DIY Wedding Flowers | How I Did My Own!

DIY Wedding Flowers Story from a Real Bride

This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own. See my full disclosure here.

When I was engaged and planning our wedding, I spent a ridiculous amount of time perusing wedding blogs.  I wedding planned like it was my job!  I remember stumbling across Meg’s post on A Practical Wedding about how she DIYed her own wedding flowers.  There were pictures of her and her bridesmaids surrounded with buckets and of colorful blooms as they arranged the centerpieces.  That picture got me.  I knew I just had to try DIY wedding flowers on my big day.

Did it turn out perfect?  No… but practically 😉  A prerequisite to being a DIY wedding flower bride-in my opinion-is being able to deal with unexpected change of plans.   Playing it by ear allowed us to create our own styles and have a total blast being girly together, which is worth more than all the bridal bouquets in the world!

I began pinning flowers like a mad-woman!  At the time I needed some extra credits for my degree, and signed up for floral design 101 at my local community college.  There are tons of videos and tutorials online to learn from, but the hands-on experience I got there helped a lot.  As I learned the basics of floral design and arranging, I created a list of supplies and flowers to order for my wedding. I even made an insane flower planning workbook (which I prettied up and now offer for download) to keep me organized.

Insane Accounting-ness for my DIY Wedding Flowers
Insane Accounting-ness (don’t bother trying to make sense of this ;))

I also began looking into online floral wholesalers to order from.  Fifty Flowers was running a contest at the time for a $500 credit if you created a winning flower inspiration board.  So I created boards like there was no tomorrow… and I won!  I have never won anything before in my life, so I truly believe it was destiny.  Me and DIY flowers were meant to be!

"Forever in Red"
ion Board

So with the extra cash I added even more flowers to my order list.  Our colors were pink with subtle pops of red and spring green.  When picking wedding flowers, depending on what style you are going for, you will need to select some mass flowers, filler flowers, line flowers (optional), and greens (optional).

Related: What you need to know about Fifty Flowers

Mass flowers are round or full flowers that add visual weight to the arrangement.  I knew I wanted to do garden roses as they had that delicate and soft peony look for a nicer price (especially for April).  I decided on the Mayra pink ruffles garden rose, creamy ivory peony rose, and peony tulips (these were a gamble in my mind, but turned out to be a showstopper!).

Mass Flowers for my DIY Wedding Flowers

For filler flowers I chose peach stock, hypericum berries, and petite cream spray garden roses.

Filler Flowers for my DIY Wedding Flowers

Line or form flowers are other types that add dimension to your arrangements. While you could possibly consider the stock a line flower, I didn’t really end up using it that way, and mostly stuck with mass, greens and fillers.  I ordered an assorted greens pack which came with salal (lemon leaf), Italian ruscus, and baby eucalyptus (greens add so much to an arrangement!).

We did all the arranging at my Gram’s house, who graciously allowed us to create a very green mess all over her garage. 🙂  My family, bridesmaids and I arrived three days before the wedding to receive the flower shipments.  It is essential that you prepare (cut & hydrate) the flowers as soon as possible since they underwent a dehydration process to withstand shipping.  It was so fun to watch the sad tight buds blossom within hours!

468x60 Wedding Flowers - Be Your Own Florist

Preparing Blooms

Receiving hundreds of flowers in the mail = the coolest thing ever!!!! 😉  So the clock started ticking and me and my amazing crew began arranging!  We started with the bouquets.  It’s pretty simple, group three blooms together with a filler in the middle and you have your base.  Secure with floral tape (buy quality stuff, we didn’t and regretted it…).  Then just add on, angling each flower in the same directions so the stems splay out.

Arranging Bouquets

(And no, I wasn’t going for a good hair day… ;))

After we finished the bouquets, more helpers arrived and we sort of divided and conquered.  The table arrangements were assortments of milk glass that my grandma and I had collected.  My awesome helpers arranged those centerpieces while I arranged the ceremony and other feature pieces (of course I was greedy and had to do the biggest ones myself! ;))

Flower Party!

