DIY flowers are a great option if you’re looking to save some money in your budget or to take a more hands-on approach to your event decor. However, as many people who have taken on this task may tell you, it’s not necessarily ideal for those on a tight schedule. This is not to say that it shouldn’t be attempted! But before you jump into the DIY wedding flower timeline, here are some things to consider:
- Do you have a place to process and store your flowers that is temperature controlled?
- Who will transport the flowers to the venue?
- Who will set up the arrangements and add in final touches?
These are just a few things you’ll have to keep in mind!
6 Weeks (At Least) Before Wedding: Schedule a Free Consultation with a Flower Consultant
If you’re not set on a color palette, the number of arrangements you need to make, or perhaps you need help with your flower list, then we’d suggest scheduling a consultation with one of our flower consultants! Depending on when you’re going to get married, we advise scheduling an appointment at least three months in advance.
3 Weeks Before Wedding: Place Final Order
Flowers are one of the most exciting things to plan for your wedding, but they’re also one of the last things to actually order (even though you’ve been planning them for weeks!). Why would you have to wait on the order? Well, one example is that you may not know how many wedding centerpieces you’ll need until you know how many tables you’ll have. This depends on your final guest count, of course, meaning you’ll have to wait.
That being said, we suggest placing your DIY wedding flower order no later than 3-4 weeks before your big day. You are certainly welcome to order as far in advance as you’d like (as long as you have all the details) – however, waiting until the last moment can be a bit risky!
A Week Before Wedding: Prepare For Your Floral Arrival
As your delivery date approaches, start by gathering the supplies you’ll need to take care of the flowers such as five-gallon buckets, flower food, and floral shears. Depending on the flowers you order, you may also need a thorn stripper.
The flowers are shipped in long boxes and are neatly packaged and secured. Each bunch is held together by a rubber band and the flowers are wrapped in either plastic, newspaper, tissue paper or packing materials.
Upon arrival, begin by adding fresh, cool water to your five-gallon buckets. Feel free to add floral food, if available. Once the buckets are ready to go, open the box and begin by processing one bundle at a time. Carefully, remove the plastic sleeve and remove the rubber band. Remember that some flowers come with more specific hydration and care instructions, so it’s super important to follow the directions provided with your flower delivery before moving beyond this point.
Next, you can begin removing excess foliage. Trim the stems at an angle, but be cautious of how much you cut off. We recommend trimming 1-2 inches off. Then, place the freshly trimmed stems in the bucket of water. Repeat the steps until you’re done. It’s important not to overstuff the buckets. If they’re too crowded they won’t have room to bloom and it could cause damage to the blooms.
Once the flowers are fully processed and in water, place the buckets in a dark, cool environment and allow them to continue to hydrate. Remember to replace the water and trim the stems at least once every two days.
2-3 Days Before Wedding: Flowers Arrive and Processing Begins
By now, you should’ve received tracking information for your order, so make sure to keep a close eye and have someone available to accept the flowers. Depending on your DIY wedding flower order, some of them may arrive on two separate days. It’s important to keep in mind that upon arrival, the flowers won’t look as pictured. They’ll arrive looking a little thirsty and tired, but don’t worry! Follow our care instructions and after a few hours of hydration, you’ll notice a huge difference.
A Day Before Wedding (Or The Morning Of): Create Arrangements and Bouquets
Depending on your timeline, we suggest creating the arrangement either the night before the event or the morning of. Be sure to recruit the help you’ll need and schedule a time to process the flowers since you’ll want to get them in the water right away. Between trimming, removing excess foliage, filling buckets, etc., the tasks can really add up! If you’re asking for assistance with arrangements, consider having one example created for your helpers to work off of, then you can take care of other event prep while they work! Depending on your schedule, plan to arrange the flowers either the day before your big day or the morning of your event.
Expert Tip: When your flowers arrive, don’t throw your flower boxes away as they can become hugely helpful in transporting your arrangements.
The Day of the Wedding: Arrange Transport for Flowers and Setup
We recommend two methods for transporting your DIY wedding flowers. They both involve repurposing the boxes the flowers came in. Just like every other aspect of DIY wedding decor, the most important part is being prepared.
Your centerpieces will most likely already be in vases or containers of some sort, but be sure to have extra on hand for the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets. We suggest one small vase or sturdy plastic cup for each bouquet. If you’re wrapping the stems in ribbon or twine, you’ll want to make sure that you leave a couple of inches at the bottom exposed to allow for proper hydration leading up to the big event.
Fill your extra vases with a small amount of water (just enough to keep them hydrated without ruining your bouquet wrapping) and place each bouquet in a vase. If you don’t want any exposed stems at the bottom for your ceremony, you may choose to trim off the remaining exposed stem with garden shears as your event nears.
Whichever method you choose, we always recommend that someone sit near the flowers while being transported if possible, that way they can watch and make sure the vases and flowers are staying upright. Also, if you’re having a destination wedding, talk to your hotel! A lot of times they are willing to provide carts, buckets, etc. and may even be able to help with transportation, if necessary. It never hurts to ask!