We live in the age of Do It Yourself. There are entire websites, television networks, and magazines devoted to the Do It Yourself-er in all of us. I totally get it! I have DIY’d a ton of projects, particularly when it came time to plan for my own wedding. We spent months making fabric buntings, hand-painted table runners, and even stationary for our big day. Our mothers worked tirelessly hand-sewing napkins and baking cakes and pies solely because of our DIY enthusiasm.
I know what you’re thinking…“you’re a floral designer, so of course you would not suggest doing your own wedding flowers.” My response: “Exactly!” I didn’t even design the flowers for my own wedding (my husband wouldn’t let me and boy am I ever so thankful!) We’ve had a lot of inquiries about Do It Yourself wedding flowers lately. With that said, here are 5 tokens of insight if you are thinking you would like to DIY your wedding flowers.
Professionally created wedding designs take at minimum two to three full work days (10 to 12 hours) to construct and often even longer. With these perishable items, floral designers understand time constraints pertaining to flowers. Florists know best practices to get wedding flowers looking their finest for their grand appearance. Many of these techniques revolve around timing. Your beautiful peonies do not come from wholesale marketers blown open and fluffy. Garden roses are tightly budded and can take from several days up to a week in the perfect environment to open into their full glory. And the hours it takes to coerce poppies out of their pods, forget about it! These are just the facts about timing for getting flowers to look their best. Constructing the floral designs is another beast.
There are bridal bouquets where I have spent upwards of 3-4 hours just designing their formation. Bridal bouquets require intricate details to really "pop" and photograph well. When designing a bridal bouquet, I am often re-evaluating materials, building an aesthetic, and finding the perfect trellising movement piece that frames a gorgeous focal flower. Next hand-tying each bouquet, adding ribbon or twine, and finally personalized accent decor. Then you have the packing, labeling, the game of car Jenga, safe transporting, and unloading. All of these things take time, lots of it. And if there is one thing a couple does not have a few days before their wedding, it is time!
Technique & Knowledge.
There’s no appropriate price tag for knowledge. It is simply like the MasterCard commercials say, knowledge is priceless. Technique and learning all about plants and design are skills that take many weeks, even years, of practice, research, experience and collaboration. Floral designers are in constant cycle of practice-learn-practice-change-repeat. New techniques, products, fads, and even new types of plants and flowers are introduced several times a year!
Those simple hydrangea centerpieces you think you can just plop into a cylinder vase, think again. Many flowers require a certain finesse in order to keep them looking beautiful and healthy. Those hydrangeas happen to be rather finicky and require proper techniques for preparation responsible for delivering loads of hydration to each stem. Moreover, what works for one flower, does not necessarily work for another. Some stems even require searing the end after cutting with a flame or torch. Crazy right?!
Many couples explain that they simply want “that wild flower feel.” While simply placing greenery and flowers in a vessel can look great, you likely will not receive that same aesthetic more than once. With bridal party flowers and wedding centerpieces, there’s typically more than one bouquet and arrangement. Replication plays a huge role in floral design. Creating pieces that work well with one another while accenting tiny details in dresses or cakes are a designer’s specialty. A floral designer can look at your wedding dress, groomsman attire, stationary, even your guest favors and make suggestions for arrangements that will showcase the important aspects of your wedding. Flowers tie together the entire “feel” of the event. Cohesiveness between designs keeps the overall aesthetic of the wedding clean, full of impact, and precise. Without cohesion, flowers can appear disjointed or effortless, not quite the lasting impression you’d want your guests to walk away with.
Flower selection is a fine art. Floral designers have relationships with their wholesale marketers and even growers. They know which flowers will be fresh and available the day of your wedding. With many options now to purchase flowers online, it remains a huge gamble to order flowers sight unseen. Worst case scenario, flowers will arrive wilted and sad just a few days before your wedding. Leaving you no option but to scramble to source more blooms or even more costly, hire an expert last minute. Floral designers select their materials directly from growers or wholesale markets not available to the public. They have in mind exactly which perfect flower will be showcased in the bridal bouquet as soon as they lay eyes on it. They oftentimes will reach out to their markets well in advance looking for a specific color or shape of plant that will give their artistry its significance. Since not every flower is created equal, your floral designer will know how best to test for freshness and select accordingly.
This one is my favorite! I cannot emphasize the value of maintaining my own sanity on the days leading up to my wedding day. Instead of worrying even a little about my wedding flowers, I was able to focus all my energy into my husband-to-be and our loved ones who traveled far and wide to celebrate the most special day of our lives.
Floral designers are well equipped with planning, delivery, and executing the perfect wedding flowers all without the couple ever knowing any difficulties or slip-ups. Part of your florists job is to problem solve and keep the bride(s) and/or groom(s) as relaxed as possible. Meanwhile, sticking to schedules and creating the breathtaking decor that will have a bride in tears the moment she enters the room. Your wedding day should be a day where you can revel in the joy of love, support, and excitement for your future with your partner. Let the professionals help to keep you on a cloud of wedding bliss!
I hope these 5 details assist you in your wedding flowers decisions. Best of luck in all of your planning. Enjoy every minute along the path to forever!
The Pollen Mill