Why Do We Carve Pumpkins and Dress Up in Costumes at Halloween?

We love to honor tradition by celebrating holidays, especially ones with seemingly absurd origins which bring about colorful characters like the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, Cupid, and Father Time.

We typically don’t delve too deep into why these particular characters show up, or how they got to be so popular in the first place, because it’s more fun just to go along with it than to question every little detail. But sometimes you just have to wonder why every October we let our kids dress up as pirates and princesses and take to the streets of the neighborhood searching for sugary treasure.

Cute and Creepy by Mancuso’s Florist

When left to the imagination, there aren’t many holidays that are more fun than Halloween. From carving pumpkins to trick-or-treating and haunted houses, Halloween has become a whimsical celebration of things that most people find scary or downright chilling any other time of the year.

Carving jack-o-lanterns is a tradition that began several hundred years ago in Ireland, but back in those days, they were carved from potatoes and turnips. It wasn’t until years later, after the Irish immigrated to the United States, that they discovered that pumpkins made for a much better medium due to their abundance in the new world, thus a new tradition was born.

Legend has it that the jack-o-lanterns were originally intended to frighten away the wandering soul of Stingy Jack, who was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity after tricking the devil and later finding out he wasn’t allowed into heaven or hell.

This also loosely explains why we dress up in costumes – to disguise ourselves from the souls wandering amongst us – including Stingy Jack!

Or perhaps it doesn’t.

According to Lisa Morton, author of “Trick or Treat: A history of Halloween,” dressing up as a way to scare off evil spirits is a common misconception about the holiday. Morton contends that people didn’t start dressing up until much later – as in the 1800s.

Spooktacular Spider by Mancuso’s Florist

By that time, Halloween was known for pranks which were becoming more and more elaborate and dangerous. So much so that towns and cities were thinking about canceling Halloween because many felt that the pranks were getting out of hand.

That led to a gradual push from families, communities and civic organizations to change the nature of the holidays from pranks to the “trick or treat” traditions we know today.

Sadly, Morton’s version of buying off kids with treats and costumes is probably a bit closer to reality than the warding off evil spirits angle, but as with most holiday traditions, you never really know for sure!

Whatever the reason for dressing up and trick-or-treating, your friends at Mancuso’s Florist are here to get you in the mood for a spectacularly spooky Halloween! Make no bones about it, our ghoulish delights will make the wickedest witches green with envy, so stop by today – if you dare!

Simplifying Sympathy Flowers

Flowers are a wonderful way to communicate thoughts and feelings in times when words just aren’t enough. We love to send and receive them on joyous occasions such as birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, achievements and milestones.

But flowers also play a very important role in some of life’s most somber moments as well because of their ability to express sincere sympathy and lend support to those grieving over the lost a loved one when no words will do.

For many, ordering sympathy flowers can be a confusing and intimidating task, especially when you consider the circumstances, emotions, and responsibilities that you are suddenly forced to handle without much prior notice or time for planning. It can feel very intimidating, but your friends at Mancuso’s Florist are here to help guide you through the process and address any questions or concerns that you have in order to put your mind at ease.

Selecting the flowers

Gentle Thoughts Spray by Mancuso’s Florist

When deciding on sympathy or funeral flowers, the first thing to consider is your relationship with the deceased. Traditionally, the immediate family selects a memorial wreath or casket spray for the service. Close family and friends often opt for personalized floral tributes that reflect the deceased’s personality, occupation, hobbies or passions. These flowers are typically displayed during the funeral service.

Other friends, relatives, and co-workers have many other options available including plants and simple floral baskets which can either be used for the service itself or sent to the home of the bereaved. The best choice in this instance are flowers that reflect the personality or relationship with the deceased as many modern funeral services focus on the celebration of life more so than mourning the passing.

When to send flowers

Timing varies greatly depending upon several factors, but a good rule of thumb is to order funeral flowers at least 24 hours in advance of the funeral or memorial service, and even 48 hours for larger pieces like wreaths or sprays. Many funeral homes prefer to have the flowers in place several hours before the ceremony, so the earlier you order, the better. This also helps the florist by reducing the number of deliveries they need to make.

Sympathy flowers that are intended for the family and not the service may be sent directly to the home. The timing of these deliveries isn’t particularly as important, so any time after the service is over is appropriate.