For most of the arrangements we used floral foam to secure the stems.  Sams sells it in bulk for cheap.  Well, it turns out transporting flowers in their vases is very difficult… so we loaded up my grandparent’s camper with the many arrangements and my bridesmaids guarded them with their lives during transportation 😉

Set up day was so fun!  Everyone I love working together to create a beautiful event, I was on a total high 🙂  We set out all our arrangements (most all arrived intact), and then used the extra flowers to fill the bud vases that lined the long tables.

The morning of the wedding my superstar aunt, put together all the boutonnieres and corsages (with lisianthus), and they looked GORGEOUS! 🙂  Here are the ‘final results’ pics, enjoy:

The Beautiful Results

And now, because I know I would wonder, the details…  Below is approximately how much flowers/supplies ordered, cost, and how many arrangements it made.

The Details

120 Peony Tulips – $200
60 Stock – $75
60 Lisianthus – $75
70 White Garden Roses – $170
100 Pink Garden Roses – $200
100 Hypericum Berries – $70
100 White Spray Garden Roses – $200
220 Greens – $180
Supplies: floral foam, tape, wire, cages, food – $60 (with way too much supplies leftover)
Fifty Flowers Contest Credit – ($500)
Total Spent – around $730 (*$1230 without discount*)

So still not chump change, but we saved a ton from what that many flowers would have cost from a florist!  My DIY Wedding flowers gave me the flexibility to get exactly what I wanted for a very reasonable price.  The above flowers together made:

1 Bride’s Bouquet
6 Bridesmaids’ Bouquets
1 Toss Bouquet
11 Corsages
16 Boutonnieres
12+ Table arrangements
60+ Bud Vases
3 Large Ceremony Arrangements
6 Hanging Aisle Decor
8+ Other Medium Sized Arrangements

Thanks for reading my DIY story and I hope this gives you the confidence to try your hand at DIY wedding flowers!  🙂  View the rest of our wedding photos and DIY wedding projects here.

DIYing your own flowers? Check out this blog for endless tips and tricks, and my Flowers Resource Guide for more on DIY Wedding Flowers

Get free access to all wedding templates!


  1. Congratulations on your wedding! Flowers were beautiful. Do you mind sharing where you purchased the flowers? Thank you!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! I purchased the garden roses, stock, spray white roses, and peony tulips from Fifty Flowers. The hypericum berries and assorted greens pack were from Sams Club. And I also ordered lisianthus for the boutonnieres from Flowers and Freshness, but unfortunately they never opened up quite right.

  2. I love the idea of the pearl bracelet style for the corsages. Did you purchase the bracelets ready-made or did you just buy the pearls and DIY the bracelets?

    1. I saw the idea on Pinterest and was sold! I considered DIYing, but ended up finding them on Ebay for 2 bucks each. There are a lot of very cheap bracelets on there (which helps if you need to buy 10+).

  3. This was so so so helpful! What was your general timeline? Did you set up the flowers the day before? How long was your flower party? I really want to do this, but I also want to make sure I organize it well so things go smoothly! Thanks again!

    1. It is definitely a time intensive process, but totally worth it! The flowers arrived on Wednesday morning and I spent most the morning preparing them. Several more arrived on Thursday morning and I prepared them that morning then waited until 1 ish to start arranging with friends and family. From there we pretty much went non-stop (with a short dinner break) until 8 or 9 at night. This all depends on how elaborate your arrangements are too of course. We spent all Friday decorating the reception hall and church, so we had to finish the flowers Thursday night. I would highly reccommend buying a cheap supermarket bouquet and trying your hand at the arrangements or bouquets your are planning 🙂 Best of luck!

      1. Hi! So was your wedding on Saturday? Did all of your flowers hold up? I’m purchasing flowers from the LA flower market on friday morning and wasn’t sure when I should start making stuff… the wedding is on Sunday and I will be setting up on Sunday.

        Thank you for your help and for sharing your experience!

