DIY Wedding Flower Tips
Congratulations! If you’re considering the do-it-yourself approach to your wedding flowers, we at Bootah Jardin are here to help. Not sure where to start? This section is a great place to begin.
Don’t think you need flower arranging experience to pull this off— anyone who does their research can work some DIY into their special day. If you’re still in the planning stage, the following tips will help you work out some of the finer details:
- Choose a style that works for you- While we firmly believe anyone can learn to DIY, some arrangements are inherently more challenging to put together (not to mention transport and set-up). A do-it-yourself approach works best with a modern style of floral arranging— romantic, hand-tied bouquets and shorter, contemporary centrepieces. The look is fresh, elegant, and most importantly, attainable for someone with little experience with floral arts.
- Practice- Practice isn’t required, but if you’re feeling nervous at your decision to handle your own wedding flowers, some practice in advance can go a long way to soothing your nerves. We hold periodic DIY wedding flower demonstrations throughout the Greater Vancouver area and Fraser Valley, and they’re a great way to pick-up some helpful tips. One fun and cheap idea that we particularly love is to purchase a ready-made grocery store bouquet, take it apart, and re-arrange it using the methods you learn through online tutorials.
- Obtain as much help as you can- Having a team of helpers will go far to making your DIY flower plans go smoothly. Make it fun and easy on your assistants— send out invites to a flower arranging party, and when the day comes, serve snacks and wine, put on some music, and give every guest a specific role (ex. pouring water into vases, trimming flowers stems, cutting ribbon, etc). Your guests will appreciate the direction, and you’ll work more efficiently as a team.
- Transport and set-up- Be sure to plan ahead how the bouquets and/or arrangements will be transported to the ceremony and reception sites. Start saving and collecting boxes in advance, and have a collection of packing material (ex. tissue paper, newspaper) ready for when the day arrives. For ease of transport, only fill vases about one-third with water (making sure to immerse the stem ends), and pack bottles of water to top-up water levels that drop due to spillage.When your day arrives, it’s important to designate specific people to handle the transport and set-up— as the wedding couple, you’ll be too busy getting your gorgeous on and basking in wedded bliss. And that’s the way it should be!
Flower Care and Handling
- All of the flowers we sell are delivered/picked up by you in buckets (the buckets are yours to keep). They’ll arrive well-hydrated and conditioned (i.e. there will be flower food in the water). If you’ll be making your bouquets or arrangements that day or the next, there’s no need to re-cut the stems. Just leave them in the buckets until you’re ready to work.
- You’ll want to store the flowers immediately in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. If some of the flowers buds are tighter than you’d like, you can place those flowers in a slightly warmer place (but still out of direct sunlight!).
- As you arrange your stems, be sure to cut the stems on angle (about 45 degrees), at least one inch from the bottom. It's best to use floral snips, as a dull cutting edge can mash the ends of the stem, inhibiting water uptake. While strong scissors can work most of the time, for certain flowers with woody stems (like hydrangeas), you might struggle to make a clean cut.
- This is imporant- once you make a fresh cut, put that stem in water ASAP. Cut stem ends will start to seal up, and if you wait too long, this will inhibit water uptake.
Ideas on Arranging Flowers
- We always suggest keeping things simple when it comes to DIY, as there's a lot going on in the days preceding a wedding. Simple to plan, simple to make, and simple to transport- make that your mantra for a stress-free experience.
- If you’re short on time, consider the very simple, yet oh-so-lovely, method of grouping flowers of the same colour and type in one vessel, and then combining different vessels together in one setting. Mixing complementary colours (or stay monochromatic- it’s a beautiful look) and textures is where you can add some extra visual interest.
- Remember to balance size with quantity. If you’d like to go with smaller containers, group or scatter many along the table. Too few can look scanty and you lose impact. This is also true when an arrangement consists of just a few blooms in a bud vase. The more vases you place on the table, the greater the effect.
Ideas on Saving Money
- In most things budget-conscious, items that serve double duty are your best friend, and flowers are no exception. One of our favourite ideas making the blog rounds is to have your reception décor become the guest favours at the end of the night. This would work well with a whimsical tablescape of small jars and eclectic containers, each filled with a couple of cheerful blooms. If you want to squeeze in one more use, make the décor/guest favours into name placeholders as well.
- Another idea that’s been around for a while is to use the bridesmaids’ bouquets as centrepieces on the head table. Not having a head table? How about the guestbook or cake table? It’s a good idea to put them in a bit of water anyways, to keep them fresh— why not work them into the décor?
- Do away with flower hierarchy and embrace cheaper flowers for the beauties they are! How flowers are arranged is just as important as what flowers you choose. For example, you can add impact with different flower types in a monochromatic colour scheme. Vary the container heights and shapes for added visual interest, and watch your guests be wowed by your modern, fresh arrangements. Similarily, think outside the box when it comes to your bouquets. Some of the most under-rated flowers make for the loveliest bouquets when you're willing to give them a chance.
The much maligned carnation, clustered together in a stunning bouquet.
- It’s funny how saving money and being eco-friendly often go hand-in-hand. Find beauty and purpose in everyday things— start saving your jam jars, wine bottles, and/or tin cans well in advance, and ask your family to do the same. Personalize them— scrapbook paper, ribbons, buttons, lace, or fabric are easy and cheap options— or leave them uncovered for a chic rustic look.