Avoid These Common Pinterest Pitfalls When Choosing Your Wedding Flowers

In April, we discussed how to choose the perfect florist for your wedding. Now that you’ve found us, here are some common Pinterest pitfalls and how to avoid them when working with your florist!

If you recently changed your Facebook status to “engaged,” congratulations! We hope you have a florist in mind, but if not, we know a great one!

We absolutely love wedding flowers! For us, working with couples to set the tone for their big day is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. We think you’ll enjoy it too, but there are some important decisions to be made – that’s why it’s important that you and your florist are on the same page.

Pinterest is a fantastic resource for wedding inspiration, but people often make several key mistakes because it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the vast quantity of pictures they find online. In order to make your wedding flower experience as smooth as possible, we identified a few common Pinterest pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid.

1) Falling in love with everything – You might be starting off on the wrong foot by arriving at your consultation and showing the florist 3,000 wedding pins you like. In years past, most brides only had pictures of weddings from people they knew, or from a few bridal magazines.

Today, thanks to social media, we’re inundated with millions of professional wedding photographs and many of them make the flowers look amazing in all sorts of different settings. In reality, the same flowers that look picture-perfect in a photo of a beach wedding could look out of place if your wedding is in a church or a rustic rural venue.

A good strategy is having an idea or theme in mind and then showing a handful of favorites to your florist and letting them work their magic. They typically have a great eye for design and once you’re on the same page, it’s much easier to work out the details.

2) Not having an accurate budget – At this stage of wedding planning you should, at least, have a “ballpark” idea of how much of your wedding budget is allotted for decorations and flowers. It’s important to be realistic and accurate as possible to avoid major changes later on.

There are some incredibly cool ideas to be found on Pinterest, but it may not be feasible to include everything you want and still remain within your budget. Having an accurate budget goes a long way towards minimizing the stress of having to cut details that you really want.

Wedding florists are experts in making the venue as beautiful as possible, but they need to have a good idea of your budget in order to start their planning. In many cases, they’ve worked with your particular venue in the past, so they know what works and what doesn’t. They should be able to give you options, offer you alternatives, or give you advice on how to make the most of your allocated budget.

3) Not being flexible or having unreal expectations – Pinterest is definitely a welcome addition to the wedding industry, and we certainly recommend that anyone planning a wedding use Pinterest during the initial stages to gather ideas, but remember that it should be thought of as a place for inspiration and not duplication.

Your wedding to be unique; it should tell your story and reflect your style and personalities without being a carbon copy of someone else’s ideas. Relying on Pinterest to plan every last detail will only lead to disappointment because there are just too many variables in play.

Many weddings are big productions that require multiple vendors working in unison to make sure everything comes together without a hitch. Often times couples dream big initially but are forced to sacrifice or cut back on certain aspects of their big day. Unless you have an unlimited budget (wouldn’t that be nice?) you might have to temper your expectations or modify some details. Don’t worry, it happens to almost everyone, and that’s why you hire experts.

Chances are, your wedding won’t look exactly like one you saw on Pinterest – but that’s a good thing. You never know; a year or two from now anxious couples may be looking at your wedding photos for inspiration of their own. The important thing is to make the day yours!

We know most people don’t have much experience when it comes to wedding flowers – it’s just not something you do every day – that’s why our goal is to make your wedding look fantastic! Give us a call at 704-376-7500 and we’ll help walk you through the process and set up a consultation.

11 Fun Facts for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14, so the time is now to find something special for mom. Midwood Flower Shop can help you find the perfect gift! Give us a call, visit us at the shop, or check out the Mother’s Day section of our website to see our incredible collection of Mother’s Day flowers and gifts. Be sure to shop early in order to guarantee delivery on Mother’s Day if you’re ordering flowers to be delivered.

After you’re done shopping, enjoy these fun facts about Mother’s Day:

1. Mother’s Day is the third most popular holiday in the world, behind only Christmas and Easter.

2. According to the Pew Research Center, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.

3. A research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, found that flowers affect human behavior and make people feel happier and more compassionate around fresh-cut blooms.

4. Approximately 65% of all greeting card sales occur in the last five days before Mother’s Day.

5. Women purchase 80% of all Mother’s Day cards.

6. In what was formerly Yugoslavia, children would tie up their mother on Mother’s Day. The only way she could be freed would be to “pay” her children with candy and treats.

7. Anna Jarvis is considered the founder of Mother’s Day in the United States. She quit her job to focus full-time on persuading politicians, business executives and civic leaders into making the holiday official. On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day thanks to the persistence of Jarvis. Jarvis never married nor had children of her own.