        1. Yes, it was on a Saturday. For the most part, I think the flowers held up great from Wed or Thursday thru Sat evening. The white garden roses never really opened up for the bm bouquets, so that was a little dissapointing. Also, the stock started to wilt by the wedding, so I would say be careful with those. I think you can go ahead and arrange everything as soon as you’re ready, just make sure to store it all in a cool/dark-ish place in plenty of water and you will be fine. (So maybe wait to wrap the ribbon around the bouquets until the last minute) That is all so exciting!!!! Best of luck 🙂

    2. Hello Annie, I was extremely impressed with her blog, being a florist. I’ve had a lot of my friends to DIY wedding flowers, so I created another DIY floral website that might help…. . I sell DIY floral kits that take the guess work out of it.

      I can say that I’ve ordered from Fifty Flowers, and still order their rose petals and they provide great service. Very legit. Hope this helps! xox

  4. Very impressive! Would you mind sharing how many flowers you used or recommend using for each bouquet, centerpiece, etc.? I am planning to DIY my flowers as well, and I am using similar flowers (roses, peonies, hypericum berries), but I have no idea where to start when it comes to planning how many I will need. Any suggestions you could offer would be great!

    1. Hi Amy, for the bridesmaids bouquets I used about 9 garden roses, 2-3 hypericum stems, and 4-5 italian ruscus. For my bouquet I kind of just let myself use as many as I wanted until it looked right. I probably doubled the amount used in the bm bouquets plus another 5 or so tulips. For the centerpieces it really all depends on the style of the container you are using. For milk glass vases you only need one flower and one green per vase. I had small, medium, and larger milk glass containers. For the small I used about 3 flowers + greens, the medium used around 5 flowers + grees, and the larger around 10 flowers + greens. Recently I heard of an excellent resource for DIY flower brides: You can choose any style and the company will send you the exact number of flowers you need with a video tutorial of how to do it! Pretty cool 🙂

  5. Amazing! Forgive me if you’ve already addressed this, but how did you keep them from wilting in your garage? Was this during a cold time of year? I would really like to DIY my table centerpieces but I don’t have a fridge or cool place to store them, except in my own house. Even if I turned the AC down, I’m not sure they would last. Thoughts? Thank you!

    1. That’s a great question! I was lucky to be prepping my flowers on a mild (like 50-60 degree) day. So the garage worked great! But, if you’re doing it during the hotter months, I would recommend preparing them in a basement and just keeping the a/c a little colder. They don’t need to be super chilled, just as long as they don’t get warm, you should be fine. My friend did her flowers that way in June and they turned out great!

  6. Great story!!! I’m hoping to do my own flowers for my wedding in September… you have given me inspiration and motivation!!! thank you

  7. Great article! You really can save a small fortune but doing your own wedding flowers. We supply DIY brides peonies in June of each year. They are really easy to work with and our brides do save a fortune and they have beautiful wedding flowers too!

  8. Question – Can you give details on timeline you recommend for a) how many days in advance you want your shipment to come in before your wedding, b) how long it takes to cut and hydrate the flowers – is it just a few hours or a whole day?, c) how do you keep/store the flowers overnight prior to making them into arrangements the following day or two?, d) how many days in advance do you have to make the actual arrangements – is it just the day before the wedding or can we start 2 days before?, e) on the day of making the arrangements, how many hours do you recommend blocking out if we are doing a similar amount of arrangements as you did? f) what would you recommend for transportation if you don’t have a huge truck or van? anything you did to keep them from falling in transportation like boxes, cartons, etc.?

    I’m feeling really nervous about the process because I unfortunately will have to rely on my friends/family to prep and do the arrangements since I can’t be there a few days before the wedding. So, I want to make sure I’m telling them all of the right information and allotting the right amount of time for this.

