Mother’s Day Around the World

In the United States, we celebrate Mom every May with flowers and gifts, and perhaps treat her to a meal at her favorite restaurant. Sure, Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world, but other countries have their own spin on Mom’s special day too. Here are few of the more interesting ways that mothers are celebrated across the globe.

Australia

Janet Heyden started the first Mother’s Day in Australia in 1924. She began the tradition by asking school children and businesses for gifts to cheer up lonely and forgotten mothers at the Newington State Home for Women. Chrysanthemums are traditionally thought of as Mother’s Day flowers in Australia since they are naturally in season during May and end in “mum,” an affectionate term for “mother” in Australia.

Belgium

Belgian children celebrate their mothers by making little presents at school to give to their mothers in the early morning of Mother’s Day. The father will typically buy croissants and other sweet pastries that are served to her while she is still in bed at the beginning of a day filled with pampering. While most of Belgium celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, many Belgians consider August 15 to be the classical Mother’s Day and view the May observance as one started strictly for commercial reasons.

Egypt

Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 21 in Egypt to coincide with the first day of spring. It was first introduced by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1943. The idea was largely either ignored or ridiculed at the time by Egyptian politicians, but it was eventually adopted in 1956. When Amin was arrested and accused of being an American spy in 1965, unsuccessful attempts were made to change the name of “Mother’s Day” to “Family Day” to prevent the observance of reminding people of its founder.

Ethiopia

Mother’s Day is a three-day long celebration in Ethiopia, where it is celebrated in mid-fall at the end of the rainy season with a feast called “Antrosht.” Children bring the ingredients making a traditional hash recipe. Girls bring butter, cheese, vegetables and spices while the boys contribute a bull or lamb. Unlike many places where mothers needn’t lift a finger on Mother’s Day, in Ethiopia, the mom prepares the hash. Afterward, mom and daughter put butter on their faces and chests as part of the celebration ritual.

Nepal

In Nepal, Mother’s Day is known as “Aama ko Mukh Herne Din” which means “day to see mother’s face.” Many Nepalese people honor their late mothers by making a traditional pilgrimage to the Mata Tirtha ponds in hopes of seeing their deceased mother’s face. Pilgrims believe they will bring peace to their mother’s souls by visiting that sacred place.

Taiwan

Mother’s Day in Taiwan is held on the second Sunday in May to coincide with Buddha’s birthday and the traditional “washing the Buddha” ceremony where devotees pour fragrant water over Buddha statues as a way of symbolizing a fresh start in life.

No matter how we choose to celebrate, the day is all about mom. Let Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop help you treat her to something special this year and make her day one that she won’t soon forget.

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Know Your Flower Etiquette

We all know that flowers make wonderful gifts for a variety of different circumstances. It’s hard to go wrong with choosing flowers as a gift, but there are a few rules of etiquette that should be followed when giving flowers on certain occasions.

Choosing the right flowers

  • While there are no definitive rules about what kind of flowers to send, certain types or colors of flowers may be inappropriate depending on the circumstance. A dozen red roses typically suggest romance and may send an unintended message if you are giving them to a co-worker or casual acquaintance.
  • White or light yellow flowers are usually the best choices for sympathy flowers. You certainly will want to avoid bright colored flowers in most instances.
  • Bright colored flowers, however, are almost always appropriate for happy occasions or milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, or thank yous.
  • When thanking someone, choose their favorite flower or favorite color instead of the cheapest option, the extra effort on your part will be appreciated and it makes your gratitude appear more personal and genuine.

Timing is everything

  • Some hospitals prohibit flowers, so check to make sure they’re allowed if you are sending them there. The local florists should know which hospitals accept them, and which do not. If the recipient’s hospital visit is brief, consider sending them to the home after they are dismissed.
  • While many people prefer to send sympathy flowers directly to the funeral home, it is perfectly acceptable to send them to the family’s home afterward. It’s even okay to wait a week or two in order to let the family know you’re still thinking of them.
  • Birthdays, holidays and anniversary are obvious occasions for sending flowers, but giving flowers “out of the blue” or “on a whim” are more impactful, especially if the recipient is not expecting a gift.
  • If you are late hearing about an occasion, but still wish to send flowers, be sure to mention that to the recipient – otherwise, the timing may seem odd to them.

