities. Having a few of these on hand in your florist’s tool kit for yourself and crew is ideal for hand washing on the go.