Five Tips for DIYing Your Wedding Flowers

I know, I know.  Flowers are expensive.  There's no denying it.  But for a moment (and just a moment), I'm going to put my 'rational' hat on the shelf to say that this is your wedding.  You do deserve to have pretty flowers.  When else will you have an excuse to hold a beautiful bouquet of peonies, ranunculus, poppies, dahlias, and all the other beautiful flowers we drool over in all the Real Weddings we so faithfully stalk online?

Floral Design: Holly Chapple / Photograph: Kristen Gardner

That said, if there's no budge in your budget, you can't get water from a stone.  Here are some tips to help you along the way:

1.  Consider hiring a professional florist.  Yes, I did read the title of this post.  But before you decide to go it alone, I strongly (bold AND italics... I mean business!) suggest meeting with the pro before you rule her out.  Let's face it... her work will look better than anything you can put together.  She has years of experience ordering quality flowers from a cost-effective source, not to mention her design talents that will save you hours upon hours of time the day before (and of) your wedding.  The days leading up to your wedding are priceless, and believe me, you won't have much time to assemble centerpieces.  The savings from DIYing your flowers are only temporary, but those photos last forever, honey.

2.  Know the costs of the flowers you want.  DIYing your flowers doesn't necessarily = cheap.  Here is a list of prices per stem for some of the most popular wedding flowers, according to The Martha:

Amaryllis: $6 to $8
Anemone: $1 to $2
Aster: about $1
Calla Lily: $2 to $5
Cosmos: about $1
Daffodil: less than $1.50
Dahlia: $1.50
Delphinium: $1 to $2
Gardenia: $8 to $20
Gerbera Daisy: $1 to $3
Gladiolus: $2 to $3
Heather (filler): less than $1.50
Hyacinth: $1 to $3
Iris: $1 to $1.50
Lilac: $3
Lisianthus: $1 to $2
Ornithogalum (Star-of-Bethlehem): $1 to $2
Orchid: $14
Peony: $4 to $7
Phlox: $1 to $2
Poppy: about $1.50
Ranunculus: $1 to $2
Stephanotis: $1 to $3
Sunflower: $2 to $3
Sweet Pea: $1 to $2
Tulip: $1 to $4
Viburnum: $3 to $6
Zinnia: about $1.50

3.  Order your flowers through a florist.  According to Amy Hardin of Details Weddings and Events, "Order your flowers through a florist, not a large store like Sam's Club.  That way there's quality control."  You never know where that big-box store is getting the flowers, and you miss out on having someone examine each stem for freshness and beauty.  A flower shop thrives on the quality of their flowers, so inquire to see what your options would be there.

4.  Practice makes perfect.  Blogger (and real bride!) Cris Stone of Kiss My Tulle emphasizes the importance of preparation.  "Practice, practice, practice... And do them the day before."  Practice making arrangements for your dining room table in the months leading up to the wedding (even if it's with cheaper versions of your wedding flowers, to start) so you get comfortable cutting and arranging flowers.  Sarah, editor of the blog A Paper Proposal, stresses to "keep it clean, simple and uniform!"  (Ever heard of the phrase K.I.S.S.?  'Nough said.)  A couple weeks before the wedding, make your 'practice' arrangement out of your actual wedding flowers.  You'll get an idea of costs, what they look like 'together', and how to arrange them.

5.  Get acquainted with your blooms.  It's true... flowers are on their own schedule, not yours.  Event designer and blogger Lauren Grove of Every Last Detail reminds us to "know the behavior of certain flowers.  Roses take a few days to open up, so you need to get them ahead of time."  Sound like a lot of work?  Well, it is.  When in doubt, reference tip number one!

Thanks to the event designers and bloggers (credited above) who contributed to the content of this post.



Lauren @ ELD said...

I KNEW that I had seen that bouquet somewhere too! It's by Holly Chapple- here is her blog post: http://hollychappleflowers.typepad.com/thefullbouquet/2010/11/the-third-times-a-charm-sara-whitehall-manor.html


jacin {lovely little details} said...

what a great and helpful post!!!

jacin {lovely little details} said...

what a great and helpful post!!!

bonafidebride said...

Thanks Jacin! And thanks Lauren, you're the best!

Alicia@CharityWedding said...

Fabulous post! Sooo many people think they can just throw flowers together and it will look amazing/be easy! I think the most important thing you said is that you do not have time the day before and definitely not the day of to worry about things like this! It would totally take away from actually enjoying it!

Amy said...

Kristin - great post! Thanks for quoting me! I linked this on my blog! http://www.detailedweddingblog.com/2011/04/diy-floral-design.html

tami {@fabulouslywed} said...


tami {@fabulouslywed} said...

Excellent post! Great information!

Aleah + Nick Valley said...

What a lovely, informative post! This is right-on!

Shanna said...

I did DIY my own flowers and I lucked out; they looked amazing. I chose all roses and added peacock feathers. I did a lot of reading online beforehand (like how to handle thorns) and enlisted my favorite gal pals the morning of the wedding to help me pull it all together. It was great bonding time over coffee on the morning of such a whirlwind day!

Greg Johnson said...


Your insight about ordering your flowers through a florist is excellent advice. As a retail florist, I can assure you that every florist's reputation rides on every flower they sell. You might pay a little more, but the added "quality control" is well worth it.

Greg J-

Kristina – Providence RI Wedding DJs said...

Thanks for sharing this post. This is really informative. The wedding bouquet in the picture is really lovely.