by Kalin Sheick
I often hear from brides who are considering doing their their wedding day floral themselves. It's certainly an attractive idea for couples looking to save money or who are having a small celebration. As a floral designer, I encourage couples to always weigh the pros and cons before deciding what is best for them. And to take into consideration a few key questions before asking Aunt Sue to do the flowers:
Does someone in your family have experience working with flowers? If you go the DIY route, you want to make sure that someone in your family or circle of friends has experience working with flowers. It takes years of training and trial and error to know exactly what we are dealing with in cut flowers. Aside from just arranging them, they need to be kept alive and often times helped along in the blooming process in order to be 'wedding ready.' If your aunt ran a flower shop for 15 years, then a DIY route should totally work on your end, but if your Grandma has a great garden each summer, consider a professional.
Do you have supplies? A pair of scissors and some ribbon is not going to do the trick. From the moment your flowers arrive at your designers studio they are meticulously cared for, fed, watered, cut, bandaged, and loved on. Not to mention your designer has oodles of ribbon, buckets, pins, snips, wire, tape, vases, and accessories you need. The DIY route may seem more affordable at first, but once you add in the cost of the supplies and items needed to put your wedding together- are you really saving money?
Do you have the time? To design a bridal bouquet from our studio typically takes 2 hours start to finish. Add in centerpieces, bridesmaids, boutonnieres, corsages, and other design elements and a typical day of work for one wedding can easily get into the 10-12 hour range. Your flowers cannot be arranged more than 2 days before your event. If you have the time then you'll be fine, but if your wedding week calendar is filling up fast, hire a professional.
How important are the flowers to you? I've had a few brides who come to me and say the flowers are the most important part of their day, that's why they think they want to do them on their own. I totally understand this logic. It's SO important to you that you can't stand the thought of them not being perfect. That is what a designer is for. Hire someone who will work alongside you to create the perfect plan, someone who hears what you're looking for, and someone you can trust. You will not regret hiring a professional.
Ultimately the decision can be made by considering a few things: size of the wedding, 'production' size of the wedding, the role flowers will play on the day of, and your ability to utilize friends & family to help you. Remember to trust your gut. If you don't have the budget for a top designer, don't worry. See if they can work with you to create something partially DIY. Maybe they'll make you your bouquet and boutonniere but the rest of the party is up to you. Get creative and remember - have fun. Flowers make the day feel special!
Kalin Sheick is the owner and lead designer for Stems & Sprigs, a boutique floral design company that loves Northern Michigan. Stems & Sprigs specializes in garden inspired, natural designs with a touch of whimsy. When she's not floralizing for events, Kalin is spending time with her family on the lake, exploring the outdoors with her 'wolf pack' (husband and dog), and hosting dinner parties for friends. You can follow along on her Northern Michigan adventures by joining her tribe on the Stems & Sprigs blog, or following them on Instagram.