Valentine's Day is marked by hues of red, pink and white.
And if Thursday's weather forecast holds up, on this holiday York could see lots of white. That's why several local flower shops are making contingency plans to make sure gifts for loved ones make their way around the county.
"I think they should move Valentine's Day to June," said Vince Butera, owner of Butera the Florist in York City.
But the weather is just part of the business, he said. As the shop takes delivery orders, it's offering to send them out to customers early to avoid the storm, he said.
"So if they get snowed in, they can enjoy the flowers," Butera said.
Last-minute men: He encourages customers, mostly men, to order sooner rather than later for an optimal delivery time. But that's a tall order, he said.
"Valentine's Day traditionally is a last-minute holiday," Butera said.
For Dan Hinson, owner of Stagemyer Flower Shop in North York, there's just no convincing the male clientele.
"It's a man holiday; they won't order early," he said.
The stress on deliveries will depend on how much snow actually falls, Hinson said, but it's a good thing the storm is supposed to hit on Thursday and not Friday.
"We'll do what we can do and be done with it," he said. "I mean, it's Mother Nature. What can you do?"
The shop's all-wheel drive delivery vans help a little with some snow, Hinson said.
But he vividly recalls a problem during a 2007 Valentine's Day storm — which dumped 8 inches on the area, according to the National Weather Service — when a car crashed into the 535 N. George St. shop.
"That was terrible," he said.
Flexibility: For Bob Olp, owner of Olp's Flower Shop in Jacobus, the weather brings a sense of uncertainty.
"We are doing really well at the present moment," he said. "I don't know what to anticipate now because of the weather."
But the possible snow brings a slew of problems for flower delivery, said Carl Sallade, co-owner of Schaefer Flowers, which has two locations in York City. Even if the roads are open, some people don't have their driveways shoveled, which slows down the process, he said.
Although accumulations are still uncertain, it's best to try and work with customers to make special arrangements to "prepare for the eventuality that Thursday might be a total wash," Sallade said.
"We're going to make the adjustment to get Wednesday and Thursday deliveries out on Wednesday," he said.
The shop is trying to remain optimistic that it will be able to deliver on Friday, but Sallade is not sure how efficiently or how fast that could be done.
The shop is asking Friday-delivery customers to arrange for Saturday delivery if Friday isn't viable, he said.
"As long as folks are understanding and flexible, it should work out for everyone," he said.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.