Choosing DIY wedding flowers can be a great way to save money on your big day, but let us give one word of caution: this task isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work to create all of those centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres that you’ll need for your wedding day, and our guess is that your time is precious. Think you’re up to the task? As anyone will tell you—especially local wedding florists who know the ins and outs of the business—having a solid plan and knowing what you’re getting into are the keys to success. To help you prep, we’ve compiled 10 tips that will come in handy when you’re up to your elbows in flowers.
But before we jump in, allow us to clear up a common misconception: flowers aren’t cheap. It’s a reality that comes from being beautiful and in high demand (just ask Kylie Jenner). Therefore, DIYing your wedding flowers isn’t cheap either, just cheaper—as long as you don’t make a rookie blunder and destroy your precious blooms. At the end of the day, you may be cutting out the costs of labor, but you’re still paying for the most costly part: the flowers themselves. Every rose has its thorn, right?
With this in mind, we encourage you to do significant price comparisons and how-to research before you take on this wedding task all by your lonesome. We don’t mean to discourage you from embracing your creative side or making the effort to cut down on wedding expenses; trust us, we know the reality of wedding expenses better than anyone. Start by reading our 10 general tips on DIY wedding flowers below, then go a bit deeper with our step-by-step guide on how to DIY your wedding bouquet. Who knows? Flower arranging may just be your undiscovered calling.
1. Take A Class With A Local Florist
Many local wedding florists host instructional classes for brides and grooms who want to master their own wedding flowers. Florists completely understand the desire to want to DIY your wedding florals, but most have seen what happens when the results go terribly wrong. Thanks to these #Pinterestfails, flower-arranging tutorials are becoming more and more popular. Before you commit to DIY or start buying supplies, do a little research and see if any florists near you provide a class like this. Not only informative and fun, your experience at a flower-arranging class will let you know in a snap if DIYing your wedding flowers is right for you.
2. Only DIY The Smaller Arrangements
This one is really, really important: if you want to save some money without spending countless hours DIYing your wedding flowers—and risking a carnation catastrophe—you can always do the smaller arrangements yourself and leave the bigger, more complicated designs and set-ups to the professionals. Even if you just commit to doing the bouquets (usually $350-600 each), you can save yourself a bundle.
3. Consider A DIY Flower Kit
Another great resource are DIY wedding flower kits, a.k.a. packages sent right to your door with everything you need to make your own floral arrangements. From the flowers to the tools and sometimes even the vessels to put them in, these kits have literally everything you need. There are many available flower kit services, but we personally love the selections offered by Bloominous and ItsByU. Check out their websites to learn more, or perform your own Google search to find a similar company who fits your wedding day style.
4. Do Lots Of Research
As we mentioned before, you should definitely do some research before you decide to DIY your wedding flowers. The same goes for when it’s time to make flower selections (some flowers wilt quickly, some don’t smell great, some need special care, etc.) and when it’s time to buy the supplies you’ll need. Play it safe from the get-go and inform yourself before you make any big decisions or purchases.
5. Schedule Plenty Of Prep Time
This is a point that we simply cannot stress enough: schedule plenty of prep time for your DIY flowers. It’s so important we’ll say it again in all caps: SCHEDULE PLENTY OF PREP TIME. Because they will wilt if left out for longer periods of time, your wedding flowers must be put together the day before your wedding and stored in a cool, dark, dry place (preferably a refrigerator or cold case). That said, it’s essential that you give yourself more than a couple of hours to arrange everything and fix any mistakes as they appear.
6. Keep It Simple
It’s easy to get sucked into complicated Pinterest creations and find yourself drooling over enormous bouquets, suspended designs, and flowers whose names you can hardly pronounce. But dreaming something up is a whole lot easier than turning it into a reality. If you’re going to take the road less traveled and DIY your flowers, do yourself a tremendous favor and keep all of your designs as simple as possible. If over-the-top, luxurious florals are a must-have, then you’re better off hiring a local wedding florist. It will be cheaper in the long run, and you won’t risk coming up empty handed (literally) on your walk down the aisle.
7. Remember to Be Flexible
Sometimes everything doesn’t go according to plan. Sometimes the flowers you’ve had your eye on just aren’t available. Sometimes the type of flower that you simply had to have is ultimately a bad pick (no pun intended) for DIY. When these frustrating setbacks occur, it’s necessary to be flexible. Better yet, enter your DIY wedding flower project with realistic expectations and the understanding that mistakes will undoubtedly occur along the way.
8. Incorporate Non-Floral Accents
Another fabulous way to give yourself a break when DIYing your wedding flowers is to keep the flowers at a minimum and incorporate lots of non-floral accents into your décor and floral arrangements. Think: table-top candles, lanterns, and bottles for interesting tablescapes in addition to feathers, grasses, ribbons, and other textures in the bouquets themselves. This will reduce the amount of time you have to work on dealing with fragile flowers and will cut down on the number of costly blossoms you’ll have to buy, too.
9. Do A Pre-Wedding Trial Run
Before your one-day-before-the-wedding flower assembly, make sure that you take the time to do a pre-wedding trial run. This means gathering together all the blooms and supplies you need to practice creating at least one bouquets and a few arrangements. Test out the process, well in advance of your wedding day. You’ll be surprised what you’ll learn by doing this, and you can quite literally nip floral problems in the bud (okay, that pun I couldn’t avoid). Many of our DIY couples have reported learning that the flowers they chose barely lasted an hour, while others have explained that their trial run revealed exactly what they needed in order to be prepared for the big day, whether it was extra refrigeration or special scissors.
10. Have A Backup Plan
Finally, create a backup plan just in case your DIY execution doesn’t go exactly as you had hoped (the concept of #Pinterestfails exist for a reason). The best way to avoid catastrophe is to start your planning and practicing early. This way, if things go wrong, you can always pick up the phone and call a wedding florist for help. If you wait until the last minute, securing outside help may be out of the question, so prepare, prepare, prepare!
Past and future Zola couples, will you/did you DIY your wedding flowers? If so, share your plans, experiences, and tips below in the comments.