In lieu of flowers

There is often some confusion when obituaries contain the phrase: “In Lieu of Flowers.” Contrary to popular belief, this terminology does not mean that the family does not want flowers. If that were the case, the phrase “please omit” would be used instead. It does, however, indicate that you have the option of making a donation instead of – or in addition to – sending flowers. Unless specifically stated, flowers are always an appropriate symbol of sympathy.

Other things to consider

With so many different types of memorial services and so many other variables based on religion, cultural, or family preferences, understanding funeral etiquette is not always a simple task. At Mancuso’s Florist, we’re here to help you make an appropriate selection and choose a thoughtful gift when filling your funeral flower order.

When words just aren’t enough…

Lilies of the Field by Mancuso’s Florist

The most important thing to remember is that a gift of flowers can make a big difference for grieving family members and friends. It can often speak louder than words and lets them know you are thinking of them during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Your friends at Mancuso’s Florist will help you find the right type of arrangement, and we are happy to offer guidance and suggestions if you’re unsure which style or design you wish to send. After you order, you can rest assured knowing that we will handle all the details to make sure your flowers are delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.

Celebrate National Indoor Plant Week with Mancuso’s Florist

September 17-21 is National Indoor Plant Week and your friends at Mancuso’s Florist are ready for this fun celebration that was established to promote and increase public awareness of the importance of live plants in interior spaces.

Beyond their alluring beauty – which enhances nearly every living space – green plants provide a multitude of health benefits that go far beyond the aesthetic for the people and pets who live amongst them.

Arboricola Plant by Mancuso’s Florist

Plants work around the clock to clean the air by creating oxygen and removing carbon dioxide: which also helps to decrease stress, enhance mood and even improve sleep.

In addition to all the amazing health benefits that indoor plants provide, they are also little green powerhouses that work hard in improving their environment by increasing humidity, keeping temperatures down and reducing airborne dust levels in the home or office.

With all the amazing claims about the benefits of indoor plants, it’s easy to be a bit skeptical and wonder if they really live up to the hype or if their benefits are born from legends and wives’ tales. The answer to that was confirmed by NASA after their research discovered that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours, which alone seems like reason enough to surround yourself with them as much as possible.

Which Plants are Right for Me?

Environmental scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton was heavily involved with the NASA studies on the benefits of plants and published his findings in a simple consumer-friendly book, “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office” in which he recommends the following plants in order of most effective to least in a typical home:

  1. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
  2. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
  4. Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)
  5. Deacaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena dermensis)
  6. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  7. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
  8. Ficus “Alii” (Ficus macleilandii)
  9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”)
  10. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  11. Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)
  12. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  13. Kimberley Queen Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)
  14. Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
  15. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  16. Dracaena “Warneckei” (Dracaena dermensis)
  17. Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
  18. Red Emerald Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens)
  19. Syngonium (Syngonium podophyllum)
  20. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia “Exotica Compacta”)
  21. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
  22. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
  23. Schefflera / Umbrella Plant (Schefflera arboricola)
  24. Wax Begonia (Begonia Semperflorens)
  25. Lacy Tree Philodendron (Philodendron selloum)
  26. Heart-Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron Oxycardium)
  27. Snake plant / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata / laurentii)
  28. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia camilla)
  29. Elephant Ear Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum / tuxla)
  30. Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
  31. King of Hearts (Homalomena wallisii)
  32. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura “Kerchoveann”)
  33. Dwarf Banana (Musa cavendishii)
  34. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi)
  35. Easter Cactus (Schlumbergera gaertneri)
  36. Oakleaf Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia “Ellen Danika”)
  37. Lily Turk (Liriope spicata)
  38. Dendrobium Orchid (Dendrobium)
  39. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  40. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema crispum “Silver Queen”)
  41. Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)
  42. Croton (Codiaeum variegatum pictum)
  43. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
  44. Dwarf Azalea (Rhodedendron simsii “Compacta”)
  45. Peacock Plant (Calthea makoyana)
  46. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
  47. Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
  48. Urn Plant (Aechmea fasciata)
  49. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)
  50. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

It’s important to remember that Dr. Wolverton’s book was published over 20 years ago so his list if focused on houseplants that were popular at the time. That also means that a lot of modern house plants weren’t included on the list.

