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Women love flowers. I try to avoid gender stereotypes, but it’s true, we do. With so many flowers to choose from, there’s a bouquet for every woman and occasion, be it surprising someone you really like on the first date with lilies, or an elegant long-stem rose collection for your 25th anniversary. A blossom literally is the reproductive structure of a plant, so it’s pure animal instinct that has lead us to associate blooms with love and romance. Read on to learn how to choose the best flower for your leading lady.
1. What To Look For
Staring at your computer screen at pages and pages of floral options listed on an online retailer can be daunting. There are tricks to pick out the right bouquet, but there’s one pro-tip to rule them all: learn what your partner likes. What’s the easiest way to do this? Simply ask. It doesn’t have to be an awkward question, and if you’re in a long-term relationship you likely already know the answer. After a date, when walking hand in hand down a street, just ask your lover, “So what’s your favorite flower?” Trust me when I say she’ll be delighted, and eager to share her answer.
Once you know this, choosing the right flowers is easy as pie. As they say, give the people what they want, so to start, look for your partner’s favorite flowers. Unless you’re showing up at your shared home with a bouquet in hand when using a floral delivery service, be sure to include a vase, so she has a home for her new gift and isn’t scrambling to find a large container to fill with water. Look for freshly cut flowers or those that have still not fully bloomed (online retailers such as The Bouqs will advertise this feature), so she can watch them blossom.
If shopping in person, you’ll be able to see with your own eyes what looks fresh and what looks like it’s on its way out. You want a full vase of flowers that will last a week, not some stems that will mold on their third day in your home. To find flowers in your budget, you need to select the proper retailer (and we’ll help you with that). A dozen roses can cost anywhere from under $30 to over $100 depending on where you shop. The most important thing to look for when selecting flowers is something that will make her feel loved and beautiful. An easy trick to doing so is when browsing a floral selection either online or in person, is to think of your partner when looking at the flowers, and trust your instinct. You’ll know when you’ve found the right one.
2. What To Avoid
As noted, people can be particular about flowers. This is why it’s a good idea to ask. For instance, I adore baby’s breath alone, but like my red rose bouquets without them as filler. I know, it sounds so picky and pretentious! While I would never complain if someone gave me a dozen red roses complete with baby’s breath, I’d be even more appreciative if my partner or new lover had adorably asked me how I like my flowers first.
As a general rule of thumb (unless this is what she does like) avoid floral arrangements that come shaped like objects or animals, such as puppies, because despite their best efforts they can come off a bit tacky and get jostled in shipping. You don’t want the love of your life to open a box of flowers to find a deformed dog. Stick with bouquets, and inquire about their freshness so ensure the flowers last.
3. How To Order Flowers Online
Supporting local florists is lovely, but today, you can do that online, too. You may not be able to smell a bouquet from your computer screen, but you can save hours, and online retailers often have a more expansive selection than the floral shop down the block. From bouquets with free shipping that cost less than $30 to pricier bunches hand grown by Ecuadorian farmers, the range of selection of stores also increases online — you just need to know what to type into your browser to find the right online floral shop for you.
Best For: The creative companion with an Amazon Prime account
Amazon does flowers like it does everything: with ease and a wide selection. Their floral options are strikingly exotic yet affordable, such as their vase of 10 blue cut orchids for only $22.99. Such bouquets are perfect for a birthday or celebration when you want to break from tradition and give your true love a gift to remember. It’s correct that you can’t go wrong with a dozen long-stemmed red roses, yet it’s also likely that no man has ever given your girl blue cut orchids. The best part? For those with an Amazon Prime account, there’s free shopping and quick shipping at no extra cost.
Check out Amazon Flowers
Best For: When you’re in love but on a budget
Wrought with seasonal discounts and regular affordable yet impressive bouquets, such as their two dozen long stemmed rainbow roses for $39.96, ProFlowers has your back without draining your bank account. You can find red rose bouquets in the $20 range or more non-traditional choices such as bunches of bright pink lilies. If your love has a sweet tooth and wants chocolate with her flowers, this is the floral shop for you. For a little bit extra you can purchase rainbow roses with a side of chocolate, so your date can have her roses and eat chocolate, too.
Check out ProFlowers
Best For: The classic gentleman who knows what he wants
1800Flowers is a household name for a reason. They’re reliable and have one of the vastest price and product selections on the market. Their bouquets which often have same-day delivery options, provide both time-honored romance and gestures of love with a flair, such as the Stunning Red Rose & Calla Lily arrangement. With such extensive options, 1800Flowers is best for the reliable gentleman who knows both his partner’s favorite flower and how much is suitable to spend for a certain occasion.
