Images: Lisa Blume Photography

Bringing back the #DIYWednesday with a guest post from a recent DC bride, Amy! Amy crushed her DIY, minimalist modern gallery wedding this past August and was kind enough to share with me how she tackled DIYing her wedding flowers! Thinking about DIYing your wedding flowers? Be sure to read our comprehensive post on the topic, here. But Amy provides us a personal experience (and some gorgeous pictures) into how she did it … and lived to tell the tale :) Take it away Amy!

As I tackled my wedding to-do list, one thing was set in stone: my budget. I had no wiggle room, and that meant I really wanted to save cash wherever I could.

There was stuff left on my list I thought I could save on — flowers, invitations, etc. As a local graphic designer in the DC area, I did all my save the dates and invitations myself and printed them cheaply. Minor money savings! Next I started to reach out to florists. I had a vision for my flowers — I wanted all white flowers, and tons of greenery. I pictured using amber bottles and/or jars.

I got back tons of quotes. I’m talking a lot — I think I reached out 7 or 8 different places. And I had some major sticker shock. I had not anticipated the flowers being such a huge chunk of my budget. Flowers are really important though — they totally set the vibe for your guests. But they also are something you toss at the end of the night. So I had a really hard time justifying the huge price tag for something I knew wouldn’t last.

So I set a new goal — do all of my own flowers for under $1,500. All of it. Bold? Yeah. I told my Mom and she was like….are you sure?

I did some really intense research. I read tons of blogs about transporting flowers, how long they last, how to keep them fresh, etc. I researched how many stems make ideal bouquets and centerpieces. Then, I made a list of all supplies I would need. That included:

I then researched my bulk flower ordering options and settled on Costco. I have a membership, and they ship the flowers for you on the date you give them. I picked the Thursday before my Saturday wedding. I ended up ordering 150 stems of green fillers, 160 stems of white Lisianthus, 150 stems of white fillers (think baby’s breath), and 150 stems of big greenery (think Ruscus and Eucalyptus). My flower order total came in at $513.

Then I ordered my bottles. I needed ~120 bottles. I got beer bottles from homebrewing.org. I got all my Boston round bottles from Uline.com in various sizes. Total cost for the bottles was $84.58.

The Friday before the wedding I cleaned and trimmed all the stems. I did 2-3 stems per amber bottle, with flower food and water, and arranged the bottle in the cardboard boxes they were shipped in. We were able to drop these off at the venue the day before the wedding.

Then my sister, and fantastic maid of honor, picked me up in her car and transported the 5 gallon buckets full of the bouquet stems over to our hotel. I unloaded them and set them in the corner for the night. The morning of the wedding I got up and arranged all 6 of my bouquets. As a side note here — I didn’t practice at all for these. I had a vision, and it was pretty bohemian and messy, so I decided to wing it! I had the ribbons for the bouquets pre-made on a hanger and ready to tie around each completed bunch.

Total end cost: $1,322.06 Most florist quotes I received started close to $5,000. So I saved $3,677.94 by doing my flowers myself.

Biggest fear: My flowers would die before the big day. Plot twist — they lived for 2+ weeks! Flower food is amazing.

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  1. I set a flower budget of $500 for myself, and Wegman’s came the closest, at about $550 (6 bouquets, 7 boutonnieres – our venues needed no decor). Problem – 11 am wedding, Wegman’s doesn’t deliver, and I didn’t want to task someone with this… so in the end I ordered sola wood flowers from EcoFlower, and they were gorgeous! I also ordered them on a day they were having a 25% off flash sale, and got everything for under $200. I did pay attention to reviews that cautioned about their late deliveries, so for my 9/30 wedding, I told them the wedding was 6/17…and they arrived on 6/16… My bridesmaids and all the guys loved them, especially those with allergies. Affordable, beautiful, and forever, without the REALLY obvious look of fake flowers. Literally at the last minute (or week) a VERY close friend who lives in Seoul surprised me by being able to come to the wedding – the only reason she wasn’t a bridesmaid was the distance. So we ordered her a dress super-fast (thanks to Nordstrom!), and ran to the grocery store the night before the wedding for her bouquet. The fresh flowers were lovely, but the sola wood ones were better!

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