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Confessions of a former (diy) bride | part three

A few people have asked me how we did our DIY flowers so I decided to blog a few of my tips to share with anyone who’s interested. I’m by no means an expert on flowers, but I will share a few of the things I learned from doing my own wedding flowers. I hope this helps someone even just a tiny bit!

Choose flowers that are in season
Different flowers will be available depending on what time your wedding is, and the most affordable ones will be those that are blooming near your date. A prime example: peonies are extremely expensive any time of year except spring, but we were able to buy 10 stems for 19 bucks because a local grower had them in just in the nick of time! This tip leads me to my next…

Be flexible
Those peonies we bought up at 19 bucks a bunch? I had my heart set on them, but after discussing it with the ladies at Norfolk Wholesale floral prior to submitting my order I decided not to bank on them possibly being a cheaper price that day. I filled out my order not expecting to get any peonies at all, but grabbed a ton the day we picked up the flowers since they were such a good deal. I would suggest always having a couple other types of flowers you are willing to substitute for another. Instead of being picky about the flowers themselves, it’s better to work with whatever overall look and feel you are going for.

Factor in prep time
We brought our flowers home on a Wednesday and stripped all of the leaves and cut the ends off. It took the good part of an afternoon to get the flowers ready to be arranged and I’m really glad we separated the process over two days and didn’t try to do too much at once.

Order extras
Calculate what you think you need and order more of everything. This is to account for flowers that don’t open, stems that snap, or wilted buds. Ordering extra is a great insurance policy because believe me, things will go wrong! Our bridesmaids bouquets were made of peach carnations, pink spray roses, and white lisianthus, but for some reason the heads of the carnations would snap every time I tried to wind floral tape around the stems. I got so frustrated I seriously contemplated stomping all over the bouquets, but eventually after a sandwich I calmed down and used the extras we purchased to fill out the bouquets.

Keep it simple
Unless you are already a talented floral arranger or are a floral prodigy of some kind, you are probably not going to be the best at creating elaborate displays. No offense. If you really want an intricate and artful bouquet or centerpieces you may be better served by hiring a professional florist. And that is totally cool too! There is a method to flowers to suit anyone. Anyway, I found that it was easiest to put together arrangements if only two or three types of flowers were involved and if the overall look was more handpicked and organic.

Use Fillers
I picked this tip up from my wedding coordinator Ashly, who also does event florals. It honestly would have never occurred to me otherwise! She suggested we use  lots of greenery and fillers like Lemon Leaf, Eucalyptus, and Curly Willow Tips to create a more polished and professional look. She was totally right! The fillers added so much and were so, SO cheap. Not only did they make everything look more put together, they also lowered the overall floral cost because we needed less flowers to fill out an arrangement.

The Rule of Threes
I read somewhere that groupings of odd numbers are more visually pleasing to the eye. This is a great rule of thumb to use when you are arranging your centerpieces or bouquets…Oh yeah, and I also use this one when putting together balloon arrangements. Ha!

All photos in this post are from our wedding, courtesy of Jodi Miller Photography

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LOL I had a sandwich and calmed down. You speak my language!

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