Check out 1800Flowers
Best For: The modern man on the go
Along with a sleek, user-friendly desktop version, Bloom that offers an easy-to-use app that allows you to deliver an unique bouquet to your lovers with a few clicks of a button. They’re not interested in elaborate orders on red roses coupled with baby’s breath, but refreshing bouquets (such as The Jemma, $89) to brighten your partner’s day when they just accomplished something they’re truly proud of. Bloom is pricier than other retailers, but when looking for a stylish statement, they’re the ones to swear by.
Check out BloomThat
Best For: The culturally aware adventurer
The Bouqs sets itself apart by selling farm to table flower bouquets procured only from sustainable, eco-friendly farming. If you’re a well-traveled gentleman with a passion for making the world a better place with an equally aware partner, opt for The Bouqs. Their tropical love bouquet grown by an Ecuadorian farmer named Maria will run you between $40-70 and is guaranteed to be the most memorable and mind-blowing floral arrangement your lover has ever received from a suitor. They also offer subscription and regular deliveries, so for bigger occasions like birthdays when one bunch of originally romantic flowers doesn’t seem enough, you can have an eco-friendly and elegant bouquet delivered to your partner regularly.
Check out The Bouqs
Best For: The overworked but well-paid romantic
With expansive United States same-day delivery options, FTD can throw together a dozen long-stemmed roses for $74.00 and have it to your significant other’s door in a few hours. Are you jetlagged from an overseas vacation and realized that you totally spaced on your anniversary? Opt for the $149.00 36-long stem rose option, and during the delivery period call in all your favors to reserve dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in town and play like the last-minute gust of the day was actually a surprise element (not being overworked). Any of the options on their luxury menu are beautiful enough to calm any debris of resentment over a business trip that lasted too long.
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Best For: When you simply want someone to know you care
ProPlants, part of Proflowers, has a wide selection of both style and cost. Their prices range from $20-80, and they deliver anywhere in the United States. While their selection isn’t the most romantic or panty-dropping, the thoughtful and reasonable priced selection make them ideal for a gift that needs no holiday. Go elsewhere when you want to induce awe with a dozen red roses, but if you’re partner had a rough day at work and you want them to receive a calming basket of their Deluxe Peace Lily, ProPlants is your go-to. They have a particularly impressive succulent collection, which is a perfect planted option to brighten up your lover’s day. Since succulents are durable and require little watering, it would work on both a bedroom side table and an office desk (and they’re hard to accidentally kill).
Check out ProPlants
4. How To Buy Flowers Offline
If you can swing the hour away from the office to buy your flowers in real life, the perks are enormous. To start, supporting local businesses is always good karma. Do a little internet research and find the most well-rated and reasonably priced locally-owned floral shop in your neighborhood. Shopping in person allows you to actually see the flowers you’ll be using to express your love, as well as smell them. Not to mention, you’ll have the aid of the shop owner or salesperson to walk you through the best option for your significant other and the occasion, which can be extra handy if you’re not sure what to get.
RELATED: 66 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas That’ll Make Her Swoon
If you begin shopping at your local floral shop, you can develop a rapport with the owners. They’ll get to know you, your relationship, your budget, and your partner’s preferences. As most floral shops also offer delivery service, with just a quick call, if you’re looking to surprise your partner with a delivery to their home or office rather than showing up at a date with flowers in hand, they’ll have your back.
5. Different Flowers For Different Occasions
Gifting flowers as a symbol of love is as classic as a kiss, and with such a long-standing symbol of affection, flowers and floral colors are often attached to different meanings. For instance, the exotic bird of paradise symbolizes joyfulness, making it an excellent choice for a celebration such as a raise, while rose symbolizes love, holding steady as the go-to for anniversaries. While the color red symbolizes passion and love, white marks new beginnings (which is why white roses are often at weddings) and pink symbolizes joy and sweetness.
Since there is so much romantic weight attached to the red rose, in a new relationship, when you want to surprise your date with flowers at dinner, opt for pink roses or an entirely different flower, such as lilies, which symbolize beauty. When you’re in a long-term relationship celebrating an undeniably romantic holiday, such as an anniversary, unless your partner has another preference, opt for red roses. Birthdays are lighter celebrations and work well with assorted bouquets that elicit feelings of adventure and giddiness. When you just want to brighten your lover’s day, or celebrate an achievement, such as a raise at work, select a flower with associations of joy, such as daffodils or daisies.
However, do not forget: All’s fair in love and war. That means that you’re allowed to break the rules depending on your budget and your partner’s preference. If your wife or girlfriend finds red roses too traditional, or baby’s breath tacky, but adores road trips and the feeling of the sun on her face, sunflowers can make someone feel as loved as roses. It’s solid dating knowledge to have an understanding of the meaning connected to various flowers and colors, but don’t forget that the most important understanding of occasions is how they pertain to your relationship, so everything is mutable.
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