DIYing Flowers for Your Wedding: When Is It Worth the Savings? Experts Weigh In
It seems so simple—organic, natural flower arrangements, homemade from local, delicate blooms, all handcrafted by you. Pinterest makes it look so easy, and the Internet will have you believe that strolling a farmer's market to purchase flowers prior to your wedding is a simple way to save money and infuse a stunningly effortless, natural style throughout the ceremony and reception.
But is it really possible? Can you save money and get exactly the vibe you’re looking for?
The definitive answer is: it depends.
“How much energy do you have to devote to this? Do you have any friends or family members who can take the lead in set up or assembly? Is this something you are excited and passionate about, or is this a way to save money?” asks Bo Dennis of Dandy Ram Farm in Monroe, Maine. “There are no wrong answers but it’s important to be really clear about your expectations and capacity.”
Dandy Ram Farm is an LBGTQ+ run farm featuring sustainably grown flowers. Bo works directly with couples purchasing flowers for their weddings and offers a variety of personalized services from providing a bucket of whatever blossoms look best that week, to creating flower arrangements for the event, or, most often, a combination of the two.
The benefit to working with growers like Dandy Ram Farm is in receiving expert advice, guidance, unique floral designs, and contributing to greater community impact.
“As farmers we try to talk to the client about how the value we bring is supporting local agricultural economy, and providing what’s fresh, seasonal, and responsibly grown,” Bo says.
According to Bo, an important first step is knowing your own expectations and ability to commit the time and attention to this during the often chaotic days leading up to your wedding. Creating your own floral arrangements should be an expression of creativity and care, and if it leads to increased stress, consider a partnership with your farmer to help create custom designs, while also relying on the help of a professional floral designer.
“Is this going to bring you joy and connect you to your guests and your day?” he asks. “If not, do you have a point person, either someone in your wedding party or a friend, who can be in charge of managing this the day-of?” According to Bo there are no wrong answers, but asking yourself these questions can help set a plan that will bring you the most enjoyment out of the experience.
At the outset, it’s important to know what colors, style, venue, and specifically what arrangements you need, and plan out your time.
“A good place to start is by knowing exactly how many flowers you will need and gathering lots of buckets,” says Megh Wingenfeld, creator of Wild Fox and Flower. “Buy the flowers one day, process them the next, and then spend the next day working on your arrangements. You'll have to consider space for flower storage and arrangement building, temperature control, lots and lots of buckets, good scissors, and tools you will probably have to purchase.”
Often times, the secret to success is tapping in a friend, family member, or member of the wedding party who is crafty and reliable. This person can help with assembling the arrangements, and make sure they are properly stored, and finally placed at the venue while you are busy getting ready and taking pictures.
Another key component to designing your own flowers is keeping an open mind. Circumstances outside a farmer’s control, like weather or certain pests, can sometimes affect what is available the week of your wedding. However, as Bo points out, being open to what is local and available can open the door to more unique and beautiful designs.
“Don’t get attached to a certain image you see online, because it closes you off to experiencing the beauty of what you can find with your farmer-florist,” says Bo. “Let go of a prescriptive image of what you think you want. Trust your farmer-florist. Trust them to know what’s in season and know what looks good together. Your event will be special, it will be unique, because you are taking an active hand in it.”
Be sure to consider where you will store your flowers ahead of time. Bo cautions against a refrigerator, if leaves or petals are too cold, or if they brush up against a door or wall of a refrigerator they can wilt immediately. Instead, Megh suggests finding the coldest point in your home or venue like a basement or interior room out of direct sunlight.
Practicing ahead of time is a great idea, but Bo cautions if you are a true novice you may want to leave certain items to the professionals. Boutonnières, wrist corsages, or crowns can be particularly technical and frustrating at a busy time, so if you are going to do them be sure to look up tutorials on Youtube and practice in advance.
At the end of the day, your flowers should be a unique representation of you. Looking to Pinterest for inspiration is a great place to start, but use it as a jumping off point, not a mandate.
“I get the same four or five pictures from Pinterest all the time. And they are beautiful. But it’s never going to look exactly the same as what you see on Pinterest,” says Bo. But that’s not a bad thing. “Every event is unique and special, and as someone doing your flowers we want this to reflect you, and be very personal to your wedding.”