why you shouldn’t DIY your wedding flowers

May 3, 2017


A couple of weeks ago I was asked to help model for a styled shoot and had the opportunity to re-live a part of my wedding day, but on a much better scale! Not only did I have my face and hair professionally made up (thanks Emily!), but man, I got to hold the most beautiful bouquet!

Truth be told, I’ve been trying to suppress my regret for DIY-ing my own wedding florals. I don’t like dwelling on the past I can’t control. But in all honesty, I cringe a little whenever I see photos of my bouquet and centerpieces. I don’t think they turned out bad under the circumstances I was given to create them. But a part of me wishes they were more spectacular. A part of me wishes they added more elegance to the wedding, especially when looking back at photos.

I took on this misleadingly simple task of doing my own florals to help cut down costs. There were a lot that I thought I did in order to prepare the best I could. I did trial runs. I made several trips to the flower market to scout the flowers. I watched Youtube videos and read blogs. I researched and did a bunch of calculations. Did I mention the only experience I had was one time when I assembled four bouquets for my cousin’s wedding? I didn’t know it at the time but that definitely didn’t qualify me enough to think I could assemble 18 centerpieces and 6 bouquets, and execute them well.

Yes, I thought I was well prepared leading up to the big day. I’m not normally easily stressed, but it was completely silly of me to think I would be immune to the stress-storm that’s naturally associated with planning a wedding. Now add the additional stress of taking care of your own flowers. Are you hyperventilating yet? I am just thinking about it all over again. So I guess you can say I miscalculated, by a lot.

I’ve listed below five mishaps I’m sure wouldn’t have happened if I had hired a professional wedding florist.

1.I didn’t purchase enough of the right flowers. Not all flowers are created equal. Some are not the most photogenic. Some are dead upon arrival. I didn’t know that I needed to take into account that the reason florists purchase about 20% more than they need is so that they can pick and choose the best and the brightest.

2.My helpers didn’t show up.
The day before my wedding, I had planned to have all five of my sisters help. But I forgot to consider that they also had other duties they needed to take care of for the wedding. So there I was, from 6am to 3pm, I had no choice but to do it all, solo. Actually, I wasn’t even able to complete it all before rehearsal, so I had to spend an additional 3 hours after rehearsal to assemble the rest. I wasn’t finished until midnight the night before the wedding. I don’t think that’s how any brides would have wanted to spend their night before the wedding.

3.My bouquet had only one good angle. Any seasonal florists would have known to focus on multiple angles. I definitely was not a seasonal florist and it was obvious.

4.We forgot about transportation. 18 centerpieces and it slipped my mind to consider how they will get to the venue. We eventually decided to disperse them in 3 different vehicles.  Because they were not well situated in the oversized boxes, some vases tipped over, water spilled, and you can guess what happens when flowers don’t have enough water.

5.My flowers started wilting before guests arrived. The combination of the lack of water and choosing flowers like hydrangeas and dahlias that were unbeknownst to me to wilt easily, led to centerpieces looking very lack-luster by the time reception came around.

When photos came back, I had moments of regret, a few “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.” Fortunately, with the help of some good friends, I had a mini do-over. This time, I didn’t need to stress nor think about anything. I just showed up and was given a beautifully arranged bouquet to hold. Equally important, they photographed exquisitely. But what are the chances brides are given the same chance? Very small I’d say. But I think most brides are more clever than I am and already planned to prioritize professional florists into their wedding budget. But for future brides in the process of planning your own wedding, I hope my experience helps you decide or validate your decision to hire a professional florist. Cheers and happy planning!

Flowers by Vo Floral