DIY Wedding Flowers …? | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

DIY Flower Prep

One of the most daunting decisions in my wedding planning turned out to be flowers. To DIY or not to DIY?—that was the question.

There are tons of folks out there who lobby on either side of the fence for various reasons. Typically, florists say doing DIY wedding flowers is too big of a gamble for any bride to take on. On the other hand, there are lots of brides who have done it and encourage others not to be intimidated.

DIY Wedding Flowers : Yes or No?

For me the answer turned out to be a little bit of both. I’ve recently had to face the reality that while I am able to do many things, I cannot do everything while working a full-time+ job and planning a wedding long distance. I will be doing a lot of things myself, but I decided not to commit myself to major projects I don’t have prior experience with. And floral arranging is one area I have absolutely ZERO experience with. I love fresh flowers—who doesn’t?! However, creating good fresh floral arrangements takes practice and I simply don’t have the time.

I thank God for my bridesmaids, whom I affectionately call the B-Hive. They threatened to overthrow DIY Queen B if I tried to tackle complicated projects the day before the wedding. I heard them…and yes, I waved the white flag, but only partially.

In the beginning, my plan was to DIY all of the flower arrangements. I was inspired by stories from real brides who had great success with DIY wedding flowers, and with the high costs associated with professional arrangements, I never thought I could afford to hire a florist. That was until I noticed a Living Social wedding deal advertisement for a floral package valued at $1250 for $599 via a local Atlanta florist. The discovery made my heart race. How could this be true? Was the florist really any good? I did a front and back search on Atlanta Wedding Florals  and it was the real thing. I first checked all of the bridal boards, then Facebook, and any other place I could think of to see if it was legit. AND?—there wasn’t one bad review. It was also comforting to know that Living Social would back the wedding deals, but to be really sure I spoke with the owner, Nanci. She was very nice and without so much as a penny, she spoke to me at length about her business and what she could do for me. I’m a sucker for an awesome deal and great service, so I jumped on the opportunity.

Even though $1250 is more than I budgeted for as far as flowers go, because the arrangements will be professionally done, it will carry a lot less volume once labor costs are factored in. This simply means that my entire floral needs won’t be met by the deal, leaving me with two options—order more arrangements from our local florist or DIY. I chose DIY wedding flowers because I’d invested so much in my DIY flower prep early on that I’d have lost money here. As it stands, the florist will do all of the personal and ceremony flowers; leaving me and the B-Hive to DIY the reception flowers (including centerpieces and features like the cake and sweetheart tables).

I feel good about my decision and am confident that I’ll be thrilled with the results!

 

What do you think of DIY Wedding Flowers?

Would you be willing to give it a go or would you rather leave it to the professionals?

I’m Bianca, a Washingtonian transplant from Chicago’s Southside. During the day, I work for the people; after hours, I moonlight as an artist and avid DIYer. On May 10, 2014, I’ll wed my love of 4 years in Atlanta, GA and add a few letters to my list of achievements…M – R – S.

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  • Comments (14)
    • Samantha Angell
    • March 14th, 2014

    I didn’t DIY, but I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money on my wedding flowers- so I went to the farmers market and got a much cheaper option there! I was happy overall with the results, even though the flowers weren’t perfect.

    • Liz Cleek
    • March 14th, 2014

    I’m choosing to do mine DIY (tentatively.) One, I’m cheap. But the biggest reason I’m confidant is I both want something simple, and I’ll be getting the flowers from wholesalers I worked for for three years. So I know what I’m doing. The tentative is that with the winter the midwest is having, they aren’t sure if they’ll have peonies ready by May 10th! So, I’m rooting for Spring to arrive ASAP!

    • Jessica
    • March 14th, 2014

    Actually, given that I really don’t like fresh flowers, I decided to go another route entirely. (Why don’t I like fresh flowers? I feel like they are super wasteful and sad because they were cut off of the plant and will now die – I didn’t want death at my wedding.)

    Anyway, I made our bouquets and whatnot out of shells instead. Our centerpieces are going to be sand and shells in fishbowls with a candle. I also DIY coffee filter pomander balls in our wedding colors. There won’t be a single flower present at our wedding and I don’t feel the lack at all.

    Just wanted to put this out there for any other brides who may read this and want to know that you don’t have to have flowers. :)

    Best of luck with yours Bianca!

