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Sunday, October 11, 2009


photo by Wilber Bergado

Many brides desire the beautiful colors and fragrance of the plumeria flowers in their bridal bouquets. They look wonderfully tropical for their Hawaii weddings, and they are available in a variety of colors that "pop" in photos. Many florists and wedding companies advertise them as though they are plentiful and easily accessible year-round. It appears by the photos as though they will withstand the heat and sunlight because the bouquets look so magnificent. HOWEVER, it is important to note that the various colors are not always available throughout the year. More important is how they survive a short time in the sun and warm tropical temperatures once the blooms are removed from their trees.  Plumeria leis can also wilt or brown once they come in contact with the oils of your skin.  Note that plumeria will need to be wired into your bouquet (we like to use decorative pearl pins when using a floral foam bouquet holder), and the labor could increase the cost of your bouquet (depending on its size).

It was a challenge to locate enough pink plumeria in June 2009 for this bride. We knew the importance of matching the bouquet to her tatoo, so we managed to find two pink plumeria leis in Chinatown (the ONLY ones in Chinatown). We purchased the two bouquet holders, fucshia organza ribbon, and fuchsia pearl pins at Floradec in Honolulu, then created bouqets for the bride and her daughter. There were even a few blossoms for their hair! The  bride agreed that the blooms did begin to wilt and curl once in the sun for about two hours.

There is a technique to attempting to extend the life of the plumeria flowers used for your bouquet. Place the freshly picked plumeria flowers in cold water for several hours. Remove the flowers and carefully place them in a large plastic bag without crushing any petals. To protect them while they are enclosed in the bag, blow air into the bag with a straw before closing, and leave overnight.

Although we do provide plumeria petal paths, plumeria bouquets, and plumeria hair flowers, we do caution our clients about the short life they will have during their event. We also encourage considering alternative flowers that will last longer in that situation.  Another alternative we suggest is realistic artificial plumeria arrangements. Two companies we recommend to our clients include:

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