Tips for DIY Wedding Day Flowers

Emma-trey-wedding-web-6103Hey friends! It's Elsie. I'm here to tell you the story of Emma's wedding flowers. It's funny and stressful and has a happy ending. Are you ready?Emma-trey-wedding-web-5870Emma-trey-wedding-web-5963Way back in the old days Emma helped me make all the flowers for my wedding along with my bridesmaids. So when her special day came I wanted to return the favor. Making your own wedding flowers can save hundreds or thousands of dollars. This is a perk, because (as you probably know) weddings are really expensive. Even when everything "looks homemade", it's not. So it's awesome to be able to save with simple DIYs like this one. 

As with most things, Emma wanted something super simple and chic. An easy request. She told me many times that she didn't care about the flowers she just wanted them to "look good". Polar opposite of a bridezilla, right? That's Emma… she's the most easy-going person who ever lived. Just ask our mom. 

So, here's where the story gets interesting. The day before the wedding A bunch of boxes of flowers were delivered to my house. It was all stuff that Emma had picked out that she liked. The brides bouquet and boutonnieres were a breeze. Then we started working on the bridesmaids bouquets, which were supposed to be made of mostly yellow gerbera daisies. So Rachel, Katie and I started working on them and the were falling apart LIKE CRAZY. The flowers were just breaking off from the stems so much so that we couldn't make a decent looking bouquet. 

We stressed for a bit. Then asked Emma, "Is it ok to use other colors?" To which she replied, "Yeah, any color is fine. Do it rainbow." (See? Easiest bride ever.) So we went to every grocery store (yes, grocery store) we could find and bought all the pretty flowers we saw. Then after the rehearsal dinner we stayed up til 2 am giggling, maybe sipping cocktails and finishing all the bridesmaid's bouquets. Ta-Da! We did it. Crisis averted.Emma-trey-wedding-web-5869My tips for making your own wedding flowers are simple! 

1. Be flexible. If you can't chill out and improvise, maybe DIY isn't a good option for your flowers. They probably won't turn out exactly like the photo you saved from Pinterest, but they'll be special and beautiful and you'll have fun making them with people you love. 

2. Have options. Save lots of photos of flowers you love. Have a plan B. Buy more that you need. We ended up using all those extra yellow daisies at the reception venue the next day! 

3. Focus on people. As with all of the choices that come with planning a big day, you're probably not going to care that the color of the roses were a perfect match for your bridesmaids shoes in 5 years (or, let's be honest, 5 months). Weddings are stressful, and that can sometimes cause people to focus too much on the "not quite perfect" and miss important moments with friends and family. Whether you are a bride or a bridesmaid, be sure to prepare yourself before the big day to be happy and present, focusing on what really matters: the people.Working on flowers!Here are a couple instagram photos from the night before the wedding (taken by either Katie or Rachel or me… it's impossible to remember) 

photography by Arrow & Apple

  • I just did the same thing for my own wedding 2 months ago! I actually mixed fake and real flowers in the bouquets (and no one could tell the difference)! I went to thrift stores and craft stores and bought realistic looking fake flowers (only on sale)that matched what I wanted, and then I ordered some greens, carnations and roses online. They arrived a few days before the wedding (they even accidently delivered extra roses which we used in the decor)and myself, my sister, my mom and my grandma all sat around making bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and arranging vases all day. The flowers turned out gorgeous and exactly the way I wanted.

  • Your flower bouquets look stunning! I would never have thought to put together a detail like that by myself- I probably would get easily stressed out and so would my friends. BUT, you make it seem quite easy! Thank you for the future DIY inspiration!!

    Simply Akshara

  • The flowers look beautiful. You ladies are so creative and have such an eye for color. I don’t think mine would turn out this well ha.

