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Beginner October 2017

DIY wedding flowers - am I crazy?

NervousOctoberBride88, 3 of April of 2017 at 17:01 Posted on Planning 0 7

Hi fellow Bride (and Grooms),

I love flowers but unfortunately don't have the budget to have the amount I want. Luckily our venue is very pretty and doesn't need much in terms of decorations, and I've been quite conservative with what flowers we wish to have and tried to keep this quite minimal, also planning to "re-purpose" a lot of the arrangements (ie: arrangement on ceremony table goes on top-table, etc).

I met with a florist to go over my ideas and she's quoted me over £1000. I'm really surprised at her rates because our centrepieces are really not anything extravagant, just a few single flowers (such as Sweet Avalanche Rose, hydrangeas, White stocks bulked out with Gypsophila and foliage) arranged in some jar jams (which we're providing) and she's quoted us £35 per table. Seems a lot to me!

So, my mum and I are planning to do the flowers ourselves, including centrepieces, bouquets (!!!), boutineers, chair posies etc. We're planning to go to the new Covent Garden flower market the day before the wedding, buy everything we need then head home to make the arrangements ourselves.

My question is, am I being totally crazy? I'm not experienced in flower arranging but I think I could make a nice display. I'm nervous that we're not giving ourselves much time (1 day, amongst all the other last min prep jobs we'll have), however in order for the flowers to be fresh and hold up throughout the day and night, we can't get the flowers from the market much more in advance.

I would appreciate advice from anyone that has done their own flowers, would you recommend or is it not worth the stress? Was is worth the saving? Were you happy with how they look?

The florist told me she gets a lot of Mum's thinking they can do the job then call her before the wedding in a total panic. Luckily we're having a rustic barn wedding so things don't have to look absolutely perfect and I quite like the "un-done" hand tied style anyway.

Thanks in advance for your advice Smiley smile

7 replies

Latest activity by Charlotte, 27 of September of 2022 at 21:48
  • MetalBride
    Beginner April 2018
    MetalBride ·
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    I'm doing my own but I'm using fake flowers for the tables etc as then we get a lot longer to arrange them as they won't die. Might be an idea if you have a lot to do.

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  • A
    Beginner April 2016
    Apey ·
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    Hi there,

    I did exactly what you're planning to do for my wedding last year Smiley smile (jam jars...flower market etc)

    My Mother-in-Law and sister arranged the flowers and made my bouquets and button holes. They were amazing! They used similar flowers to what you have described.

    Some thoughts...

    • Can you set your venue up the day before? When we arranged the flowers it took much longer than expected. If you waited until the morning to take the flowers to the venue and set them could be a little stressful.
    • Consider arranging for you and your Mum to have a 'flower arranging' lesson. My family had their local florist come over and give them some tips (e.g. which flowers have the best stems for staying upright, how to arrange the bouquet, how to keep them looking fresh etc.). This was invaluable and I'd highly recommend.
    • Involve one or two more people in this task if possible. That way you could take care of other things the day before if need be.
    • You can pre-order flowers from Covent Garden Flower Market / have them delivered by some companies. Might be worth looking into.
    • Keep the flowers as cold as possible!
    • To save a little bit of worry / work, you could just have the button holes done by the florist? Or just your bouquet etc. It doesn't have to be 'all or nothing'.
    • I loved the way my flowers looked Smiley smile it was all the more special because my family had made them. Everyone took bunches / jam jar home with them too which was really nice.
    • Given the choice I'd do it that way again (although I wasn't directly I acknowledge it was less stressful for me!)

    Good luck! Any more questions please feel free to ask Smiley smile xx

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  • DreamsComeTrue2015
    Beginner July 2017
    DreamsComeTrue2015 ·
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    That sounds like a lot. Can you shop around and find another florist?

    If you do it yourself practice first - particularly the timings. My friend sat up with her bridesmaids until 3am the day of her wedding doing flowers. Not idea.

    I'd also get all the last minute jobs out the way at least 48 hours in advance. I know things crop up unexpectedly but I'd have lists and diaries organised with realistic timescales so the flowers are the only job.

