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Saturday, June 4, 2011

DIY Fearless Flower Power? Lucky 13 Tips for You!

This is an introduction at the beginning of each topic in this series.  Look below for the new entry in this series.  We all want to save money whenever we can, but if we end up paying more in the long run or creating a bad experience, what are we really saving?  Everything boils down to what you don't know can hurt you.  Here are just a few things you should know about various aspects of your wedding if you don't use professionals.  This is just the tip of the iceberg!  If you hear yourself say any of these statements, you might want to really stop and take the time to consider the costs in time and money.  Stop and be honest with yourself first to make sure that you aren’t making a decision you will regret weeks or years later.  
“I can do that!”  
“I have a friend who does that!”  
“That looks easy enough to do!”  
“I don’t think that will matter”. 
“I don’t have the money for that”.
“I think that _____ would enjoy doing that!”

Let's pretend that everyone was born with an innate talent for flower arranging.  Perhaps every spring and summer they were the ones picking flowers out of the yard and making arrangements to put those flowers to good use.  Chances are that they would only make a couple of arrangements at a time and it was just for the fun of it.  Fast forward!  You're going to do your own wedding flowers!   Let's start with, "I want this, and that, and of course some of these and wow those flowers are the same that were at that wedding we went to last spring.  Oh, Look!  Those are sooooo cool!"  So far this sounds like a lot of fun!

Here are just a few assumptions that people might make and things people might not be aware of when it comes to doing your own wedding flowers. 

1.  Blue flowers are small in number and are often harder to find except for certain times of the year.  So if you love blue flowers, become informed of what is available and when.  You might consider this when setting your wedding date, but you could still be taking a chance.  There's a complete lesson in botany regarding blue flowers as compared to whites, reds and purples.  Apparently some bugs don't think that blue flowers are all that hot!  Even to bugs, it's all in the eyes of the beholder.  

2.  The flowers you may have always dreamed of might only be available for just a few weeks of the year.

3.  Sometimes the greenery is more expensive than the flowers.

4.  If you get flowers at places where you usually shop for groceries, don't assume that you will be able to get all of the flowers you need in a particular color or the type of flower on the day you want.  You really need to plan ahead.

5.  When you buy the flowers at a store, you will probably either buy more than you will use or not get quite enough which can be a waste of money.

6.  Some flowers will begin to deteriorate very quickly when they aren't in water and chances are that unless you are used to working rapidly with flowers, your bouquets and arrangements will look not look fresh.  

7.  Keep it very simple if you are doing your own corsages, wristlets, boutonnieres, bouquets or centerpieces.  They will probably take you a lot longer than you think.

8.  Remember that mother nature doesn't play favorites with anyone.  The availability of product can be changed due to weather conditions around the world.  If some of the growers have been hit hard, you might also be paying more for your flowers.

9.  Valentine's Day.  I heard more than one type of wedding professional say they would never recommend that a client have their wedding on Valentine's Day.  The cost for flowers is going to be higher and that is one of the busiest days of the year for florists.   You just don't want to set yourself up for a budget breaker.

10.  Practice making one of each of the things you want for your wedding long before you would need to be ordering flowers from a professional and multiply that time by about 3 or 4 

11.  Talk to a florist, before you decide to add flowers to your DIY list.  Calculate the costs from buying flowers from a store vs. having a florist designing and arranging things.  Will you need to buy supplies?  What is your time and labor worth when you are having so many other things going on. To keep your flowers fresh, you might find yourself having to buy sprays to keep you flowers fresh. 

12.  Do you have someone in charge of the DIY floral projects that can patiently explain how things are to be done to your whole crew of volunteers?

13.  If you plan your wedding check out school and community calendars.  You're better off not competing with proms, homecoming, and other such events especially for DIY weddings.  There will be some DIY prom goers as well.  

I would strongly suggest that you take classes from a professional before you decide to go the DIY route for your wedding flowers.  Check out your local community college!   You just might find it to be one of the best investments you'll make.

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Janis Flagg

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