May 27, 2009

Should you DIY your wedding flowers?

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A big trend in wedding planning is “do-it-yourself”. From invitations to floral design, more and more couples are looking to DIY as a way to save money on wedding expenses.

Deciding to design your own wedding flowers is an admirable but often overwhelming prospect. Before you make the decision to undertake such a monumental task consider everything you will need to plan and orchestrate. I have compiled a list of steps that need to be taken when you are designing your own wedding flowers.

Select Your Flowers

Many different elements factor into your choice of flowers. Here are some items to consider when making your selections:

-the season in which your event is taking place

-the locale of your wedding and reception

-budget

-availability of the flower

-the hardiness of the flower

-the level of difficulty of working with the flower (some flowers are better left to the professionals)

Recruit A Lot of Willing Helpers

Flowers are perishable and many are very delicate so they will need to be prepared and arranged the last couple of days leading up to your wedding. The more floral designs you need the more help you will need to recruit.

Make A Design Recipe

Prepare a recipe for your arrangement. Here is a sample:

1- vase

pebbles for the bottom of the vase

3 stems of greenery

12 roses

3 gerbera daisies

3 tulips

Now multiply your recipe times the number of designs you are making.

Gather All of Your Tools and Supplies

Gather all of your tools in a central location. If you have 3 friends helping, be sure you have 3 sets of tools. To get you started here are some of the supplies and tools you will need:

Clippers, scissors, rose stripper, floral knife, floral tape, floral preservative, floral foam, corsage and boutonniere pins, ribbon, tall buckets (for flower storage), Ziploc bags (for boutonnieres and corsages storage), garbage bags, large trashcan, broom and dust pan.

Dedicate A Work and Storage Area

When you design your flowers you will need an area to work. The spot you choose should be equipped with ample table space, all your tools and flowers, have easy access to a water source, and should be covered to minimize dirt and stains. Also consider the issue of storing your finished designs. The designs will need to be kept in a cool and draft free area. If you are storing the finished corsages and boutonnieres in a refrigerator make sure they are well misted and sealed in Ziploc bags. Also confirm that the refrigerator is set at 40 degrees so there is no chance of freezing your flowers.

Trial Run

Plan to do at least one (preferably two) trial run. Purchase your flowers and design one sample centerpiece and a sample bouquet. Track how long it take you to design your samples, then multiply by how many you’ll need to make for your event. This will give you an idea of how much time you’ll need to dedicate to designing your flowers.

Day of the Event Set-Up

Assign two or more people to help with the delivery and set-up of your wedding flowers on the big day. They will need to deliver and distribute (include pinning of the boutonnieres and corsages) to the bridal party in time for the photography. The ceremony decor and reception decor will need to be set-up as well. Make sure there is a time-line so everyone knows where to be and when.

When the Party’s Over

Ask some helpers to gather any items you want to keep at the end of the ceremony and reception. Be sure you provide bins, boxes, or bags and wrapping materials along with instructions on what to save and what to throw away.

Image by: Andrea’s Images

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