@peachyqueen: I DIY’d my flowers and I don’t regret it. I saved thousands of dollars by doing it, and it turned out to be a fun group activity for all of my girls.
However, I would recommend the DIY route ONLY if:
1 – You’re not extra-fussy about how they will look (especially in photos). Unless you recruit someone who really knows what they’re doing, they won’t look as “perfect” as a florist would make them. To me that’s part of the charm, but some brides would have been horrified by my arrangements, I’m sure. 🙂
2 – You’re willing to devote a good amount of time/effort to this one task to save the money. Keep in mind you have to cut/prep the flowers a couple of days beforehand, assemble all the supplies, store them, arrange transportation once they’re done, etc. Your list is small though, so I think it’s very manageable!!
3 – You have some help. The more, the merrier.
4 – You do it at least one day in advance. (Trust me, you do NOT want to be making floral arrangements the morning of your wedding! Don’t do it!) My wedding was at 5 p.m. and we made all the bouquets, arrangements, etc. the night before. (We didn’t have a formal rehearsal or dinner the night before – it would have been a lot to squeeze in.) Bouquets/bouts were stored in the fridge overnight and were fine the next day. Table arrangements were left out on tables and looked even better the next day. (If you time it right, the flowers will actually look fresher the day of…).
5 – You do your research and choose flowers that are not overly delicate. Some flowers (like calla lillies) need careful handling or they will wilt quickly. I used gerber daisies, football mums, spider mums and bells of Ireland, and all were very hearty. Most of the arrangements looked great for at least week AFTER the wedding.
If you’re not up for it, I second the idea of ordering pre-made arrangements from Costco, Sam’s or an online floral company (FiftyFlowers.com is one).
Good luck, whatever you decide!