, ,

DIYing your Wedding Flowers Part 1: Three reasons I DIYed my flowers

Photo by Niv Shimshon Photography

Before I go any further, I have to let you know that I am a professional wedding florist (surprise?). That gives me a serious leg up over most brides who are considering doing their own flowers – I have 1000’s of hours of experience working as a florist and have been specializing in weddings for the last few years. This also means I can give you some realtalk advice to ensure you are 1. DIYing for the right reasons and 2. prepared. 

Doing flowers for a full wedding is high pressure – you’ll be working with a perishable (and often finicky!) product, you’ll be making many arrangements (centrepieces, bouquets, maybe a couple large arrangements for the ceremony + corsages + boutonnieres) and you will be doing all of it on tight deadline. If flowers are a hobby for you then you’ve got a head start. If you’ve never put flowers in a vase before, get ready for a learning curve.

I’ll drop a few tips for you potential DIYers in my next post but first and foremost I want to talk about my top 3 reasons you should embark on this decision.

    • You *love* flowers and you love the idea of making your own flowers.
    • You have a crew of happy helpers who are going to relish in supporting you with this wedding project.
    • You bring a certain amount of chilled out zen-ness to all of your wedding planning. You’re great at planning and organization but you also understand that not everything will be exactly what you envisioned and that’s ok.

      We’ve all see the compilations of Pinterest Fails. They are pretty hilarious, unless you just spent your entire Sunday trying to make Cookie Monster cupcakes and now have to clean up blue icing with nothing to show for it. Any gorgeous, Pinterest-worthy wedding flowers are going to be challenging to DIY. Those lovely footed compote arrangements with flowers spilling out can require a lot more flowers than you’d expect and can be difficult to execute for a somebody with no experience. This is such a big consideration that I will add a 4th reason to my list above. DIYing your wedding flowers might be a great option for you if:

  • You have simple arrangements to execute, ie. bud vases or simple dollar store vases with a low-key design made of basic blooms.

You might be wondering, “What about cost? What about saving money?” Saving money is often the number one reason that most brides go down the DIY route for any part of their wedding.

I totally get it. Weddings are expensive!

But be warned: there will be quite a few non-floral purchases you are going to have to make to pull this off. Once you’ve bought all your materials, flower clippers, rolls of ribbon, vases, boxes to transport the arrangements, buckets galore… will you still be saving money? If saving money is your number one reason, think long and hard, cost *everything* out and really ask yourself if the money you are saving makes up for the 2-3 days of manual, dirty work right before your wedding.

Even if you still feel like the savings are worthwhile but you don’t check the other boxes at the top of this post then I’m going to say something pretty controversial …forget the flowers. Since you maybe aren’t super invested in the flowers anyway you probably won’t miss them if they aren’t there. Do some research on non-floral centrepieces that you can DIY months in advance and avoid the stress of making everything the day or two before your wedding. If you don’t have help or if the help you do have is going to grumble the whole time, think about scaling your plan back to something you can do on your own and outsource the rest. You definitely don’t want to spend the day before your wedding fighting with your “helpers”.

If you are a super perfectionist and have your heart set on something very particular and maybe even a bit complicated (lush compote arrangements? candelabras draped in flowers? A cascading bridal bouquet?), don’t DIY! You will be setting yourself up for stress and disappointment. This kind of approach has a high likelihood of you hating the flowers, regretting your decision, and maybe even shelling out extra money to have a pro remake some of your stuff on *very* short notice.

You do not, I repeat, you do not want to be redoing your bouquet for the 5th time at 1 am the night before your wedding. I am a perfectionist. I can recognize this in myself and I am constantly working on it. If you know this about yourself and you know that you won’t be able to put the bouquet down until it’s “perfect” then Just. Say. No. Any monetary savings will be completely offset by the anxiety, frustration, disappointment and possible embarrassment of the experience. If you’re exhausted, you won’t be able to enjoy your wedding day and then what’s the point in the first place? From one perfectionist to another, take my advice, find another solution.

All that being said, if you do check all the boxes at the top of this post then go for it! I had so much fun doing the flowers for my own wedding. Fall is my *favourite* time of year and I knew I wanted my flowers to feel like a fleeting fall day complete with petal-less sunflowers and the occasional crunchy, yellow-brown leaf. I knew I wanted to touch every flower that went into my day and I did even if I didn’t make everything myself. I cherished getting to spend time with my bridesmaids and my oldest flower friends – girls who I worked with at my first florist job, all of whom have since left the industry for other careers. Many of the arrangements were not exactly how I would have made them but even though they weren’t “perfect”, I loved them. The centrepieces, made by my friends, represented important relationships in my life and the love those special people have for me and my now-husband. I can’t help but think about each friend’s individual contributions to my DIY project and how it wouldn’t have happened without their effort. If you are thinking about DIYing your wedding flowers, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

Check back for Part 2 of this post where I will talk in more detail about the time investment, non-flower purchases and the workspace/set-up necessary to DIY your wedding flowers.

next one

Leslie + Michael’s Rosewater Room Wedding, Toronto, ON