But, regardless of whether a particular plant is on this list, keep in mind that nearly every plant on the planet has air-cleaning abilities so the best plants for your home or office are really a matter of personal preference. It’s up to you to decide which ones give you pleasure and best fit your lifestyle. Some plants require more maintenance and care than others and some thrive better in particular environments.

If you’re looking for plants primary based on their health benefits, certain varieties excel more than others in particular duties. For example; orchids, snake plants, succulents, and bromeliads emit oxygen at night, making them an outstanding choice to have in the bedroom. Some plants are also more sensitive to direct sunlight and cold drafts, so it’s a good idea to take that into consideration as well.

If you are unsure of which plants you would like for your home or office, our experts here at Mancuso’s Florist will be happy to help you choose the plant that is perfect for you. Stop by and check out our selection of indoor plants and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you can’t decide on the perfect plant, pick up a few different varieties and see which ones you like best!

Toast Tremendous Teachers with a Thoughtful Treat

It’s that time of year once again! Back-to-school sales are happening everywhere, and teachers are busy preparing for the start of another school year.

World’s Best Teacher by Mancuso’s Florist

With summer winding down, now is not only the perfect time to show your appreciation to those who have been taking care of your kids during the break, but also a fantastic opportunity to start the school year off right with a gift of flowers for the teachers, facility, coaches, and staff who will be enriching their lives over the next nine months.

To some, it may seem like the summer flew by too fast while others have been counting the days until the new school year begins. Regardless of how you feel about your kids going back to school, we hope your summer was filled with adventure and learning experiences that can’t be taught in schools. If there are any nannies, babysitters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, camp counselors, clergy members or coaches who influenced your summer, flowers are always a perfect way to acknowledge and say thanks for their hard work and dedication.

Most of those people aren’t expecting gifts, so the gesture certainly isn’t necessary, but even a small token of your appreciation is a thoughtful way of showing gratitude that often means more to the recipient than the giver will ever realize.

Forget the apple

It’s 2018 – your teacher doesn’t want an apple unless it’s a phone or computer – so forget the fruit in favor of a beautiful bouquet of brightly-colored flowers instead. Flowers really are the perfect way to set the mood for the start of the school year while brightening up the classroom at the same time.

Teacher’s Pet by Mancuso’s Florist

Teachers aren’t the only ones who enjoy flowers, however, so don’t forget bus drivers, teacher’s aides, facility members, crossing guards, and everyone else who makes the school a fun and inviting place to learn. Flowers are so wonderful at putting smiles on people’s faces, especially when they’re least expected. At Mancuso’s Florist, we specialize in helping you choose the perfect gift for everyone on your list – no matter how big or small of an impact they have on your children’s education.

If you have a friend or family member going away to college for the first time this fall, flowers are a fun and festive way to decorate dorm rooms and live plants are perfect picks if you’re looking for a longer-lasting gift. Most of the plants we carry are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of work, which is ideal for busy students who are always on the go.

Regardless of whether you’re sending flowers to thank someone for a job well done, congratulate someone for a notable accomplishment, wish someone good luck, or simply to make someone’s day, Mancuso’s Florist is here to help with all your back-to-school floral needs. If you don’t know exactly what you want to send, never fear – we’re here to help! Give us a call at (586) 426-6410, order online, or better yet – stop by the shop and look around – you never know what we may have in store for you!

Ready to Pop the Question? Don’t Forget the Flowers!

One of life’s most important decisions is deciding on the right partner and starting a new chapter together as a married couple. But before that can happen, someone has to pop the question!

Rose Petals by Mancuso’s Florist

If this is your situation then hopefully you’ve already identified the lucky person and more importantly – are reasonably sure that they will say “yes.” It also helps immensely to have the ring on hand for this occasion, but that isn’t always a deal-breaker.

Now comes the fun part – formulating a plan that will be both memorable and romantic. Unless your fiancée-to-hopefully-be is a die-hard avid sports fan who loves the spotlight, you can go ahead and cross ‘proposing on the jumbotron of a large sports stadium’ off that list. Not only has that been done to death, but it typically isn’t anywhere near as romantic as both partners are hoping for – you can do better.

The best ideas are the original ones, and it helps if you can incorporate something special that you and your partner enjoy together. Here are five creative ways to help you make the moment special, but don’t be afraid to modify them to suit your style and whatever you do…DON’T forget the flowers, because if you do, we can’t guarantee results!

