There are a lot of questions that surround doing your own wedding flowers. Brides often ask me:
How soon should I order my flowers?
When should I have them arrive?
How much time should I plan for assembling them?
The fact that they are wondering these things lets me know they are headed in the right direction with their wedding flowers. Planning is KEY to your DIY wedding flower success. And a plan without a timeline is often not a plan at all…
So, today let’s talk about setting a timeline for your DIY wedding flowers.
Having a solid timeline is going to greatly reduce the anxiety you feel about doing your own wedding flowers and help you enjoy the process much more.
Now, it’s important to acknowledge that your timeline may look different than what I’ve laid out below, and that’s ok! This is meant to be a starting point for you to figure out the right timeline for you.
If you want to follow along with your own Flower Timeline go ahead and download this one below:
When I did my own wedding flowers, I had a plan but no timeline… and you know where that got me? … Still working on my flower arrangements at 11pm at night. If I had taken the advice I am about to share with you when I did my wedding flowers, it probably would have changed my whole approach. My order would be different, the styles of arrangements, and how many I did.
That’s not to put down what I did. But, I now realize that it was unrealistic within the timeframe I had assumed. Which meant that all sorts of friends and family pitched in that I hadn’t even trained on flower arranging!
My goal for you is to have the MOST successful DIY wedding flower experience, and the LEAST amount of stress doing it. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about your DIY wedding flower timeline and getting yours into place.
Go ahead and mark down the dates you plan on doing each of these items in your worksheet using the suggested time frames. Then on the side, there is space to write out some more details on exactly what time you will do various tasks, how you’ll do them, and who will help.
DIY Wedding Flower Timeline
6+ weeks out:
At least 6 weeks or more before your wedding day, you should allocate some time to figuring out:
- What arrangements you’ll be doing
- What your vision is for each of them
- What flowers you want to order
This is the most intensive planning portion of the DIY wedding flower process. So, it’s important that you allot enough time for it. Give yourself several evenings if need be. Flush out your flower plan, and then once you feel comfortable with it, order those flowers!
2+ weeks out:
At this point you need to schedule a trial run. You’ll want to schedule this at least two weeks prior to the big day.
I can’t stress this point enough… doing a trial run of your arrangements is going to help you so much and prevent a world of agony the week of your wedding. And you should give yourself ample time before the wedding day just in case you need to change your flower order.
Some wholesalers have trial packs or allow you to order in smaller quantities. But if I were you, I would go to my local grocer and pick out some flowers of similar shape and size to the ones you will be using. Spend some time reviewing tutorials for each arrangement and practice creating it. And then, see what you struggle with and where you could improve. You may even realize you need more or less flowers than you originally thought!
This is a great opportunity to coordinate with your wedding shower. When you’re done with the trial run, use the flowers for decor at the shower so they don’t go to waste.
If you have people dedicated to help you with your wedding flowers, get them involved in the DIY process and your trial run. Have them watch the tutorials with you. That way you aren’t trying to figure it out for yourself and teach them at the same time.
Another great advantage to the trial run: you can time yourself. After you do one or two, see how long it takes to put together an arrangement. Did you allot yourself enough arranging time the day before the wedding? You may need to adjust accordingly
1+ week out:
At least one week out or more, you need to make sure you have all the supplies you need for your floral arrangements. Hopefully doing the trial run several weeks back brought to light anything you were missing.
If you don’t know what you need, check out my resources page for a list of trusted floral design supplies to make your arranging a little easier.
Be careful to give yourself enough time to check for supplies. Some things won’t be available in stores near you and you’ll have to order online. So, make sure and know what you want and you can avoid any rush shipping surcharges.
2-3 days before the wedding:
At this point you should be scheduled to receive your wholesale flowers. On the scheduled delivery day, block out a chunk of time right after they arrive to process your flowers.
Remember that when your flowers arrive from the wholesaler they’ll likely look sad and thirsty. Don’t fret! This is to be expected. It’s important that you now take the steps necessary to get them looking healthy again.
Depending on how many boxes of flower you ordered and what types, this timeframe can vary. Unless you have help, I would plan on half an hour to unpack and process each box of flowers you receive. And, definitely plan on being available to receive the flower shipments and process them right away.
1-2 days before the wedding:
It’s arranging time! Write down when you plan to arrange all the beautiful flowers you ordered. You should arrange the flowers that will remain in water (like centerpieces, and bouquets – just don’t wrap them yet) first before the others. Then plan on arranging the more delicate arrangements like boutonnieres and corsages later.
Think back to your trial run and estimate how long it will take you to finish making all the arrangements you plan on. Then add 15% to that time and block it out on your calendar. The last thing you need as a bride is more stress, and a time crunch on your wedding arrangements will definitely cause anxiety.
0–1 days before wedding:
Plan to arrange things that will be out of water the night before or the morning of your wedding. These items are much more perishable and will not last as long. If you don’t have time to do those yourself, find someone who would be willing to make and deliver them for you (and involve them in the trial run too).
Block out a time to deliver and set up your flowers. This should be either the day before or the morning of your wedding day. Think about when you’ll have a chance to do this and still be able to have ample time to primp before the rehearsal dinner or your big day.
It’s important to have a solid plan in place for receiving and prepping your flowers (this is 2-3 days before the wedding). In the space on your worksheet write down who will be receiving and prepping the wholesale flowers.
Decide where they will be shipped to. Consider space to work, temperature control, and closeness to the final wedding destination.
Also, you wrote down in the 2-3 days before section what day you expect to receive them. Additionally, write down from what time of the day you expect to be focusing on this until you are finished prepping them.
In this section, write down who will be helping you arrange the flowers. Which arrangements will they help on and which will you do? Figure out when you’ll be working on them and for how long (on the day written in 1-2 days before box).
And, figure out where you’ll be arranging them. You’ll want to think again about the temperature control of the space. Is there enough room to work? Is it ok to make a mess? And also, consider the distance to the wedding location.
Here you need to determine your transportation plan for getting the flower arrangements from your prep/arranging site to their final destination. Do you have a vehicle with flat space? Who is available to drive that vehicle and will someone need to sit in back and watch over the flowers?
Decide when the transportation occur. Will this be before the rehearsal dinner? How many hours will this take?
Finally, you need to figure out who will be assisting with the final flower arrangement set up. What do they need to know ahead of time? When will this final set-up occur?
You want to think about how the personal flowers will get to their intended bridal party member. AKA, who is going to deliver the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages while you the bride are busy getting ready?
Filling out this timeline is going to be super helpful in reducing your stress over the DIY wedding flower process. And, it’s a good way to start getting your mind thinking about what steps you need to take and how your wedding week is panning out schedule-wise.
I know for me; I don’t consider a lot of things until I let my mind focus on making a plan. And that is when the, Oh Yeah! moments happen.
Take the time and flush out your DIY wedding flower timeline and get your gears turning on this project you’re are undertaking and how it will all pan out.
Get your free timeline worksheet now!
Get started on a plan for your DIY flower success today.