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The good news? Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, ordering flowers is still on the table for Valentine’s Day (or any day).
The supply chain is (nearly) back and florists are eager for your business. There are even some deals to be had! But you’ll definitely want to start the whole process earlier.
As in …
Start looking and ordering now
“The earlier you order, the better,” says Sarah-Eva Marchese, CEO and Founder of Floracracy, a bespoke online florist that ships to the lower 48 states and emphasizes sustainability and customization. “This is especially true if you are looking for something specific. Most shops have to preorder for holidays, and this will increase your chances of getting what you want.” So you want to order at least a week out; most cutoff dates will be around February 12.
One tip: “Gift-givers who order before January 31 will get the best offers and biggest selection,” says Alfred Palomares, Vice President of Merchandising for 1-800-Flowers.com.
Be flexible with your delivery date
You don’t have to get your flowers delivered on Valentine’s Day — that actually may set you up for disappointment. (I’ve personally had two terrible experiences with flowers scheduled for delivery on the holiday.) “With the added complexities of the ongoing health crisis, we’re asking our customers to order early and be flexible with delivery dates,” says Palomares. “[Scheduling an earlier delivery] gives local florists the opportunity to deliver beautifully crafted arrangements throughout the week and surprise loved ones in advance.”
Yes, it’s safe to order
Follow the rules like any other delivery service. Keep a six-foot distance from the delivery person (wear a mask, too). To truly minimize contact, let the flowers be set down outside your door. And wipe down the vase. Some places, including 1-800-Flowers, are not currently requiring a signature for delivery.
Unlike the early days of the pandemic, your choices should be back to (almost) normal. “The supply chain has definitely stabilized at this point,” says Marchese. “There are some limitations on some choices but mostly you will experience the same options. Flowers have to be started a long time in advance for a specific holiday.”
If you have the chance, go local
Yes, the bigger online brands work with local florists. But much like any other industry, if you have a chance sometime this year, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or another occasion, help out a local florist and order directly. Petal Republic is an excellent resource for finding those local shops, as well as giving advice on flowers in general.
If you’re receiving flowers, try this one tip to keep those flowers around
“Consider drying the flowers. The easiest way is to tie a string around the stems and hang the bundle upside down,” says Marchese. “Then you’ve turned your floral gift experience into a lasting gesture of language, a message that can be kept forever.”
Some florists and their deals, below:
Besides offering personalization and shipping to the lower 48 states, the Rockford, IL-based online florist is also primarily female-run and has a strong commitment to working with domestic violence shelters. If having a greater mission is important to you, it’s worth checking out these arrangements, which do take a bit more time to pick out (because you’re customizing these!). No “deals” but you’ll get an ideal bouquet for about $150-$350.
The giant in the flower industry — the company works with 5,000 florists nationwide — 1-800-Flowers also offers up variety and plenty of deals. Of note: Their One-of-a-Kind Bouquet allows the aforementioned local florists to put their own touch on the bouquets; plus, the company has also added flower subscriptions. Right now, you can also get some arrangement up to 40% off.
For this farm-direct, transparent-sourcing florist, V-Day bouquets start at $44; today (Friday, Jan. 29) it’s $15 select bouquets with the code INAFLASH.
It’s 20% off for first-time customers (you’ll need to enter an email address). The site’s Deal of the Day offers a set price — lower than other arrangements on the site — for a local florist to design their own bouquet for your loved one with just a bit of guidance from you.
Flowers here are modestly priced and same-day delivery is an option. Today (Jan. 29) it’s 10% off sitewide.
Keep the love going every month and get your loved one a flowers subscription — now 15% off with the code LOVE15.
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