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The Complete DIY Wedding Flower Checklist

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Do you have what it takes to DIY your own wedding flowers? It can be an incredible experience if you're prepared. Read on to see if you’ve got everything on the checklist.

❏ Time:

As a floral designer, I spend about 30 hours on average working on a wedding. This time includes: Driving to the wholesaler, loading the flowers into my car, driving back to the studio, unloading the flowers, processing the flowers (removing thorns, excess leaves, bruised petals, cutting ends of stems), preparing vases and containers, designing arrangements, packing the arrangements into boxes, loading them into my vehicle, driving to the venue, unloading all of the boxes, setting up the flowers, tearing down the flowers at the end of the night, and cleaning my studio and buckets from the mess created by designing for the wedding. Wowzers! A lot is involved in this whole “wedding flowers” gig. If you and some awesome people in your tribe have time budgeted for flowers, more power to ya!

❏ Skills:

Most of the designs that you see on pinterest have been created by a professional florist. Like any other skill, floral design takes practice. Take the time to learn some floral design basics! A great place to learn the basics is the DIY Wedding Flower Academy. Find more info about it here. Learning and practicing floral design is such a fun and rewarding investment. But without gaining any prior knowledge, you may find that the hashtag #pinterestfail applies to your poor designs. No one wants that.

❏ Flower Knowledge + Source:

Not all flowers behave the same. For example, I recently spoke to a bride who wanted hydrangeas on her wedding cake. Hydrangeas wilt extremely quickly without a water source. I was able to warn her of this and she ultimately decided that roses would be the best fit. Be sure that the flowers you're selecting for your wedding will hold up nicely throughout your wedding day.

Also, be sure to research the wholesalers in your area ahead of time. Not all floral wholesalers sell to engaged couples directly. Some require a business license and a resale permit. A good online flower wholesaler that caters to the DIY bride is Fifty Flowers. More options are discussed in DIY Wedding Flower Academy as well. If you’re confident in your flower knowledge and flower source, or willing to learn, then keep reading, flower queen!

❏ Buckets:

Buy (or borrow) lots of buckets. I’d estimate 1 bucket for every 2 to 3 bunches of flowers that you’re ordering from the wholesaler or grocery store. You will need these buckets to place your flowers in while you’re designing. You’ll want various sizes to accommodate the different flower varieties you’re using. For example: spray roses, astrantia, and astilbe tend to have shorter stems. But standard roses, hypericum berries, and Italian ruscus tend to have longer stems. If you place short-stemmed flowers in tall 5 gallon buckets, the heads of the flowers will get squashed. However, if you place them in shorter 3 gallon buckets, they'll have room to spread out.

❏ Tools:

Here are some of the tools that I use most often. I've provided links to the products that I use in my daily work for your convenience.

Floral Bunch Cutters: For tougher/woody stems.

Florist Scissors: For cutting softer stems.

*Warning: Don’t rely on your old “normal scissors” for your wedding flowers. It will take you twice as long and your hand will start cramping very quickly. Dull scissors can also pinch the stems, restricting water intake, and thus causing your flowers to wilt. If you’re going to invest in any tools for this DIY project, invest in a good pair of florist scissors and floral bunch cutters!

26 Gauge Wire: For creating boutonnieres and corsages.

Wire Cutters: For cutting your wire, naturally. Don't use your scissors or bunch cutters for this. It'll dull them very quickly.

Fabric Scissors: For cutting ribbon and avoiding frayed edges.

Florist Tape: For wrapping stems tightly together.

Ribbon: To hide the mechanics of the tape and wire.

Oasis U-Glue Dashes: To adhere ribbon to itself on bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages.


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