Bridal Buds WeddingWire Blog

DIY Wedding Flowers: To Do or Not To Do?


Elegant & EASY centerpiece of all roses

Elegant & EASY centerpiece of all roses

When you start to look at ideas for wedding flowers, it can be very tempting to consider making your own wedding flowers. After all, many of the floral designs showcased in wedding magazines feature all the same type of flower in a round mass. How difficult can that be? And it would save a fortune! The major drawback is whether you as the bride (or groom!) would have the time and wherewithal the couple of days before the wedding to undertake this challenge. There will be a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner to contend with, not to mention a possible bridal shower or manicure and pedicure! You might also just want to relax and spend the day before the big day gabbing it up with your best friends at a spa.

Here are some tips and ideas to think about when deciding whether or not to tackle your own wedding flowers.

1. Make your own reception centerpieces and hire a professional to take care of the personal flowers. Reception centerpieces can be made in advance – possibly even a couple days prior to the wedding – and can be very simple to make. Considering centerpieces can be about $100 each, spending just one afternoon to make 10 would save you $1000, not including materials. The personal flowers – including bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages – may require more intricacy and practice. There is some detailed technique work involved in making those popular hand-tied bouquets; and the wiring and taping involved in boutonnieres and corsages may be more than what you want to deal with on a limited schedule. Although making personal flowers isn’t rocket science, it may end up taking a long time if you aren’t familiar with it.

Hand-tied bouquets

Hand-tied bouquets

2. Consider signing up for a wedding floral design class at your local adult education center. Many community colleges and adult education centers offer classes in the arts and crafts. Look to see if there are any classes on making wedding flowers and centerpieces. You’ll get at least one or two designs down that you can later altar and personalize to your liking. If there is a class on making hand-tied bouquets, it would be a great opportunity to learn and practice the hand-tied technique.

3. Have a couple of friends or family on hand for help. Crafty bridesmaids, relatives, or friends would probably love to lend a helping hand in working with beautiful flowers! But also make sure there is someone you can count on to transport the flowers to the venue and set the centerpieces on the tables. Sometimes this may require missing some of the ceremony, pictures, or cocktail hour, so be sensitive of who you recruit.

4. Plan to work in a cool and spacious area with a large work table. Basements, garages, and dining rooms are great areas to store flowers and work with them. Flowers like it cooler rather than hotter and basements are perfect environments. Florists have the advantage of having a cooler to store flowers and completed arrangements. If it’s too hot, the blooms will open too quickly and then start to wilt. The trick is to have perfect timing. For a Saturday wedding, having the flowers arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday will allow them to open for a day or two before you work with them on Friday. Then they can be kept in a cool place overnight until the wedding on Saturday.

5. Purchase flowers from your local flower market (if one exists), from an online wholesaler, or from a warehouse like Costco. Not all cities have a flower market, and even if a flower district exists, sometimes there are strict rules and regulations governing who can shop the market. If they are strict, they may require you to have a reseller’s license. Some suppliers sell online and offer specials for DIYers wedding flowers. Costco has a pretty good selection of roses and other popular wedding flowers at reasonable prices.

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  1. Hi! This is a great post about many of the things to think about when deciding to do your own wedding flowers vs. hiring a florist. I am a wedding floral designer with years of experience, and when I was getting married I wouldnt have considered NOT DIY’ing my flowers. However, after years more experience since, there are so many things I could have done differently to save me time and frustration. If I knew then what I know now…

    That experience combined with seeing how many brides were more inclined to try to DIY to save money, inspired me to partner with another floral designer in my area to do workshops for DIY brides. We have since produced a DVD so that brides can learn how to do their own wedding flowers successfully – or know before its too late if they should hire a pro.

    I have the privilege of shopping at the Los Angeles Flower District for wedding flowers and every week I see brides there who are DIY’ing their flowers, and just from the bits of conversation I overhear I know they are in for it… they haven’t done the research and practice and will probably have a miserable next couple of days. We are hoping with the DVD that this can be avoided and brides can enjoy their DIY flowers or hand it off to a pro and enjoy all the other stuff the days before their wedding.

  2. Robin


    Many brides believe it easier and less expensive to make their own bouquets but find out too late that they don’t have all the tools needed to do the job. I have been a floral designer for many years and when I got married thirteen years ago even I was tempted to make my own bouquet, too. Thankfully the other designer in our store talked me out of it and I have never regretted that decision.

    Although hand tied bouquets look simple it can be an art form to design them so that all blooms are symetrical and the arrangement is round. Stems must be angled but not snapped off…some stems must be wired and many need extra lovng care after arranging to make sure they look fresh and lovely when you walk down the aisle. Do you know which flowers need refridgeration and which prefer humidity and warmth? So you know how to wire a stem and wrap it with tape? Do you have a wholesalle account or vendor to provide you with fresh bloomms? Do you know how to wrap it with ribbon and which kind of ribbon will not show watermarks?

    These are the kinds of simple details a florist will help you with. No bride wants her bouquet to look wilted and droopy on her wedding day. And certainly none want to stress about whether the flowers have gotten there and are arranged as they are trying to enjoy their family time at the rehearsal dinner.

    This is a once in a lifetime event. Make sure you enjoy it to the fullest…without stress, fuss or worry. Hire help. They will give you the gift of peace of mind, which is more precious than gold on your amazing day.