I got my flowers from Swan Island Dahlias. I did the local pick-up option and was very pleased with the quality of the flowers, price, and customer service. They ship flowers as well, and while I don’t know how those prices compare I would be confident that the quality would be excellent. However, I suggest that you find a local flower farm. You don’t have to worry about (or pay for!) shipping, you’re reducing your environmental impact and supporting a local business, and it will probably be cheaper. You can ask seller’s at the farmer’s market if they do bulk orders. Or, use google 😉
I would highly-recommend DIY flowers for anyone not super picky about their arrangements. I did my entire wedding for about the cost of a single professional bouquet. The flowers looked great – but they weren’t the same level of perfection I would expect from a pro.
1) Do your homework: Learn about floral arranging, particularly if you don’t have previous experience. There are good resources online (particularly on YouTube). Also, research the flowers you want to use and make sure they are durable.
2) Keep it simple: Choose arrangements that you (and your team of helpers) can easily assemble AND transport. A well-done simple arrangement will look 100-times better than a poorly-executed intricate arrangement.
3) Practice: Do a trial before the wedding, preferably with the same type of flowers from the same source. It will help you get comfortable with the process and how your flowers work – and hold up. Be sure to store the arrangements as you will for the wedding, and pay attention to what condition they would be in by the time of your wedding. It’s also helpful for estimating how many flowers you will need.
4) Get help: You can do small projects yourself, but you need help if you’re doing the whole wedding. I had about 5 people help me, and it made it so much easier! My helpers did the centerpieces (which were very simple – little training required!) while my mom and I did the bouquets, corsages, and bouts.
5) Buy extras, make extras: Order 10% more than you estimate needing. That way, you can toss broken or bruised flowers and work without worrying about having enough. Also, I had made extras of everything, in case something happened. Sure enough, a centerpeice was crushed in transport, a groomsmen’s boutienerre was torn off by his baby, and my bouquet was falling apart by the end of the photos. But no one ever knew…
By The Way, we picked up the flowers two days before the wedding (freshly cut that morning) and did the arrangements after the rehearsal dinner. I kept the corsages and bouts in the fridge over night (in plastic bags puffed up with air) and the centerpieces and bouquets sat in water in our basement. I wrapped ribbon on the bouquets the morning before the wedding.