Wedding Day Details: The DIY Flowers

Hello, dear readers!  Sorry for the long break.  I’m getting ready to start up a business here in SoCal (DIY brides, let me know if you need a hand with DIY wedding flowers…it’s the basis of my biz!) so it’s been a bit crazy ’round here!

Flowers were such a hugely important part of my day (see here, here, here, here, here, and here!).  Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved flowers…gardening with my mom, terrariums, patio gardening, arrangements…I love it all.  So I knew my wedding had to be lush with real, fresh flowers that also didn’t overpower the venue.  To accomplish this (without spending thousands of dollars–all of our flowers and materials cost about $500), I set about making spreadsheets, practicing bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres until my fingers were raw.  I went back and forth the entire 15 months on colors, flower types, roses or no roses… and had to settle on the heartbreak of NOT ordering my beloved peonies.  Just when I’d sorted through all of our wholesale flowers and found peace with my lack of peonies, my bff bridesmaid Lisa and I decided to run to a nearby Whole Foods to pick up sushi for lunch…and there they were.  Right by the entrance, a rack full of beautiful, blooming peonies…on sale.  We grabbed as many as our little arms could hold, and I couldn’t have been happier.


My bouquet, which consisted of the peonies, vendela roses, dahlias, veronica, button mums, freesia, and fringe tulips.


We planted all of our herbs for the centerpieces that week.  We also used them to line the rainy windows when we had to move the ceremony indoors!  The scent of the verbena and lemon thyme was so soothing.


A shot of the table settings with the beautiful table runners handmade by my amazing mother.


At the ceremony, we had planned to create an arch using two “wisteria” branches (curly willow branches shape into arches, covered with twisted tissue paper).  My dad kept calling them the “hysteria wysteria” because they took soooo long and were so much work!  In the end, we  weren’t able to use them to create an arch due to the layout of the indoor ceremony; instead, they flanked the altar.  I like this shot of them in the background.


The bridesmaids and flowergirl each had miniature versions of my bouquet, with a hint of purple freesia in place of my white.


You’ll remember the mossy “B” from my DIY post here!


I loved this little detail from the entrance to the ceremony–a little antique birdcage, complete with roses and veronica overflowing from the center.


Another closeup of the centerpieces, which consisted of the herb containers and two narrow vases full of sweet peas, matsumotos, and dahlias.


Here you can see the arches in the background before they were set up!  In the foreground are our AMAZING cakes.  Dr. dave and I made the carrot cake (Dr. dave spent an hour grating all the carrots!), and my mother made the lemon-coconut and buttermilk chocolate.  My uncle made the buttercream and decorated all the cakes.  They were so so delicious!


I ended up using two flowers in my hair, created from my DIY template here.


Closeup of the flowers, the table runners, and my ceramic birds from Michaels!


I can’t claim any of the credit for Mother Nature helping out and making Colorado GREEN!!! Though it certainly did go well with our theme. ;)


The men’s boutonnieres were made up of one vendela rose (roses hold up well, especially in boutonnieres), two green button mums, and a salal stem.


Closeup of the bridesmaids and flower girl bouquets!  Mine was wrapped with lace from my mother’s wedding dress, and the bridesmaids’ were wrapped with strips of white linen.


I loved using the Anthropologie numbered cups as decorations for the mantel.  They really stood out and brought in a touch of whimsy.


The rings (mine is my mother’s, and dr. dave’s was handmade by his grandmother) and the floral birdcage.

Phew! All things considered, it was totally worth it to do my own flowers.  It was nice to have the element of control over something I was so passionate about, and it was actually very peaceful to wake up early the morning of the wedding and have some time alone making the bouquets.  It was also great to have my amazing bridesmaids helping me out…it made for some great bonding time, even though it was a LOT of work.  A few things I learned:

1) Make sure you have plenty of empty buckets in which to put your flowers when you receive them from your wholesaler.

2) Have plenty of materials on hand: rose strippers, floral tape, ribbon, scissors.  These things were all priceless when we were arranging.

3) Practice before the big day, with whatever flowers you can get your hands on!

4) Try to relax with the overall flower design.  I wasn’t planning on having lisianthus, but my mother loves them so much she ordered them–and they made for beautiful corsages.  Take as much input as you can get!

I think even if we could have afforded to have someone do all our flowers, I still would have picked to do my own, and I guess that’s the main takeaway!

Up next… the ceremony!

Much love,


*all photos by Andrew and Jessica