Are you getting married soon? Doing your own wedding flowers can save you thousands of dollars compared to hiring a florist. With enough planning, patience and friends who are willing to pitch in, arranging your own wedding flowers is totally doable.
This post was sponsored by FiftyFlowers. Thank you for supporting brands that make Zen and Spice possible!
I can’t believe it’s been over three years since our wedding day! Thinking about that day brings back so many happy memories. I would truly do it all again. I think if I were to redo my career, I would consider event/wedding planning. Many brides get stressed out over planning all the details but I enjoyed every second of it! One of my favorite memories from our wedding was doing our own florals. That’s right, we ditched hiring a florist, saved thousands of dollars, and arranged everything ourselves! Here’s the post from three years ago.
When I was planning my wedding, I did a ton of research regarding florists. Here in Dallas/Fort Worth, quotes were coming in at $1,500 to $3,000 minimum, which didn’t include very much. My vision for our wedding was a garden look — tons of greenery and flowers everywhere. Hiring someone to do it all was going to be costly and we would have ended up using too much of our wedding budget. That’s when I found FiftyFlowers – an online wholesale flower supplier. They have hundreds of different types of flowers and greenery in so many different colors!
My sister Leslie and her long-time boyfriend of almost ten years got engaged last Spring and set the date for a January wedding. Once we started wedding planning, we immediately knew we wanted to arrange the flowers ourselves again! I reached out to FiftyFlowers who graciously agreed to work with us again on a series of how to arrange your own wedding florals. Today’s post goes into detail about planning and delivery, and another post next week will talk about the floral arranging party.
Leslie wanted a similar vibe to my wedding: romantic, soft, lots of greenery, pinks and blushes, a messy-garden look. Here are a couple of photos from her Pinterest inspiration board:
We basically followed the exact same steps as last time. You can read my post from three years ago to learn more about the steps to doing your own florals.
Talk with an on-staff florist: FiftyFlowers offers a chat feature with florists through their website. You can send them your inspiration photos, and they can tell you exactly what flowers you need to buy. We had a free 45-min consultation with one of their floral design experts, who we showed Leslie’s inspiration photos, and she gave us a list of recommended flowers! This was incredibly helpful so we didn’t have to identify every single flower and stem ourselves.
Figure out how much to order: Our florist from FiftyFlowers sent us a spreadsheet that you can input how many arrangements you need, how many flowers to order, how many go in each arrangement, and how many will be leftover.
Place your order: This time around, we ordered:
- Pink Carmeline Spray Roses have a ruffled, bubbly pink center that delicately fades to a creamier pink. They come with cardboard sleeves around the blooms, which you need to leave on until you are ready to arrange them. This helps keep the bloom together so it’ll open at just the right moment.
- Blush Italian Cloony Ranunculus By far our favorite flower, these were absolutely gorgeous. These flowers have tissue-like petals slowly unfurling from a tight, ball-like center. Some were pinker than others, and it created this beautiful ombre effect. These are only seasonally available, Jan – March, and Nov-Dec.
- White Football Mums. These were gorgeous HUGE blooms that were perfect for our whimsical centerpieces. They shipped with a gauze-like cover over the bloom, which we kept on until right before arranging. Mums are a great way to add texture and volume to bouquets and large arrangements! We added them to small mason jars for aisle decorations.
- Whimsical Garden Rose Sample Pack which came with 24 stems of up to four different colors of garden roses— we chose blush pink, powder pink, white blush, and true white. These also came with cardboard sleeves, which we left on until the arranging party. Look at those beautiful blush hues! I love how small and delicate garden roses are.
- Veronica White Flower. These are long, skinny white flowers that add height and interest. It’s great for peeking from bouquets or to fill in centerpieces. We used these in our large table centerpieces!
- Gum Drop Fresh Cut Eucalyptus. I just love the shape of gum drop eucalyptus — it’s small and tender looking, great for adding softness to arrangements. They’re a really pretty olive green color that went well with our blush roses and ranunculus. You can see it peeking out from behind on Leslie’s toss bouquet!
- Italian Ruscus. Second to eucalyptus, ruscus is probably one of my favorite greeneries. It’s shiny and a gorgeous forest green color, and very dainty looking. We used this in our bouquets to add that feathery, flowy feel.
- True Blue Eucalyptus. I will warn you: eucalyptus is sticky! Especially the thicker varieties like this True Blue. The stems are covered in a sticky sap that will rub off when handling. Wear gloves, or try this trick I learned from google on the spot: rub the sticky spots on your hands with olive oil, then wash off with warm soap and water. It works like a charm! Eucalyptus is so modern, beautiful, and the color is so calming. Not to mention it smells heavenly. We used this all over the place, from bouquets, centerpieces, and the cake.
- Plumosa Fern is wonderful filler greenery. Its branches contain several fern leaves, which are short pine needles that are light and airy. Plumosa adds that touch of green without overpowering the arrangement.
I think the “messiness” of plumosa really helped to add that whimsical vibe to our arrangements. We wanted that just picked from the garden look!
- Silver Dollar Seeded Eucalyptus and Myrtle Garland we ordered two of these. One for the cake table, and one for a sign near the church entrance. This garland was SO beautiful. I loved the seeded eucalyptus (the small green seeds) and the myrtle (lime green leaves) were a wonderful combination. There are no extra care instructions when you order garland, you simply have to keep it in the box until you’re ready to use it!
- Elite Bud Vases. We had quite a few leftover flowers, so it was nice to use these bud vases to pop in an extra rose or ranunculus and put it on display!
- Boutonniere and Corsage Floral Supply Kit – contains floral tape, ribbon, pins, floral wire, flower food, corsage wristlets, and wire cutters.
Gather your floral arranging supplies: in addition to the bud vases and corsage kit mentioned above, we also collected:
- Various types of satin ribbon
- Floral scissors
- Stem floral wire
- Big heavy-duty buckets – we used about 20 of these to hold the flowers in water while they were blooming (leftover from my wedding!)
- Mason jars and large vases from the dollar store filled with a couple of inches of water
- Clear plastic corsage boxes to transport your boutineers and corsages — go to the florist at a grocery store and you can buy these pretty cheap
- Cardboard boxes for transport to venue (reuse the boxes the flowers come in!)
Schedule delivery & process your flowers as they arrive: FiftyFlowers schedules the delivery of your flowers about 3 days before your event. The wedding was on a Saturday, so the bulk of our flowers arrived Wednesday morning, and the rest arrived Thursday morning. Make sure you will be home on the day of your floral delivery. It’s important that your home is set to a cooler temperature so the flowers don’t open up too fast. We had the flowers delivered to my house, and I set the temperature at 60 degrees. This wasn’t too hard to maintain since it was January!
When the flowers arrive, open the box and inspect. Ensure that the flower buckets are clean and ready to go and filled with at least 4 inches of fresh, cool water. Remove flowers from the box by cutting the straps, and cut the stems diagonally under running water with floral scissors to the desired length. Trim the leaves off of the stem about four inches, so that no leaves come in contact with the water when the stem is in the bucket. If you are unsure of how to process your flowers as they arrive, FiftyFlowers has instructions for every single flower on their website!
Place the buckets of flowers in the darkest, coldest room of your house. Close the blinds and keep the lights off. This will help reduce how much the flowers open, as you want them to be perfect for the big day!
That’s it as far as choosing your flowers, ordering, delivery, and processing! Next week I’ll be sharing a second post all about throwing a flower-arranging brunch party, along with tons of photos of the finished products!
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!