For the Beach Lover

For this one, you will need an accomplice. Prior to your big question, you will meet up with said accomplice and carve out a shallow heart in the sand, fill it with rose petals and have them stand by the heart to ensure its perfection. Let you partner-in-crime know to step away from the heart when they see you coming, and to be camera ready, that way you can just “happen upon” the heart and get that photo! Once you reach that heart with your fiancée-to-be have them stand inside it as you go down on one knee.

For the Introvert

Leave a single long-stem rose on their pillow with the ring tucked inside the petals or strung on the steam with a love letter as to why you pick them. If your partner is shy or introverted they will likely appreciate the intimacy without the awkwardness of involving other people.

For the Adventurer

Take a dozen roses and attach memories to each one along with a clue as to where to find the next rose. Be waiting at the end with the last rose in hand. When they arrive, simply hand over the rose and propose.

For the Traditionalist

Make reservations at a favorite restaurant or pick out somewhere nice. There are fewer and fewer occasions to get dressed to the 9’s, but this is still one of them. Begin by sending flowers to them at work with a handwritten invitation to dinner. Prior to your arrival at the restaurant make sure the hostess knows that you plan to propose during dessert by having your server bring out champagne with your sweets. When the confusion sets in about why you ordered champagne, you’ll know the time is right.

For the Family

If your fiancée-to-be is extremely close to their family, consider asking them to get involved by being your messengers. Give each one of them a rose with a hand-written love note to present to your sweetheart throughout the day. Then, arrange to meet in a special spot at the end of the day so you can present the last rose and the ultimate reason for your love.

We hope these ideas help make your upcoming proposal amazing! Good luck and make sure to order your flowers early. No matter if you need the rose petals, the single long stems or dozens of flowers in her favorite shade, Mancuso’s Florist is here to help!

Fantastic Flowers: Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera daisies are bright and cheerful flowers with an irresistible charm. Not only can these daisy-like flowers be found in a variety of sizes that grow up to seven inches wide, they are also available in almost every natural color of the rainbow – except blue.

Symbolic of innocence, purity, and cheerfulness, a handful of Gerbera daisies creates an instant centerpiece or bouquet, but they really shine when paired with other flowers for added texture, fragrance and height – which is why they are the fifth the most popular cut flower behind only roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and tulips.

All Dazzling Daisies by Mancuso’s Florist

But their unmistakable beauty isn’t the only reason for their popularity. Gerbera daisies are also one of the longest lasting cut flowers and their year-round availability and affordable price makes them even more attractive. They also provide added health benefits by discharging oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide and other airborne toxins at night. In fact, some people place Gerberas next to their beds to enjoy better sleep.

For those of us intimidated by color theory, Gerbera daisies eliminate the guesswork! Their beautiful, large blooms crowd hundreds of petals onto each stem, creating a living color wheel of contrasting shades in unexpected combinations. From the classic mix of chocolate, cream and pink, to the spring freshness of grass, blush and ivory, or the dramatic impact of ebony, saffron and crimson there’s a Gerbera Daisy for everyone.

Originally from South Africa where some native species still grow wild, Gerbera daisies were first discovered in 1880 by a Scotsman named Robert Jameson operating a gold mine in Transvaal.

Also known as African Daisies or Transvaal Daisies, these stunning flowers understandably captured the imagination of plant collectors and breeders who found ways to create the exciting colors and long, sturdy, cut flower stems we know today.

With as many meanings as there are colors, Gerbera daisies have become a way to express a range of emotions.

• Red expresses love
• Pink conveys admiration and gratitude
• Bright orange represents warmth and happiness
• Yellow denotes cheerfulness
• White symbolizes purity and innocence

Care tips

  • When selecting Gerbera daisies, look for round heads and unblemished petals and make sure the stems are long and straight. To keep those stems standing tall, it’s important to keep them away from bright light because, like sunflowers, Gerbera daisies turn their heads towards the source of light.
  • Gerbera daisy stems also have a tendency to get blocked which can cause them to wilt prematurely. To prevent this from happening, be sure to change their water daily, or better yet, re-cut the stems under warm water to help the flower uptake water. They are also sensitive to fluoride so it might be a good idea to use bottled or filtered water if you tap water is fluorinated.

