The day before the ceremony, we transported all of the buckets of flowers to the hotel, where the staff members were kind enough to let us use an empty meeting room as our floral staging area. We soaked the floral foam and were ready to put the foam into the vases. That’s when we noticed that, despite the use of a template, the foam pieces were too big.
Over the course of the next few hours, we recruited members of Sue’s family to help cut down the foam to fit. We also learned that although the meeting room we were in had plenty of space, it only had one small sink in which to cut down the stems of the flowers to fit into the foam. With our planned assembly line thrown into chaos, we ended up spending the rest of the day trimming and arranging the flowers, returning to the meeting room after the rehearsal dinner to finish the bouquets and altar arrangements.
Also, spending the afternoon with our hands in running water had completely ruined our manicures, so early the morning of the wedding, before our hair and makeup appointments, we had to find a nearby salon to redo our polish.
After hair and makeup but before the ceremony, I went down to the meeting room where we had left the arrangements overnight. As the scent of hundreds of roses hit me, I wondered, “Who replaced our arrangements with professionally done flowers?!” To this day, Sue thinks I am lying to spare her feelings, but the flowers were truly gorgeous and cost a fraction of what a florist would have charged.
Here, the main takeaway points I can give you from our experience.
• I cannot emphasize enough the importance of research and preparation, particularly doing trial runs with the exact types of flowers you would like to use. There are vast combinations of flower types, sizes and colors. Even just among roses, there are seemingly infinite possibilities!
• Consider the size of your arrangements, taking into account table size and the other table settings.
• Avoid floral foam if you can. (Besides, the State of California says it causes cancer!)
• Plan on having a large team of family and friends on hand to help.
• Get your manicure done AFTER putting together the floral arrangements.
• Something will go wrong, so do your best to adapt, but remember that no one other than you will likely notice. And, at the end of the day, no matter how the flowers look, you will still have gotten married and had a lovely party with your family and friends. (This is actually a good rule of thumb for ALL wedding plans!)
Oh, and one more thing . . .it does NOT have to be Sprite!
What do you think? Are DIY flowers right up your alley or too much trouble?
(Photo Credits: David Vernal)