Friday, July 23, 2010

DIY Detail: Flowers - Part 1

I've finally gotten to my last (and biggest!) DIY detail! Thanks for sticking with me through all of them - I guess I saved more projects for the last couple weeks than I thought!

I told you guys all about my plans to DIY our flowers with the help of my mom, and I'm so happy to tell you that they turned out great! The bouquets were exactly what I wanted for a fraction of the price the florist wanted to charge (for MUCH smaller bouquets - as in like 5 roses per bridesmaid) and the process was a lot of fun too! I know there are several tutorials out there for actually assembling the bouquets, but I really didn't see many posts that detailed the process leading up to that. And believe me, it's definitely a process. 

For us, the process started in the middle of May. We had planned to use some of the peonies from my parents front yard, but they usually bloom mid to late May. We searched online for instructions on how to preserve the peonies (keep them from opening) until closer to the wedding, but we really didn't find any detailed instructions. Having to 'wing' something like that was a little intimidating, but my mom did a great job. While the peonies were still closed (but the heads were soft like a marshmallow) my mom cut them off the bush. When the heads are soft it means the petals have formed and they're about to open. She took bunches of them, removed the leaves, and then wrapped them in newspaper and put them inside of a paper grocery bag. Then they were put in the fridge (thankfully my parents have two!) for the next several weeks. She spread out the cutting over several days so that at least some of them would open - It was hard to know when exactly was the right time to cut them. Depending on when you cut them off of the bush, they'll either open faster or take longer to open once you put them in water. 

We took the peonies out of the fridge the Monday before the wedding and put them in water. Again, we didn't really have anything to go off of when it came to a time frame for them opening, so we took a guess. They were almost open by Thursday when we assembled the bouquets and were pretty much completely open by Saturday. When we took them out of the fridge they looked like this:

We put them in buckets of water with tape across the top (to keep them from falling over and crushing each other) and put them in a decently warm room (not the basement). We were able to get several buckets for free from Sams that they use in the bakery for frosting, but this particular one is just from Dollar Tree, so that's another option. You'll need several buckets.

We also ordered the other flowers in bulk around the same time. We bought them through Sams Club and I know the lady at the floral desk was a little frustrated with us for waiting so long to place our order, so you probably want to do that further in advance. Everything worked out fine, though. We ordered a box of hot pink roses, a box of hot pink mini roses, a box of pink carnations, and a box of baby pink carnations. We spent around $200 for all of the flowers. 

We picked up the flowers from Sams on Tuesday and once we got the boxes home the flowers needed to immediately have the leaves taken off, the ends cut, and be put in water. The woman told us that using scissors on rose stems will make the heads droop, so we cut every. single. one. individually with a knife. 

Be sure to cut the stem at an angle rather than straight across and avoid touching the rose petals as they'll turn black more easily. As soon as the stem is cut the flower needs to be placed in water. Thankfully we were able to use floral scissors for the carnations, and after an hour or so, we had this:

The roses were supossed to be kept somewhere cooler, so we just kept all of the flowers in the basement. We actually ended up moving the peonies down there too, because they were opening up faster than we thought they would. We let all of them sit and slowly open until Thursday when we assembled the bouquets and boutonneires. But I'll save the assembling party for Part 2!

Are you thinking about DIYing your flowers?


  1. Very nice! That's great you were able to use the peonies!

  2. p.s. yes, I will be DIY'ing some of our flowers!

  3. My MIL and her sister DIY'd our reception centerpieces. They ordered the flowers from a florist but arranged them all the day before the wedding. Not sure how much they spent since my MIL offered to pay for those. We had a florist do all the bouquets and the ceremony arrangement.

  4. Wow - it's amazing to see this. You seriously have the patience of a saint!!

    I really like the new design too - when you figure out how to change everythingon blogger, lemme know? I want to do the same. ;)

  5. Can't wait for part two to see how they turned out! We did all our own flowers too!

  6. I can't believe you did all that work yourself...that is awesome!

  7. Wow!! It's incredible you and you mom did all of that! I'm excited for part 2 :)

  8. OMG. I cannot believe you guys did all that. So much work but it looks like you had good help!!! They turned out beautifully!

  9. The peonies are gorgeous (and I bet they smelled good too!) I love the new layout, also!!


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