    1. Hey Monica, those are all great questions! I’m not an expert but I’ll tell you what I’ve learned. You’ll want your flowers to come in 2-3 days before your wedding. Usually the site you order from gives a recommendation, some flowers need an extra day to fully open and others have a shorter lifespan. You should be able to cut and hydrate your flowers in a few hours. I think it took me a few hours to cut and get all the flowers hydrating. You should allow them to drink at the very least 4 hours (again depending on the flower this may differ) before making arrangements. Often the flowers arrive with excellent instructions from the seller, definitely have your family refer to those if in doubt.

      You should store your flowers in a cool, dark place. Avoid direct sunlight, drafts, and excessive heat or cold, and keep away from fruit (fruit produces a gas that accelerates the flowers life). You can definitely start two days before as long as you keep your arrangements in clean water and hydrated. I would say that with 3-5 people helping you can expect the arrangements to take up to 12 hours (depending on how many and their intricacy) so spreading out over two days might be a good idea.

      Haha I smiled thinking of our transportation method! My grandparents took their camper and lined the floor with the arrangements in large shallow boxes while my maids kept them from falling 🙂 But, definitely get some buckets to hold your bouquets, and boxes for the boutonnieres and corsages. Best of luck, that is tough that you can’t be there! I’m sure everything will turn out beautiful tho!! 🙂

    1. Hi Karen, I use salal (aka lemon leaf) for the greens in my bouquet. It super affordable, but still fun and fresh! Sam’s sells a big bundle for around $50.

  9. Hi! I am thinking of DIYing my own wedding flowers as well. I love the idea and it costs SO much less. I am wondering where you purchased all of your vases? I am looking for rose bud ones as well as others. Thanks!

    1. Hi Stephanie, good for you! I love to hear of other brides DIYing their flowers 🙂 Our white milk glass bud vases were all thrifted over several months before the wedding at various Goodwill’s and Antique malls. If you’re looking for simple glass vases, Dollar Tree has some great choices for very cheap! Best of luck to you 🙂

  10. I bow in humility before your beautiful assembly of floral magnificence! I am attempting to do the decor for my stepdaughter’s winter wedding. She wants greens, but no evergreens. Would you recommend Ruscus? Looks like SAMs Club offers the best price. I’ve got to do 10 round tables plus 2 6 foot long rectangles plus a banquet table. I’m hoping to use some fresh cypress, but since she wants no evergreens, I’m also thinking of some pittosporum. Any advice GREATLY appreciated.

  11. This is now one of my most visited websites in wedding planning! I am astounded in your creativity!! I want to DIY my wedding flowers. I will be transitioning from my Masters program to my doctorate before my wedding and will have the week prior to my wedding off. Do you think flowers (dahlias, baby’s breath, roses, and carnations) would hold up during a week’s time? I have access to a completely empty fridge (in my grandmother’s basement). I appreciate your advice if you can give any! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Jess, thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 And Yes!!! I am so glad you are DIYing your flowers, it’s such a rewarding project. Hmmmm… when you ask about a week’s time, do you mean you are arranging them and then waiting a week? Or receiving them in the mail a week prior? I would aim, if possible, to arrange no more than 3 or 4 days prior to the wedding. Most flowers will hold up, but likely some will still wilt some by that point and you would have to be very diligent in giving them clean water daily. It sounds like you’d like to do them a week early because that is the week you’d have free, but you don’t have the week of your wedding off, right? The fridge may help, but make sure to look up fridge settings for flowers (the temp and humidity levels are different than for food), and make sure there is no food or food residue in the fridge (which would harm the flowers).

  12. I literally am stressing so hard about this. I have 4 bridesmaids, myself, and estimating 20 centerpieces. we are using carnations, roses, tulips, statice filler, and calla lillies. im doing the sams club route and don’t plan on having HUGE centerpieces… its a halloween wedding and we are doing purples and oranges. just putting some in a vase and having fun with other halloweeny stuff 🙂 i have no idea how much to even get!

  13. Really great article you made here. Coming from a Florist’s point of view, I think you did an amazing job! You should consider turning this into a profession! If you would ever want to collaborate or make a larger DIY blog, we would love to submit some ideas !

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