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When my now husband, Brian, and I got engaged I was beyond excited for all of the planning soon to come. I had been pinning dress, invite, cake and flower ideas for months prior to the ring even, but it was a secret board so you can't write me off as full-on crazy. If you aren't on board with pre-engagement wedding pinning (then you're probably a dude), let me just leave you with this: I had sifted through so many glorious wedding images earlier that when it was actually time to plan and make actual decisions I realized I already had a very strong sense of style I wanted to adhere to. This made decision making easy. Enter the real problem with Pinterest though - unrealistic expectations.
Flowers are expensive.
There was no way I was going to get the look I longed for with real flowers. If you're anything like me, the thought of blowing ten percent of your wedding budget on flowers is enough to make you puke. Fresh flowers are expensive, they die, and the chances that your florist misconstrues your vision are not zero. Did I mention they are expensive?
If you're in the camp who believes the wedding industry has gotten out of control and that our money could be better spent on real estate, traveling, dining (insert pretty much anything else here), then read on. Here is how I did wedding flowers for under 300 dollars!
- Plan Ahead. Let's be real, DIYing is not for everyone. If you are going to attempt to DIY bouquets, corsages, center pieces and other floral arrangements, you need to do it early. You have great ideas in your head and beautiful Pinsperation, but your attempt flops. Then what? Well, if you made your DIY attempt early, you can still hire a professional to do it for you with minimal funds lost.
- Never Pay Full Price. If you plan ahead, you have the luxury of waiting for great deals on silk flowers and coupons to stack savings at your craft stores. If you are going to attempt to buy in bulk online make sure your orders are easily returnable as you never know exactly what you are going to get. I suggest you go into a brick and mortar store (I used Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics) so you can actually see what they have as far as silk flowers and filler pieces. Put together ideas for the bouquets/centerpieces right there in the store and then make sure you grab enough for all of them. Make sure you wait to purchase until they are running a 20 or 40% off sale on flowers and don't forget to download their apps to get additional savings to stack. BONUS - if you're a teacher, many stores offer teacher discounts - it never hurts to ask!
- Block Out a Day. We are all busy. I don't need to hear about how busy you are, you don't need to hear about how busy I am. News flash, we are all adults, and we will never not be busy again (until maybe we join a sweet retirement community). If you want to tackle this and do it well, you have to block out a day. If you try and do some of it one day and some another day, I promise you it will be much more difficult to find the consistency you are going for. If you start and you just don't feel like your creative synapses are firing, then try again another day. Sometimes you just don't have it. The good news is once you actually figure out what you're doing, you will get on a roll. Do as much as you can before that magic touch disappears.
- Get GOOD Wire Cutters. Unless you are looking for an arm work-out, a sliced finger, or just enjoy ruining scissors/kitchen shears, just do yourself this favor.
- Keep It Simple. You can make floral arrangements as elaborate as you would like but don't try to get all crazy when it comes to assembling them. Use the materials you have. I incorporated peacock feathers into the bouquets and realized that the wires from the feathers were the most difficult to cut. Instead of killing myself trying to cut them to the length of the rest of the flowers, I used that wire to wrap the rest of the bouquet and hold it all together. It did a way better job than floral tape would have anyway. After that, all I had to do was wrap it with the burlap, secure it with floral pins, and tie it with a bow!
I couldn't have been more happy with how my flowers turned out. The best part about the whole thing was that I was able to integrate jewelry from my Grandmom who had recently passed away, a barrette from my Grandma who had also passed, and my Grandma and Grandpa's wedding bands.
Added bonus? Brian's grandparents were unable to make the wedding due to health issues but since we used silk flowers we were able to send them their corsage and boutineer! We sent a package with their flowers and a wedding program - it was really special to be able to bring a part of the wedding to them.
*Photography by Dan Oksnevad Photography