Is Designing your own wedding flowers a good fit for you?
Do you have several people in your wedding party that love flowers and that you can trust to spend at least 6-8 hours 1-2 days before the ceremony to pick up, arrange, pack, transport, set up the flowers?
Do you have a workspace that is cool and can get messy with all kinds of flower and greenery debris, then clean easily? Does it have a sink with clean running water so that you can thoroughly wash all containers, tools, and hands?
Are you flexible about the outcome of the floral design and not overly attatched to a certain highly stylized look?
Do you want to buy or gather up all of the necessary tools, containers, vases, and materials?
Do you have someone that will help clean up and take away all flower and decor after the wedding is done if this is required by your venue?
Tips for a successful DIY flower experience:
Doing your own wedding flowers can be a really fun and rewarding experience as long as you plan ahead and have plenty of help.
Keep the design simple.
Experiment in advance- buy flowers that will be similar to the ones you will be using for the wedding and practice arranging them to get the look you want. Record how long it takes you and how many flowers you use so that you can plan accordingly.
You may need more flowers than you think. A typical bridal bouquet takes 40-50 stems to make and an attendant's bouquet slightly less 20-30. A boutonnieres or corsage is make of 5-7 flowers each. A mason jar holds 20-30 stems to look full, a jelly jar around 10-12. You can use several little bud vases or small bottles per table and use just 3-5 in each. Keep in mind that some flowers hold up better in certain situations so it is best to do some experimenting.
Make sure you have plenty of help- at least 2-4 people that love working with flowers and you can trust to take care of all the flower needs including; pick up, transport, arranging, set up, clean up....
Do not wait until the wedding day to put everything together. Dedicate at least 6-8hour 1-2 days prior to the ceremony. As long as you can keep the flowers in a cool place out of direct light (basement, garage, bedroom with AC) you can arrange them up to two days ahead.
Designate a cool spacious place to work in that you feel comfortable getting messy.
You will need clean running water to wash all tools, vessels and hands. Cleanliness is essential. Flowers drink up water through their stems and if they are clogged with bacteria or debris it can cause them to wilt and fade in color.
Figure out all transportation ahead of time. Who will move the flowers and set them up? Be sure they are packed so that they cannot tip over. Five gallon buckets, sturdy produce boxes, balled up newspaper, and foam wedges can all be helpful.
Tools and materials to consider: pruners, scissors, things to keep flowers in place(flower frog, chicken wire, floral foam), floral wire, floral tape, flower preservative, ribbon, twine, vases, jars, baskets, pins, any extra items for bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages...
Check out a book called Fresh from the Field Wedding Flowers by Lynn Byczynski and Erin Benzakein. It is loaded with super helpful information from sourcing local flowers, to designing with them. It even comes with a instructional DVD.
Consider doing some of the flowers yourself (like table arrangements) from bulk flowers and leave the more involved design items (arbors, bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, crowns.....) up to us.