Wedding planning is a multi-layered process with many decisions. Searching for ways to save is crucial for smaller wedding budgets, but a lot of couples go the DIY route without fully understanding how much time, energy and money it actually requires. Take flowers. Hiring professional florists is often expensive —especially painful when line items (like catering) already take up a huge chunk of the wedding budget. On the other hand, it takes years to learn how to make beautiful bouquets, backdrops and centerpieces. The good news: simplified DIY flowers are possible with careful planning and lots of extra hands.
Tip #1: Choose Flowers In Season
Scope out the flowers available the month of your wedding and don’t set your heart on any one flower in particular. You’ll still have beautiful decor for your wedding and save yourself (and your wallet) a massive headache. Focus more on the color scheme, picking large and smaller blooms in a variety of colors. Use leafy greens as the base to create a full arrangement. Above, Eden of Sugar and Charm created these colorful punchy arrangements with a mix of several flowers in a whimsical style.
Tip #2: Accept Help
Lay out all the supplies and flowers the evening before, or the morning of the wedding. Ask bridesmaids to arrange this centerpiece in steps: first the greens, then any larger flowers, followed by small blooms. This simple runner of small arrangements via 100 Layer Cake would be easy to do as an assembly line. If you don't do the arranging at the actual venue, Dream Green DIY offers tips for storing and transporting delicate flower arrangements safely. Once you are on site, designate a family member (or your planner) to set them up around the room.
Tip #3: Go Simple
Ruffled blog featured a beautiful Manhattan wedding with a great example for simple arrangements that still have a lot of personality. This style is very easy to assemble the day before a wedding, and doesn’t require a lot of technique. Purchase a mix of flowers in your color scheme, then cut different buds to fit each vase. Using a collection of different vessels borrowed from family, friends, or found at vintage shops, creates an eclectic, unique look.
If you do go for more complicated arrangements, like this DIY urn centerpiece from A Practical Wedding, plan on only creating a very small number of these. To save money, look for plastic urns for less than $10 from a floral supply store and place flowers in a glass jar hidden inside.
Tip #4: Buy In Bulk
The more variety, the more expensive your arrangements will be. Flower markets usually sell bundles of cut flowers for $5 (greens, filler) to $20 (roses, peonies) depending on the flower type. Sometimes markets like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods will even order bulk flowers for you. Ordering flower stems from the nearby flower shop may average $20-$30 an arrangement, while buying from a wholesale flower market at half the price. Most allow you to shop without a seller’s permit or business license.
Tip #5: Give Yourself Plenty of Time & Practice
To prepare for the challenge of DIY flowers, read and/or watch as many florist tutorials as possible like this wildflower bouquet from Refinery 29, and give yourself plenty of time. Practice making bouquets leading up to the wedding; arranging flowers takes patience and you don't want to rush and be stressed right before the ceremony. There are even workshops you can take in advance, like these from London Bride (also lead image above), to help you in advance. Build plenty of time in your schedule on the actual day, and allow for any unanticipated delays.
Tip #6: Mix High and Low
Pay attention to the ratio of expensive specialty flowers (like roses, peonies, ranunculus, dahlias) to smaller flowers or greens. A few specialty flowers can be added to an already full arrangement of cheaper blooms, instead of trying to form an entire bouquet of pricy and popular flowers. Similarly, you can save on less important things like floral tape, ribbon, pins or floral wire by visiting any craft store. Above, a bouquet of ranunculus from La Fleur Kitchen.
Tip #7: Think Outside The Vase
This DIY floral chandelier from The Bride’s Cafe is a great decor project for a venue that needs a few accents. Commit to only creating a few of these to prevent a DIY crisis leading up the wedding. Use them as a statement piece above the altar, a sweetheart or dessert table. Again, the amount of greens used for this project are very inexpensive and a great way to fill space, with a few flowers for color thrown in.