Although it may sound complicated, a little care goes a long way so it isn’t unusual for Gerbera daisies to last up to 14 days in a vase.

Did You Know?

Despite their South African origin, Gerbera daisies were named after German botanist Trauggott Gerber, hence the reason for always capitalizing the name Gerbera – it’s a proper noun!

Mancuso’s Florist is your source for gorgeous Gerbera daisies! Give us a call or check out some of our fantastic designs featuring the incredible Gerbera daisy. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, we will be happy to design something special just for you.

Why Did Yankee Doodle Call His Hat Macaroni?

Independence Day is one of the most cherished and time-honored holidays in the United States. This federal holiday is an annual celebration of American independence from the British Empire and is commonly associated with parades, picnics, carnivals, and concerts during the day – topped off with majestic fireworks displays after sunset.

The firework shows are traditionally set to patriotic anthems including Yankee Doodle – a well-known American song that predates the American Revolution. We all know the tune, even if we don’t understand the lyrics. Why did Yankee Doodle go to town? Why did he call his hat “macaroni” after sticking a feather in it? And most importantly, how do such seemingly-nonsensical words play such a prominent role in our nation’s history?

“Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on pony.
He stuck a feather in his cap
And called it Macaroni.”

Before we find out why Yankee Doodle called his hat “macaroni,” we should probably back up and find out what the term “Yankee Doodle” means.

The term “Yankee” itself has several interrelated meanings depending on the context, however, all of them refer to people from the United States. Outside of the U.S., the term is used to refer to any American – including Southerners. Within the United States, however, the term is a derisive one which refers to all Northerners – especially ones from the Union side of the American Civil War. Some people go a step further and only view New Englanders as true “Yankees.”

The first appearance of the term “doodle” can be traced back to the early 17th century and is thought to be derived from the Low Saxon word “dudel,” which means “playing music badly,” or “Dodel, meaning “simpleton” or “fool.”

What Does That Have to do with Macaroni?

Today when we think of macaroni, we typically start salivating for the nostalgically-delicious childhood meal made of noodles and a cheese-like substance eaten from a box, but the macaroni in this instance refers to a fashionable man from the mid-18th century who spoke and dressed in an outlandish and epicene manner.

Never Forgotten by Mancuso’s Florist

But why macaroni? Because young upper-class British men returning from trips to Italy developed a taste for the pasta that was hardly known in England at the time and were said to belong to the Macaroni Club because of their insistence on referring to anything fashionable as “very macaroni.”

It’s all starting to come together now. When British surgeon Dr. Richard Shuckburgh penned the lyrics, he was mocking Yankees by insinuating that they were low-class simpletons who lacked masculinity – as if simply putting a feather in one’s cap would make him sophisticated and noble.

That sure doesn’t sound patriotic, but the Yankees soon turned the tables by embracing the song as an anthem of defiance. Americans subsequently went a step further by adding additional verses mocking the British and shortly thereafter, the song went from being an insult to a source of national pride.

That was more than 200 years ago, and the song still stands as one of our nation’s most beloved and patriotic tunes. In fact, President John F. Kennedy once bought a pony for his daughter Caroline – and called it Macaroni.

If you’re heading out to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, or plan on hosting a celebration of your own – don’t forget the flowers! Mancuso’s Florist is here to help you celebrate with a bang with a beautiful bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers – perfect for the 4th of July. Give us a call or stop in today to see what’s in store for you. If you find exactly what you’d like, we’ll make it for you! Have a safe and happy 4th from your friends at Mancuso’s Florist.

Short on Time? Here’s How to Handle a Quick Engagement

The decision to get married is one of the most important choices most people make in life. Some couples spend years planning their future together while others see no reason to wait any longer and jump right in with no regrets.

There are no set rules when it comes to the length of the engagement, but it’s important to remember that the bigger and more complex the wedding is, the more time it takes to plan. There are a lot of things that need to be coordinated, so it makes sense to begin booking as early as possible.

According to The Knot, the average engagement period is around 14 months – or a little over a year. Some people take longer, but for couples hoping to tie the knot on a particular date or those who have another reason to expedite the process, the limited time available for planning can be a problem.

