Aside from chocolates and cards, sending flowers on Valentine’s
Day has become pretty standard, but we’ve all heard the horror stories about ordering flowers
online. The flowers were dead on arrival, the vase was cracked, or the bouquet never came at all. Those are all worst-case scenarios, of course, but since a lot
of guys and gals are expecting a dozen red roses on Feb. 14, you better make
sure the flowers you’re ordering online are legit — or you might have a Valentine's Day
nightmare on your hands.
The first Valentine’s Day my boyfriend and I spent together,
he came by my job to drop off an arrangement of roses in a simple, glass vase.
And even though the flowers only lasted a week or two, every time I looked at
them, I thought of him and smiled. A lot of people get hung up on the cruel fact that flowers eventually die, but even though that is, unfortunately, the case, they are also a simple way to brighten up a work space and remind someone how much you love them, at least for a little bit. And while, sure,
there are probably some things
women want more than flowers, I don’t know anyone who would be upset
about receiving a big bouquet of their favorite petals.
Because not everyone can hand deliver their
flowers to their SO or best friend or relatives, we have to rely on flower delivery
sites to do the work for us. But before you place your orders, here are eight need-to-know tips to make sure your flower bouquets make someone smile this Valentine's Day — and you know, actually arrive on time.
1. Shop Local (If You Can)
I’m sure we’ve all browsed or received flowers from big name
delivery companies like 1-800-Flowers
or ProFlowers, but a lot of local florists
now take online orders, too. Before ordering from a national franchise, see
what’s available from the florist down the street. The flowers will probably be
fresher, and the delivery will be cheaper, since it’s right in your neighborhood.
2. Read Reviews
Before going with a specific florist or site, read the reviews. Sometimes the sites have reviews of their arrangements and services, but you can also find them on Yelp or the Better Business Bureau website.
3. Select Arrangements That Are In Season
One of the things people complain about the most regarding
Valentine’s Day flowers is the price. Yeah, the price might be jacked up
because it’s Valentine’s Day, but it might also be because those red roses
everyone insists on buying aren’t in season for most of the country. Roses
usually bloom from spring to fall (though they can still bloom in sunny
climates during the winter), which is why it costs a pretty penny to get them
on V-Day. A quick Google search will yield results on which flowers are in
season in your area, so look for those when buying — typically, they’ll be
cheaper, and they will arrive in better condition.
4. Find Flowers That Are Meaningful
Just so you guys know: Roses aren’t the only flowers that mean
love, and roses aren’t the only flowers you can send on Valentine's Day. Dozens of
readily available flowers
have very specific meanings, so find some that send a meaningful message to your recipient. Send chrysanthemums (you’re a wonderful friend) to your bestie, lilies (beauty) to
your mom, and sunflowers (you’re adorable) to your crush. Of course, you could
also just send your person their favorite flower if you know it, but personalized choices
are sure to put a smile on their face.
5. Decide How You Want the Flowers to Arrive
Depending on the company you order from, your flowers will
either be delivered in a vase or in a box. Usually, this will be indicated when you purchase the
arrangement. There’s no definitive answer regarding whether flowers in vases or
boxes last longer, but recipients can take measures to ensure
that the flowers you sent them keep. If you’re sending flowers to your SO at work, go with a
vase arrangement, since they probably don’t have one readily available at the office. But you might want
to go with a box selection if you’re sending them to your very picky
grandmother — that way she can arrange them herself!
6. Check Shipping and Delivery Times
A lot of sites will offer same-day delivery, especially for
Valentine’s Day, but you can also order in advance and have your flowers delivered whenever you
want. Can you imagine how many orders florists and delivery companies get this
time of year? Sometimes it can take a few days for your order to process, and
you might pay less in shipping if you plan ahead.
7. Compare Prices
Valentine’s Day or otherwise, flowers are expensive, right? Before you commit to
buying anything, check a few sites and compare prices on similar arrangements. Take into
account shipping costs and any handling fees that come with them. Some sites
might even have a coupon code you can use!
8. Check Out Customer Service
Make sure that any site you order from has a customer
service line and a written refund/replacement policy. Just in case the flowers
arrive damaged or wilted, you’ll want to be able to get it handled properly. If
ordering by phone, ask for the confirmation number and if ordering online, keep
the confirmation page just in case. The company will probably send you a
confirmation email with a tracking number, so you can make sure your delivery
arrives on time, too.