Wedding Flowers – What Are Your Options?

When you start wondering about wedding flowers, you may immediately think that you need to find a local florist to supply your pretty blooms. But, as I found out, there are other options that you might not have considered yet. Today I’m going to go through the different ways to get the flowers you want for your wedding. The options I considered were:

  • Buy all your flowers arranged and ready to go
  • Buy and DIY by buying flowers to arrange yourself
  • DIY the whole thing by growing and arranging the flowers
  • Go flower-less and do something different that suits you

You could stick to one of these options completely, or do a combination. Each of these routes has its pros and cons. So your choice will depend on the money you have to spend, the time you have and your flower arranging skills. I’m going to go through the things I think you should consider when weighing up your wedding flower options.

When we began planning the decorations for our wedding, it was all about the flowers for me. We had a budget of about £400 to spend on flowers, which isn’t huge (not when it comes to weddings anyway). With little flower arranging experience, I decided to keep it simple and only take on a bit of DIY which I thought I achievable. So we brought  a mix of arranged flowers and buckets of cut flowers to turn in to jam jar table centres (click here to see my post on creating DIY jam jar flowers). All our flowers were from a local flower grower, Babylon Flowers.

Dean and Hannah's wedding flowers - a mix of arranged and DIY flowers | Own Your Wedding

Our Wedding Flowers

Option 1 – Buy Ready To Go

A florist is usually the first port of call when looking for your wedding flowers. There are many different styles of florist out there, so you’ll need to do some research to find the the right one to suit you. Most florists will have a website or Pinterest/ Instagram/ Facebook account where you can see examples of their work.

If you’re interested in having local, seasonal flowers then finding a flower grower near you may be the way to go. Often flower growers can supply arranged flowers, just like a florist but using the flowers they’ve grown. Two flower growers who also provide floristry are Babylon Flowers, and Green and Gorgeous (both are in Oxfordshire).

While looking around the internet, I spotted that M&S sell a selection of wedding flowers. Who knew you could order your wedding flowers from a high street store.

The Pros and Cons Of Buy

  • Low effort. This option should require the least time and effort on your part.
  • Flowers delivered to where they're needed. Don't forget there will be a delivery fee though.
  • Their experience means they will have plenty of ideas to help if you're low on wedding flower inspiration. They should also know the answer to any flower related questions you have.
  • Probably lower risk than the other options when it comes to problems with the flowers for your big day (but it's always good to have wedding insurance just in case).
  • Availability can be an issue as florists, both traditional and those at flower growers, will only do one or two weddings a day. So they can get booked up quick for those getting married on a Saturday in the popular summer months.
  • Typically the most expensive option as they are doing all the work for you.

In addition for a florist:

  • They will have a larger selection of flowers to choose from as florists often buy imported flowers. But remember buying out of season flowers will cost you extra money.

For a flower grower:

  • No guarantees which flowers will be in bloom and beautiful for your wedding day. The grower will have an idea of the flowers normally available at the time of your wedding but the weather can have a big impact. So you'll need to be flexible with the flower choice.

For a high street store:

  • A good option if you're short of time; M&S only needed 21 days notice to supply the flowers when I looked.

Option 2 – Buy and DIY

The second option is to buy in the cut flowers and do the flower arranging yourself. This is a pretty big DIY project, so shouldn’t be taken on lightly. You’ll need to enlist some helpers to get this done. Unless you’re a florist, it’s a good idea to practice the arrangements beforehand. This will tell you what you need, how long it takes and whether it’s really possible to get what you want.

I’ve already mentioned flower growers, who would be a great source of locally grown, seasonal flowers for you to arrange.

There are also a number of flower markets around the country where you could buy your flowers wholesale. The most famous of these being the New Covent Garden Market in London.

Another option for buying cut flowers is an online flower wholesaler, like Triangle Nursery, who will deliver your order direct to you.

The Pros and Cons of Buy and DIY

  • This can be a lower cost option than buying the arranged flowers. A word of warning though, because it is DIY doesn't make it cheap.
  • You'll need to make all the decisions. For some people this is just what they want, but for others it can be hellish. Try to make the majority of choices before the pressure is on.
  • You will probably have to condition the flowers before you arrange them. This helps them stay in good condition for the maximum time. So this is another job you'll need to fit in to the schedule.
  • You'll need to find enough space to do the flower arranging and a cool place, out of direct sunlight to store them.
  • Doing the arrangements will take up time in the busy days running up to your wedding. You'll need to buy the flowers 2 days before the wedding so you'll have time to condition them. Then most of the arrangements can be done the day before, except for buttonholes and hair flowers that have to been done on the day.
  • You will need to sort out delivery so the flowers get to where they are needed.

In addition for the flower market and online flower wholesaler:

  • Large selection of flowers, most will probably be imported but there may be flowers grown in the UK too.

For a flower market:

  • Large selection of flowers, most will probably be imported but there may be flowers grown in the UK too.
  • An early start is required as flower markets open early, we're talking 4am early.
  • You won't know exactly what will be available on the day at the market, so you'll need to make some decisions there and then. Go along to the market with a good idea of what you're looking for and the quantities to have something to focus on. If you know being decisive isn't one of your strong points, take someone along who is and understands what you're trying to do (as long as they're not too bossy).

For a flower grower:

As for option 1 above, the flowers available for your wedding day might not be as expected.

For a online flower wholesaler:

  • You can do all your ordering from the comfort of your home and have it delivered to you.

Option 3 – Full on DIY

The third option is only really suitable for the serious gardener (or the relative or friend of one). Both growing and arranging the flowers for your wedding is a massive commitment to take on. And there are probably few people who’d be able to do all their flowers this way because of the volume of flowers need.

The Pros and Cons of DIY

All those pros and cons for option 2 apply here too, with the additional ones below:

  • Potentially least expensive options.
  • This will take up a lot of time, and you'll need help along the way. It will take a fair amount of planning to make sure things are planted at the right time for when you need them.
  • A lot of space is required for growing big volumes of cut flowers, and the garden will be left pretty empty afterwards.
  • This is the most risky option. Like the flower grower you won't know for sure what will be in bloom when you need it. But your scale will be smaller and so your options fewer if something does go wrong. Things out of your control (like the weather) could wreck your plans. So you'll need to have a backup plan of what you'd do if the worst was to happen.

Option 4 – Going Flower-less

The fourth option is not to have flower at all. Maybe you suffer from hay fever, or hate the idea of spending loads of money on flowers that will die in a couple of days. Whatever the reason, don’t feel you have to include flowers in your wedding if it’s not important to you.

There are lots of options to fill the space of flowers if you want:

  • Dried flowers, or DIY flowers made of felt or paper would be a long lasting option.
  • Plants which could be planted in to the garden or made in to a house plant arrangement as a lasting reminder.
  • A brooch bouquet can be pretty option. It could be a way of incorporating something old, new, borrowed and blue in to your day (if you're in to that).

Final Thing

Deciding the the flowers was one of my favourite parts of planning our wedding. Hopefully this post has given you some ideas to consider when you’re planning your own wedding flowers. There’s a option to suit everyone, just stick true to what’s best for you.

If you’re looking for inspiration, Pinterest is overflowing with wedding flower ideas. You could take a look at our Own Your Wedding boards. I created a flower inspiration board for all the beautiful flowers I spot. Our DIY board  has links to some felt and paper flower tutorials. And the D & H’s Wedding Flowers board shows all the pins I collected for our wedding. Enjoy.

Happy planning!

Hannah x

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