Midwood’s Perfect Day Bouquet

8. Around one-quarter of all flowers purchased throughout the year are purchased for Mother’s Day.

9. Many of the trademark sweaters that Mr. Rogers wore on his television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, were knitted by his real mother.

10. Mother’s Day was intended to be a day to honor mothers individually and not collectively, thus the reason for the apostrophe before the “s” – making it singular possessive instead of plural possessive.

11. Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for the restaurant industry with 62% of Americans dining out.

How to Pick the Right Florist for Your Wedding

Choosing your florist is one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make for your wedding. Flowers set the mood and tone for the day and will be live forever in wedding photographs, so this isn’t a decision to take lightly.

After you pick a date, set a budget, and secure venues for the ceremony and reception, you’ll need to start finding vendors for nearly every aspect of the big day. For now, though, we’ll focus on finding a florist.

Most planners suggest booking a florist at least 6-7 months in advance of the ceremony, but that is only a guideline and can vary depending on the florist and the time of year. It doesn’t pay to wait, though, because the longer you do, the greater the chances that someone else will book your date. In fact, you may want to start looking for florists fairly early in the process; just be sure you’ve already booked your venues and decided on your colors.

Do Your Homework

Before you begin searching for your florist, you need to two things, one is a ballpark budget, and the other is the floral style you want for your big day.

Since it is early in the process, you may not have an exact budget allotted for flowers, but at this point, you should have a general idea. It is very important for the florist to have both of these bits of information so they can plan accordingly and make sure expectations are met.

When searching for a florist for your big day, it’s always a good idea to ask friends and co-workers for suggestions, especially ones that were recently married. Wedding websites are also a good reference since many of them let you search vendors by city or zip code. Once you have a few possibilities, check out the florists’ websites and social media to determine if their style and price point is a good fit for your vision and budget.

After you’ve narrowed down a few florists, call each one you would like to potentially work with, and find out first and foremost if they are available for your wedding day. If they are, set up a consultation as soon as possible. If they are not available, ask them for a reference. Be honest about your budget when soliciting quotes because that may eliminate some options right away. It’s better to know right off the bat if a florist is not a good fit than to waste your time and theirs.

It’s a good idea to meet with or have a call with anyone you’re strongly considering so you are able to see how well their style and vision for your wedding matches up with your own.

During your consultation, be prepared to spend a chunk time and ask a lot of questions. This is the time to really focus on your bridal vision and get creative. It’s also a time to make some important decisions if your vision doesn’t align with your budget.

I found the perfect florist! Now what?

As soon as you find a florist you like and agree on a budget and style, the florist should present you with a proposal. This document should spell everything out in writing and will likely include some provisions you’ll want to be aware of. Now is the time to negotiate or ask for changes if you are uncomfortable with something listed. Once you sign the proposal, it becomes your contract, so it may be a good idea to have a lawyer look it over before you agree to everything.

Once you sign on the dotted line and pay your deposit, which almost every florist will require – congratulations – you’ve hired your florist and can cross one big item off your checklist! Be sure to notify your florist if any sudden changes happen prior to your wedding day and be available if they need to contact you with questions or concerns.

If you’re recently engaged and are starting to plan your wedding, Congratulations! We want to be your florist! We specialize in weddings and would love to make your special day as beautiful as you imagine it to be. Give our wedding specialist a call at (704) 376-7500, or click here to set up an appointment. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

 
Coming in May – Now that you know how to find the perfect florist for your wedding day, you’ll want to read some tips on what NOT to do when working with your florist.

The Easter Lily Capital of the World

It’s likely you’ve never heard of Smith River, California, but odds are that’s where your Easter Lily was grown. This fertile land – located in the far northwest corner of California – is home to less than 900 residents, but produces about 95% of the world’s Easter lily bulbs – making it the Easter Lily Capital of the World.

With towering redwood trees to the east and the sparkling Pacific Ocean to the west, this gorgeous river valley – comprised of about 600 acres – is considered the most ideal spot on Earth for growing Easter lily bulbs due to its nearly perfect growing climate and soil condition.

In fact, only five Easter Lily bulb farms – owned by four families – produce up to 14 million bulbs each year. So how did this small strip of coastal land become such a dominant force in the production of Easter Lilies?

It all began in 1919 when a man named Louis Houghton introduced some hybrid lily bulbs to the south coast of Oregon and planted the seeds – so to speak – of what would become the Easter Lily Capital of the World. Prior to 1941, nearly all of the Easter lilies plants in North America were imported from Japan, but WWII changed that when Americans found themselves cut off from their beloved white lilies.

