The Good, the Bad, (but never Ugly)

The honest truth about DIYing your wedding flowers

There are some great aspects to DIYing your wedding flowers.  You save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.  You get to be surrounded and get to play with your favorite blooms while spending quality time with your favorite ladies.  You appreciate your flowers immensely and are showered with praise for your DIY prowess.

But there are some not so hot things too.  I wanted to give you an honest run-down of some things you may experience on your pre-wedding floral arrangement day.  Here are some things to think about before you take on your own wedding flowers.

Related: DIY Flowers Resources

Planning takes a lot of thought.

Doing your own wedding flowers means purchasing all the blooms and supplies yourself.  This isn’t so bad, but you need to check and double check that you ordered exactly what you need so you aren’t spending those pre-wedding hours searching the supermarket for purple roses.

I organized my flowers on a flower worksheet which helped me know exactly how many flowers I was going to use in each arrangement.  I also spent a lot of time before the wedding week watching video tutorials and reading up about my flowers.

By the time flower day came, I felt confident in what I was doing and that the plan was well-thought out.

Be prepared to dedicate a significant chunk of time to your flowers.

I didn’t really know how long the flowers would take (and it will vary for everyone depending on number of arrangements, complexity, and how much help you have). But I had the flowers arrive the Wednesday before my Saturday wedding.  I spent around 3 hours that morning receiving and prepping the flowers for hydration.

We let them drink for a full day before arranging them.  I had several helpers who participated in our flower arranging party, but it still took us from around noon to 7pm before we were mostly done.  And that didn’t even include corsages and boutonnieres!

I knew we would need all of Thursday just for flowers since I was wanting fairly involved centerpieces with floral foam, and several large statement arrangements.  We all had a blast playing with the many beautiful blooms and didn’t feel rushed since we set aside the appropriate amount of time.

You need to be flexible.

The arrangements will not turn out exactly as you envisioned.  That is just a fact of DIYing, and it’s very important to realize and accept that wholeheartedly.  Will they turn out wonderful in an entirely different way, or maybe better than you imagined?  Quite possibly.

But you will need to take deep breaths and not panic when your sister says, we’ve run out of purple roses, we’ll have to use the pink ones for the boutonnieres.  Now, I’m not saying that with great planning and intention you couldn’t achieve the exact particular look you are envisioning.  I’m just saying that you will enjoy yourself and be a more pleasant person to deal with if you are able to roll with the punches.

With my wedding flowers, the white garden roses never fully opened up.  So what I was hoping would be luscious fluffy bridesmaid bouquets, turned out to be tighter budded bouquets.  They still were nice, but not perfect.  But, I’m probably the only person who knew that, and it was ok.  I still loved all the flowers overall that went into our wedding.

You might get scratches.

Yes, it’s true.  And trust me, nasty, infected gouges from rose thorns is the last thing you want to see in your wedding pictures.  Do yourself a favor and wear gloves while you prep the flowers.  When you prepare the roses you’ll snap off all the thorns so that later when you’re arranging no casualties occur.

Thankfully I wore gloves when dealing with my wedding roses.  But, when helping another bride with her DIY flowers, I totally forgot and ended up with a weird injury that looked nasty and purple for a week.  ‘Florists hands’ are a real thing people. And you do not want them.

Sometimes it’s scary.

You may look around at the 500 flowers that surround you and wonder how you are ever going to transform all of those into the arrangements of your dreams.  You may watch your help drop a bouquet that she is arranging and cringe.  You may have some of your flowers not open quite as fast as you’d like.

Fears will happen.  But, in those moments you need to remember 1: why you are there in the first place.  Ultimately it’s about you marrying the love of your life and flowers will never make or break that.  2: You are prepared for this, and you can do it.  You’ve done your due diligence, watched the tutorials, practiced on grocery store flowers, and read up on your flower types.  You can and will succeed.

It will not be perfect.

As I mentioned before, my bridesmaids bouquets weren’t perfect.  Some of the arrangements fell over on the trip to the church.  Some centerpieces had floral foam showing.  My statement piece looked dwarf sized when hanging above the head table.

But, you know what, I was the only one who noticed these things.  To everyone else, the flowers were beautiful. Why?  Because flowers are beautiful all by themselves and you really can’t do anything so badly as to change that.

You need to train someone for last minute arrangements.

Certain arrangements, such as boutonnieres and corsages shouldn’t be made until the morning of the wedding.  You will likely be busy getting all prettied up for pictures and the last thing you should be worrying about is your groomsmen’s boutonnieres.

Have someone without as many pre-wedding duties who can make those pieces for you.  It is nice if you could do a practice one with them the day before so they feel confident in what they are doing.  The last thing you want is a stressed helper who is panicking about lopsided corsages.  Prepare together so that the morning of the wedding goes smoothly and those last minute pieces turn out great!

You will LOVE your flowers.

After spending days researching your favorite flowers and arrangements and hours surrounded by blooms that you transform into your wedding arrangements, you can’t help but appreciate those florals.

Having a florist do your wedding flowers is less work, stress, and time.  But when they are delivered wedding day, I guarantee you will be so busy that you will not be able to fully appreciate those thousands of dollars worth of flowers.

If you spend all the time and effort and do them yourself, you will love them and they will be a cherished part of your special day.

People will think you are Wonder Woman.

Seriously, floral arranging is this craft that is relegated by society to experts or extremely gifted designers.  People do not expect normal brides like you and me to be able to create such beautiful florals.  But hey, bask in the glory of it!  No one has to know that it is totally doable. Just let them keep thinking you are the DIY bride of the century.  😉

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