Save thousands of dollars on your wedding floral by doing it all yourself! With enough planning, patience and friends who are willing to pitch in, arranging your own wedding flowers is totally doable.
This post is sponsored by 50 Flowers. All opinions are my own, thanks for supporting brands that make Zen & Spice possible!
I have been dying to share this post with you all for months! One of my favorite parts of the “getting ready” portion of the wedding was our floral party. I had so much fun with a group of my best friends, sister, mom, aunts and Grandma arranging all of our wedding floral! Get ready for a long post, I have so many fun details to share with you. If you or a friend is getting married soon and you’re sticker shocked at the price of wedding floral, consider doing them yourself!
I did a TON of research when I started looking into floral for our wedding. Initial florist quotes were ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 for the minimum, which sounded so ridiculous to me! We knew we wanted the garden look– tons of greenery and floral everywhere in the venue, ranging from our bouquets, boutineers, corsages, tables, cake, bar, aisle, scattered throughout etc. Knowing how much floral we wanted to do, I knew that hiring a florist wasn’t going to be a good option unless we wanted to use up a fourth of our wedding budget.
So, I started looking into other options such as ordering bulk flowers. The company I ended up going with was FiftyFlowers – an online wholesale flower supplier. They have hundreds of different types of flowers and greenery in so many different colors! Read along and find out how we achieved this seemingly daunting task of doing our own flowers!
Step One: Talk with an on-staff florist about your style
Our first step with FiftyFlowers was to speak with their on-staff florist, Violet (appropriate name, huh?). She was SO amazing– she had me send her photos from my wedding floral Pinterest board and asked about my style. I told her we wanted a light, airy, romantic mood. Like someone plucked a bunch of roses and eucalyptus from a garden and gathered it in a bunch!
Step Two: Figure out how much floral/greenery you’ll need
We also told her how many bridesmaids/groomsmen we had, plus dads, grandpas, table settings, and other places we wanted to have flowers such as down the aisle, on the cake, on the bar etc. Violet sent me a flower calculating spreadsheet, which I edited and you can download right here! You basically put in how many arrangements you need, how many flowers you’re ordering, how many go in each arrangement, and it calculates how many you’ll have leftover. This spreadsheet was VITAL to everything we did: both in ordering the flowers and arranging them.
Step Three: Order your floral and greenery
Our florist suggested the DIY Wedding Pack ($399.99) that came with 100 Ecuadorian roses and 15-20 hydrangeas (colors of your choice!). We chose the white roses, white hydrangeas, the light pink spray roses (they come with the pack as a filler flower), and as our two greenery choices — plumosa and seeded eucalyptus.
Violet also suggested ordering the Whimsical Garden Rose Sample Pack ($89.99) which came with 24 stems of up to four different colors of garden roses— we chose blush pink, white blush, and true white. We also ordered 10 bunches of New Love’s Babies Breath ($119.99) and 10 bunches of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus ($109.99). So in total, our floral and greenery total came out to $709.96 (with free shipping!). Now, tell me that doesn’t beat any quote you’ve ever seen from a florist!
Step Four: Gather your floral arranging supplies
This is an important step. You want to do this ahead of time so that you have everything you need when your flowers arrive! I bought my supplies a couple weeks before the flowers were delivered. You will need:
- Floral tape – get plenty of this. I bought four rolls and I think we ended up using almost all of them!
- Various types of satin ribbon – we used this ribbon for the bouquets and corsages and I bought a thinner navy ribbon at Michael’s for the boutineers
- Wire cutter
- Floral scissors
- Stem floral wire
- Pearl straight pins
- Corsage wrist bracelets
- Big heavy duty buckets – we used about 30 of these (still need to return them to Home Depot haha) to hold the flowers in water while they were blooming
- All of your vases/mason jars etc for table arrangements ready to go and filled with a couple 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
Step Five: Schedule Your Delivery and Floral Arranging Party
50 Flowers schedules the delivery of your flowers about 3 days before your event. Our wedding was on a Saturday, so the bulk of our flowers arrived Wednesday morning, and the rest arrived Thursday morning. We scheduled the floral arranging party to be Friday morning– one day before the wedding.
Recruit! Invite your bridesmaids, mom, grandmas, sisters, aunts, cousins, etc and bribe them with breakfast and mimosas. Make sure you define a start time and depending on how many arrangements you’re doing, schedule 4-6 hours. I think we spent almost 5 hours, including cleaning up the mess afterwards.
