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Q: I am considering doing my own wedding flowers. What advice would you give to a beginner who desperately need to save money?

So, you’re a crafty gal with lots of friends and family around to help you out with flowers on your big day. The good news is that you can indeed save thousands of dollars by doing your own flowers! Many brides start off their wedding planning with tons of energy and they consider taking on this task. It seems simple enough, right? Pick up some pretty flowers, put them in water, and voila! Well, if only it were that easy!

When making your own bouquet, I would first suggest you look around your neighborhood and find where the freshest, most diverse flowers are available. The Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market has a good selection, as does Trader Joe’s on Court Street. Scout out what they have one to two weeks before your wedding so you can begin to plan and envision your flower combinations.  Be aware that even if you see something the week before, they may not get them back in the week of your wedding and they don’t take orders! If your wedding is on a Saturday, I would suggest getting them on Thursday or even Friday, depending on how many arrangements you are putting together. Putting flowers together can take twice as long as you may think, so plan your timing well. Another thing, the flower market does not allow people without a tax ID to purchase flowers wholesale. You must have a resale form on file in order to purchase.

Once you have your flowers, trim the ends, strip all the leaves off and put them in cool water. This allows the flowers to drink properly. They also like to be misted with water every few hours. Place them in the coolest, darkest room when you are not working with them and do not put your flowers in the refrigerator. It is too cold for them and they will freeze. Flowers generally like 55 degree temperature.

Another important thing to consider is how you’re going to transport the flowers once arranged. You should plan ahead for this by saving boxes, packaging, and bubble wrap as packaging options when they’re ready to be delivered. Boutonnieres must be made the morning of the wedding, unless you are using non-perishable materials. The bouquet can be made the night before and plopped in water, but in the morning you’ll need to tie the fabric around the handle. When wrapping, I would suggest allowing the stems to be exposed at the bottom, so it can be kept in about 2-3″ of water.

Here is a video tutorial on how to make your own bridal bouquet!

Domestic Bliss / Bridal Bouquet from Jordan Reid on Vimeo.