Definitely do not plan to do your flowers the morning of your wedding, but you will be OK if you do them the day before, if you have most of your other details done by then and a little help. For a small wedding it is really easy to take care of flowers yourself. The timeline we had was, we had them delivered from Sam’s Club to my house 2 days before the wedding (Thursday). This was perfect timing as they generally don’t arrive fully in bloom so you have to allow some time for them to open up. (BTW, if you do this, whoever you buy flowers from will also give you a guide as to how to care for them, etc.).
Here were the supplies I bought (check out the dollar store, craft store, home depot!):
-Small Floral/garden shears – essential if you have flowers w/woody stems i.e. hydrangeas & sunflowers.
-Floral Tape (really cheap, green tape you use to wrap bouquets, etc.)
-Ribbon for wrapping bouquets
-5 gallon plastic buckets from home depot (about $2 each, we bought probably 5-6 of them)
-Extra flower food – just asked for it at supermarket flower counter and they gave it to me.
-Cardboard boxes & newspaper or other stuffing, for transporting your centerpieces.
As soon as the flowers arrived, we trimmed all the stems under running water about 2 inches and then just left them in their buckets of water w/flower food. We kept them in my kitchen w/the a/c running and they were fine. Then we just went about running other errands while they drank up the water!
Then the next day (Friday – day before wedding) we covered my kitchen table w/a plastic tablecloth, filled up a watering can w/water mixed w/flower food, and set out all of the various jars, bottles, vases I wanted to use so we could easily see what we had to work with. It was just my maid of honor and I, which I actually liked because it was less stressful working with just 1 other person. It was a nice bonding experience too 🙂 We cracked open the wine, put on some music and got into the zone!! I would estimate that it took us a total of about 4-5 hours (not counting breaks!) to do everything. We made 4 bouquets and tons of little centerpieces (we had long tables, so I did the thing w/long rows of different small arrangements instead of 1 centerpiece per table) in all different types of containers.
As we went, we placed the finished centerpieces into cardboard boxes and stuffed newspaper & plastic grocery bags in between each one to help them stay steady. we filled up each box pretty well so there was no tipping on their way to the venue. The boxes were all ready to go when my mom got there the morning of the wedding. 1 minivan did the job!
It would have taken us MUCH less time to just make a handful of larger centerpieces, 1 for each table, instead of a bunch of small ones, so keep that in mind. Also if you are just going to do bouquets it will take you almost no time at all, maybe 20 minutes per bouquet! It’s fun and relaxing working with flowers, they’re so beautiful and smell good, and so it is actually kind of a nice activity to be doing right before your wedding 🙂 Just don’t do what I did and leave a bunch of other stuff to the last 2 days, too – that will make it a little more stressful!
Oh, these table runners came from papermart.com, $10 for a 10 yard roll of burlap 9″ wide, perfect width for a table runner. I bought 3 rolls and we ended up only needing 1, my mom just cut them to the right length when she got there that morning!