Post # 1
As all brides do I have been thinking non-stop about ways to save money and keep within my budget. As a hobby I make flower arrangements as hostest gifts and just for fun and people don’t believe I did them myself. So I was thinking of doing my own centerpieces for the wedding…about 10-12. Since carnations have a vase life of 2 weeks I was thinking it would be possible since I could do them a week before. What is your opinion on this? Does anyone know anyone that did their own centerpieces? If so, what was their experience?
Post # 3
I helped my friend do not her centerpieces, but her bouquets. We had to do them at 2 a.m. the night before the ceremony itself and by the next morning, the roses were already wilting. I’m not sure how centerpieces will last. Would it be an issue to transport them if they’re already in water?
(Not to discourage you – I obviously don’t know a lot about this, but the experience with my friend was enough to convince me I didn’t want to do anything myself. However, if you can work out a way to do it in advance, or if the centerpieces are especially simple, that might be a really reasonable and great way to save money!)
Post # 4
Hi Amysue – My biggest fear is that the flowers wouldn’t look fresh like you explained so I plan to do a trial run. If the flowers really last 2 weeks like I have been told then I would feel comfortable doing them a week before the wedding. As far as transportation…I would be using floral foam which absorbs the water and then the flowers are "stuck" into the foam. Not only does it help with arranging but it eliminates sloshing water in the vase. I plan to have a florist do the bouquets because I plan to use different flowers for those. Thanks for your input :o)
Post # 5
I helped do flowers for a wedding I was in. It was all roses – and they did bouquets and centerpieces. I think we did them all the day of – I was impressed with how easy it was. Cut stems off – plop them in some water. The bouquets were a little tricky – but still not too bad. Basically it was maybe six people doing it… didn’t seem to take that long (an hour maybe?). I noticed no visible wilting issues.
I think the test run is a good idea – it all depends on the flower. I was going to do hydrangeas and do them the Thurs. of. I hear they’re a pretty hardy flower.
Post # 6
We did all of our flowers except for my bouquet, and they were almost all roses (with a few added flowers and greens). We got all the flowers at Costco, the vases at the dollar store, and including the cost of my bouquet we spent a total of $400. And we had a LOT of roses – each Bridesmaid or Best Man bouquet had 2 dozen roses in it, for 8 dozen just on those. I had 15 centerpieces, too, plus a bouquet for the anniversary dance and some altar and guestbook table arrangements.
We did all of it the day before the wedding, and it took about 3 hours or so. The women in my family that were in town for the wedding and some of my friends set up an efficient assembly line, and we kept the flowers in a cool place overnight. All looked perfect the next day. One tip – if you decide to do your own and want to use roses, don’t get fully opened ones. Instead, get more closed blooms and you can put them in warmer water and they will open overnight. Really, it worked for us!!
Even though you’ve found out that carnations can have a two-week life, don’t count on that. Environment, humidity, heat/cold, other flowers, etc. can all play a part in the life of flowers. I think it would be risky to count on doing them a week ahead. You may want to try to carve out some time the day before, and line up some trusted help, just to be safe. I had NO problem getting help – ALL my friends wanted to help with such a beautiful thing as wedding flowers!! 🙂
PS: If you would like to see pics of my flowers, let me know. None of the guests believed we had done them ourselves the day before the wedding!
Post # 7
i did the flowers for my FI’s sister’s wedding — 22 centerpieces, a TON of bouts, 6 corsages, 2 Flower Girl wreaths, 7 Bridesmaid or Best Man bouquets and the bridal bouquet (and a partridge in a pear tree). i wanted to TEAR MY HAIR OUT. i got my Fiance to help (he’s surprisingly very good at arranging flowers!), but i still had such a hard time bc i really wanted to enjoy this time with the bride, rather than being a vendor!
we did it in oasis the day before, rather than vases, and the roses and bells of ireland held up fine, but the hydrangea were a little droopy by the reception.
personally, i wouldn’t do your own flowers. it’s really just not worth the added stress. do you have a planner? maybe she can help you out with this.
