There is absolutely nothing wrong with a DIY wedding, you get to personalise your big day with special touches, involve your family and friends, use home-made crafts and where possible, save money.
When considering flowers for your wedding, it is important to understand the pros and cons of trying to do it yourself, how much of the work you should take on and when you should seek the help of a professional.
As a bride, you will probably have an idea about the style of flowers you would like to use for your wedding. You may have specific colours in mind, or know the type of arrangements you prefer. Not only will these flowers decorate your venue, but they will be carried with you down the aisle and will feature in the majority of your wedding photos. Flowers are one of the most effective and beautiful ways of styling your special day, so getting the right mix is important and the expertise and knowledge required should not be underestimated.
Quality vs. quantity
If you do choose to DIY your bridal blooms, keep in mind that you will need to allocate time (often more than you think) and you will need a certain level of knowledge in both selecting the flowers and arranging them.
Using cheaper flowers can actually require more skill; after all, if you are using stunning Grade A David Austin roses in full bloom it is easier to make a lovely posy than with a handful of Grade B pin-head tight roses from a supermarket.
An insider fact – when flowers are sold to suppliers, they are graded on quality, stem length and head size, all important factors in the final look of the arrangements and florists will usually order the best but more expensive ones for wedding work.
Be realistic about your abilities
Why not enrol in a wedding floristry course? Many florists run these courses as a one-day, fun and stress-free workshop, where you get shown how to make a bouquet, a table arrangement, a floral headdress and a buttonhole.
In addition to being taught the technical stuff, like how to wire a flower head and spiral your bouquet, you will also learn which flowers work well together and how to look after your flowers once you have got them home.
Ask for help
Florists are usually a very friendly bunch and don’t mind sharing information if you plan on buying stock from them. However, marching into a flower shop and announcing that you would rather spend money on champagne than their expertise, then proceeding to ask for advice on how to arrange the flowers you have grown at home won’t go down so well!
If you decide to do the floral table arrangements yourself, but think that the bouquets and buttonholes might be too much for you, then be honest and tell the florist that. If you are already ordering bouquets, the florist most likely won’t mind ordering some extra loose flowers for you.
Bear in mind, when shopping at wholesale flower markets, flowers are bought in wraps of multiple stems – and wraps can’t be broken up, so you may have to buy 20 or 50 stems of one type of flower. Florists usually buy more stock than they need for a wedding to allow for damaged heads, or flowers just not opening in time.
Timing is everything
Timing and seasonality of flowers is also crucial. A gerbera or lisianthus doesn’t need time to bloom, but a rose can take three days to reach perfection and a lily up to a week.
Consider doing a trial run a few weeks before to avoid any potential nasty shocks, and then factor in time to make more than one trip over the course of your wedding week to buy stock.
As for cost, buying flowers in season means they are at their best and cheapest. Peonies in June are great, but in April they can be tiny and twice the price!
If in doubt – work with a florist
A florist not only has buying power with a supplier, but knowledge of what is in season. We have time to dedicate to your big day and work within your budget, providing a full financial breakdown so that you know exactly how much it will cost and where your money is going.
We also bring experience and creativity to the mix. We will visit your venue to get a feel for what would work well and where and can advise you where to spend your money to maximise the ‘wow factor’ on the day. We know how long it takes to set a wedding up, how to pack a van, what needs to be done on site and what may take too long if the venue operate a strict turnaround policy during busy periods.
We are passionate about what we do and have a seemingly never ending list of ideas, not to mention props that can be hired – saving you the need to buy ten matching vases or 50 tea lights! In addition to this, we source beautiful ribbons and candles – all extra bits that you might not think of until you are trying to do it yourself.
If you do make the choice to DIY your bridal blooms, please take these points into consideration and remember to plan a colour scheme, source your props and flowers, allow a timetable, budget, ask for help when you need it and leave plenty of time to relax the night before your big day!
About the author:
Tilly Tomlinson Flowers
Along with her team of professional florists, Tilly Tomlinson has built a successful reputation within Bristol and the surrounding areas for providing fresh designs and statement pieces for weddings and corporate functions. She has appeared in various national wedding magazines, local press and BBC Radio and has also provided flowers for visits by Princess Anne to Bristol and in 2012, Tilly created the table arrangements for the wedding anniversary dinner of HRH Her Majesty the Queen.
Tilly and her team have a passion for flowers and love to keep fresh with trends, receiving daily deliveries of flowers from Holland. Most importantly though, Tilly’s main aim has, and always will be, to provide customer satisfaction, over and above the expected.