Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!
Find Your Local Florist:
Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!

How To Order Flowers And Get Exactly What You Want

Robbin Yelverton on How To Order Flowers

Today we’re going to talk about how to place an order for flowers and actually get what you’re ordering. This article is the transcript from the helpful video by our friend and pro florist, Robbin Yelverton.

Too much to read? Robbin explains it all in the video at the bottom of this post! Don’t miss the video!

Good Clear Communication

A lot of times things seem to get lost in translation. For example, there are 3 words that people use all the time when placing an order, which are: Flowers, Bouquet, & Arrangements. It’s funny how they will use those 3 words, and in a lot of cases think those words mean the same thing. These 3 words are not synonyms. They are not the same thing when you are talking to a florist.

Flowers From Local Florist

  • Flowers refers to the actual flower. If you are talking about tulips, that’s a flower.
  • Bouquet, often people will use the word bouquet in exchange for arrangement, but to us as professional floral designers, a bouquet is something you carry, like a wedding bouquet. In some cases, we refer to an arrangement of loose flowers gathered together and presented as a wrapped bouquet that someone then takes out of the wrap and places in a vase for arranging.
  • Arrangement or design. Now that implies that it is flowers arranged in a container and then sold together in the container.

So most of the time when people call in to order flowers, they’re really calling to order an arrangement. So remember to be clear.

The thing about ordering flowers, it’s sorta like playing the game of 20 Questions. You have to provide enough information that the person taking the order understands what you’re saying and then is able to transfer this information to the designer to make sure it gets created the way you wanted, and then gets delivered to the person it’s supposed to go to correctly.

How To Know What You Want 

You can go online and find photos of things you like, print it off and bring it into the flower shop. In some cases a flower shops will have what’s called a selection guide. This is basically a very large book of photos with arrangements. The thing to remember about a selection guide verses a catalog: a catalog is like Sears & Roebuck. You open it up, you pick out the item and you get exactly what you saw in the catalog.

A selection guide is a guide for flower buying. The photos in the selection guide are there to help you communicate an idea, a style, a color scheme, a look, a theme – all of these things. So that when the order is filled by the designer you get something that resembles what you’re trying to send. It’s not going to be a photographic copy of the same arrangement you saw in the book. It’s just not the right expectation because no one flower shop in the world is going to have every flower there is available in the shop, at one time, on one specific day.

Know the Occasion

There are a couple of questions you need to answer in order to get the arrangement that is suitable for what your purpose is.

  • First of all, what’s the occasion? Is it a birthday? Is it a funeral? Is it a holiday? Or is it simply a gift, something to go to someone just to say “Just to brighten your day!” These are some of the things that give us as designers clues in order to create an arrangement that is appropriate.
  • How is the arrangement going to be used? If it’s going to a dinner party, is it a centerpiece? Something that is going to be seen from all sides, all the way around. Is it a gift, that can really be placed on a side table and you’re really not going to look at the back of it, it’s only the front is most important.

These are the things that help us determine not only how the arrangement is made, but also affects the budget. For instance, an arrangement that is viewed from all sides has to have flowers on all sides. So therefore it’s going to cost more than say a similar sized arrangement that is one-sided where all the flowers are to the front and you’re not really placing anything other than foliage to the back.

Know Your Color Preferences.

Color WheelNow, color does not generally effect the price of an arrangement except for generally one holiday, and that’s Valentines. Valentines is a holiday that is built around a particular color scheme: reds, pinks and whites. If you order an arrangement in red, pink and white at valentines, then you will probably pay a little bit more for it than you would if you order a similar arrangement in other colors at the same time. However, any other time during the year, the color really is not going to effect the price.

Be very specific. Does the person you are sending the flowers to like bright, primary colors, like reds and blues and yellows, or do they prefer pastel colors, like peach, pink and buttercream? Use descriptive words in order to be able to communicate to the person you are placing the order with what you expect.

If you just say “Make a pretty arrangement,” pretty arrangement in their mind may be something totally different than pretty arrangement in your mind, and you’re setting yourself up for the possibility of disappointment. Because one person’s perception of a pretty arrangement is totally different from another person’s perspective of a pretty arrangement, so be very specific in color.

Let the designer know whether the person you are sending flowers to is a very traditional person, or is someone who is more creative and artistic. The designs we do for a traditional person are distinctly different from someone who is creative and artistic. Not that either one is a bad thing, it’s just good to know so that when we create an arrangement, it fits the personality of the recipient.

Know Your Budget

Red Rose Bud VaseFinally, the budget. Be very specific, but also be very realistic. A budget for a bud vase, which is a single container with one or two stems, probably needs to be somewhere between $20 and $25. It depends sometimes on the types of flowers used and the containers used. Centerpieces, something that will be viewed from all sides and is appropriate to use in the center of a table, probably should start somewhere around $40 to $50 and go up from there, depending on the type of design it is and the types of flowers that are going into it. All will influence the budget.

Remember with any arrangement, you are going to pay sales tax, and in the case of most wire out arranged designs, you are going to have to have those delivered, so there will be an additional delivery fee. If you have a set amount you want to spend and nothing more, when you place the order say, “I only want to spend a total of $60, $70 or ___” so that they know to take out the additional costs before they fill the arrangements. Just remember, all these fees do take away from the amount that’s left for the arrangement. So if a flower shop charges $10 for the delivery, which is probably about average, and a couple of dollars in there for tax, if you’re only spending $50, you are going to get an arrangement that is say, less than $38 in value. Keep this in mind when planning a budget for your flower arrangement.

**Be sure to contact your florist directly. If you do not, you could be going through an order-gathering middleman who will take an extra cut from your order. Use Flower Shop Network’s handy local florist finder to find a real florist near you.

So once again, let’s go over everything:

  • Good, clear communication – make sure the words that you use are giving the right meaning to the person you are talking to.
  • Know the occasion
  • Know how the arrangement will be used
  • Know your color preferences
  • Know your budget

By following these easy steps, you can be sure you’re getting exactly what you want from your local florist. Let Robbin explain it all in this video:


  1. This is really informative article you have been shared..
    Excellent information you have been shared…

  2. Thank you!

Speak Your Mind

Connect with Facebook