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Beat the heat – How to Keep Flowers Fresh at an Outdoor Summer Wedding

Summer is in full-swing, and that means wedding season has arrived! In Canada, a whopping 40 – 50% of all weddings are held in the summer months. DIY weddings continue to grow in popularity, as many couples are now preferring to spend their savings on an exotic honeymoon or a sensible mortgage instead of an extravagant wedding. As such, outdoor weddings are becoming even more commonplace, as it cuts out the cost of a ritzy – but pricey – indoor venue. Of course, an outdoor venue does come with its own setbacks, and many brides find themselves concerned that their wedding flowers will wilt when exposed to the heat and humidity of the summer air. While understandably worrisome, there is no need to fret – with a few minor precautions, you’ll be enjoying your night without a care in the world!

Months – if not years – of preparation goes into planning the perfect wedding. You’ve found the dress of your dreams and had it custom-tailored. Days of indulgent cake-tasting and exhilarating wedding registry scanning have flown by. The RSVP’s are in, and the seating chart is finally just right. Your Pinterest wedding board is slowly being realized with each passing day. Your whimsical outdoor summer wedding is going to be absolutely perfect. Everything is planned out to the smallest detail, and now it all comes down to the execution. You’ve made plans (and, surely, back-up plans) with the tent-rental company, the baker, and the caterer, but what are your plans for the most delicate component of your dream wedding? While florists are always sure to take extra care to use the freshest stems and the best techniques when designing your wedding flowers, they can only offer so much protection against the strong sun’s rays.

Before you check the weather and start panicking, take a moment and read these simple, preventative steps that you can take to ensure that your stunning arrangements remain at their peak quality throughout your ceremony and reception.

1.) Choose Hardy Flowers

While wedding arrangements generally don’t need to be long-lasting, it is of utmost importance that they look as fresh and alluring as possible on your big day! If you’re planning an outdoor wedding during a particularly hot period, consider using hardy, heat-tolerant flowers in your bouquets and arrangements for peace of mind. If you have your heart set on specific blooms that tend to fall on the more delicate side of the spectrum, don’t worry! Choosing your wedding flowers is one of the most thrilling parts of wedding planning, so don’t limit yourself and your vision. Your florist will happily assist you in designing sensational custom summer wedding flowers, and with a few precautionary steps you can make any flower combination work!

When determining the best flowers for a summer day, it is often advisable to pick flowers that are both long-lasting and hardy – as these two often go hand-in-hand – as well as heat-tolerant. Tropical flowers are always a safe choice, as they tend to be the most heat-resistant. Zinnias are the longest-lasting cut flowers, with a lifespan of up to 24 days! Orchids follow closely behind with an approximate 3-week lifespan after being cut. Meanwhile, carnations, the tried-and-true budget-friendly flower, are extremely hardy and last around 2 – 3 weeks. If you are searching for deep, dramatic hues this summer, delphinium is your go-to. This tall, captivating blue flower will continue to look delicate and fresh up to 2 weeks. Another budget-friendly wedding flower is Alstroemeria. It comes in a range of beautiful colors, and it boasts a life span of two weeks.

A quirky – yet distinguished – floral wedding trend is to incorporate thistle into your wedding arrangements. Thistle can come in mixed hues of blue, grey, and purples, and serves as a unique accent in your bouquet. It is very sturdy, and will perform well under less-than-optimal conditions. Sunflowers will naturally thrive in the heat too, as well as most typical summer flowers. Garden roses are thought to be superior in lifespan and hardiness than the classic rose, and many professionals recommend adding them to your bridal bouquet to create a whimsical, enchanting piece. Chrysanthemums, meanwhile, are returning to the spotlight, and just in time for your summer wedding! A large bloom, chrysanthemum is a hardy and popular choice for arrangements that will be on-display at both indoor and outdoor events. Another classic wedding flower, the calla lily, is a wonderful choice for hot summer days. While they can bruise easy, calla lilies are extremely rigid, and as such they do not droop and wilt easily under the hot summer sun. Be sure to talk with your local florist for a more comprehensive list of hardy flowers!

2.) Keep Your Blooms Out of the Sun

If possible, have your reception set up underneath a tent, or held in a shaded area. Most cut flowers will not tolerate direct sun exposure well, and this can cause them to quickly wilt or become blown out. Make sure to store your centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnières, and other floral décor in a fridge until the last possible moment. If no fridge is available at your venue, then search for the shadiest and coolest location to leave your flowers. The best option, however, is to talk to your florist about delivery, as this allows the flowers to remain safely in their cooler for as long as possible. Most florists will deliver your wedding flowers to your venue, and many will stage the hall as well, adding a brilliant and professional touch.

3.) Keep Your Bouquets Hydrated

While your centerpieces should already arrive with water in the vases (but always be sure to have someone double-check and top them off if needed), your bridal bouquet and bridesmaids’ bouquets will get quite parched (and, consequently, wilted), if you don’t store properly. Grab a few vases and fill them up with a few inches of water – but keep the water line just below any ribbon or décor you have wrapped around the stems of your bouquet. If the stems are exposed, set the bouquets into the water-filled vases, and store them in a refrigerator until your ceremony.

4.) Be Gentle!

Even if you chose hardy flowers for your wedding bouquets, there is always a risk of bruising, crushing, or accidentally pulling off your flowers’ petals. For the freshest and perkiest petals, be sure to handle your arrangements and bouquets with care. Be mindful of all your floral interactions – such as with transportation, storage, setup, and handling. Avoid transporting the flowers in the trunk of your car if it is not air conditioned and spacious!

Above all, the most important aspect is that you are able to relax and enjoy your wedding day! Be sure to talk to your local florist about any questions or concerns that you may have about preserving the vitality of your wedding flowers this summer. They will always be happy to assist you and help put your mind at ease. If you’re planning a summer wedding in the Greater Toronto Area and are searching for a florist, be sure to stop by the Flower Boutique in Brampton! These outgoing and highly-skilled designers are ready to make all of your floral wedding dreams come true, regardless of the season!

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