How to DIY your Destination Wedding Flowers (part one: researching local suppliers)

Finding a great local floral supplier.
Today I was able to make some major headway on my assignment for wedding flowers in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. By contacting a few multi-national suppliers by e-mail I was able to find a listing of florists throughout the D.R. and found 5 (with websites & e-mail addresses) within comfortable driving distance of the resort!

Some of you may wonder why I won't have bulk flowers delivered to the resort by one of those big companies. The answer is simple- time frame. I will be arriving the day before the wedding and can't count on the flowers being delivered on time, in good condition, and fully bloomed. (Did you know that many of those delivery services recommend placing your order to be delivered 2-3 days before the actual event? That's because they often ship flowers before they are fully bloomed.) Buds are indeed beautiful, but that's not the look we're going for here!

120x240 - Wedding Specials - Wedding Combo If you are going to have a few days before the event, I highly recommend Global Rose. They recently helped me with a vow renewal and I was amazed by the quality of blooms and value in their DIY wedding flowers kit!

For this particular event, I'll need the immediate customer service only an in-person supplier can provide. Yes, I will need to be there to reject wilted flowers and make sure my client is getting the beautiful, high quality flowers any wedding deserves.

Are you hired to purchase and arrange flowers for a destination wedding? Trying to source bulk live florals outside of the country can be a challenge but also a great learning process. You will find yourself consistently outside your comfort zone! Here are my tips for finding your supplier in a place you've never been.
  1. Using a map, familiarize yourself with the areas around the destination. Take note of larger cities within comfortable distance from the event. Often a resort is situated away from regular commercial areas, and any floral shops near the resort of course are going to have higher prices. I found that Higüey is about 10 min away and full of florists.
  2. Find a search engine specific to the country you are sourcing in. In my case, I found that 1411 Dominican Republic  and Dominican Republic Yellow Pages was a good search engine.
  3. Translate the word of what you're looking for to the primary language of the country the event is being held. In Spanish, the word for floral shop is "Floresteria". This will be your search term. There are many free online translating services but my favorite is the one provided by Google.
  4. Using, type your search terms and select "translate page" if the results are in another language. This was a major help for me since my handle of Spanish isn't what it once was.
  5. Take note of suppliers in cities within comfortable distance from the resort/hotel. Note everything. The name, phone number, and Street address wherever they're given.
Great! Now you have a nice list of several contacts. Here's the list I was able to generate by searching for floral shops near the Dreams Punta Cana resort (in the city of Higuey and city of Bávaro). I have omitted all results that had no e-mail address. It's good to have a phone number, but unless you're fluent in Spanish, e-mail is going to be the best thing.

Sisay  Av Alemania, Plaza Las Buganvillas, Bávaro  809-552-1231
Floresteria El Tronco  Carr Friusa 1  809-552-0933
Floreste   Juan XXIII 171 
Flores del Caribe  Av Italia 102   809-554-3782
Tropical Flowers  Carr B Fruisa L-12  809-552-1874

Notice the street-names seem very foreign- that's Ok, Google maps will sort that out for you. Plus you can always ask directions from someone at the shop later.

In my next post I'll show you how to narrow your results down, and provide everything you need to ask the right questions in a way you'll be understood! This may be helpful to those working in Spanish-speaking countries as I will provide you a "script" for dealing with your local suppliers in Spanish via e-mail.

This blog entry is part of my series called "Destination Wedding Flowers". To read other posts in this topic and gain more valuable insight into DIY wedding flowers, see the series here: DIY Your Destination Wedding Flowers

NEW Get your free printable - the DIY wedding flowers checklist! I made it just for you so you don't forget anything important! Get it here!

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Content by Laura Gabriele