There are so many things that make a wedding wonderful and beautiful – fresh flowers were towards the top of my list! I absolutely love the elegance, liveliness, and beauty that flowers add to a wedding. I knew I wanted fresh flowers – but I also knew the price tag on some of the gorgeous arrangements I’d been eyeing online was out of our budget. While there are many reasons to leave the flowers up to the professionals, I opted to try the DIY route and was actually really pleased with the results!
I was planning our wedding while still in graduate school and was a bit nervous about taking on this massive DIY project. While home on break, my mom and I visited several local florists to try and see if it would be affordable enough to have them done. We were at one florist when we saw a little flyer laying on the counter that said DIY Flowers. The florist offered an option where if we did all of the leg work of planning our floral arrangements they would order the flowers wholesale. We would arrange them ourselves but we could take a class to learn how and use space in their floral warehouse. This sounded awesome! It was a way to save money and do the flowers ourselves but way more comforting because we would have a bit of guidance!
I have no idea if other florists offer this as an option, but if you want to go the DIY route, I’d recommend asking. This option wasn’t listed anywhere on the florist’s webpage and it was not loudly publicized – so it was really just lucky we saw the flyer! Even without the DIY package we stumbled upon, I think creating your own wedding flowers is doable. It does take time and is a commitment, but with so many wonderful online tutorials and videos, it isn’t impossible.
As an artist, I do think it’s important to recognize there is a reason professionals exist – I could never come close to gaining their experience and expertise. Many brides would also prefer to not have to worry about such a large part of the wedding decor. If your wedding is elaborate, a DIY option may be far too time-consuming/difficult to tackle alone. However, with how much weddings cost these days, if you have a tight budget, this is a great route to take. For me the DIY option was not only a savings, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and a great learning experience!
The first thing I did was tons of online research to figure out the look I wanted for my flowers. Once I had a big folder of images (if only I’d discovered Pinterest by then!) I was ready to start figuring out the names of the flowers and deciding what to use. I emailed our florist contact and checked on prices – some of my favorite flowers cost too much or were not in season – so lots of adjustments were made. Finally, I had an idea of what I wanted and a spreadsheet that was keeping track of the budget.
While home on holiday break we took our “floral lesson”. My mom and I, along with one of my bridesmaids, had a private lesson with the shop’s wedding florist. She showed us how to wrap bouquets, handle the delicate flowers, put together a boutonniere and corsage, as well as all the prep work of stripping leaves and wiring the tiny flowers. My bridesmaid took notes and pictures. Below are some of the “practice” boutonnieres and corsages we made.
Fast forward to 7 months after that “floral lesson”, and it was time to make the real things! I met all of my bridesmaids, my mom, and my mother-in-law, at the florist’s warehouse the day before our wedding and we created all of the flowers. I had assigned everyone a job, and with the notes and pictures, we were able to explain things to the entire group. I would definitely recommend assigning jobs, being organized was key to getting everything done in our four hour time slot. It was so much fun working in a real floral warehouse and was great because we had a ton of space to work and a giant cooler for our finished arrangements. Our four hour time slot was from 8am-12pm. Some brides may not want to be putting together their own flowers the day before their wedding – but I loved it! It was so much fun being with all my bridesmaids doing something crafty – right up my alley! It was also extremely satisfying to be creating these ourselves!
The flowers turned out exactly how I’d hoped! We ended up making seven bouquets (bride and 6 bridesmaids), 13 boutonnieres (groom, 6 groomsmen, 3 ushers, 1 father, 1 grandfather, and 1 ring bearer), 5 corsages (2 mom and 3 grandmother) and 3 small table arrangements. I had planned everything from the types of flowers we’d use to purchasing all of the ribbons, rhinestones, vases, and tools we would need.
My Advice for DIY Wedding Flowers
- Be organized! There was a lot of planning that went into figuring out which flowers I wanted to use. I needed to research what I thought looked nice but also which flowers were in season and would be affordable. It was also important to be organized the day of making the arrangements. Everyone had a job they were comfortable and happy with – for example one person wired all of our leaves, another person trimmed all of the flowers.
- Be flexible! Chances are, if you are creating your own flower arrangements, you are hoping to save some money. With that being said, each flower costs a different amount and sometimes by just changing the color of the flower (white hydrangeas were cheaper than blue hydrangeas) or switching to a similar looking flower can save you a lot!
- Less is more! As in the fewer different types of flowers you have, the more cost effective! We purchased in bulk so flowers came in specific quantities. It was to my benefit to repeat the flowers in the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages. This also unified all of my flowers. Also, focus on where it is really important to have flowers. Our church and venue were already so beautiful inside I didn’t see a need to add too many flowers there. Instead I focused on the flowers we would have with us, like the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres.
- Do what makes you happy! Pinterest is a wonderful resource but re-creating some of the bouquets you see may be unrealistic. If you are happy with what you create, even if it probably wouldn’t be on the cover of a bridal magazine, than it is a win! I used hydrangeas from my mom’s garden in my bridal bouquet – this cost us absolutely nothing and was really special. Do what makes you happy :)
Whew, are you still with me!? Quite a long post here, but I’d love to know what you think! Would you attempt doing your own wedding flowers or think it’s better left to the experts? Below you can find information on the flowers used for our summer wedding.
I’ll be back tomorrow for a fun DIY project perfect for a wedding shower or bachelorette party!
All professional photos from our wedding were taken by our wonderful photographers at Shannon Wucherer Photography.
- Bridal Bouquet: White stephanotis, white hydrangea, white carnations (originally white roses) and camelia foliage.
- Bridesmaid Bouquet: Lavender roses, dark blue hydrangea, dendrobium baby purple orchids and camellia foliage.
- Groom’s Boutonnière: White rose, white stephanotis, and camellia foliage.
- Groomsmen Boutonnieres: Dendrobium baby purple orchids, sweetheart lavender roses and camelia foliage.
- Father/Grandfather Boutonnieres: Lavender rose and camellia foliage.
- Usher Boutonnieres: Lavender rose, bachelor button, and camellia foliage.
- Ring Bearer Boutonniere: Stephanotis and italian ruscus.
- Mother/Grandmother Corsages: Sweetheart lavender roses, dendrobium purple orchids, bachelor buttons, and italian ruscus.
- Simple Centerpieces: White hydrangea