If your anticipated wedding date is only a few months away, never fear! It is possible to pull off a dream wedding if you’re short on time. Here are some things to keep in mind as the big day quickly approaches.

#1 – Don’t panic!

If you are planning a short engagement, you need to act fast, but not too fast. Rushed planning often leads to mistakes, so taking the proper steps can help you minimize problems. Nearly everyone encounters some sort of scheduling snags when planning a wedding, so you’ll not only need to act quickly, but you’ll also have less time to make decisions and analyze alternatives.

#2 – Set a realistic budget

One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning weddings is underbudgeting. Since many people only plan one wedding in their lives, it’s easy to underestimate just how much things actually cost, and expenditures add up quick. On top of that, many vendors may charge more if you try to book on short notice – if they’re even still available – because it will require extra work on their part. It’s important to keep that in mind and temper expectations accordingly. This may be the biggest day of your life, but it’s up to you to decide how much of a financial burden you’re willing to take on to make that happen. It’s not hard to rack up some serious debt if you don’t stick to your budget, and that’s not a fun way to begin your new life as a couple.

#3 – Cover the basics

If you don’t already have the date set, now is the time to do that. The more flexibility you have here, the better. If you’re planning a quick engagement, it’s important to keep in mind that the more people you want to invite, the more schedules you’ll potentially have to work around. Flexible dates will also open up more options when it comes to venues and vendors.

In addition to picking a date, it’s now time to ask your attendants, find a venue, and a caterer. If you don’t know who to hire, ask friends or look online to see if there is a wedding network in the area. Another great option is calling your local florist because they often have close relationships with many vendors who will be able to offer suggestions.

Once you have the venue secured you can begin booking vendors such as the florist, officiant and, musicians. The next step is to pick out a dress because they can often take up to three months to arrive. If your engagement is brief, you might have to pick something off the rack and have it altered.

#4 – Choose the right vendors

Make sure to do your homework, ask friends and co-workers for suggestions. Once you have a few possibilities, check out their websites and social media to determine if their vibe and price point would be a good fit for your wedding style and budget.

Call each vendor 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.

Make sure to review examples of the vendor’s work during your consultation. This will help you have an overall sense of what the vendor’s capabilities are. Be sure to ask, “What will you need from me prior, during, and after my wedding?” Lastly, find out who will be the person providing the service on the day of your wedding.

Now is also a good time to order your invitations, notify any out of town guests of the event, and book the honeymoon.

#5 – Dive into the details

Now that you have a date set in stone and a venue secured – and have also booked caterers, musicians, and officiants – it’s time to pay attention to the small details because they make a big difference when it comes to making your big day exceptional.

Remember that renting equipment doesn’t just include tables and chairs for your reception. You can also rent silk plants, candelabras, and ceremony extras like arches, for example.

Make sure that you choose a reputable company to assist you with equipment rental. Just like the other vendors you are contracting with, it is important to find a company that is known for the quality of their equipment and the reliability of their staff. Ask those closest to you for recommendations in addition to referrals from your florist or local wedding network.

To save time and potential headaches with this step, a good idea is to create a “wish list” of what you would like to reserve. Refer to your other vendor contracts for what they do and don’t provide as a starting place.

You should also be ready to pay a deposit and remember that this is traditionally one-third of the total package price. Also, be prepared to spend a chunk time – because now is the time to really focus on your bridal vision and get creative. Be ready to ask a lot of questions.

At this point you should also begin sending invitations, setting up wedding registries, picking out wedding bands and renting groom and attendants attire. Remember that out-of-town attendants will need to get fitted prior to the ceremony date and have their measurements sent to the shop you will be renting from.

#6 – Choose a photographer

One of the pivotal decisions that must be made by a bride and groom when planning their special day is the photographer. This is a very personal choice, especially when you consider this person will be hanging around you and your guests for a whole day. It’s important to be sure you like their photography style and are comfortable with their packages and pricing. Review full wedding albums and not just their highlight reels and ask a lot of questions if there are things you don’t understand.

Ultimately photographers are vendors you hire, so like the other companies you have contracted with, we suggest getting personal recommendations and check out local vendor sites.

Don’t forget to ask about:

  • Shooting fee
  • What is in each package
  • Additional costs like special effects or an engagement shoot
  • Your rights: In most contracts, photographers own the rights to all photos they take. If you want to order photos from another source you’ll probably have to buy the rights to the images.
  • Post wedding details: How long does it take to get proofs of your images? How many images should you expect? When are the photos retouched? Is that prior to getting your proofs or after selecting your images?