By 1945, Houghton’s crop had taken off and there were around 1,200 growers producing bulbs all along the Pacific Coast. That number would steadily drop as growers found the bulbs difficult to grow commercially.

It takes at least three years to grow the bulb to commercial size, and each year the bulbs must be dug up and sorted by hand – then either shipped to the greenhouse or replanted for another year.

Unlike other crops that are planted, left to grow, and harvested later, Easter Lily bulbs must be planted, harvested and shipped within a span of three months. That means in order to force the bulbs to bloom in time for Easter, they require 40 days of a forced artificial winter by refrigeration followed by a brief growing period in a high-temperature greenhouse.

The growing schedule is crucial since the value of the bulbs drops considerably even one day past Easter. To complicate matters, Easter doesn’t fall on the same day every year and can vary by as much as five weeks, so timing is everything.

With Easter only days away, this magnificent plant is available now. Give us a call or stop by and pick one out for your Easter celebration or check out our selection of Easter flowers.

Are you considering an Easter lily this year? Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your beautiful new plant.

  • If your Easter lily came with a decorative plastic, foil or paper wrapper, remove that as soon as possible in order to prevent the lily from becoming waterlogged.
  • When choosing a “home” for your lily makes sure to choose a location away from drafts and drying heat sources.
  • Water your plant if the surface feels dry, but be careful not to over-water. Easter lilies require a medium moisture level and should never stand in water for any length of time.
  • Potted Easter lilies kept indoors need bright, indirect natural light but, too much exposure to sunlight can cause burning issues.
  • Remove the yellow anthers from the center of each flower to prolong the life of the blossoms.
  • Easter lilies can be planted outside in a sunny location after the flowers have withered away.
  • If you plant your Easter lily outside, cover the roots with mulch to help keep them shaded.
  • Once planted outside, the lily should be watered freely during the active growth period and be kept moist during the winter.

Remember: Easter lily plants are highly toxic to cats.

A Painless Guide to Prom Flowers

Prom season is upon us, and for many high school students across the country, prom may very well be their first experience buying flowers from a professional florist. That can be a daunting task for teenagers who may not know a lilac from a lily, but fortunately, we’re here to help!

Prom flowers typically consist of a corsage for the ladies and a boutonniere for the gentlemen. Traditionally, the colors and flowers used in the corsage and boutonniere were matched to the color of the prom dress; but like most rules, this one was made to be broken.

Modern corsages and boutonnieres are limited only by the imagination, and the flowers available to the florist. However, it’s important to keep in mind that prom night is centered about dancing, so the flowers should not only be beautiful but functional enough to withstand an entire evening of festivities.

How do I know what to choose?

Ideally, the corsage and boutonniere should be purchased together to ensure the colors and styles match, but this isn’t a necessity as long as the florist has enough information from one of the parties. Some prom-goers even bring their dress or a swatch of fabric with them to help the florist get a better idea of what to design.

The first decision when choosing a corsage is: what kind? You may think that all corsages are the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It used to be tradition for the gentleman to pin the corsage to his date’s dress prior to departing for the evening. But prom dresses have evolved to feature spaghetti straps or even no straps, making the ceremonial pinning no longer practical. Instead, many ladies opt for the wrist corsage that can be worn like a piece of jewelry.

Options aren’t limited to the wrist, however, as modern corsages can be worn in other places, such as around the waist or in the hair. It behooves the gentleman to find out which style his date prefers since she will be the one wearing it all evening.

The ladies have it easier when choosing a boutonniere because there are fewer decisions to make. Since boutonnieres are traditionally pinned to the lapel of the tuxedo or suit jacket, the main decision is the color and types of flowers. Since those two elements are usually dependent upon the style of the corsage, it’s usually just a matter of trusting the florist to know what works best.

What kinds of flowers do I want?

There are many different options when it comes to choosing the flowers for your corsage. Roses and spray roses are always a popular choice and can usually be matched well to the dress. Many people opt for carnations which are available in nearly every color imaginable, and some people prefer more bold options like orchids, lilies, succulents, and even birds of paradise.

While some people know exactly what they want, there are plenty of others who don’t even know where to begin when it comes to choosing flowers – that’s where we’re happy to help. In fact, most customers find they end up with the best result by simply giving us their dress color and letting our designers do their thing. We have years of experience with prom flowers and stay on top of the latest styles and trends. Depending on the budget, we can add special features such as jeweled beads, feathers, and lace to truly make each corsage one-of-a-kind.

Prom night is often one of the most important and memorable nights of a young person’s life and the memories from that special night can last a lifetime. We like to think of prom flowers as the icing on the cake, and we’re excited to help create that perfect look to fit every style.

