diy flowers

March 31, 2010

Don’t worry. I have definitely not decided to do my own flowers :)

There is, however, an interesting discussion going on in the comments section of a post over at 100 Layer Cake. The post itself is a “how to DIY a bouquet of flowers” but the comments have turned into a discussion about the pros and cons of DIY’ing flowers in the first place.

Most brides will agree that flowers are “expensive” and can be a big chunk of the budget, but a lot of the points made in defense of florists resonate with me more. I’ve read other posts about the cost of flowers (like this one and this one) and additional more big-picture feedback from consultants like Sean Low.

A few big names in weddings have chimed in, including Summer from Grey Likes Weddings and Nancy Liu Chin (with some more comments on her own blog). It would be a valuable read for anyone trying to stay relevant and up-to-date in the wedding industry.

My two cents? Honestly, I don’t know enough about the floral world to really give an opinion from the perspective of a vendor. However, as a bride and as a friend/coordinator to many other brides, I can say that flowers are a beautiful, inspiring part of any event–especially one as significant as a wedding. Foliage and floral arrangements add texture, color, and life to venues, outfits, entourages, and photos. I wish I could have allocated thousands more to flowers — but I restrained myself from doing so.

I’ve read (more than a few times) that the best way to control the budget is by reducing the number of invitees and guests. Don’t get me wrong, that’s totally true. The number of people at the wedding can dramatically increase the cost of … well, everything from finding a bigger venue, increased food & beverage costs, needing more centerpieces, invitations, save the dates, favors…

Although I know the principle to be true, I know me, and I know that I want my wedding to be about surrounding myself with people that I know and love — even at the cost of gorgeous flowers or creamy, letterpressed programs and menu cards. I often find myself drooling over those luxuries, but I wouldn’t trade 20 of my guests for bigger, more elaborate floral centerpieces. Nor would I trade another 20 of my guests to letterpress all of my wedding stationery. I just wouldn’t.

With that in mind, I can empathize with brides who try to DIY their flowers and/or ask their amateur friends to step in simply because they can’t afford to hire a florist. It’s a sticky situation, but setting priorities in the very beginning can be a huge help later on, as decisions like this are being made.

Unlike many planners and brides, I don’t really “get” flowers. Yes, they’re seriously beautiful. Yes, they’re colorful. But… I just don’t know very much about flowers and I don’t have very many preferences about what kind or variety of flower is used as long as the end product is pretty. I contradict myself a lot too… sometimes I love the simple understated look and other times, the WOW-those-flowers-are-bright bouquets and arrangements. Go figure.

Anyway, since I’m trying to use this blog more frequently and effectively, I’ll try to start saving images that I do like so that my future florist has something to work with. Right now, all she’s gonna get is, “I don’t care as long as it looks nice.”

This pretty arrangement was part of a wedding featured on Junebug Weddings last week. I’m not sure if I thought it was stunning because of the lighting or because of the flowers, but they just look so pure and pretty, especially with the clean lines that the stems create. Since we don’t have a venue set, I haven’t been able to choose colors… and because I really love ALL colors (not even joking) I sometimes contemplate going with black and white just to avoid having to make a decision.

This arrangement I also loved, but for obviously different reasons. It was part of a wedding post over at 100 Layer Cake and the contrasting color combo of lavender and orange caught my attention. Pretty!