DIYing your flower arrangements? Check out this DIY flower guide with links to tutorials!

The other day I ran across a post right here on WeddingLovely and oh my! It reminded me just how mind-blowingly expensive weddings are, y’all!

I know, I know, you already know that, and being reminded of the horror of it isn’t  necessary. So, here’s the deal. Unless you’re lucky enough to have parents who are footing the bill or have been madly setting aside funds since you were a wee little one, you’re probably looking to save money where you can.

One of the places where it’s possible to pinch pennies and stretch dimes is with the flowers. Perhaps not the bouquet—though some people will argue that the bouquet is the easiest thing, but I don’t agree, I’m not THAT crafty—but centerpieces and decorative flowers are easier to manage then you might think, and DIY-ing it can potentially save you a fair chunk of change. It still won’t be cheap, but it’ll help take a bit off of your budget. Remember, you’ll have to put in some elbow grease, which means you’ll have to have some time a day or two before the wedding to actually get a group together to make the arrangements.

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If you decide saving money is worth giving up some of your pre-ceremony time, you’ll first want to get an idea of the different types of flowers there are in the world—and for sale—to get an idea of what you like.

Secondly, come up with the combinations that will fit your color scheme and the feel of your wedding. Following is a break down of a few of my favorite arrangements: what they are, how much they’re going to cost you, when you should buy them, and how to put them together.  Even if you’re choosing something different, it should give you an idea of the basic costs to expect if you are making your own flowers.

A Few Tips to Remember About Flower Arranging

  • Flowers do best in the cold, so store them in a refrigerator, a cool basement, or crank up a window AC unit in a back room to keep them looking fresh.
  • Add a bit of aspirin, sugar, or clear soda like Sprite or 7-Up to the water in the arrangement to prevent browning.
  • Cut at least one inch off the bottom end of the flowers’ stems to help them soak up water.
  • Cut off all leaves that will be submerged under water from the stem, this will help keep the arrangement’s water fresh and the water from being murky.

Rose Centerpiece

What Is It: It’s as simple as the name implies, it’s a bunch of roses tied together and stuck into a beautiful vase. I find it charming because of the simplicity.

Cost: Roses aren’t cheap. They’ll run you about $2/ stem, so this flower arrangement will cost you about $80 to make.

When to Buy: If you treat them right, you can buy roses a few days before the event and they’ll stay fresh. Even better, given their popularity, roses are available all year long.

Additional Tips: If you attempt this arrangement, make certain you have a sturdy pair of gloves and a pair of flowers strippers. The thorns on roses can be nasty and you don’t want any nasty cuts marring your wedding photos. You might also consider using a spray rose variety—which averages up to ten blooms on a stem—to get more bang for your buck.

Summer Flower Centerpiece

What Is It: Really, you could use any bright summer bloom for this particular arrangement, but this one uses Gerbera daisies and spray roses. The best part of this arrangement is that these particular summer flowers allow for a near-limitless choice of color combinations.

Cost: In season, daisies can be found wholesale for about a dollar a bloom. Each of these arrangements could be completed with a half-bunch of spray roses, which are about $8 each. Without the cost of the vase, each arrangement will run you about $12.

When to Buy: This arrangement works best with flowers that are hard to find outside of summer. If you’re planning a spring or winter wedding, you’ll probably have to either substitute for heartier blooms or else choose a different arrangement altogether.

Additional Tips: This arrangement is actually fairly simple to pull off, you just want to be certain that your aquafoam is large enough to mostly fill up the vases you’re using for the best effect.

Mini Calla Lilies

What Is It: Basically, this arrangement is a hallelujah for lazy people. I mean, calla lilies are already so structural and beautiful that they really can stand alone in an arrangement or with just a bit of greenery added in.

Cost: This can fluctuate a lot, depending on the season and the lily, but expect to spend anywhere from $1-2/stem.

When to Buy: Calla lilies are in season in the spring and summer, so that’s when you’ll find the best prices. However, they’re popular, so you should be able to find them no matter the time of year. Jane from Flower Muse, a sustainable, wholesale flower company, says “you can feel confident buying calla lilies a few days ahead, as long as their water is kept fresh and they are kept in a cool environment.”

Additional Tips: Calla lilies need less water than other flowers, so make certain you don’t put them in vases with more than a few inches of water.

Hydrangea and Roses

What Is It: It’s a beautiful, full arrangement that takes full advantage of the softness of the flowers and the multitude of petals.

Cost: Again, roses aren’t cheap and will cost you, on average, about $2/stem if you’re buying wholesale. Hydrangeas average around $3 a stem. Each stem has a multitude of blooms, so only one is necessary for this arrangement. This centerpiece will run you, without the cost of the vase, about $25 dollars each.

When to Buy: Hydrangea and roses are both a later blooming flower, so they’re a good pick for a summer or fall wedding, although you should be able to find them year-round.

Additional Tips: Remember to always take care and wear gloves when handling roses. Also, hydrangeas are great for drying, so this can be a good choice if you’re hoping to press and save some of your flowers as a keepsake.

Kyra Kuik is a twenty something writer who works for a creative internet marketing company  in Seattle, WA. You can connect with Kyra via Twitter.