Do I know anything about flowers? Flowers are pretty and some smell lovely, but if knowing the difference between a rose (standard) and a carnation is the extent of your "green thumb," you are going to need to read up on the flowers you will be using. Different flowers need different things. (ie. water temp, storage temp, additives, light/dark, days to open, etc.) You can research flowers by name (if you know the name) otherwise, check out an online floral source like Fiftyflowers to use their photo identifier to find the name of that flower you loved on Pinterest. Once you have that name you can look up the care process for the flower and also make sure it is in season for your wedding and what the cost will be.
Do I have at least 4-6 free hours the the day before my wedding for floral arranging?
Again, depending on how large your project is, this could drastically change up or down. If you are doing a single bouquet and bout, then it might take an hour or two from start to finish. However if you have several bouquets, corsages, bouts, and centerpieces, expect to take the whole day well into the night if you are doing this by yourself.
Do I have friends and family who can support me with the potential stress of a large DIY project the day?
Your bridesmaids have signed on to support you during the weekend of your wedding. They expect to help you with your dress, keep you hydrated and fed during the rush of the day, calming nerves, and telling you how gorgeous you look. They more than likely did not sign on to schlep buckets of water around a venue and engage in rose thorns. Make sure that if you tackle this project, you ask your friends and family if they are willing to take on this extra duty, and warn them that the additional stress might turn you into a real Bridezilla!
Do I have a good place to store my flowers--cool, dark, and away from pets and children? If you have a cool dark basement that should work, but you will want to make sure you haven't chosen ultra-diva delicate flowers. Also expect to fret the entire time you have them and make numerous checks to make sure they haven't died on you. You will wake up several times during the night, like a new mother checking on her young. Also expect to have the common florist nightmare that they are dead when you go to pull them out for the wedding. That is totally normal and even experienced florists still get this nightmare.
Is there a friend or family member I can trust to bring my DIY flowers to the venue and
set up all the centerpieces the day of the wedding? You obviously can't do this because you will be getting hair and makeup and doing all those fun things that brides should do on their wedding day. That person is going to need a large and empty minivan or SUV. Flowers are bulky and delicate, if they tip over or are smashed together, they are going to look horrible. Depending on the size of the project, you might need several trips or several cars. Don't wait until the day of the wedding to figure out your car doesn't have enough room.
Do I have a very specific style in mind for my flowers, and will I be frustrated or disappointed if I’m not able to create it at the last minute? You are not going to be able to create the doppelganger of the Pinterest bouquet if this is your first time arranging. It just won't happen! That would be like expecting to paint like Monet they first time you pick up a brush. Be realistic and be gentle on yourself. If you MUST have it the way it looks in the picture, then pick up the phone and call a wedding florist.
Do I want to buy all the vases and other containers for the flowers myself? There are places where you can rent the containers and vases, but most often you will need to purchase them. This will be expensive on the front end, but you could clean and try to resell on a local bridal marketplace. You do need to make sure the vessel will support the size and structure of the arrangements, you don't want them top heavy or they will tip. If you are using glass vases, buy extra just in case.
Do I want to buy the special tools needed (floral snips, thorn stripper, floral glue, waterproof tape, floral tape, floral wire, ribbon, foam/chicken wire, floral food, pins, etc.) to create intricate items like corsages, bouquets, and boutonnieres? You can buy these at any floral store and even online from flower sellers and Amazon. It will be another investment that you most likely won't be able to recoup.
Do I have a friend or family member who can clean up the flowers and take them away from the venue after the wedding is over? The same cars needed to bring the flowers will most likely be needed to remove them from the venue, unless you want to try to give them away to your guests, or you toss in the trash which would be such a sad waste.
The sticker shock from a floral proposal is real, and the urge to save some money for the budget is SO tempting, i get it. There are many other planning categories where you can cut costs by getting creative, but unless you have a friend or family member who has experience as a florist, this is not something you want to take on. The nightmare stories of poor brides spending hundreds on flowers and killing them or running out of time to do all the work to make bouquets are numerous. If you have your heart set on arranging your own flowers, do yourself a favor and do a trial run well before your wedding day. You can understand how the ordering process and prep works, test your arranging talent and have a better idea of the time you will need during those crucial days before your wedding day.
Photo #7 & 8 Credit Chameleon Imagery
Photo #1 & 3 Credit Ashley Fisher Photography
Cover Photo Credit Be Lovely Photography
Photo #5 Credit Stephanie Bannon Photography