  • I did the same thing for my wedding 2 months ago! I actually mixed real and fake flowers and no one could tell the difference! I went to thrift stores and craft stores and bought realistic looking fake flowers (on sale only) that matched my colors and then I also ordered greens, carnations and roses online. They were delivered a few days before the wedding (they even gave us some extra roses by mistake that we ended up using in the decor). My mom, my sister, my grandma and I all spent a day making bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and arranging vases. I saved SO much money and everything looked exactly the way I wanted it to. 🙂

  • I did the same thing for my wedding 2 months ago! I actually mixed real and fake flowers and no one could tell the difference! I went to thrift stores and craft stores and bought realistic looking fake flowers (on sale only) that matched my colors and then I also ordered greens, carnations and roses online. They were delivered a few days before the wedding (they even gave us some extra roses by mistake that we ended up using in the decor). My mom, my sister, my grandma and I all spent a day making bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and arranging vases. I saved SO much money and everything looked exactly the way I wanted it to. 🙂

  • I recently did my own DIY wedding, including all of the bridal bouquets too! Surprisingly Costco has beautiful flowers!! I wasn’t a brides ills either, just wanted something colorful and unique looking. I got 270 stems for $120 and they were some of the loveliest flowers I’ve ever seen. So many different kinds. I can’t recommend them enough if your looking for reasonably priced flowers!

  • One of the most memorable things when preparing for our wedding was going to a farm with one of my bridesmaids the day before the wedding to pick the flowers that would be used for our reception. It was so relaxing and just a great way to spend the morning when things could have been stressful.

  • Love this! The week of my wedding our florist went out of business without notice. I was ordering flowers from them to make our bouquets. I had no idea they had gone out of business till the day before our wedding when I went to pick the buckets up. Instead we went to a grocery store with a floral department and picked wild flowers. My bridesmaid were literally walking through ditches to get to them! In the end they all looked beautiful and I spent under $200.
    Thanks for sharing this inspiration!

  • my mom did the flowers for my wedding, and since were lucky to live in los angeles, we were able to get ALL the flowers for the entire wedding at the downtown flower mart for less than $100. and they were beautiful, nobody even noticed they were homemade,

  • Loving the colours of the bridesmaids flowers and the simpleness of them, great improvisation in the moment.
    I had my sister-inlaw DIY my flowers which was amazing. We kept it super simple as I only wanted a funky wrist corsage which she made out of beautiful succulents ‘borrowed’ from the side of a state highway, she wired in a few pieces of Paua shell and some ribbon that matched my dress. It was perfect!

  • Love the flowers you made for the Bridesmaid’s, so simple, but so beautiful and those colours!
    I had my sister inlaw do my DIY flowers and they were sensational. I just wanted a funky wrist corsage and she made it with succulents ‘borrowed’ from the side of a state highway along with some wired in pieces of polished Paua Shell and some organza ribbon to match my dress. It was gorgeous.

  • I did my own flowers at my wedding as well. It carried over into the next morning. Emma’s flowers are beautiful! Great job!

  • These are great tips! For my wedding, I created the bouquets myself! We had a winter wedding so I made tight clumps of baby’s breath for the bridesmaids. It was cheap, but also looked very chic. For my bouquet, I selected all the white flowers I could find at the Los Angeles Flower Market (buying wholesale saves so much money): roses, hydrangeas, ranunculus, and chrysanthemums.

  • i went to the farmer’s market with my bffs morning of my wedding and bought tons of flowers it was one of my favorite parts of the day!

  • Geez that sounds like my wedding! We were supposed to pick all the flowers from a wildflower farm near my house but when we showed up all the flowers were dead :S I ended up going to a local florist who was super sweet and helpful and ordered a bunch of flowers for me overnight. I basically just walked around the store and pointed to the ones I liked and we went from there.

    I also had the same issue as you did with carnations! My bouquet was mostly hydrangeas with some other peachy flowers. I think we snapped half of the carnations trying to make it work but thankfully it ended up working in the end. I love flowers but they can be so difficult to work with sometimes!

  • we did our own flowers too – the other tip I would add is to do a practice run! my mum & bridesmaid and I sat around with some drinks watching movies and making flowers, we learned a lot about which flowers work and which don’t. it also gives you a practice bouquet so you can see how well it keeps – mine stayed good in the fridge for 5 days!
    for the actual wedding we went to the big flower market the day before and just grabbed anything in yellow and white, then spent the day making our bouquets. it was really fun and my husband helped! I also agree that you should buy way more flowers than you think you need, that way you can pick out all the best ones for the bouquets and use the rest for little posies and vases.
    oh also -lots of florist tape! there’s plenty of videos on YouTube that show you how to use it.

