using local wedding flowers

How To Avoid DIY Wedding Flowers Disaster

Thinking about DIY Wedding Flowers? Here’s How To Avoid Disasters

I had a very interesting experience last week I was in Las Vegas for the Event Solutions Conference and because the new Preston Bailey Fundamentals of Floral Design Course was launched there and I am the author of the course in collaboration with The Wedding Planning Institute and Preston Bailey.

Anyway, The Wedding Planning Institute teaches several classes including a Preston Bailey Event Design Course. They decided to add on a special one day LIVE version of this class the day before all the Event Solutions activities began and offered the 42 students an extra day of “internship” experiences on Sunday which included working with me to prepare two floral projects.  The first was a desert stand that needed to be floralized for our booth and the second was a flower encrusted candelabra to be used as decoration for a dinner party with Preston Bailey as the guest of honor on Sunday night, and then to be used in our booth.

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From my perspective, the experience was a disaster, but from the students perspective the experience was a “million dollar day”.  Those were the words specifically used by one of the students.  The students absolutely loved the experience.  The reason it was a disaster to me was because the flowers didn’t make it to our booth.  The flowers died!

The reason I am telling you about this is because these are lessons you must be aware of when doing your own flowers for your wedding.  Flowers do die, they are living things that, if not properly handled, will die earlier than might be expected.

There are two reasons why the flowers died. 1. We used hydrangeas for the stylized desert stand.  Hydrangeas are very intolerant of heat and being handled too much. The hydrangea simply drooped and, even though I could have brought them back to life, I had no guarantee that they would stay looking vibrant and alive and chose to completely redesign the desert stand with flower I felt would live and look good for the following two days (carnations and roses).

using local wedding flowers
Student learning to DIY wedding flowers.

2. The second project, one of Preston Bailey’s designs being taught in the second floral course, is an absolutely stunning centerpiece but, what I realized after completing that project is, it was not meant to look good for more than one day.

The mechanics used had limits and could not provide enough water for the flowers to look good for multiple days.  I am known for saying, “flowers need water like we need air”.  In this case, the mechanics simply couldn’t provide enough water for all those flowers.

Here is a photo of the students adding flowers to the candelabra and you can see some of the mechanics that were used It is floral foam which does hold water, the problem is in this case the floral foam could not stay wet, there were no reservoirs to hold water to continue to feed the foam with water so, as the air dried the foam, the flowers got less and less water.

Prepping the candelabra centerpiece.

This is an important lesson for you if you are doing your own wedding flowers.  You want to make sure your flowers are either 1) tolerant of being without a lot of water (orchids and other tropical flowers can survive without being directly in water for short periods of time) or 2) provided with an adequate water source. How have you avoided DIY wedding disasters?

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