From growing catering costs to your dream dress being a little over budget, it’s pretty normal to feel the fear about money when planning a wedding. If you’re looking to keep costs down you may be DIY-ing your invites or your favours, but have you considered doing your own wedding flowers? Newlywed Grace Jenkins just might convince you to enlist your bridesmaids instead of appointing a florist. Here’s how she saved big and created her dream flowers…
Why did you DIY your wedding flowers?
Before getting engaged I had seen many friends get married and knew the cost of flowers was high, in fact, I know people who have spent in excess of £4,000 on flowers! As our perfect venue, The Gathering Barn, allowed us to hire from Thursday - Sunday, the prospect of two whole days to prep flowers made the pipedream a reality.
Did you need to practice?
After deciding we wanted to go down this route, I got to work roping in my four bridesmaids, mum and auntie to see if we could actually pull this off.
Around a year before the big day, my fiancé and mum drove down to the flower market at 6am, only to find out that it was international Mother’s Day and the flowers were triple the price (eek). So instead, we scoured Lidl, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s for brunches of yellow and white blooms.
We had a trial run at my mum’s making a table piece with a foam oasis block and bouquet from scratch. A few YouTube videos later and we mastered it.
How did you choose which flowers to have?
To start with, I found a picture on Instagram of a bouquet I liked for me, and my bridesmaids then counted each of the different types of flowers to calculate how many we would need. We changed our mind in terms of table runners to just do eucalyptus as it lives out of water and smells lovely, therefore meaning less time and money needed to make proper floral runners.
Two months before the wedding, I sat down and looked through the flower vision website (which shows you all their stock) to choose which white and yellow flowers and foliage I liked. I made a word document with all the flowers' Latin names and pictures to cross reference them.
One month before the big day, my mum and I spent a whole day researching and planning. Which blooms, how many and what we would actually be making.
- X 1 bridal bouquet
- X 4 bridesmaid bouquets
- X 6 buttonholes
- Top table piece
- Church flowers
- Cake flowers
- Eucalyptus table runners
It's worth noting that different flowers are more or less expensive at various times of year so make sure you check this.
From here we placed the order which was rather anxiety provoking but also exciting. In the meantime, we purchased flower wire, flower tape, bouquet ribbon, flower pins, buttonhole clips, oasis, flower trays and buckets from The Range, Hobbycraft, B&Q and Amazon.
When did you buy the flowers before your wedding?
On the Thursday before the wedding, my fiancé and I loaded our small van up with 16 black buckets each with three inches of water and headed to Brunel flowers. They had everything we had ordered ready for collection on a crate for us - it was a relief it was all there. We loaded up the van with all the flowers and it came to a total of £1,090. I was worried there wasn’t enough, so bought an extra £50 worth of foliage and some pretty white lisianthus.
READ: 'I spent £32k on 8 weddings in one year – my top money-saving tips for guests'
We then drove straight to the venue to meet our family and bridesmaids, and we set to work on the tables first. We placed eucalyptus on the table in a long row, we debated wrapping flower wire around them but felt it wasn't needed, as they slotted together just fine.
We then split all the flowers into piles; bridal bouquet, bridesmaids, cake and buttonholes to ensure we used the correct ones. When we started the buttonholes we soon realised we had lots of flowers so made an additional eight for grandparents and siblings. We even had my groom Lee helping tie twine around the buttonholes at one point!
Following this we did bouquets, with some YouTube videos starting with a focal flower and some starting with foliage, after several attempts the bridesmaids found their own flow and the bouquets were all made.
Friday was time to tackle the top table piece. Here we used flower oasis blocks and we started with filling the oasis with eucalyptus, then added the roses, ranunculus and smaller wax flowers. The cake flowers were left for the cake maker to use and she styled them beautifully. Any leftover flowers were used to make mini flower girl bouquets and vases of flowers to dot around the venue.
READ: The ultimate guide to wedding favours for your guests – from 50p
The flowers looked amazing on the big day and lasted for over two weeks! I would definitely recommend making your own flowers if you have the time, space and people. None of this would have been doable without the venue space, two days and our amazing flower team!
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