I decided pretty early on in my wedding planning process that I would be doing most of the wedding flowers myself (my wonderful friends and family were also a tremendous help and I would have lost my mind without them).
I did a lot of research before I made my decision but knew off the bat that DIY flowers was most likely the way to go to save on cost. For the amount of flowers and style I wanted, having a professional do the work would have cost a very pretty penny. I did interview a couple florists, and discovered that I'd save about half the cost by doing DIY arrangements.
The style of our wedding was glamorous, and our colors were white, black, pink, and gold. I planned to use all white roses sitting upon the tallest possible tapered vases.
I ordered 12 31 inch, tapered vases from Wholesale Glass Vases International for $25 a piece, which was a steaming deal in comparison to other retailers and wholesale websites I looked at. Their customer service was excellent, and shipping was super fast.
Here's one of the vases sitting atop my kitchen table:
In addition to the vases, I ordered hanging crystal pieces from Koyal Wholesale, you can see the ones I ordered here.
To make your own floral arrangements with fresh flowers, you'll need:
- wet foam bricks
- floral tape
- clear bowl or tray to fit on top of the vase opening
- garden scissors
- flower food
I ordered 1,000 roses and 50 hydrangeas for all of the centerpieces and bouquets from Costco's wholesale floral department. I will be completely honest and say that the flowers gave me the most anxiety over every other wedding detail. I worried that they'd brown and die under my care, I worried that I'd order them to early and not have them at their prime on the wedding day, and the list goes on. Looking back, I don't regret my decision at all, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I was so incredibly lucky to have my friends there for me to help care for the flowers and help arrange them. One of my dear friends had gotten married several months before me used Costco as well, and knew how to care for the flowers once they arrived at my house. She was so incredibly kind to come over the night they arrived, and clipped 1,050 flowers with me.
Here's what boxes holding 1,050 flowers looks like 3 days before your wedding (suitcases, gifts etc everywhere as well):
Before unpacking the boxes, I filled about 20 buckets with water and put the flowers in, in their wrapping to keep the petals safe and closed. After they were all unpacked, we clipped each stem about 1/2 an inch diagonally for better water absorption. This was to be done every other day until arranging the centerpieces, so we only did this a total of two times. Because I was super paranoid, I kept our house as freezing as we could possibly stand to keep all those white flowers alive. Side note: white flowers are very sensitive. One touch to the petals, and they're at risk to brown.
The original plan was to only use roses, but after a trial run, I realized there were too many gaps in the centerpiece, and to fill those spaces would have cost a lot more. Since i love hydrangeas, I decided to add 3-5 to each centerpiece to fill space since they're approximately the size of 5-10 roses a piece. I cannot stress enough how important a trial run is!!!
Here's how to arrange centerpieces in a sphere shape:
Step 1: Cut all flowers diagonally.
Step 2: Soak 1 wet foam brick for about 30 minutes in cold water until completely saturated. Once the flowers are placed into the wet foam, they will receive water and stay fresh for several days.
Step 3: Put the wet foam brick in your bowl (I used clear bowls from the dollar store so that they wouldn't show too much through the vases).
Step 4: Place your floral tape in a criss-cross pattern over the entire bowl, on top of the wet foam. This will be your guide as where to place the flowers and it will keep the wet foam from sliding around.
Step 5: Insert 3 hydrangeas in a triangle shape into the wet foam.
We started by placing one in the middle, and then two around it, in the shape of a triangle.
Step 6: Around the hydrangeas, add about 75 roses. Place your bowl directly in/on your vase.
Some of the centerpieces came out a little sparse, but since we had extras, we filled the spaces with extra roses and hydrangeas. Here are a couple before we added a few flowers to fill space:
If you want to add hanging crystal to your centerpieces, you'll need floral picks to loop onto a piece of the crystal hooks, and simply place the picks into your wet foam as desired.
Since I have two cats, I there was no way I was going to keep the completed vases and centerpieces in my house, so I did pay a florist to store them in her shop for one night.
I really hope this was helpful to brides who are thinking of going the DIY floral route. Given how nervous I was about taking on this venture, I wish I had someone tell me it was going to be just fine.
I would love to hear from brides who did their own flowers and what the process was like, and if anyone has questions, please ask!