At this point in the planning process, you should also be reserving transportation, picking music, buying your attendant gifts and reserving a suite for your wedding night.

#7 – Piecing it all together

Now you’re in the final stretch, and it’s time to take care of things such as writing vows and determining what readings you will have in your ceremony and who will read them. This is also the time that you should be finalizing your menu, going for your final dress fitting, and attempting a dry-run of makeup and hair.

While you’re at it, get blood tests (if required by state) and a marriage license. It’s also a good time to make a seating chart and book house/pet sitter for the honeymoon.

#8 – The big day!

Even if you have done all the work yourself up until this point, it might be wise to hire a “day-of” wedding coordinator or enlist a trusted family member to handle any last-minute issues that arise because you’ll be too busy with other things to put out fires.

Just remember – there will be fires! In fact, you can almost count on some last-minute issues popping up on your big day – it happens to everyone.

The most important thing you can do is not let those things stress you out or take your focus off one of the most important days of your life. This day is all about you and your loved ones, but now is not the day for you to try to make everyone happy.

Thanks to your careful planning, everything will be fine and people will have fun! The day will be a blur and will be over before you know it, so make sure to take some time to enjoy it while you’re in the moment. Remember, your honeymoon is right around the corner!

 

Get Ready for a Fun-Filled Summer with Mancuso’s Florist

Memorial Day is here at last, and that means the unofficial start of summer! As the school year winds down and the temperature rises, summertime is the perfect time for flowers and your friends at Mancuso’s Florist are here to help make your summer one of the brightest and most beautiful yet!

For children in school, summer begins the moment the final bell rings on the last day of class. In fact, rock star Alice Cooper, who penned the infamous – and controversial – 1972 hit “School’s Out” likened the feeling of the last three minutes of the last day of school to the rush of waking up to a house filled with presents on Christmas morning.

No matter how old we are, we can all look back and reminisce about the exciting prospect of an entire summer filled with fun activities and few responsibilities – oh, to be young again!

Even if summertime looks a little different than it did when we were children, it doesn’t have to be any less exciting. In fact, we still manage to pack quite a few events into the warm days and long evenings of June, July, and August.

No matter how you decide to spend your summer, don’t forget the flowers! The summer season is full of opportunities for sending flowers – you surely know someone with a birthday or anniversary in June, July or August, right? If not, consider one of these special occasions:

Memorial Day

For many, summer starts off on a somber tone as we take this special day to remember the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom. Many choose to mark the occasion by visiting a cemetery or grave site of a loved one to pay their respects, and flowers are always an appropriate way to memorialize. There are no rules when it comes to which flowers to use as a memorial – some choose traditional flowers in red or white as a nod to the American flag but choosing specific flowers or colors that had special meaning to the deceased adds a nice personal touch. If you’re unsure what is appropriate – or have no idea which flowers to choose, we’re just a phone call away and our designers are experts in helping you find a fitting tribute.

End of the school year

Many schools traditionally take the last few days of the year as an opportunity to thank teachers, aides, assistants, coaches, administrators and parents for the important roles they played throughout the school year. Although this is certainly not an obligation – nor is it expected – gift cards and flowers are always appreciated by those who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to help educate America’s youth. Even if you don’t have kids in school, but know someone who works there, a big, bold, beautiful bouquet of flowers is an excellent way of congratulating them on a job well done.

Weddings

Summer season is wedding season, and weddings are all about flowers! While you won’t have to bring any flowers to the ceremony itself (we’ve got that covered), you’ll have plenty of opportunities for giving the gift of flowers for receptions and showers. Don’t forget the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom – they love flowers too! Of course, we also have a fine selection of gifts in-store that are perfect for this particular occasion.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 17 this year, and believe it or not, Mancuso’s Florist is your one-stop shop for all your Father’s Day gifts. Be sure to check out our selection of gift items to find something truly unique for dad. It’s okay if he isn’t exactly a “flower kind of guy,” because we have other options. If you’re in a bind and just don’t know what to get, let us know and we can help you find something special for him.

