1.18.2012

D.I.Why?

I've been meaning to write this post for some time now, as I feel its something a lot of brides struggle with. The idea of DIY (do-it-yourself) wedding flowers. I often hear from brides that they are looking for help with personal flowers such as bouquets and boutonnieres but are looking to take care of the rest of the flowers themselves. One question for you...why? I don't mean to be rude, or generalize that the majority of people have zero clue about arranging flowers, or belittle a smaller budget...but seriously, why would you do that to yourself? Florists (myself included) are generally perfectly happy to try and work with your budget, and usually have very creative ideas on how to stretch a dollar. If you're talking to a florists who offers you no options on how to work within your budget, walk away....actually run away as fast as you can.

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order (warning...lighthearted snarkiness to follow):

1.This is your mom...


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...this is your mom the morning of your wedding. Does she look like she's enjoying herself? (To be honest, I have no idea who this lady is...and I'm sure she's a delightful woman, but she looks totally stressed out and miserable) The way I see it, your family and friends are guests at your wedding. Sure, some will say they are happy to help, and are willing to put in the time to do a project. Please, just let them tie bows on favors, fold programs and drink. Because really, this is all they're expecting to do. Your friend does not want to be stressed out trying to arrange centerpieces for the first time, in 90 degree heat while all your other friends are out getting their hair done. She's left there thinking "oh god...this is HORRIBLE, my friend is going to kill me, and I'm going to ruin her wedding. Should I cry now? No, no...hold it together...just cry later, and pretend you're just SO happy!" or "oh my god...my hands are green, and my nail polish is gone! I just paid $30 for that! Wait...why is everything dying on meeeeee!?" (insert 4 year old tantrum here) In the simplest terms, you're friends and family are there to celebrate with you, not work.

2. Ordering flowers online is scary. There are many websites that offer bulk flowers for seemingly low prices. I'm sure you've heard the old expression...you get what you pay for? It could not be more true with online flowers. Flowers are obviously delicate creatures, so the thought of them sitting in the back of a hot delivery truck all day is beyond troubling. Not to mention package handlers aren't exactly the most delicate people when it comes to their deliveries. I give you example numero uno below.

I personally would hate for somebody to spend $300 on a shipment of flowers only to open the box two days before their wedding only to find broken heads, completely wilted flowers...and god forbid, the wrong flowers all together. It's a crap shoot, if you're willing to take the risk, I wish you well...

3. Ok, so now you've got your flowers and are ready to start arranging. Are you aware of how to condition your flowers to keep them as fresh as possible? Do you have the proper tools and supplies to make your bouquets? Do you have an air conditioned room, refrigeration? Did you get the right floral foam? Do you know that the flowers you've picked for boutonnieres and corsages are actually able to hold up out of water for extended periods of time? Do you know how to prevent gerbera daisy heads from popping off? I could keep going with questions...but seriously, ask yourself these questions before you even think of making your own bouquets. If you answer no to any of these...do not consult youtube. It lies.

4. You're picking your own flowers for your wedding the first week in May? I beg to differ in the nicest way possible. Are you sure there are things even growing then? What happens if its a really cold spring and nothing has come up? Or lets say you want to pick your mothers peonies for your wedding the first week in July. What happens if it's unseasonably hot...or rainy? 


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I mean don't get me wrong...these are LOVELY, and I'm sure they'll look beautiful against your $2000 lace gown...but maybe it's not worth the risk? My best piece of advise, don't rely on Mother Nature, she currently has a major attitude problem.

5. So you're friend Sarah says she wants her wedding gift to you, to be her doing the flowers. Wow, that's so, so very generous of Sarah...word of advise, ask to see if Sarah has any pictures of flower arrangements she's ever made. If any of them look like this, decline nicely and say you already have the flowers covered, and then ask for a crock pot instead. 


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In the simplest terms, florists and other wedding vendors are there for a reason. We are confident in what we do and you should take advantage of our knowledge and ideas. Seriously, that is what we are here for. Pick our brains, the majority of us have more ideas then we know what to do with. There are so many other simple ways to stretch your dollar at your wedding. Maybe you don't order the best wine, but decide on the second best...or decide on a smaller wedding cake with a sheet cake in the kitchen for your guests. So you don't really like cake? Who says you have to have one...skip the cake all together and have your grandmother bake your favorite pie. (I'm sure she would be tickled pink to do this for you!) You could even DIY all your invites, seating cards, and menu cards. Make a thoughtful bridesmaids gift. I really believe that DIY projects should be personal and stress free...and if you choose to involve your friends and family in your wedding projects think about their strengths. Your mom can sew? AMAZING...skip on renting table runners and have mom whip some out at half the cost. Your friend has great musical taste? Hellllllllo instant Ipod DJ in the hizzouse! All in all, think long and hard if the stress of doing your own wedding flowers is really worth it. If you're still unsure if you can afford a florist, stop by a shop and have a really casual conversation with a florist, you might be surprised what you find out! 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I did some flowers for a family wedding at our house and I have no regrets--except for the fact that it wore me out and my hands were trashed! Be forewarned... you can forget the wedding day manicure and feeling like partying! I used to be a florist so I took this on, and we had a serious budget issue at the time, but in the future I would definitely go to your flower shop in a heartbeat because you do such gorgeous work. And it's so worth it! With few exceptions, flowers are one thing you want to leave to the professionals!!!

Erin said...

Yes! Most of my wedding was stuff I DIYed. But only things that could be done in advance. Come the last couple days before your wedding, you & your mom shouldn't be baking a cake & arranging flowers.

Floret Flowers said...

oh my god, you having me about falling off my seat! This is so dang true.thank you, thank you for the great laugh!!!

gordon said...

Your mom is much hotter than that. Fact.com

Lissa (The Wedding Bistro at Bellenza) said...

I was chuckling (and curious!) from the post title alone! Wonderfully entertaining...and so true!

Terri said...

My niece asked me to do her wedding flowers. I don't know that I'd ever do it again. I have the knack, but that is not my profession. I think the "personal" flowers are best left to a florist--regardless the budget. DIY the table decor or whatever if you must.

Michael said...
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lezlie johnson said...

I work with DIY brides alot .with a bit of guiding they can manage a portion... Often the case is I do the wedding partys flowers and client does the centerpieces . I schedule a workshop with client 2 days prior to event we create the flowers together. the Client has a blast and saves money.. Keeping thier resposiblity to a minimum but allowing them to particpate in the creation process is a wondereful memorable time for all.