Valentine’s Day: a phrase that strikes fear into the hearts (and wallets) of many men and it is only a week a way. Having spoken to a few gents about their feelings on Valentine’s Day I was surprised to find that a few people said they found going into a florists an intimidating prospect. What flowers to choose? How much to spend? What to write in the blooming card?!
My advice to these men, and in fact to anyone wanting to buy flowers at any time of year is not to worry about not knowing the names of flowers; that’s your florist’s job! Just as being a mechanic, plumber, barber, butcher etc is a craft and a skill, so is being a florist so trust in your florist and leave it up to them to make something beautiful for you.
If you know your wife/girlfriend/ girlfriend-to-be even a little you might know if they are into girly pink colours, if they like “bling”, or if they are more of a natural earthy type. Think of what they wear, what they like to do, etc. If you really don’t have a clue, then leave it up to the florist. And if you’re stumped for words scrap the card altogether; the flowers will speak for themselves.
As for budget, it depends on your own finances and what sort of an impact you want to make. From my days working in a shop on the high street I would say the most popular bouquet (both for the giver and the receiver) came in at around £30. For Valentine’s Day flowers however, I would steer clear of roses unless you have a big paycheck and are a hard-line traditionalist!
Contrary to popular belief, the florists themselves aren’t fleecing you by hiking up the price of roses; flowers are bought by wholesalers at auction, so the prices fluctuate at peak times. Flowers such as roses are much more expensive for your florist to buy from their wholesaler around Valentine’s Day, which is why it is then more expensive for you to buy on the high street. If you want value for money buy roses at another time of year and stick to a seasonal bouquet for Valentine’s Day.
Sometimes I have seen flowers in the supermarket cheaper than I can buy them at my own wholesaler. The price of the flowers you buy from a florist includes their hours of training, the time they spend making and designing your bouquet, the time spent conditioning your flowers so they last longer for you, and the hard work of being a small business facing giant supermarkets with loss-leaders. Even if you think Valentine’s Day is a capitalist invention, I would urge you to reconsider: support your local florists, support small businesses, and support the craftsmanship and artistry of a creative profession.