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Episode 122: Imelda Ramos                                  

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 89

Question:

What type of vehicle do you use for delivering to weddings & events? Any helpful advice on make, model, gas mileage, ease of loading, logo/wrap, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Panel 89 Answers:

For several years I used an import Mitsubishi van. I now use a smaller Nissan Cargo van or rent a larger van when needed. With the first vehicle I had, I had my husband outfit it with 1 deep wooden shelf 2 feet from the top of the van. I put all larger arrangements below the shelf, and all shorter arrangements on the shelf. Then I had an area free of shelves that I used for tall arrangements.

For ease of loading and transportation, I use low heavy duty plastic totes (with foam, bubble wrap or packing paper to secure the arrangements) for centrepieces. For larger arrangements, I use old milk crates. For everything, I use grippy mats (like a yoga mat or inserts that you buy for your kitchen shelves) to keep everything from slipping around the van.

Clare Day (Clare Day Flowers)


Florésie | Volkswagen Transporter for Botanical Brouhaha Expert Panel 89

My usual vehicle is a Volkswagen Transporter. I love it because it is not too big (so quite easy to drive for me) whereas it can fit a whole lot of material (up to 2,5 meters long). I have no specific gear inside such as shelves to transport my flowers since every wedding is very different, I was never able to figure out a system that would suit all my needs. So I just decided to leave it totally empty and I use stackable boxes whenever needed.

 AnnaTereshina Photography | Floresie

On some occasions, that truck is too small and then I rent some larger vehicle. But if one loads it well, it is amazing how much material it can contain.

A flower transporter drops off flowers at a church for Botanical Brouhaha Expert Panel 89

Anna Tereshina Photography

I have some signage on it, as you can see on the sketch above. Even though I am not a big fan of signage, I figured out it was very helpful to have it while on delivery on large events… when there are plenty of vehicles and people are trying to figure out who’s who and “to whom belongs that vehicle that is parked just in the middle of the ceremony field?!!!” 🙂

Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)


I have two vans (and a long time obsession with old motors.. ). So my answer is not at all straight forward, because what I should have is 1 sensible van..but that would be too easy & too boring. So instead I have a 1974 Renault Estafette which is both glorious to drive & to look at, downside is that it travels at no more than 55mph.. so not good for long distant drives so if I’m working locally, he’s my man.

Jo Flowers | 1974 Renault Estafette

My other (winter) van is a boring Ford Connect.. absolutely no thrills here whatsoever, it is what it is..and what it is, is not terribly large. So on larger events, especially when travelling around England I hire a big truck.. One that I can work in the back of if need be..and one that can fit lots in.. Because we all know that feeling when we are like… “it’s not all going to fit in” .. !

Jo Rodwell (Jo Flowers)


Blush Floral Design for Botanical Brouhaha Expert Panel 89

I rent a cargo van or box truck for wedding deliveries through Enterprise Rental Car, they also offer monthly leases of cargo vehicles. I usually rent 1 and then pack our personal SUV’s with personal flowers and anything that we couldn’t squeeze into the cargo van as well. Be aware that some cargo vans don’t have air conditioning so you may want to inquire about this with the rental company before renting the vehicle. ​ For my business renting a vehicle is more cost effective than owning one.

Beth Zemetis (Blush Floral Design)


My dream vehicle would be a Ford Transit.

Susan McLeary (Passionflower)


Although it’s not particularly fancy, high tech, or especially spacious, I actually use my personal SUV (2008 Kia Sorrento) for floral deliveries and event transport. With the back row of seats folded all the way down, my car can hold an impressive amount of centerpieces, buckets, foraged greenery… you name it. I give myself plenty of time in the morning to put the pieces of the flower puzzle together and get the car safely and efficiently loaded.

Emily Avenson (Fleuropean)


We have a Toyota Sienna minivan for general transport. I shopped around quite awhile, planning to get a Ford Transit, but then realized there’s actually more floor space in the Sienna and I like that I could easily pop the seats in the back up and down if I needed to haul around some employees instead of flowers. The Sienna also has automatic sliding doors, a feature at the time when I bought it that I didn’t really care about, but now I absolutely love because if my hands are full, I don’t have to juggle to open or close the door. I just press a little button on my key fob and waa-laa! And we can fit a decent size wedding delivery into the Sienna too, as long as there aren’t too many big pieces or a big install involved.

For wedding deliveries, we often rent vans and trucks from U-Haul. We’re fortunate that there is a rental location less than a mile from our design space so it’s very easy to get vehicles from there. We are renting nearly every weekend during our busy season. But I’ve crunched the numbers and it makes more sense to rent than buy cargo vans because of maintenance, inspection, registration, etc.

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)


Our studio owns two cargo vans. One is a Dodge and one is a Ford. The vans are old and have lasted for many years because we only use them on Saturdays. One of the vans is 13 years old!! We call it “old Holly Chapple”, shameful I know that our studio is running around in old vans but it is working for us. On most weekends we have to rent at least 3 additional cargo vans. It typically takes two vans for each of our weddings. Box trucks or refrigerated trucks are only required on luxury flower orders, or orders over 40K.

“Old Holly Chapple” has my old logo on it and I totally wish we had never wrapped the vehicle as the logo is now dated and embarrassing. I think the magnet signage is a much smarter choice.  Our personal van (a Honda Odyssey) is typically used to move designers as the cargo only holds two passengers. If we were to purchase new cargo vans we would be inclined to purchase vans that seat three passengers. Also be careful not to buy a van that has the walled off partition to the cargo section. The air-conditioning needs to be able to reach the entire van.

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)


Mood Flowers

Mood Flowers

Mood Flowers

At the moment I own two delivery vehicles, a Renault Master (long wheel base/high roof model) and a Renault Kangoo (long wheel base model). In the past when we still did retail deliveries we had an additional Renault Kangoo but now that we focus on weddings and events it makes more economical sense to run only two vehicles full time and then rent a third large vehicle around 15 weekends a year when we need it. The vans are used as advertising billboards and workrooms and of course logistics (see pics). We are based on a business park so can drive right up to our front door. Our main customization has been fitting a removable shelf in the back half of the space. This allows us an additional 50% load space especially for low centrepieces.

Nick Priestly (Mood Flowers)


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