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching as well as wedding season and other special events, the spring and summer seasons are a busy time so we urge our customers to order their prom flowers as early as possible to ensure that their order is filled on time.

It’s Time to Think Spring!

New Sensations by Midwood Florist, Charlotte, N.C.

New Sensations by Midwood Florist, Charlotte, N.C.

March is here at last, which can only mean that it’s time to think spring! While most of the country enjoyed a relatively mild winter, it’s always nice to know warmer days are ahead and summer is just around the corner (and don’t forget to set your clocks forward next weekend – March 12).

But before we start thinking about summer, it’s time to celebrate spring and all of the wonderful imagery and rejuvenating energy it provides. In fact, one reason we love spring so much is that it’s nearly impossible to think about spring without thinking about flowers! From tulips to daffodils, and everything in between.

We may be a few weeks away from the “official” start of spring, but by this point, many of us are enjoying the blooming of the deciduous magnolias, cherries, and quince. Spring is a time for growth, new beginnings, and for many, a welcome reward for several months of being cooped up indoors.

Summer will be here before you know it, but don’t go digging out the flip-flops just yet. Right now it’s time to enjoy this sensational season – and all it has to offer.

St. Patrick’s Day

One sure sign that spring has sprung is the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day. No matter who you are, or where you’re from, we’re all a little green on March 17. This particular holiday holds different meanings for everyone, but many use it as an opportunity to get out and have some fun! Of course, one of our favorite things about St. Patrick’s Day is that it features the iconic shamrock!

Shamrocks are a symbol of Ireland and were said to have been used by St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. Interestingly, there is not a consensus over the exact botanical species of clover that is the “true” shamrock, but instead, the name is sort of a catch-all for a number of three-leaved clovers.

Country Basket Blooms by Midwood Flower Shop, Charlotte, NC

Country Basket Blooms by Midwood Flower Shop, Charlotte, NC

Easter

Easter takes place this year on April 16, and what better way to mark the occasion than with an Easter lily? This hearty plant bears a number of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers and is symbolic of the resurrection of Christ that is celebrated during Easter. If traditional flowers are more your style, pastel-colored floral designs are also very popular during the Easter season.

May Day

One holiday that often gets overlooked is May Day. Celebrated each year on the first day of May, this holiday originates from an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and evolved into a secular celebration. Although fading in popularity, it used to be tradition to make “May baskets” full of flowers and sweets and leave them anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps.

That’s not all…

There are so many more reasons to love spring and so many more reasons to shop for flowers – as if you needed a reason! Spring also ushers in prom season for many high school students as well as the start of wedding season and graduations. As the school year draws to a close, this is also the perfect time of year to thank teachers, coaches, school administrators and facility for all their hard work during the school year. Of course, flowers are an excellent way to do just that. Whatever the reason or occasion, Midwood Flower Shop is here to help you find the perfect gift. Don’t forget to pick some out for yourself as well! Give us a call, or stop in today – we’re always happy to help.

International Women’s Day 2017 – Be Bold for Change

iwd-logo-portaitjpgInternational Women’s Day is a global celebration of social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women that takes place on March 8. First observed in the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day is also a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to not only celebrate the achievements of women but also a chance to take action as an individual or organization to help raise visibility and awareness in order to help drive positive change for women and accelerate gender parity across the world.

Every person – women, men and non-binary people – can do their part in helping drive better outcomes for women by becoming responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender-inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186, so International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for ground-breaking action that can drive greater change for women.

What Can I Do?

  1. Running your own #BeBoldForChange International Women’s Day campaign is one of the most powerful ways you can influence how quickly gender parity is achieved. Decide which bold action you’d like to take – you can challenge bias and inequality, campaign against violence, forge women’s advancement, celebrate women’s achievement, champion women’s education, or choose your own bold action. Ask your friends, coworkers, and colleagues to declare their bold action on the IWD website and use #BeBoldForChange selfies cards for social media amplification. You can also embed the #BeBoldForChange widget on your own website and call for others to declare their bold action.
  2. Host a #BeBoldForChange IWD event. Invite speakers to articulate and explain that exact moment when they themselves took bold action to help improve or develop an aspect of their own livelihood, career or business – or that of another woman’s or women’s status overall. You can also host a proactive discussion, build a “Bold Actions” wall and ask your audience to declare bold action via their phones.
  3. Share your support through social media by downloading and printing the #BeBoldForChange selfie card. Co-branding is encouraged and you can promote your support for bold action on any social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Youtube.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Thus International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength. Do you part this year to make a difference; think globally and act locally!