Do Florists Secretly Rule the World?

Looks pretty. Actually an instrument of torture.

As you may know, I’m planning a wedding. I try not to write about it too much because, well, this isn’t some sort of Martha-Stewarty-wedding-planning-blog. You don’t need to know about brie-and-blueberry tartlets or stuffing invitations—or maybe you already do know, and don’t want to relive those things.

Regardless, I ask you this: do florists secretly rule the world?

I’m completely serious. I tried on about four dresses before I found my wedding dress, all at the same store. I got my first-choice venue, my first-choice photographer, and my first-choice caterer, even though I’m getting married on a Sunday that happens to also be Father’s Day. My dream-officiant is traveling from the next state to perform the ceremony.

But today alone, I’ve been rejected by two florists and shamed by one. My first choice called me at 10 a.m. and, when I answered the phone a little hoarse from coughing, she said in that snide voice some parents have mastered (*coughmotherinlawcough*), “Oh, did I wake you up?”

Uh, no. She then proceeded to turn down my wedding.

The next florist was just plain rude. “Oh! It’s on Father’s Day? Weird. Well, we need to get you in here soon. Well, I can’t do Monday, so it’ll have to be Wednesday. *sigh* Oh, well, I guess we’ll rearrange so you can come in later.”

I realize that these people have a special skill, are even masters of their art, but I’m hiring them for a $1000 one-day job. A little courtesy would be nice. And aren’t people supposed to bend over backward to make sunshine and love pour down from the heavens onto the bride?

Flower-growing regions around Lake Naivasha in Kenya.

The amazing How Stuff Works podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You did a Valentine’s Day episode about the hidden costs of Valentine’s Day flowers: exploited workers in Africa and Columbia, the costs of shipping fresh flowers worldwide, the chemicals used in growing and preserving the flowers, and the general horror of such a, well, useless industry.

Globally, we spend more than $100 billion on flowers every year… and only, like, half of that is from weddings, I’m sure.

Florists may have 60-hour work-weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and just about every weekend in June (as I’ve learned, to my chagrin), but they’re raking in astronomical amounts of cash. And they’re unlikely to be replaced by some new digital technology. They employ workers on every habitable continent, and they have the power to make brides beg on hand-and-knee.

I’m telling you, florists are evil geniuses. One day they will reveal themselves as our fragrant overlords, and we will bow at their baby’s-breath throne.

What do you think, readers? Do florists rule the world?

6 thoughts on “Do Florists Secretly Rule the World?

  1. I tend to avoid flowers as I am allergic to every flowering plant on the planet, but I can see your point. You can boycott them and do fruit arrangements?

  2. We didn’t do flowers because a: they’re expensive and b: then they die. Instead we made our own arrangements with moss, water pearls, and submersible lights. Cheaper and reusable for holidays.

    Reading this made me SO glad we opted to do that. So, so, so glad. There is very little excuse for being rude to potential customers — especially if they’re offering you such a significant opportunity for your business to make money. Word of mouth for wedding vendors is CRUCIAL — I would say feel free to mention their rudeness to other brides you meet.

    • Your arrangements sound cool, Emmie. And Kristin, hang in there – and make sure you spread the word about those florists who were rude to you. Does your town have Yelp, or the equivilent on-line rating page?

    • Emmie, those arrangements sound awesome! …pictures? 🙂

      Another friend of mine scattered fall leaves and crystal points over the tables, and I’m thinking of maybe copying that just to cut back on the flowers.

      The hilarious thing about all this is that the rudest florist got AWESOME recommendations from a local acquaintance, who said she’s “terse but amazing.” That does not inspire great confidence.

  3. Fragrant overlords. Hahaha.

    I love what Emmie did but I also love the smell and feel of fresh flowers. For her wedding, my sister ordered Gerbera daisies from her local grocery store and we arranged them in vases and they were beautiful, colorful . . . and cheap. Simple, yes, but the wedding really is about the union and the celebrating not who has the most sophisticated centerpieces.

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