    Consider fakes. At least you can prep that in advance. Even for some of it? I'm having paper flower bouquets and I've already got everything started. They'll be finished by the end of the month and they took me a lot longer than I expected.

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  • PadBin
    Rockstar July 2016
    PadBin ·
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    I'm very crafty and diy pretty much everything for our wedding. I got everything I could do in advance done and I had lists and plans for the day before the wedding. I also had people helping us.

    The plan was to do stuff on and off through the day, stop for a quick lunch then finish at 8-9 have take out with the girls and watch hairspray with face masks on.

    This didn't happen everything took a lot longer then I expected and we had less people helping which ment one less car. I was up doing things at 7am and didn't get to bed untill 2am then back up at 6am as the hair dressers was coming at 7am. I didn't get a chance to eat all day and Bearley sat down. I was exhausted and didn't get to have the special girl time. If I could have a do over I would do a lot less my self.

    I'm not saying don't do your flowers but maybe just double the time you think it will take. I made all our flowers (apart from centre pieces) months in advance. I did ribbon flowers and brooch bouquets, i did the button holes and pew ends all out of ribbons flowers so everything matched. What is lovely is everyone has got to keep there flowers.

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  • Chapples
    Beginner June 2017
    Chapples ·
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    As someone who has a bit of experience in this area (I've done quite a few weddings for friends in the past), it gernerally takes a lot longer than you think it will, so I would suggest roping in a few extra pairs of hands if you can - the last thing you want is to be stressing about getting the flowers perfect alongside getting yourself ready & sorting out the last minute items you need to.

    I've had a couple of weddings where I've been bridesmaid as well as florist & I'll be honest - I'd never do it again! What about taking on the centrepieces & venue decoration, but asking the florist to do your bouquets & buttonholes? These are probably the more difficult things to get right.

    My friend from San Diego is coming to the wedding & doing our flowers, as she's a florist - but I'm going to have to help her on the day before & I'm already stressing about how much else there is to do - I think with the two of us working away it'll be most of Friday taken up with our flowers, which does concern me!

    Have you got somewhere cool to store / prep the flowers? You do need quite a bit of space. We're going to use the back of my garage, if you do DIY, if you can,keep bouquets / buttonholes sprayed with water & if possible laid out on damp kitchen roll or something in a fridge.

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  • N
    Beginner October 2017
    NervousOctoberBride88 ·
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    Thanks for all the responses and advice Smiley smile

    The New Covent Garden flower market has just opened so we're going to visit over Easter and do a practice run and see how we get on. The flowers are likely to be totally different now than what will be available in October but at least we'll get to see what it's all about and then gauge roughly how long each of the arrangements/bouquets take us to make.

    To those that have done this before/have experience in floristry, what things do you suggest we make first? I'm guessing our gypsophila based bits (such as button-holes, pew-ends, flower girl posies) can be made further in advance than the bouquets and centre-pieces, which will need to stay fresh. If anyone could suggest to me which things to start on first and which things are better made as close to the day as possible, that would be v helpful!

    Once made, we're planning to keep all the flowers in the garage, it'll be October time so should be quite cool.

    Thanks again for all the advice! x

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  • Chapples
    Beginner June 2017
    Chapples ·
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    I would do bouquets last, buttonholes just before bouquets - if your centrepieces will be in water (or wet Oasis) then you'd be OK doing them slightly earlier as they'll keep fresh if they have a water supply. When you cut the stems, cut them on the diagonal as it gives them more surface to suck up moisture - if you're using roses cut an inch or so off the end of the stems when you buy them, & if you then plunge them straight into hot water it'll freshen them up & seal the moisture in.

    Take a look on this website too - good hints & tips:

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  • Charlotte
    Beginner June 2022 Bedfordshire
    Charlotte ·
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    View quoted message
    Hey! I just wondered how you got on?
    Do you have any pictures you could share please? And how much you spent?
    I would like to do the same Smiley smile x
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