Post # 8
I’m DIYing my flowers, and getting a little nervous about the work involved, but one of my BMs has some experience with it. I will need to do 3 Bridesmaid or Best Man bouquets, my bouquet, 2 corsages, 6+ bouts and 12 centerpieces. I have lots of people who want to help, so I don’t think it’ll take that long.
I’m keeping everything really simple, and I tried it out a few weeks ago with supermarket flowers – my first-try bouquets actually looked really good (I’m not one for the perfectly shaped bouquets, anyway), and everything lasted about a week. With wholesale flowers, they’re supposed to be much fresher when they get to you, so should last longer. Nevertheless, I’ll probably order the flowers no later than Wednesday for our Saturday wedding. I hear that you should try to let them "harden" overnight (soak up water into the stems after you first cut them), so I wouldn’t suggest ordering them just the day before and working with them right away.
Post # 9
I’ve definitely decided that if I can’t do this at least 3 to 4 days before the wedding I’m not doing it! That’s why I am going to do a trial to see how long…on average…the flowers stay fresh. I’m having ALL the other flowers done by my florist and just doing 10-12 centerpieces which hasn’t been too much of a hassle in the past with baby and bridal showers I’ve helped out with. I plan on relaxing in my slippers on my wedding day and not doing a thing…so if this project interferes with that it’s out. I made sure to budget for the florist doing 100% of the work just to make sure!
Post # 10
We did mostly all of our flowers DIY. My bouquet, the head table centerpieces, and the ceremony flowers I had a florist do. We saved a TON of money because we had lots of mini callas.
Check out my knot bio for pictures.
I got fresh cut flowers from a local greenery that I’d meet at a farmer’s market. They were much, much cheaper than even buying cut flowers directly through our florist. He brought me 5 gallon pails full of mini white callas, oriental lilies, dahlias, and peonies. I ended up buying some spider mums through our florist (there were completely fine with me DIY most of the flowers and were very impressed when they saw them the day of).
We spent 2-3 hours putting them together the morning before the wedding. I had some family and friends over and it was very fun and relaxing. We had a fun time talking and catching up. Most of that time was spent doing the corsages and bouts though because I was the only one who knew how to make them.
We kept all the centerpieces in our kitchen and turn the AC up a little bit. The corsages, bouts, and bouquets went in the refrigerator (which was mostly empty because we were going on a two week honeymoon right after the wedding anyways). The next day I had my grandfather pick them up and drive them to the hall. He only had to make two trips because we had made holders out of the tops of cardboard boxes so he could hold a lot of them up in his van.
The flowers lasted really well. I had talked to the local greener to find out which flowers would last well. Some of the lilies stems bent by the day of the wedding but that was because we had like 30 lilies in each vase! The weight of the flowers above bent the stems. So we just took those ones out and we still had really full centerpieces (which was the look we were going for). For a few of the bouts and corsages I used Bells of Ireland around the bottom and from the trial I learned that they wilt quickly when they are out of water so I ended up doing those couple bouts and corsages the day of. That wasn’t a good idea. They turned out amazing though.
Sorry this was so long I was just trying to explain what we did. I was nervous about DIY flowers at first but I’m extremely happy we did. If your worried about it I would suggest you only DIY the centerpieces because they are so easy. We had 26 centerpieces and it went buy really fast. Oh, and I had originally wanted to have one of the centerpiece flower types to be carnations but I found out during my trial that it took a lot of them to fill up the vase. Even though carnations are cheap you have to get like twice as many as compared to spider mums. I can get you some prices if you want of what the different types of flowers cost. After my trial I let the flowers sit for about a week and a half and the spider mums were best lasting.
I wouldn’t suggest you do the flowers more than 2 days before the wedding. And if you do that you may want to put them in a refrigerator or a cool basement.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Post # 11
I helped some bridesmaids do a friend’s wedding flowers at midnight the night before the wedding, and I’d do it again. They turned out great – I think it’s really hard to make flowers look bad!
Rose bouquets and centerpieces were put in water overnight to open more fully; wired bouts and corsages were bagged in cellophane and refrigerated.
There’s something very satisfying and fun about working with dozens of beautiful flowers with a bunch of women, and I found it enjoyable. Plus we got drunk!