Thursday, February 24, 2011

DIY Flowers? Me Thinks No.

We're living in a recession, people. Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and say it..."No, duh, Sarah. Thanks for the newsflash". The both unfortunate & fortunate part of the recession is that people are still getting married. Fortunate for me because it's my livelihood. Fortunate for everyone else because...well, it's love! It makes the world go 'round. That and everyone loves a wedding...or so I hear. It's unfortunate because we're surrounded by "Platinum Weddings" and "Bridezillas". We live in a society that constantly tells women that they should have the uber-extravagant wedding because they deserve it. Well, you very well may deserve to have diamond encrusted napkin rings at your reception but guess what? The reality is that everyone has taken a hit in this economy which means that you probably won't get that bling. Instead people are opting for ipod weddings, no-host bars, friends for photographers, ixnay on the avors-fay, etc.

One of the trends that I've also seen is the do-it-yourself-florist. Guys, let me just say... no. Hey, before I was in the business I went that way for a big party I threw. While it wasn't a wasn't good either. And that's why I feel so strongly about hiring an actual florist. Let me explain a few reasons why...

1. Peace of Mind. Here's what the day before your wedding should look like: pampering, eating, drinking, laughing and... more pampering. You shouldn't be running around like a crazy lady because you don't have enough ribbon for the bouquets or the anemones you specially ordered are already wilting. And don't forget about the day-of. Who's going to deliver & set up all of those handmade centerpieces? Yes, that's what family and friends are for but- well let's just say that their emotions are going crazy, too. Why add craziness to an already crazy day? Trust me when I say that hands will be full without having to worry about whether or not your Auntie actually got the flowers onto the tables. Adding more chaos to an already chaotic day bueno.

2. Vases, Ribbon, Tape, Oh my! I don't know about you but I don't have twenty vases lying around my house. Depending on what you're looking for in terms of centerpieces go, each vase could be around $15. Then you have yards and yards of ribbon you'll need to wrap your bouquets in, the floral tape, the pearl pins, etc., etc. And that's just your supplies. We haven't even touched on the flowers yet...

3. The logistics. Ever see a florist's studio? They have huge refrigerators that hold all of the flowers and lots of counter space to work on. Ever see their transportation? Typically, it's a large air conditioned van. So...the questions are will you get all of the flowers and vases to your venue? Where are you going to store all of your flowers and vases once you get there? Where are you going to work on the flowers? Venues typically won't let you work on flowers in their ballrooms because, well, floral work is messy work. How about refrigeration? While it's true that venues typically have lots of refrigeration, that space is reserved for your food and beverages. I'm not saying it's not doable. I'm just's going to be a pain. And generally, I don't suggest adding pain to stress. It doesn't equal pretty things.

4. Timing. Let's say you're making your own floral arrangements. The flowers arrive from the grower on Thursday. Check-in to hotel on Friday (typically around 4pm). Rehearsal (let's say, hypothetically, at 5pm). Rehearsal dinner (again, hypothetical, 6:30pm). After dinner & drinks, your bridesmaids probably won't be up for floral design. And even if they are, do you think you'll be getting 100% from them or yourself after an  already long day? You might say that it'd be a great bonding experience. Sure...or the stress could make it all too much. Again, guys, I'm speaking from experience. You're going to be so much happier if you can simply enjoy your weekend festivities. Bond with your girls over champagne and pedicures! Ideally, you shouldn't have to lift a finger once you're on property. One thing that I am constantly stressing...a wedding should be ENJOYABLE! So enjoy yourself.

5. Cost. I know it sounds like doing your own flowers would be cheaper than hiring a florist.'s not. A bouquet takes anywhere from twenty to forty blooms. An average sized centerpiece will take twenty-five to fifty blooms. If you have four bridesmaids and fifteen tables then you're looking at around 450+ blooms. Once you add up the blooms, the vases, the supplies, the possible extra rental fee you may have to pay at your venue for's going to be around the cost of a florist...with a big ol' heaping side of frustration. Not worth it, y'all.

6. Perfectionism. This may just be me but I have a crazy suspicion that it's not. One of the reasons why I would hire a florist to do a party or wedding of my own is because, well, I need perfect. If I do my own flowers I know that I'd be looking at them all night going, "man, that vase could have used a few more tulips" or, "a few of those flowers in that arrangement should have been trimmed a bit more, it looks uneven". I'd be completely sidetracked with the lack of perfection and frustrated with myself or anyone who helped me. And that's not fun. You shouldn't be thinking about anything but how lovely everything turned out and what a good time you are having. That's what hiring professionals will get you...and that's worth a lot.

So, please don't rule out a florist until to talk to one. Of course, first make sure that they are an established and experienced business but then give them your specifics and see what they can offer. You'll be surprised at what they can do on even the smallest of budgets.

And if you really want to be a DIY bride... consider doing your own favors, placecards, menu cards &/or table names. All of those touches will impart your own special personality and will keep your hands more than busy.

As always...remember to breathe :)