Matt and I have decided to make our own flowers for our wedding. (Yes, he is helping.) There were quite a few reasons we made this choice. First, I love all things books and wanted something bookish in our wedding. Second, we love making stuff! Third, we are on a tight budget. We thought about all of this one night. What could we do to be crafty, save some cash, and include some bookish goodness on our big day? DIY flowers!
It all started when I was researching flowers early in our engagement. The quotes I got from florists in our area for our very popular wedding date were between $1,000 and $3,000. (Hold on while I have a small panic attack… Okay, I’m back.) This was WAY more than we had worked out on our budget sheet. We had also decided that flowers were low on our priority list. This, and the fact that we had plenty of time in our long engagement to make flowers, made fresh flowers an easy thing to cut.
I was a tiny bit disappointed initially because I have been told by movies, our culture, and advertising my whole life that fresh flowers are a major part of a wedding ceremony. Luckily, once I started looked at DIY flower options online my attitude changed from bummed out to excited pretty quickly. I was amazed at the dozens of paper flower tutorials I found. Our eventual creations were made using a combination of tutorials. Once I had some ideas, Matt and I headed to the store. We bought six rolls of crepe paper streamers in our colors ($1.05 each), floral wire ($6), two rolls of masking tape ($1.25 each), boutonniere pins ($5), and ribbon in our colors ($14). Finally, we stopped by the local library and grabbed a couple books, maps, and music sheets from the used book sale ($5). This brought us to a whopping $38.80!
Once we had all the supplies we started with the actual making of the flowers. After several failed attempts and more curses than I care to admit, we had a few flowers worth keeping. Then the trick was making hundreds more. I may or may not have finished an entire Harry Potter movie marathon one weekend while starting this arduous task.
The first actual product I made was my bouquet. I simply combined and shaped until I was satisfied. I was so excited when I finished my bouquet and realized that I would be holding it on my wedding day! I didn’t have to worry about killing any flowers off while I worked and I got to do a little at a time since they won’t wilt in storage.
Next we started on the bridesmaids’ bouquets. We have completed two of these so far. I had some help with the making of these flowers from my amazing MOH. So far, we have completed three of five bridesmaids’ bouquets. They are slow going so we switched gears for a bit to work on boutonnieres. These are so much more satisfying! They work up really fast. For my fiancé’s boutonniere we used a map page from one of our vacations. For his groomsmen and my dad we used their interests in their boutonnieres. It has been really fun choosing book pages, maps, and music to match each person.
The only things we haven’t quite figured out are corsages. The lovely ladies of my life would like wrist corsages but I have a feeling they would be less than thrilled if I handed them any of my attempts thus far. Seriously. They look like I took streamers to the craft table at my old preschool classroom. It was just not pretty. Luckily we have lots of time. I am going to finish up the bouquets and then revisit the corsage conundrum.
We have had a great time with our DIY flowers and they are so affordable it’s ridiculous. So what’s the catch? Hours of labor. Cramped hands. Pets eating green and blue crepe paper and being sick on the floor and each other. Was it worth saving a couple thousand dollars and gaining the experience? Absolutely. Would it be for everyone? Probably not. I do not regret our choice for a moment, but would be happy to never see another roll of crepe paper streamers in my life.