Consider the recipient

  • Size matters, so consider where the flowers are going and what will happen to them after they’re delivered. Designs that are too small may not send the appropriate message you wish to convey, but larger gifts may be intrusive in small offices or rooms – especially if they’re shared with other people.
    Putting yourself in the recipient’s shoes and asking yourself how you would feel receiving the gift should give you a good idea of what is appropriate.
  • Do some research when sending flowers to people from different cultures. Some cultures have stigmas against certain colors or flowers, and you don’t want to misconstrue your message or create an obligation to reciprocate.
  • Sending sympathy flowers If a family specifically asks for donations in “lieu of flowers” is a breach of etiquette, even if you mean well. In circumstances such as this, a fruit basket or other memorial item may be appropriate if you would still like to send a gift.

Flowers are such an excellent way to convey a personal sentiment, so it’s important to consider the message you are wishing to express. When in doubt, give us a call and let us know the circumstance and we’ll help you select the perfect gift!

Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop is your One-Stop Destination for Prom Flowers

Midnight Wanderings Boutonniere by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop

Prom season is one of our favorite times of year at Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop. We love working with excited (and sometimes nervous) students who may have never experienced buying flowers from a professional florist. We know 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 can take many forms but usually 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?

Sunset Beauty Wristlet by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop

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?

Red Carpet Romance Corsage by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop

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. Give us a call today at (414) 475-7080 or better yet, stop in to see us!

Discover the Incredible Mood Power of Flowers

Everyone knows that flowers make people happy and enhance people’s moods, but the mood power of flowers may be even greater than we realize. Science has proven time and again that flowers play a powerful role in our lives, but their positive effect on our mental health is nothing short of incredible.

A study conducted by Rutgers University found that every single one of its 150 test participants expressed happiness upon receiving even one flower. The reaction was universal throughout all age groups and included both men and women. The study confirmed the possibility that flowers may, in fact, affect brain chemistry.

Studies show that besides making us happy, flowers are also proven to:

  • fuel creativity and quick thinking
  • make employees more productive
  • help with stress reduction
  • increase focus
  • feed compassion
  • lower blood pressure
  • trigger memory
  • boost energy levels

Giving is receiving

What really sets flowers apart from other gifts is that the act of giving may actually be more beneficial than receiving. A study by Texas A&M concluded that givers were perceived as caring, successful and emotionally intelligent people who possess the ability to not only express their own feelings but to take the time to understand the feelings of others.

Studies have also shown that a person can actually influence and change what others think of them in a significant way through the gifts they give, and perhaps no other gifts have the ability to evoke such positive feelings and perceptions as flowers.

Find the right mood

When a person sends flowers – or purchases them for their own enjoyment – the types of flowers they choose may play a significant role in enhancing a particular mood. Warm color flowers in reds, yellows, and oranges boost energy and stimulate the brain, making people more alert and creative. On the other end of the spectrum, cool color flowers and plants in greens and blues tend to create a more soothing effect by slowing the production of stress hormones to aid in relaxation.

No matter what the occasion, flowers are indeed the perfect gift of happiness and positive vibes – they are a potent mood elevator and a natural source of pleasure. Call Alfa Flowers today and let us help you experience for yourself – the incredible mood power of flowers.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Order Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is still a few weeks away, but the best time to order your flowers is right now! Since February 14 is one of the biggest floral holidays of the year, nearly every florist in the country is busy working overtime to prepare for the big day.

But no matter how many flowers are ordered and how many extra delivery drivers are hired, there is only so much time and product to go around, so waiting until the last minute is not a good idea if you want to avoid the headaches of picked-over coolers and limited delivery availability. Some shops even raise the price of roses in the week leading up to Valentines Day since those last-minute flowers cost more from the wholesaler. In other words, there are many advantages or ordering early and not procrastinating.

