Hello and welcome back to wedding flower week where we are talking all things flowers and all things weddings! We are mid-way through our second week where we are taking the time to hell you learn more about having flowers at your wedding and all that goes into it. Today, we are focusing on DIY flowers. By this, I mean procuring and arranging the flowers for your wedding yourself, or having someone, like a mother or friend, who isn’t a professional florist do the floral work. You know we love a good DIY wedding project here on the blog. After all, DIY is fun and can save you money (not always though!). However, when it comes to DIY wedding flowers, I’ve heard mixed reviews. Some couples have great experiences and some couples have total disasters. I checked in with some of the best wedding florists in the DC area. What are their thoughts on DIY wedding flowers? What are the pros and cons? Most importantly, what should a couple know about DIY wedding flowers before deciding to do this route?
Floral Design: Alicia Jayne Florals
“I have seen some major successes and some major fails when it comes to DIY flowers. Again, it all goes back to expectations. If you don’t have the facilities, the group expertise, or adequate time, you will most likely not be able to achieve an over-the-top hotel ballroom wedding. However, if you’re looking at flowers to simply accent, and not steal the show, then DIY could be a good route to go – bud vases filled with wild flowers lining kings’ tables can go a long way. Without the right knowledge, there’s a lot of room for disaster, so select heartier flowers – mums, stemmed roses (avoid white roses, which tend to brown easily), and greenery – to guarantee that everything looks fresh on the day of the wedding. The other major issue is timing – flowers will need to be picked up (or delivered) the day or two before the wedding, which is right in the middle of rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, finalizing details such as seating charts, and tying up loose ends.” - Liza, owner of Studio DBI
“Creating floral designs for a wedding is a lot of work, even for the simplest of designs. There is picking them up, conditioning them, prepping the containers, storing them at the proper temperature, and delivering them. The only pro of doing your own flowers is cost, however you always run the risk of spending more if things don’t go exactly as planned. Twice we have had last minute calls (one was at 4:00am on the day of the wedding!) with panicked requests for centerpieces because the DIY had gone wrong. We were able to do the centerpieces, but the couple ended up paying for the DIY arrangements AND the centerpieces we supplied. I suggest picking a few DIY projects that can be done well before the wedding week and working with a florist that can offer options within your budget.” – Shelly, owner of B Floral and Event Design
“I have seen many DIY’s gone wrong through the years!? You may love designing and/or playing with flowers for your house or to give to a friend, but you really need to think twice before jumping into floral DIY for your wedding. If you want to DIY some part of the decor, speak with your florist ahead of time to see if they will be able to incorporate the touches that you want be a part of. Here are a few positives: 1) If you are going to do this yourself and you’re confident in the outcome, this can be very rewarding (not just for the pocketbook!). 2) A laid-back, simple wedding with other elements such as candles are great if you just want to add a few fresh flowers to them. 3) If you are extremely creative, have had experience with designing with flowers, this might be for you! Carve out enough time to enjoy it! Here are a few realities: You need refrigeration. If you are ordering all of these beautiful flowers, how are you going to keep them fresh before and after you design them? You definitely need to process them; i.e. clean their stems of foliage, put them in flower food, cut their stems to hydrate if they are coming boxed. What are you going to do if they start to wilt? Do you know how to care for them and possibly get them to come back How and who are going to transport to the venue and set them up? How much time have you allowed prior to the wedding to design everything? Lastly, do NOT assume that your bridesmaids want to do this too! This doesn’t always make for a ‘fun’ project just before the wedding.” – Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers
Floral Design: Serendipity Bridal & Events
“If you elect to DIY your flowers, a simple arrangement should be your goal. Planning, ordering and putting together your own floral designs is for the couple who are comfortable with a low key style toward their wedding planning. Please be aware that you will be doing these arrangement the day before the wedding, which may impact on your time spent with family and guests. Be aware that global conditions such as political issues, as well as adverse weather conditions can affect the availability of some floral product, so plan according!” - – Lisa, owner of Petals and Promises
“A DIY bride or groom is typically full of creative ideas, which often snowballs into an over-stressed and over-worked bride or groom, family and friends. These creative brides and grooms realize, in the end, that hiring a professional for portions of their wedding while still creating and having their input would have been the ultimate experience.” - Janice, owner of Serendipity Bridal & Events
“DIY really means ‘Dangerously- Involved…YIKES!’ We have had many brides and grooms come into our shop stressed out or crying because they have over taxed themselves with trying to do it all! This is YOUR day, you should be sitting on a cloud for the few months leading up to your wedding not wiring 100 pew ribbons or squeezing in time to pick-up buckets of sunflowers to make bridesmaid flowers and centerpieces. Leave the heavy lifting to the professionals! If you absolutely must DIY your wedding flowers, we suggest keeping things simple. For example, try going with bouquets of all one flower for your bridesmaids, or even centerpieces that are less involved with flowers.” – Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers
“For couples who’s budget might not allow for a big floral expense, then DIY wedding flowers may be an option for them as long as the couple has friends or family that are willing to take on the responsibility of assisting with this DIY project in the days leading up to the wedding. The couple should have realistic expectations in that they are not hiring a professional to provide a service and should be willing to roll with whatever hiccups might happen along the way such as wilting flowers, limited selection of product, etc. The pros in DIY flowers would be the cost savings and the fun of doing something with your friends and family the days before your wedding. One of the cons would be the stress of having to deal with the flowers when you should be enjoying your time with your partner, friends and family who are there to celebrate in your marriage.” – Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals
“When it comes to DIYing your wedding flowers the pros are saving money, and doing for love of doing something on your own and creating it, plus you are spending more time with your wedding party or mom. On the downside, you will only save money if you own all your own vases already, you already have the supplies needed and you know what you are doing. In the end you might even end up spending more if you end up with a disaster on your hands. If you DIY your flowers, you have to think of all the logistics. Do you have a space to design everything? Do you have refrigeration? Do you know which flowers need refrigeration? Do you have a vehicle to transport everything? Do you know which flowers react with certain fruits if you are infusing fruits. Also, you want to spend more time with your wedding party – but you also want to enjoy and not stress out the day before your wedding. Why would you want to do that?” – Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity
So, what about you? Will you DIY your wedding flowers or will you opt for something else? We want to hear from you about your DIY wedding experiences.
We are plugging along with wedding floral week here on United With Love and I hope that you are enjoying it! Please check out each of these talented DC area wedding florists on their websites. And, remember to come back all week long because we have so much more coming at you!
In the meantime, be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC, MD and VA wedding pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.