Tips for DIY Wedding Flowers

Whether you're searching for a way to save money or just want to guarantee a completely unique look for your special day, creating your own wedding flower arrangements has never been easier. From your bridal bouquet to the cake table and bar arrangements, there are endless options for the DIY bride to consider.

Gathering Inspiration

There are multiple online resources for brides who want to create their own wedding flower arrangements, ranging from professional tutorials on bridal magazine websites to blog posts from recently married women eager to show off their own handiwork.

If you're having friends help you with the planning process, consider using a collaborative Pinterest board to organize your ideas. When you create a new board, Pinterest lets you give selected followers the option to add their own pins. If desired, you can even use your board to pin specific YouTube tutorials that you think might be useful.

Use this checklist of essential wedding flowers to help you organize your ideas:

wedding centerpiece
  • Bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets
  • Bouquet for the bouquet toss at the reception
  • Flower girl bouquet or basket of petals
  • Boutonnieres for groom, groomsmen, and ring bearer
  • Corsages and boutonnieres for the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom
  • Officiant's boutonniere or corsage
  • Ushers' boutonnieres or corsages
  • Entryway flowers
  • Altar arrangements
  • Pew or chair arrangements
  • Aisle decorations
  • Reception centerpieces
  • Cocktail table and bar arrangements
  • Buffet table or food station flowers
  • Cake table arrangements
  • Lounge area arrangements
  • Bride's and groom's chair decorations

Where to Buy Flowers

wedding bouquet

Thanks to modern technology, you're no longer limited to local vendors when it comes to ordering your flowers. Bulk flowers can be ordered online from a wide range of websites, including retail warehouse clubs like Sam's Club and Costco as well as specialty wholesale sites like Fifty Flowers or Blooms by the Box.

In many cases, ordering online will be cheaper than using a local vendor. However, if you choose to order your flowers online, keep in mind that someone will need to be available to sign for the delivery. In addition, if there is a problem with your online order, you won't have much time to correct the mistake.

A Note about Color Options

Some brides plan their entire wedding around a favorite flower, but others work from a desired color scheme. For example, if you found lovely purple bridesmaid dresses, hydrangeas or lilacs would be a good option. Or, if your wedding color scheme features hues not commonly found in nature, white flowers such as peonies and calla lilies would be suitable.

It is technically possible to dye fresh flowers at home, but the results can be rather unpredictable for someone with minimal experience. Unless you have a friend who is also a florist, it's best to leave your flowers their original color.

Seasonal Blooms

bunch of wedding flowers

If you're thinking about a DIY approach as a way to save money, you'll want to choose flowers that are in season. For example, alstroemeria, baby's breath, bird of paradise, calla lily, carnation, chrysanthemum, cockscomb, cosmos, dahlia, freesia, gardenia, gladiolus, heather, hydrangea, iris, and lilac are all considered summer flowers. If you wanted to use these flowers in the spring, fall, or winter, you'd pay a markup of at least 50% because they'd need to be shipped from halfway around the world. Brides who have their hearts set on out of season blooms would do best to consider using silk flowers for their wedding.

For your reference, Bridal Guide has a comprehensive list of flowers that are in season for each month of the year.

Container Choices

Don't forget to factor in the price of your container when budgeting for your wedding flowers. If you're having a casual wedding, consider flowers in non-traditional vessels like mason jars, tin cans accented with rustic twine, thrifted picnic baskets, or galvanized metal buckets. If you'd prefer a more formal look, hit your local dollar store for inexpensive clear vases that can be personalized with pretty ribbons.

Transporting and Setting Up

wedding flower centerpiece

Getting your flowers to the ceremony site is a big job. A team of committed helpers is a must. Choose people you trust to help you set up and give them photographs or samples to look at so they understand what the finished arrangements should look like.

Here are a few other tips to help you manage the setup process:

  • Wedding flowers take up quite a bit of space, so you may need to rent a van to transport them to the correct location.
  • Floral foam will keep arrangements from shifting during transport.
  • Bouquets need to be refrigerated for as long as possible, but reception centerpieces can simply be stored in a cool, shady place. 
  • If you're using boutonnieres, they need to be created the day of the wedding. If you make them earlier, they will wilt.

Practice Makes Perfect

Taking a DIY approach to your wedding flowers can be a little nerve-racking, but you can alleviate some of your jitters by buying a few flowers beforehand to create a couple of practice arrangements. Testing out your ideas will give you the confidence you need to pull off your big day without a hitch.


Written by: The Printable Wedding Team