Alfa’s True Romance Bouquet with Red Roses

This special day means different things to different people, but above all else, it’s an opportunity to let those you love and care about know how much they mean to you. To many people, giving a great and meaningful gift on Valentine’s Day isn’t always easy – especially when they’re crunched for time and trying hard to fulfill expectations. On this day of love and romance, the last thing you want to do is disappoint someone who may have been expecting something else, so planning ahead can help alleviate some stress or disappointment.

The most important thing to remember when finding the perfect gift is to not to overthink it or try to do too much. Quality is more important than quantity, and the key here is finding something special and out of the ordinary, to help show the recipient you care enough to go the extra mile. That doesn’t mean you have to go all out and spend tons of money, but it’s easy to distinguish a thoughtful gift from one pieced together with whatever happened to be left in the store – you’re not fooling anybody!

Remember, if it seems too good to be true…it probably is!

Alfa’s Happy Harmony Bouquet

There are a lot of enticing offers out there. We’re bombarded with them daily – online, on the radio and especially on television. But don’t let the “incredibly low prices” fool you because they usually tack on extra fees and hidden charges that bring the total cost up to a comparable level with actual flower shops – except they simply ship a box of flowers that you have to assemble yourself. You might end up saving a few bucks by having flowers shipped in a box, but does that gift truly convey how you feel about the recipient? Does it show the thought and attention you put into choosing a special gift, or does it suggest that you panicked and scrambled at the last minute?

There are so many options out there for flowers this Valentine’s Day, but where you buy those flowers makes a big difference. Presentation and visual appeal are the little things that go a long way in making a good bunch of flowers look great.

Having an experienced professional florist by your side – one who personally designs and hand-delivers your flowers – guarantees an outstanding personalized gift for your Valentine, all while making you look good at the same time!

So don’t stress out this Valentine’s Day because Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help! Give us a call at (800) 524-8727 and leave it to us to create something special that is sure to exceed expectations this Valentines Day. Just remember to order early – you’ll be glad you did!

Living Coral is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019


What color will define your year in 2019?

The fine folks at Pantone have made their selection and have nominated “Living Coral” as their “Color of the Year” for 2019. They feel that this particular hue (PANTONE 16-1546) “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

How Sweet It Is by Alfa’s Flower & Wedding Shop is one of many designs featuring Living Coral – the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year

They go on to explain that, “Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”

For over 20 years, Pantone has selected a color of the year and that color has influenced product development and purchasing decisions across a variety of different industries including fashion, interior, and industrial design, home furnishings and most importantly, flowers!

While this vibrant, yet mellow, coral hue with a golden overtone isn’t as bold of a selection as last year’s deep purple Ultra Violet, it also isn’t as serious. In fact, it was chosen in part for its lighthearted symbolism with a nod to our innate need for optimism, joyful pursuits and playful expression which represent the fusion of modern life.

Pantone based Living Coral on the energizing aspects of the color as it is found in nature – and coral reefs in particular as their glorious, yet elusive displays beneath the sea provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.

In with the new

Tropical Punch Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Pantone puts a tremendous amount of thoughtful consideration into choosing their Color of the Year. They arrive at their decision by pouring over trend analysis and combing the globe in search of new color influences. Their decision is ultimately based on several different factors, but the end result is typically a good indication of the state of global and political climate and the emotions that many people are feeling at the time – if that feeling can be described as a color.

This year’s selection is all about optimism and the bright shining light that many people can use to start 2019 on the right note, but that doesn’t mean it has to represent your year. A fresh new year means a fresh new start and now is the perfect time to begin writing your own story – and choosing your own color – that will define your world in 2019.

Don’t miss out on the hottest new trend for 2019: Living Coral! Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop has many designs featuring this intriguing color which works well as an accent or as the featured color. Give us a call today at 800-524-8727 and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect design for a birthday, anniversary, milestone or any other important event. Best of all, we offer same-day delivery anywhere in the U.S.A.

 

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!

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.

Dancing in Roses bouquet by Alfa Flowers & Wedding

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.

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, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help! If all goes well, keep this number handy: (414) 475-7080 – it’s the number for our wedding shop!