  • Couldn’t agree more! My girls and I stayed up late the night before my wedding arranging flowers, giggling and telling stories, and running to the store when we ran out of floral tape! Such a fun memory. 🙂

  • We did the same thig for our wedding. The morning of, we went to Whole Foods and bought a ton of beautiful flowers and my aunt arranged them all. Bouquets and center pieces.

  • Such a great story!! And another example to back up my theory of how pretty supermarket flowers can be if you arrange them sweetly:) Well done ladies!!

  • the flowers look beautiful! i love the bright colors! a tip for the future, when you work with flowers that have a heavy head, you can wire them with floral wire and it will help keep them together.

  • Amazing Post!

    I’m getting married in 2 and a half weeks, woohoo! A family friend is doing our flowers and boy was I blown away when I heard what little choice I had at this time of year! Your advice to stay flexible is just what I needed to hear, thank you so much!
    I’m super looking forward to my wedding 😀

  • What a great way to handle a crisis!!!! Beyond everything, I love the fact that you tell people that they’re not going to care later on about the color of the flowers or the ‘perfectness’ of their bouquet. When I got married, several years ago, I DIY basically everything with the help of my mom, a few friends, and my sisters. Today, I don’t even remember how everything looked, but I do remember all the good times we’ve had making everything! 🙂

  • I did the same thing for my wedding. We used store bought roses and peones for the centrepieces, much to the chagrin of my dear friend the florist who flew in from abroad to be a bridesmaid and do the flowers. My wedding bouquet? It fell apart ten minutes into shooting photos after the ceremony. Ha! Feels horrible there and then, but they truly become stories to tell 🙂

  • love the last point. Recently post my sister’s wedding realised focusing on the people is probably also the best way to vent out the stress.

    Upasna at Someplace Else

  • Pretty! Sounds like you guys had a great time… I used silk flowers for my bridal bouquet because I wanted to preserve it, and I have used it for several different things. Last year, it was my Christmas tree topper.

  • You ladies are so brave! I can really appreciate the hard work it takes to pull it off!

    I originally thought about doing the flowers for my own wedding this past June, but with all the other DIY projects I was working on, and the time sensitive nature of fresh flowers, I decided to hire a professional.

  • My lovely sister did the flowers for my wedding (silk flowers since the wedding was in January in Wisconsin and literally -24 degrees out) and her own wedding (with real flowers). She did the bouquets, floral arrangements, corsages, and boutonnières too. She put them together a couple of days before and kept everything fresh in the refrigerator.

    The ONE problem we ran into the morning of the wedding is that the refrigerator was a bit too cold and a couple of the boutonnières in the actually FROZE. So I played florist at the last minute and dissected some of the already made pieces and added in some of the spare flowers to make things look cohesive. So glad to have had extra flowers even if they were a bit different than the original plan!

  • …but if you get flowers from the farmers market or fresh from a field, check them for hidden bugs.

    We had aphids crawling on our wedding cake at the reception dinner. Not that anyone cared, there were only 13 of us and I think I removed most of them before anyone saw.

  • Good post! And way to stay open-minded on the flower front. It saves so much money.

    I also did my own flowers for my wedding. My mom and I will always have fond memories of our pre-dawn wake-up to go to Los Angeles’ flower market and pick out our stock. Because we didn’t know what would be there, we just made a few quick decisions and went with it.

    Unfortunately some of the flowers in the bridesmaid’s bouquets died in the fridge! (We think we had the setting too cold.) I’ll never forget the girls pulling out wilted flowers just minutes before we went to the ceremony. And you know what? No one noticed. All the little things that can go ‘wrong’ actually are what make the best memories and bonding moments.

  • HI Elsie and Emma
    This is my first ever comment even though ive been a follower and avid reader for years. My mum is a florist & I was trained up too, Gerbera’s are natorious for having fragile stems thats why florists wire the outside of every stem to support them. maybe this is why they broke? I do think its great to do DIY floral tips but then I feel it can affect florists trade & they are professionally trained so you are paying for the quality and the skills.

