I knew from the beginning that I wanted to attempt to do my own wedding flowers, but it was definitely the DIY project I was the most nervous about, as I had no experience whatsoever. Things that really helped me feel more prepared were: watching many YouTube videos, finding pictures that had both the style and specific flowers that I wanted to use in my wedding (or the closest possible), practicing with bunches from the grocery store, reading lots of flower stories here on fiftyflowers, and speaking with Violet (fiftyflower's floral specialist). The hardest part for me was probably determining the quantity of each type of flower/greens I would need for all the arrangements and decor I wanted to do. I was so worried I wouldn't have enough flowers, but that was definitely not the case, I had plenty! Reading the flower stories and chatting with Violet was helpful in figuring out what quantities I needed.
I began receiving my flowers on the Wednesday before my Saturday wedding. The flowers came in two shipments, some on Wednesday and some Thursday. As they arrived I unpacked, trimmed, and got all of the flowers in water. I ended up using about 25 five gal. buckets from Home Depot to keep all of the flowers in (I definitely could've gotten away with fewer buckets, but I didn't want to overcrowd). This part took the longest, but I actually really enjoyed it! All of the flowers came with specific directions in their packaging. I also referred to the directions given in each flower's details on the website. I kept the buckets of flowers in my basement as it is cooler than other parts of my house. This seemed to work great, none of my flowers died before the event!
I completed my 18 centerpieces with the help of a friend on Thursday night. This took about 3 hours for the two of us. I used 6 inch terracotta pots for my centerpiece containers. Because the terracotta pots sweat water, I placed a plastic container inside the pot for the flowers. This enabled me to use wet floral foam inside the plastic, which helped keep the flowers hydrated and perfectly in place throughout the next two days and transportation. They continued to look great the day after the wedding, we just added more water to the foam.
Friday afternoon my mother in law and I made all of the bouquets and kept them in vases of water. Friday evening I had a group of friends assist me in making boutonnieres and we kept them in the refrigerator. Later that night I made the archway decoration with a wet floral foam cage I ordered on Amazon. We attached it at the venue with zip ties - easy! I had a cousin prep the bud vases that night as well. My goal was to have all of the flowers done on Friday so that I wouldn't have to worry about anything flower related on the wedding day. The only things that I ended up saving for Saturday morning were the decorations that required the flowers to be out of water - the welcome sign and the aisle decorations (which were not something I was set on doing, just a project we ended up having extra flowers and time for). My godmother completed both of these things while I was getting ready.
Overall, I had so much fun doing my own flowers, I got to make them exactly how I envisioned for my wedding, I saved so much money, and I received tons of compliments! I would do it again in a heartbeat!