Step Six: When Your Flowers Arrive
Make sure you will be home and you have a couple hours to spend on the day of your floral delivery. It’s important that your home be set to a cooler temperature so the flowers don’t open up too fast. We chose to hold all of the flowers at my mom’s house, and her home is usually about 80 degrees (I know, yikes, haha) so we had to crank up the air conditioning to a cool 68 degrees. We chose the darkest room in the house to keep the flowers out of the sunlight.
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. I had my mother in law come over and help me process everything.
Immediately after cutting, place in the prepared buckets. The flowers will arrive looking dehydrated, and it takes at least 4 hours for them to hydrate well, and up to 12 hours to fully hydrate. You want to change the water in the buckets every 24 hours.
Flowers need room to breath and bloom, so be sure not to put too many flowers in a bucket. We put about 25 stems in each bucket of the larger roses, and closer to 40-ish of the smaller roses. The picture below was only the white roses, pink roses, half of the babies breath and the silver dollar eucalyptus– when we were finished we had twice the amount of buckets shown!
Step Seven: The Day of Your Floral Arranging Party
Party time! Make sure you’ve bought enough orange juice and champagne. Turn on some fun music and get started! We used my planning spreadsheet for each arrangement to know how much of each flower to use. One of my mom’s friends used to be a florist, so she was extremely helpful when it came to making the boutineers and corsages.
Use these guides online to help you make the boutineers and wrist corsages. The boutineers were simple, the wrist corsages are what took the longest, they’re more complicated. It helps if you know someone who has made these before!
I had about ten people there, and we split into a couple teams — team boutineer and team bridesmaid bouquets. I jumped from each group and handed flowers, verified the amount to be used etc.
To arrange the bridesmaid bouquets, we gathered roses, a hydrangea, babies breath, silver dollar and seeded eucalyptus and some plumosa into a bunch, and moved the flowers around until they were symmetrical. For more info about how to build a bouquet, look at my step by step instructions in this post.
I did make my own bridal bouquet, which was really special. I recruited my dad to help hold the flowers while I taped! My bridal bouquet consisted of white Ecuadorian roses, blush spray roses, blush garden roses, babies breath, seeded/silver dollar eucalyptus and a few strands of plumosa. It was so beautiful and perfect.
Once the bridesmaid bouquets, my bouquet, boutineers, and corsages were finished, we began to work on everything else. I had 12 mason jars for the aisle, 12 clear cylinder vases, 12 clear gold vases, a few metallic gold vases, assorted other mason jars with burlap and lace, and a couple more random glass vases. I know, SO many vases! We had flowers EVERYWHERE. We filled these up with all the leftover flowers and greenery, in a fresh-picked way — they weren’t tightly arranged.
Step Eight: Transporting To The Venue
We scheduled the floral party to be the day before our wedding, the same day as our rehearsal dinner, so we could transport the majority of the floral the day before. We brought everything except the boutineers/corsages which stayed in the fridge, and my bouquet/bridesmaid bouquets which stayed at home in the cool room. We were able to place most of our other arrangements in the orange plastic buckets which made for easy transport, and others we placed in cardboard boxes. Day of the wedding, we took the boutineers and corsages out of the fridge and brought them to the venue.
Memories that will last forever and absolutely BEAUTIFUL floral and greenery all over our wedding venue for a fraction of the price of a florist. Sure, the floral arranging party turned a little frantic towards the end when we were trying to finish everything on time, but we did finish, and I like to think that everyone had fun ;)
I just can’t stop looking at the pictures from our photographer. You would never know that these flowers weren’t arranged by a professional florist! I can’t decide which flower or greenery was my favorite — but I know that the seeded eucalyptus transformed our floral into the rustic, romantic vibe that I was going for.
Here’s a picture of our handsome groomsmen and my handsome groom, with their boutineers. The groomsmen had a blush rose, and my husband had a larger white rose. Each rose was backed with a silver dollar eucalyptus sprig and some babies breath.
We decorated the aisle with 12 mason jars that I applied blue lace to, which hung on hooks. Each mason jar held a few small roses, babies breath, and greenery.
Our venue had a beautiful courtyard behind the house where our cocktail hour was held. We had mason jars filled with floral on the cocktail tables and the food tables.
We made sure to save some roses for the cake, which my sister decorated about 30 minutes before the ceremony. Didn’t she do an amazing job??
In the end, I am so glad that we did our wedding flowers ourselves. We saved thousands of dollars. I will admit that it did get a little stressful when I had to do all of the calculations, get all of the extra supplies, plan deliveries, etc. But it was totally worth it to have our own, unique floral arrangements that we can say we did it ourselves!
I have my friends and family to thank for their huge part in this process– for everyone who showed up at my floral party and to my parents who lived in an “arctic house” for three days (per my mom). And my new husband who put up with all of my planning and excel spreadsheets and busyness before our magical day!
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!