    • Sounds like a fun alternative – share some photos with us, we’d love to see how they turn out!!

    • Amber
    • March 14th, 2014

    I’m choosing to DIY mine, it’s THE big DIY project I’m doing. The thing is, I love the bouquets that look like wildflowers thrown together–I don’t want that perfectly structured look for bouquets. We’re also having a small wedding with one long table family style, so our centerpiece arrangements will be one or two flowers each in a bunch of vases and jars and such running down the center with candles and yarn pom pons (the other big DIY project of our wedding.) I’ll be doing a small dry run once flower season starts up, but I feel pretty confident about it. I don’t want to spend thousands to pay a florist to make my flowers look like wild flowers thrown together if I can do that myself. I think if my taste was fancier I’d splurge on a florist.

    • This sounds lovely!! I’m sure you will do a fantastic job– be sure to share photos with us after your wedding!! :)

    • Anne
    • March 14th, 2014

    Some of those arrangements on the Pinterest board aren’t so terrible. (Yes, some are, but some are really OK.)

    • I agree. Did you notice that some of the pins were about the care of flowers? For instance, there was a lovely bouquet in the refrigerator next to a tomato. And the illustration was showing that the gases from the tomato would kill the flowers by morning. I had no idea…I’ve always seen people refrigerate flowers for freshness with no idea that they could be affected by the contents of the average refrigerator.

    • Kelly Rice
    • March 17th, 2014

    Wow – is $1250 just for your event flowers really budget savvy bride-like? I’m doing my DIY partly because I have a more informal/vintage vibe going on and I found a lot of great options. I’m def no florist but I did some trial runs with some videos and I love what we came up with. But – and this is my big one – I’m doing my whole wedding (140 guests) for under $400 for flowers. After you buy your DIY flowers, you’ll be at almost $1500. I dunno – I have some other things I’d rather spend that kind of $ on (or not! :) But good luck to you anyway – hope you have a great day! Peace!

    • Kelly Rice
    • March 17th, 2014

    I just reread and saw $599 package. Still, not including the most important flowers (bouquets! – let’s face it the only ones we’ll all have in our pics) you’re still up at almost $1000. And I’m not sure I buy that I’m getting $1250 in flowers for $599… I would totally be worried that you get what you pay for. You can get smaller cheaper roses and still call them roses, you know? Just sounds a little fishy to me! :)

    • It seems like you may have misunderstood a few things. Actually, the package does cover bouquets. The florist’s main focus will be bouquets. The heavy photographic emphasis on bouquets is the precise reason I chose this route. Bouquets and personal flowers are the same thing. And no, my total costs won’t be $1000. If you’re able to do your whole wedding for $400, I don’t see why you think it’s inconceivable for me to buy a package for $599 from a florist that focuses mainly on bouquets and other portions of the ceremony. Keep in mind that florists get their flowers cheaper than any average consumer can buy. The price of this package is basically a discount on the labor costs, a promotional tool to get people in the door. Customers always have the option of buying more; and if they choose to, the florist will make more as well.

      I typically make it a point to mention that every wedding is different, and I am not forcing my experience on you as the only way things can be done. I simply do not have the time or the logistical support to put together the flowers I want for my wedding, which is common for brides who work 40-60 hours a week and/or plan long distance weddings. The average cost for wedding flowers is about $2000. And I think achieving the look of having spent $2000 for less than half the cost is budget-savvy. Also, I’m not sure if you considered that the size of bridal parties has more to do with the cost of flowers than the number of guests.

      You don’t always get what you pay for. Sometimes you get more, sometime you get less. It all depends on the players involved. So, don’t be so quick to judge because you think you saved more money. It’s equally as distasteful when people think spending more money makes them better. I wish you well on your project.

    • Molly O
    • March 17th, 2014

    I’m with Anne – I don’t think all those Pinterest posts are that bad! (Some are no my taste for sure, but…) Sounds like a mad florist who doesn’t like us not paying tons extra to her. :)

    • Laura W
    • March 17th, 2014

    Flowers were one of our easiest decisions (check out my post: http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/vendor-shout-silk-flowers/). I definitely think flowers are DIYable, and there are some good resources out there for those that go this route. I saw a lot of hype over a book called The Flower Recipe Book. Wishing you all luck in your DIY endeavors!