When I was engaged and planning our wedding, I spent a ridiculous amount of time perusing wedding blogs. I wedding planned like it was my job! I remember stumbling across Meg’s post on A Practical Wedding about how she DIYed her own wedding flowers. There were pictures of her and her bridesmaids surrounded with buckets and of colorful blooms as they arranged the centerpieces. That picture got me. I knew I just had to DIY my own wedding flowers.
I began pinning flowers like a mad-woman! At the time I needed some extra credits for my degree, and signed up for floral design 101 at my local community college. There are tons of videos and tutorials online to learn from, but the hands-on experience I got there helped a lot. As I learned the basics of floral design and arranging, I created a list of supplies and flowers to order for my wedding.
I also began looking into online floral wholesalers to order from. Fifty Flowers was running a contest at the time for a $500 credit if you created a winning flower inspiration board. So I created boards like there was no tomorrow… and I won! I have never won anything before in my life, so I truly believe it was destiny. Me and DIY flowers were meant to be!
So with the extra cash I added even more flowers to my order list. Our colors were pink with subtle pops of red and spring green. When picking wedding flowers, depending on what style you are going for, you will need to select some mass flowers, filler flowers, line flowers (optional), and greens (optional). Mass flowers are round or full flowers that add visual weight to the arrangement.
I knew I wanted to do garden roses as they had that delicate and soft peony look for a nicer price – especially in April. decided on the Mayra pink ruffles garden rose, creamy ivory peony rose, and peony tulips (these were a gamble in my mind, but turned out to be a showstopper!). For filler flowers I chose peach stock, hypericum berries, and petite cream spray garden roses. I ordered an assorted greens pack which came with salal (lemon leaf), Italian ruscus, and baby eucalyptus (greens add so much to an arrangement!).
We did all the arranging at my Gram’s house, who graciously allowed us to create a very green mess all over her garage. My family, bridesmaids and I arrived three days before the wedding to receive the flower shipments. We had to prepare (cut & hydrate) the flowers as soon as they arrived since they had underwent a dehydration process to withstand shipping. It was so fun to watch the sad tight buds blossom within hours!
Receiving hundreds of flowers in the mail is literally the coolest thing ever! Surrounded by gorgeous blooms, my team and I started arranging early Thursday morning. We started with the bouquets by grouping three blooms together with a filler in the middle as a base. We secured with floral tape and then just added on, angling each flower 45 degrees in the same directions so the stems splay out.
After we finished the bouquets, even more helpers arrived and we divided and conquered. The table arrangements were assortments of milk glass that my grandma and I had collected. My team arranged the centerpieces while I worked on the ceremony arrangements and other feature pieces.
For most of the arrangements we used floral foam to secure the stems. Sam’s Club sells it in bulk for a great price. Once everything was done we loaded up my grandparent’s camper with the many arrangements and my bridesmaids guarded them with their lives during transportation. If I were doing it again, I would definitely invest in some crates to protect our beautiful work.
Friday was set up day, and oh! What a blast! Everyone pitched in to decorate the reception hall and make it look amazing. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy being the one telling everyone what to do, and not the one setting up tables and chairs… We set out all our arrangements (almost all arrived intact), and then used the extra flowers to fill bud vases that lined the long tables.
The morning of the wedding I was busy getting ready so my aunt graciously offered put together all the boutonnieres and corsages (with lisianthus), and they were stunning! It’s a good idea to prepare those as late as possible since they will die the fastest.
Did everything turn out exactly perfect? No… but practically. A prerequisite to being a DIY bride is being able to deal with unexpected change of plans. Playing it by ear allowed us to create our own styles and have a total blast being girly together, which is worth more than all the perfect bridal bouquets in the world! I couldn’t have been happier with the results and my choice to DIY.
If you’re considering doing your own wedding flowers, I’d highly recommend checking out my resources page.
Do you have a DIY flower story? I’d love to share it here and feature your beautiful blooms! Shoot me a message 🙂
Photography: Schilling Photography
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