The Man's Guide to Flowers

Tips for choosing a beautiful bouquet

By Marcus Riley
|  Tuesday, Jun 9, 2009  |  Updated 5:54 PM EDT
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Need to buy mom some flowers but don't want to settle for a generic arrangement you found online? There is a better way.

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Valentine's Day may be a distant memory, but  another "holiday" in which dudes need to go through the process of buying flowers is on the horizon. Because procuring perrennials is not an activity ingrained in our DNA, us guys need some help.

FTD and 1-800-FLOWERS are easy options, but that can be a hit or miss proposition, plus, the designs can be rather generic, not to mention overpriced. The best way to reach that place in your special lady's heart is to come up with something unique.

"Many men forget that they can call a florist to make them a custom creation for any event or any recipient," said Mike Hines, owner of Epoch Floral, Inc. in Chicago. "They just need a little direction when calling in and ordering to give it that personal touch and score some extra brownie points."

Hines says to keep the following things in mind when buying flowers: 

  • Budget: Make sure you let the florist know your budget on the floral design and what the occasion is. For example, birthdays may not be as extravagant as anniversary.
  • Recipient: Keep in mind who the flowers are going to. Mother? Mother-in-Law? Girlfriend? Friend? Co-Worker? Lover? All of these people will be getting a different type of design, color and presentation. For example, consider whether you are trying to say “I love you” or “Thanks.”
  • Personal Touch: What is their favorite color? Flower? Be sure to tell the florist that so they can incorporate something into the arrangement. This is something that women remember and will appreciate.
  • Location: Are they going to be carrying it home from work or is it going to a house? This is also something you should think about so the flowers won’t be left at a desk all night.
  • Money Matters: The more you spend, the better the design. This doesn’t necessarily mean size, but flowers, design, container, etc. If you are willing to spend a little extra, do it. The end product will be worth it and definitely earn some brownie points.
  • Keep the Peace: Flowers for mothers and mother-in-laws are a great idea, just don’t send so-so flowers to the girl and extravagant flowers to their mother!
  • Dude, Where's My Flowers? Men like flowers, too, so all the above rules still apply. Let the florist know so they can use dark vases and woody stems to make the design more masculine and personalized.
  • Color: A color sends a thousand words. Color plays a big role. Depending on who the recipient is, men should be aware of the colors they are sending. Red typically means love or sex, so we stay away from red flowers in an office setting or when sending to their mothers. Yellows and whites are neutral and elegant and can be sent to an office or to a mother-in-law.
  • The Card: A great tip when ordering flowers in advance is to hand write the card and have it picked up or delivered to be attached to the flowers for a super special touch. This is something that takes advance ordering, but well worth it.

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