@MissSugarCookie: I found the gerberas and mums to be pretty hearty as long as you keep them in water and out of extreme heat/direct sunlight. They don’t wilt easily, and they are easily revived with fresh water.
We checked into the hotel/wedding venue the day before, transported the flowers in buckets of water, and made the arrangements & bouquets the night before. It was manageable for a few reasons:
1 – We didn’t have a formal rehearsal/rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. Instead, we had an “open house” in my sister’s room (it was the biggest, with a full kitchen and big patio), where we had staged the flowers and other DIY stuff. As guests arrived that afternoon/evening, they were invited to come by to say hi/hang out (via a welcome note in their rooms). We put out a spread of sandwiches, salads, pizza, etc. from a local restaurant and everyone helped themselves as they arrived. Many of my friends/family members then pitched in with the flowers and other tasks. It was one of my favorites parts of the weekend, because it was so relaxed and everyone was excited to see/get to know each other. And they were happy to help!
2 – I kept the floral projects to a minimum. We only made two bouquets (for me and my MOH; my BMs carried parasols), 5-6 accent arrangements (centerpieces were candles, not floral), and a few bouts/corsages.
3 – My mom is crafty and good with flowers, so she made the bouquets/corsages/bouts. I wasn’t too picky about the other arrangements, so as my sisters/cousins/girlfriends arrived, I would hand them each a vase and give them free reign to do what they wanted. They had so much fun! We even recruited the girls staying in the room next to us to make one. 🙂
Here are some more pics, from that night:
My oldest childhood friend (40+ years!) helps my mom make the bouts. They hadn’t seen in each other in more than 15 years:
My sister was SO proud of her “minimalist” arrangement:
The arrangements start to come together. A couple of them needed a little “help” after the fact, but the bulk of the work was done!
Completed arrangements on the buffet table the next day (including my sister’s single bloom) – I know they’re not perfect, but I didn’t really care – they really were made with love!