Independence Day

The Fourth of July is a mid-summer treat for all Americans! Like Memorial Day, this holiday takes on a patriotic tone, but instead of a day of reembrace, Independence Day is a day of celebration! With so many municipalities hosting parades, cookouts, and fireworks shows, there are sure to be some fun activities in your area. Perhaps you were invited to a picnic or cookout on the 4th, and what better way to show your appreciation to the host than a beautiful patriotic bouquet to help liven up the party? As the holiday nears, we will feature a special selection of red, white and blue flowers that will be the hit of any Independence Day celebration.

Labor Day

Labor Day may seem far away, but you know how fast summers seem to go! This 3-day weekend signifies the end of summer for many, but it’s still one last chance to get outside and go for a swim, ride a bike, watch a sunset, or just simply spend some time outside enjoying the marvels of nature. For many, this holiday is a salute to the working men and women of this country and a well-deserved day of rest. It’s also one last chance to enjoy some time with friends and family before the kids head back to school. No matter how you choose to celebrate Labor Day – do it with flowers!

From our family here at Mancuso’s Florist to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy summer! Please give us a call or stop by and visit anytime you’re in the area – we’re here to help keep your celebrations bold and beautiful, all summer long.

Goodbye April Showers – Hello May Flowers!

While the lingering effects from a long, cold winter are finally starting to make way for a long overdue springtime, it still comes as a surprise to most of us that May is here already – but we couldn’t be happier, because April showers always bring May flowers!

May is the perfect time to celebrate with flowers – all month long! In fact, the very first day of the month is May Day – a celebration of spring that is traditionally celebrated by giving “May baskets” made up of flowers or sweets – or a combination of the two – that is usually left anonymously on the doorsteps of neighbors.

To many, this may seem like a strange way to celebrate a holiday, especially considering that the givers of May baskets would usually ring the doorbell and run away – leaving the recipient to open the door and find nothing but a basket of flowers!

In some communities, leaving a May basket at someone’s door was an excellent opportunity to express romantic interest because tradition called for the recipient to give chase and attempt to steal a kiss from the person who hung the basket. In other parts of the country, however, it was considered a disgrace if the flower giver was caught by the recipient.

May Day isn’t nearly as popular in this country as it was a century ago, and today the concept seems quaint and dated to many people in this era of text messages and Snapchat, but this throwback to simpler times is still an official holiday in 66 countries around the world.

While no longer as common in the United States, May Day celebrations still take place in some regions of the country. In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day, which is a day to celebrate the culture of the island and Native Hawaiians.

Mother’s Day

Of course, the most obvious occasion for giving flowers during the month of May is Mother’s Day. This year we celebrate mom on Sunday, May 13.

Magnificent Mom by Mancuso’s Florist

Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year when it comes to flowers, greeting cards, phone calls and restaurant reservations – and with good reason. It’s often hard to find appropriate ways to express gratitude to someone so important and dear to us as our mothers, but nearly everyone loves flowers!

For florists, Mother’s Day is one of our busiest times of the year, and also one of our favorites. Unlike many of the other holidays were certain colors or types of flowers tend to dominate, (like red roses on Valentine’s Day) Mother’s Day typically offers more freedom to design something special and truly unique – that mom is sure to love!

Here at Mancuso’s, we’ve been planning for this special day since the end of Valentine’s Day, and we’re ready to help you find something perfect for your mom. We are featuring new designs especially for this season as well as some old favorites, and of course, we can always custom-design something especially for you so that you can truly give your mom a one-of-a-kind gift this Mother’s Day.

But That’s Not All…

Between Mother’s Day, May Day, and flowers popping up everywhere we turn, May is truly the month of flowers, but there are many more ways to celebrate with flowers this month.

Memorial Day is just around the corner – this year it falls on Monday, May 28. Traditionally observed as a day to honor those who have died in military service, this holiday also marks the unofficial start of summer. If you are attending a picnic or observance on Memorial Day, flowers are always an appropriate way to show gratitude and appreciation.

May is also the time for graduations for many students across the country, as well an excellent chance for a gift to say “thanks” to all those teachers and educators who worked so hard throughout the year.

Whatever your reason, say it with flowers this May with the help of your friends at Mancuso’s Florist. No matter the occasion, we’re here to help you find the perfect gift. Give us a call or come in and see us for all your floral needs – and we hope your May is beautiful and bright!