  • I just planted a bunch of succulents from my wedding in my backyard. They were a great choice too because they were clippings from my friends yard, super resilient (so you could make the bouquets a week before!), and when they get bigger I can clip ’em and continue to share with friends =)
    <3 xo Annejelina

  • I actually got the idea to do my own flowers from your wedding Elsie! I got my flowers from Trader Joes and Whole Foods the day before my wedding – they have some of the most beautiful & INEXPENSIVE flowers. Their bouquets are so pretty we kept most of them the same as the store arranged – trimming a little and just used floral tape and burlap to finish them. It was fun! and a little frustrating :)I think I spent a total of $130 for (6) tables plus the bride and bridal party.

  • The flowers are absolutely gorgeous, but let’s talk about Emma’s nail color for a second. LOVE that manicure, girl! So chic.


  • FYI for any future brides gerbers are the WORST flowers for weddings. They are too delicate and wilt too fast! Its a must to wire every flower for stability and so helpful to buy the little boutonniere stems that you soak in water. Have all the bridesmaids put their bouquets in water whenever they are not needed.
    I did an entire wedding in beautiful pink gerbers once… NEVER again. I did everything right but still one girl’s bouquet is wilted in every picture. 🙁

    Being flexible is the best advice ever! And if doing gerbers buy tons of extras and have a mending kit of floral wire and tape handy!

  • I’m considering DIY-ing the flowers for my wedding as well. Who supplied your flowers for you? I’ve googled wholesale flower suppliers, but there are so many I don’t know where to start! Thanks for being so inspirational!

  • Realised only during my sister’s wedding last year, how focussing on people was the one big thing. Reduces stress and keep people happy- all that’s important!

    Upasna at Someplace Else

  • although we ordered the boutonnieres from a local florist, my bridesmaids and i also made our bouquets the night before the wedding. my bouquet was several white hydrangea with off-white roses and accented with little green and white mums which we also got at a local grocery store (can’t beat 3/$12 bouquets!). my best friend/college roommate/bridesmaid also made the bouquets for her wedding and told me she had ordered the roses from costco. i did the same thing and they arrived on time and gorgeous. we all stayed up late in my parents’ kitchen the night before the wedding drinking wine, making bouquets, and finishing off other little DIY projects for the wedding the next day. it was a lovely and stressless experience that i’m glad i got to share with my parents and friends.

  • Love this post:) I started my own wedding flower business out of my home this summer; I had my own wedding to plan for and 5 other friends weddings, so why not get a business license and buy all those beauties at cost!? Its been the most fun decision ever! I’m looking forward to saving brides money in the future!

  • DIYing my wedding flowers with my sister and bridesmaids was such a good memory! I also loved seeing my most detail oriented bridesmaid sit down with a group of the groomsmen and overseeing them while they made their own boutonnieres. Wedding week is so wonderful!

  • oh I totally agree with this post. My sister and I made my bouquet for my quincenera, and it wasn’t Pinterest worthy. But it was better, since it looked and was homemade, and subtle and pretty. It has a lot of sentimental value knowing it was diy 🙂

  • I bought flowers from a wholesale florist and did my own flowers the day before the wedding. I loved it as it was such a calming and beautiful thing to be doing, took my mind off any other worries! There are so many cool tutorials on youtube, that’s where I learnt all my tricks.

  • Great tips 😉 They turned out brilliantly. I’d love to do my own wedding flowers too!
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  • I went with a florist for my flowers and she cut me a great deal (even went to her aunt’s farm and picked hundreds of rose petals for us at no cost!), but on the morning of the wedding when the flowers arrived we realised I hadn’t thought to order a bouquet to toss. My sister ducked out to the local shops and found a sweet little bouquet that actually very closely resembled my bridal bouquet! Crisis averted! I think we learnt the value of grocery store flowers that day too 🙂

  • Wow! I love this! For my wedding, we made DIY carnation bouquets. We found them to be inexpensive and genuinely beautiful when used in bulk – and accented with a few other types of flowers with interesting textures, such as protea and scabiosa.

  • Thank you for sharing some photographs of flowers, It will be very helpful for everyone. People can know that which type of flowers can they use for changing the theme of room and palaces.

  • The flowers look amazing! Great bouquets. Those last-minute situations are a true test of character. Well done 🙂

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