• It's Mother's Day but you live halfway across the country from mom.
  • You manage a team remotely and want to send a coworker flowers for their birthday.
  • Your best friend just had a baby and you want to congratulate them with a surprise flower delivery—but they live in another state

There are countless reasons you may want to send flowers to another city, state, or even country. But what's the best way to order flowers from afar while ensuring that your loved one will receive quality blooms and you won't get ripped off?

Our #1 Tip Avoid Floral Wire Services

Chances are if you search "send flowers to Milwaukee" (or whichever city you're aiming for) the top results will be from floral wire services—but our #1 advice is to avoid these companies.

What is a floral wire service?

A floral wire service, also known as a floral relay service, is a third-party business that facilitates orders between flower customers and local florists. Florists typically pay a fee in order to become a member of the service and be sent flower orders.

This may seem like a win-win situation for everybody involved at first glance—customers can easily send flowers to far-away locations with little hassle, and florists are given orders to fill without having to do any of their own marketing! But in actuality, both parties lose when using a wire service, and here's why:

Should I order from a floral wire service?

Image of a flower arrangement from a teleflora website compared to the delivered arrangement

Our answer? No! Never!

Floral wire services false advertise—plain and simple. They'll show a photo of a beautiful, deluxe floral arrangement without actually considering the cost of those flowers or what's in season.

They'll send your order to a local florist without asking them if they have the correct ingredients in stock, and without providing them with enough of a budget to create the lush arrangement advertised in the photo. The local florist will do their best to recreate the photo as closely as possible, but they almost always end up doing so for little to no profit (or at a loss), and the customer will still end up disappointed.

Additionally, the wire service keeps a hefty chunk of the order price (anywhere from 15-30%) so you as the customer will never get your money's worth compared to ordering from the florist directly!

Proof of How Disappointing Floral Wire Services Can Be

You don't have to take our word for it! There are tons of examples on the internet of real people complaining about the orders they or their loved ones have received from these companies.

Take this reddit post for example, or this reddit post, or the dozens of other posts we've seen just like these!

Instead, Order Directly from a Local Independent Florist

Deluxe, jewel-toned floral arrangement in an amber vase

When you order directly from a local, independent florist, you’re guaranteed to get a higher-quality arrangement. The florist will have the freedom to use their full creativity, rather than having to copy a photo from a wire service (which typically only offer dated and generic designs).

They’ll also be able to use the freshest, highest quality, seasonal ingredients, ensuring the arrangement you order is as beautiful and long-lasting as possible.

Ordering directly from the florist also guarantees more bang for your buck, as there is no middleman taking a cut of the order price.

How to Find a Local Florist in Another City

Searching for a Florist Using Google or Another Search Engine

We suggest searching for the name of the city where the recipient lives, paired with keywords like “florist” “flower delivery” or “send flowers to.”

For example, if you are trying to send flowers to a loved one in Milwaukee, WI, you can search for “Milwaukee florist”, “Milwaukee flower delivery”, or “Send flowers to Milwaukee.”

When searching on Google, you'll typically want to skip the top results. Floral wire services are huge companies with huge budgets. They dominate independent florists in terms of the money they can spend on ads and SEO, meaning they dominate the top of the search results. Be sure to take the time to scroll through the results a bit to find the actual local florists.

Using Google Maps to Find a Florist Who Will Deliver

Screenshot of Google Maps with a search for Milwaukee florists. Top result is Ritual Floral with 5 stars.

If your recipient lives in a large metro area, you want to make sure that you find a florist who will deliver to their address, as many florists have a limited delivery zone. Visit the Google Maps website or download the app to your phone. Type in your recipient’s address, zip code, or neighborhood name, and make sure their location appears on your map. Then, search for a florist. You should get results in a more limited area.

For example, if your loved one lives in Bay View on the south end Milwaukee, it’s likely that a florist in another part of the city may not deliver to their address. Or, delivery fees can vary by distance since the delivery will require more time and gas. So you’ll want to specifically search for a florist near your recipient’s address.

Check Reviews on Google Maps

A screenshot of Ritual Floral's Google Business page with a 5 star review from a customer.

Ordering something from a business in another city, state, or country can be stressful. How do you know the business is reputable? Will the flowers look nice? Last long? We suggest checking the reviews!

When searching for a florist on Google Maps, find one that has at least a few reviews, and a 4.2–5 star rating. Read a few reviews to see what people have to say. Did the flowers arrive on time? Was the florist helpful in answering questions? Did the flowers last a long time?

Choose a Florist Whose Style You Like

When florists are not limited to the confines of a wire service’s menu, they can let their creativity and unique style shine. Be sure to check out the photos from the Google Maps business listing, and view the florist’s website. The only question you have to ask yourself is, do you like what you see?

Florists can have favorite flowers they prefer to work with, use a lot of greenery or no greenery, use bold color palettes or prefer softer colors. Maybe they put their own fun twist on flowers in a unique way.

For example, at Ritual Floral we love bold color schemes and prefer to use lots of flowers and little greenery. To add a fun, magical twist to our flowers, each arrangement is inspired by a tarot card or crystal, giving extra meaning to your flower order!

Sending Flowers to Another City Doesn't Have to Be a Letdown

Deluxe arrangement of seasonal August flowers.

We hope these tips help you next time you have to send flowers to a loved one far away. With a quick search, you can have beautiful, unique flowers delivered to that special someone, while getting the most bang for your buck and supporting a local, independent small business owner. Happy flowering!

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A woman from the shoulders down in a pink floral-patterned dress holding a colorful bouquet of flowers

Ritual Floral is an otherworldly floral studio based in Milwaukee, WI.

We've combined our love of flowers with our love for magic to create transcendent floral arrangements inspired by tarot, crystals, and all things magical.

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