Weddings are expensive, and you’ll do anything to save money, right? While growing your own flowers sounds like a great way to cut costs, you need to be smart about it. I’ll show you all the things you need to consider, plus link to some fabulous DIY’s for your cake, boutonnieres, centrepieces, and bouquets.
What Flowers Bloom Around Your Wedding Date?
The first order of business is to figure out what is in bloom in your area around the time of your wedding. Bloom times can vary depending on whether it’s a cold, normal, or exceptionally warm year. To counteract this, you’ll need to plant a variety of flowers in the colours you want so that something will be in bloom the day of your wedding.
If your wedding is in the fall, keep an eye on frost dates. My Dad grew half the flowers for my wedding, but frost was in the forecast a few days before the day. To keep the flowers safe, he had to cut everything two days before to make sure that my flowers weren’t ruined.
Click here for a guide to 38 Cut Flowers that would be perfect for your wedding.
All Flowers are not created equal for Wedding Arrangements
Wedding flowers need to be cut flowers–flowers that have strong and long stems. The only exception to this is flowers for your boutonnieres. You can get away with thinner stemmed flowers, although they might wilt by the end of the day.
If you’re planting perennials the year you’re getting married–think again. Many perennial flowers don’t establish themselves well until year three. If you don’t already have perennials in your yard (or someone else’s that you have permission to use) you’ll have to rely solely on annual flowers.
Annual flowers may also need to be started indoors in the winter to bloom by the time of your wedding. Carefully read the seed packets to know which ones to plant in winter, and which ones to start in spring.
You’ll Need Way More Flowers Than You Think
If you’ve never done flower arranging before, you’ll be surprised at how many flowers it takes to make a bouquet. However many flowers you think you’ll need–double it. . .maybe even triple it.
Don’t Forget the Greenery
Greenery adds a welcome break and contrast to the eye. You can use cuttings from cedars, leafy trees, and vines to add flair to your arrangement.
Cut Costs By Sourcing Flowers From the Side of the Road
Some weeds are genuinely beautiful. Depending on the time of the year, alfalfa, clover, ditch lilies, goldenrod, and more may be available in your area for the picking. Please stick to public property or areas where you have permission to pick.
Check out this post of autumn boutonnieres I was able to create. One of them is entirely from flowers found in a ditch near a family acreage. AKA, free!!
Arranging Flowers Takes Time
If you are a bride reading this, please do not do your own flowers. You will not have time the day of the wedding, and taking on this task will leave you extremely stressed out. Enlist a creative friend or relative to do it for you.
I’m an amateur and I’ve arranged flowers for three weddings. Here’s approximately how long it took me. . .
Removing all unwanted leaves from flowers the night before= 2 hours
13 boutonnieres= Around 1 hour
4 bouquets=90 minutes
Floral Cake Decorations=45 minutes
For a wedding party of 10 (Bride, Groom, 4 Bridesmaids, 4 Groomsmen) plus boutonnieres for parents and people involved in the wedding party, it took me approximately 4 hours to do everything. I should have allowed myself 5 so I could have taken a few more breaks. In every instance, I barely had time to get myself ready for the wedding.
Of course, your situation may require more or less time.
So now that I’ve possibly scared you out of doing this, what else can you do to save money on flowers?
How to Save Money on Wedding Flowers
If you still want to have someone arrange your flowers, you can order flowers in bulk online or at big box stores like Costco. Then, you can supplement these flowers with whatever you’ve grown that is blooming at the right time.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of baby’s breath and greenery. Both these items are cheap and go a long way in your floral arrangements.
If you’re lucky enough to live near any flower farms, you can often arrange to go and pick flowers and be charged by the pail. Prices are usually quite reasonable and you can get a better variety of flowers than you would find in stores.
P.S. Want to see one of the weddings I’ve done the flowers for? Click here to see a beautiful coral & navy themed wedding.
How to Arrange Your Own Wedding Flowers
If you’re still on board with arranging your own wedding flowers, here’s how to make it happen:
- Boutonniere tutorial
- Cake tutorial
- Bouquet tutorial
- Bouquet tutorial 2
- Centerpiece tutorial
- Floral Hoop Wreath tutorial
- Easy Mason Jar tutorial
- Teacup tutorial
- Rustic statement piece
I’ve also made this handy downloadable checklist and planner so you don’t forget a thing. No email address required!! (Although, if you’d like to get emails about creating a beautiful garden the easy way, you’ll want to subscribe.)
Click here to download your free DIY Wedding Flowers Planner
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Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.