» The Real Cost of Doing Your Own Wedding Flowers
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The Real Cost of Doing Your Own Wedding Flowers

The Real Cost of Doing Your Own Wedding Flowers

What is the cost of doing your own flowers for your wedding? If you are planning a small wedding with 20-30 people with only a bridesmaid or two and no elaborate arrangements then the cost will be limited to the cost of flowers and the help of a friend or two. However, if you will have an outdoor ceremony, 3-5 bridesmaids, 100 guests sitting at 10-12 tables then you might be setting yourself up for a stressful day And not saving any money.

Regardless of the size of your wedding you will have to do a lot of research, planning and coordinating. Why? Because you will need to find out which flowers to get. What flowers will be in season? Whether they will last more than a few days? Will they open by your wedding day or will they die the day of? If the wedding is during summer and it is an outdoor ceremony, which flowers will be best? Same thing for winter weddings and dealing with heaters?

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The only way to make sure you select the right flowers is to conduct a lot of research. Plus you will need relatives or trusted friends to help you. Will it save you money? Possibly, but you will have to deal with the following:

  1. You will have to make the right flower selection, colors and quantities
  2. Purchase and delivery
  3. Keep them alive by storing them appropriately
  4. Arrange and assemble them
  5. Transport them to the event
  6. Set them up at the event
  7. Cleanup and removal after the event

Flower Selection, Colors and Quantities

Flower Selection

First thing is to find out which flowers to use for your wedding day. You can find out which flowers will be in season during the month of your wedding and select from those flowers. Or you can select your flowers and then see if they will be in season.

Example, you want cherry blossoms for your August wedding; the only problem is that cherry blossoms only bloom in spring. Of course there is always some vendor that can provide you out of season flowers, but they will be very expensive.

Flower Colors

Many times brides only select the major flowers and forget to select filler flowers. The result are floral arrangements that are beautiful upon first glance but quickly become boring because there is no color variation. Even an all white arrangement should have some color variation.

Another issue is putting two stark colors together. A red rose and white rose can look good together if you expertly arrange them; otherwise stick to colors that compliment each other.

Flower Quantities

If you have 100 guests you will most likely have 10-12 tables. In addition, you will have the head table, the entrance, cake table, cocktail area, ceremony, etc… So you will have to plan out how many total arrangements you will need. If you want tall, medium or short arrangements or a combination of these, you will need to determine how many flowers you will need for each arrangement.

The above tasks could take you as little as 6-8 hours or as long as a few weeks.

Purchase & Delivery

Once you know your flower selection, colors and quantities the next step will be to purchase them. You can order online or from a local florist. You should have the flowers delivered a few days prior to your event so that the flowers can bloom. Different flowers need different amount of days to bloom, you will need to research your flower selections’ bloom needs. You will spend about 10-15 hours calling and researching.

Keeping Your Flowers Alive

Once your flowers are delivered you will need to keep them alive. You will need to condition the flowers by cutting off a quarter inch of the stems. Depending on the flower it will react differently to the weather (hot, dry or cold will affect flowers differently). You must protect them from harsh weather otherwise your arrangements will wilt. The best thing to do is keep them in a florist’s cooler until a few hours before your wedding. However, if you are doing your own flowers, then most likely you will not have one. You will have to improvise by storing them in a cool part of your home.

Arrange and Assemble the Flowers
Your arrangements can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. You should start the arrangements the night before (of course you and your closest friends and relatives will be at the rehearsal dinner) so pick a trusted friend who will not be a part of the wedding festivities and have them start very early the day of the wedding.

However, if your wedding will have elaborate arrangements then you should start them the day before. Anticipate at least 1-2 hours per arrangement if you have an unexperienced person arranging your flowers. It is best to do a trial run on your arrangements so that you can practice, of course this will incur an additional cost.

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Finally, you will also need to purchase or rent the vases for your arrangements. The cost will vary depending on which styles you prefer, $25-$250 per vase.

Transporting The Flowers

Unless your arrangements are small and slender you will need a large cargo van or industrial box truck. If you are planning on having tall table centerpieces, you will need to have packing materials to insure the arrangements do not tip over and are protected from breakage. Both of these are costs that must be incurred if you want your flowers to make it to your wedding.

Another issue is keeping the flowers alive during transport on the day of the wedding. If it is over 100 degrees or near freezing and your arrangements are sitting in the back of a vehicle with no climate control, your flowers may arrive but may start to droop during the event due to the shock of going from extreme hot to cold and back and vice versa.

Set them up at the event

As you can tell you will need a dependable person or persons who will not be a part of the wedding festivities to set up your flower arrangements. (You and the groom, your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and close family will be busy getting ready). Setup can take a couple of hours or the whole day depending on your design and theme. Sometimes a venue is booked the morning of your wedding and you may only have a few hours to setup. Get with the venue rep and attempt to clear the venue for most of the day if you plan to have a large setup and only a few people to complete the task.

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Cleanup

Once the event ends, all of the flowers, decor and lighting must be removed. This is a task no one will want, especially the friend who has worked all day. You will be on your way to the honeymoon so this is not something you will be able to help with.

Premade Arrangements

If your arrangements do not turn out the way you expected or if the flowers die, you can try calling a florist, but the quickest and least expensive way to resolve this is to go to supermarkets that sell pre-made arrangements. You don’t have a say in the flower selection and they may not have enough of the same arrangements but at least you will have flowers at your wedding.

Decor

Candles, crystals, rose petals for the guest tables, ceiling draping are all things you may want to plan for your wedding. You will need to research costs and then purchase the items and have your dependable friend set them up.

Lights

You will spend a lot of time and money on your wedding dress, cake, floral arrangements, etc. and you will want to have them shine instead of be in the dark for most of the night. You may want to look into renting some lights or selecting a venue that provides them at a minimal cost.

As mentioned it is possible to save money by doing your own flowers; however, there is a lot of risk, time and work involved. In addition, once you add in the costs of vases, truck rental, packing material, trial arrangements, etc., the cost savings might not be very great. Futhermore, you will be depending on amateurs to make your arrangements, transport them safely, set them up correctly and then clean up. The real cost of doing your own flowers will be the likelyhood that some of the flowers will die at your home, or in transport or that a vase will break or that the setup will not be completed in time or that the clean up crew will walk away all of which will only add stress to a day that should be your happiest.

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