Hello there! It's been a while since I've posted a DIY post, but I compensated by making this one extra long and with extra pictures. :) I decided to go the DIY route for flowers because I was absolutely astounded by the prices that a florist can charge you...especially in a big city like Boston. I didn't really know too much about flowers or handling flowers, so I spent some time doing research, both about how to handle flowers and where to buy wholesale flowers online.
My bridesmaid Grace did some heavy-duty research for me (thanks, Grace!!) and compiled a list of all the best wholesale flower distributors online that were selling the flowers that I wanted. We went through this list together and finally decided to order our flowers from American Floral Distributors and The Flower Exchange. The American Floral Distributors offered a wider variety of flowers, but the Flower Exchange offered lower prices for large quantities.
A couple days before the wedding, I practiced making a sample bouquet using some random flowers. The bouquet turned out decent enough and it hadn't taken me too long to make it, so I was pumped and ready for the huge DIY flower project that awaited me!
I made my bouquet the day before and prayed that it would keep until the next day! It did. :) I used some leftover lavender fabric to tie the bouquet and used corsage pins to keep the fabric in place. The stems were left long and uncut so that my bouquet could sit in a bucket of water without the fabric getting wet. My wonderful cousin Esther helped me prep all the flowers the morning of, including cutting the stems of all the bouquets. What a lifesaver!
Flowers used: White peonies, Blush peonies, Cream Ariana roses, Soft Peach Timeless roses, Misty Blue Limonium
I made a sample bridesmaid bouquet and then Cynthia, one of our awesome day-of wedding coordinators made the rest of them for me while I worked on my bouquet. I think they turned out great :) I loved how the lavender Spider Mums matched their lavender dresses perfectly!
Flowers used: Cream Ariana roses, Soft Peach Timeless roses, Lavender Spider Mums, Misty Blue Limonium
For the pew decorations, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Since the pews at Memorial Church have holders with holes attached to them, I decided that they would be perfect for holding flowers. I was looking for a flower that had a long narrow stem and blooms that were oblong to balance out the long stems. Grace and I looked through hundreds of flower pictures until we found the flower with the perfect shape: Stock flowers! My bridesmaids helped put these together (3 blooms to a pew) and tied them with strips of aubergine fabric. After the ceremony, the flowers were reused to decorate the cocktail hour space. I'm so glad my flowers weren't wasted after the ceremony!
Flowers used: White Stock flowers
Large arrangements for unity candle table:
My cousin Esther arranged these for me too! She used to work at a flower shop, so I totally lucked out! :) Don't you think she did a fabulous job? :) These two arrangements were meant for the unity candle table a the front of the church, but after the ceremony, we used them to decorate the mantel over the fireplace in the dining hall. Yay for reuse! :)
Fun fact: the "vases" that the arrangements are in are actually spaghetti containers that I picked up from a Home Goods store! If anybody had looked at the back of the vases, they would have seen a huge plaque that said "Spaghetti"! Haha. :)
Flowers used: White Stock flowers, Cream Ariana roses, White Lisianthus, Millet Purple Majesty, Lavender Spider Mums, Soft Peach Champagne roses, Soft Peach Timeless roses, White Campanulas
Esther put these together for me as well! She even found some green tissue paper and purple ribbon to spruce up the bouquets. :) I was totally in awe of how gorgeous these turned out - they looked so professional.
Flowers used: Blue Supreme Limonium, Purple Wax Flowers, Purple Scabiosa, Lavender Spider Mums, New Love Gypso, Purple Millet Majesty
We sort of forgot about this bouquet, so during the cocktail hour, my sister and I disappeared into the dining hall to put this one together! We found some leftover flowers lying around, so we whipped this baby up in about five minutes! Here I am with Hoi, one of my beautiful bridesmaids who caught the bouquet! I'm waiting for some good news from her any day now... ;)
Flowers used: White stock flowers, New Love Gypso, Misty Blue Limonium
Small flower arrangements:
These were probably my favorite flower arrangements at the wedding. I was trying to go for a whimsical, romantic, garden feel for the flowers, so I wanted to use white pitchers to hold the flowers instead of typical vases. My cousin Esther, along with my cousins Gabriella, Janet, and Dean's mom helped put all of these arrangements together. I loved how all the colors really came together and worked out really nicely.
Flowers used: White Lisianthus, Soft Peach Champagne roses, Soft Peach Timeless roses, Cream Ariana roses, Lavender Mums, Purple Millet Majesty, White Campanulas, White Stock flowers
Reception table decorations:
The last six months leading up to the wedding, every time Dean would make a trip to Boston from Phoenix, I would send him back with suitcases full of china! I think his friends all laughed at him because he would open up his suitcase and there would be teacups, vases, bowls, and plates all wrapped up in his clothes. It wasn't that these things couldn't be found in Boston, it was just that we simply didn't have the time to find them! All the china he brought to Boston were little treasures that I had found after hours of searching at garage sales, vintage markets, and thrift shops. And now after the wedding, I have a nice little collection of vintage white china! :)
In the end, we had to fill in our vintage china with pieces that we bought from IKEA in Boston. But I think we were still able to save a bunch and make it a bit more personal with the unique pieces we were able to find.
Now how did we use all these pieces? It was pretty simple, actually. We just scattered all the various pieces that we had collected, filled them with water, and then placed flowers in them! For the shallow bowls and plates, the stems were cut off to let the flowers float. Flowers in vases and pitchers were placed there the night before, while the floating flowers were cut right before the reception. Thanks to all my coordinators, cousins, bridesmaids, and friends who helped out with this! :)
Flowers used: Blush peonies, White peonies, Cream Ariana roses, Soft Peach champagne roses, Lavender spider mums, New Love Gypso, Purple wax flowers, Misty Blue Limonium, Blue Supreme Limonium
Well, there you have it - it is possible to do your own flowers for a wedding! :) But make sure you do a lot of research before you purchase the flowers, learn and educate yourself about how to take care of flowers, give yourself plenty of time to do it the day before (or morning of), and most importantly, make sure you have a group of awesome friends, family, and bridesmaids who are willing to help out! :)