So you want to DIY your wedding flowers?

I get it. A wedding can be an eye-wateringly expensive undertaking, and you have probably been saving for a few months already. And yes, it seems that every supplier sticks another zero onto the price when you mention the W-word. It is very frustrating and the worry and stress can be overwhelming.

And then someone remembers the flowers. “Don’t worry,” says Auntie Sue, “I’ll do the flowers.” (She does the church flowers once every 3 months and really enjoys flower arranging.)

That is fine. It saves money, and gives Auntie Sue a job to do, makes her feel like she is contributing to the wedding. Phew, another thing off the list.

Until….

Auntie Sue loves yellow roses. And you hate them. She insists, and you don’t have the strength (or guts) to challenge her further than, “well I was thinking more white roses and peonies”…. suddenly your flowers are yellow roses, with a few bits of orangey berry things from her garden.

Auntie Sue has tried to get herself an account with the local wholesaler (afterall, she is a church florist), but sadly without a veritable business, she can’t get herself in, so she can’t buy the flowers at wholesale price. One of her church ladies tells her that Aldi does super cheap flowers. Excellent – Auntie Sue dashes off to Aldi for her “practice run”. They have a few of her favourite yellow roses in stock, but they look a little old – brownish around the petals and, to be honest, a bit smaller than she had hoped. She spends the rest of her Tuesday morning rushing around all the other supermarkets trying to find better yellow roses.

Finally, she fines Marks and Spencer have some rather lovely roses AND she can order them online. So she does just that. Then falls off her chair with shock at the price, but presses “buy now” because she has promised that she will do the flowers.

Three days before the big day arrives, Auntie Sue takes delivery from M&S of her gorgeous yellow roses. She spends the entire morning cutting off the ends, stripping off the unwanted leaves, filling countless buckets with water (having carefully cleaned all the buckets the day before) and placing the roses (and the other ones she ordered and collected on her tour of the supermarkets) in buckets. She is pleased with her work, but dons her gardening gloves and goes out to collect greenery from her garden (and those orangey bits she promised). It takes ages, but you do need a LOT of foliage to make the yellow roses look full and abundant. More than Auntie Sue realises.

The next day, she receives a delivery from Amazon. Oasis (bad for the environment, but she and the church girls haven’t quite dared move to moss), floral tape (3 different kinds), pots, trays, vases, ribbon, pins, floral wire (at least 3 different sizes) and 2 enormous urns. Good-oh. All the kit has arrived.

She gets to work. She spends that afternoon putting in all the greenery into 10 table centre pieces, 1 pedestal, 2 urns and the top table arrangement. She is not finished when the Archers comes on. She finally pours herself a glass of wine at about 10pm. And she hasn’t even started on the flowers.

The day before the Big Day. Auntie Sue is up early. Carefully arranging various shades of orange and yellow into the garden bits and bobs she has already put into the arrangements. Holy cr*p. She has only got enough for the table centres and the top table. She hasn’t got enough flowers for the pedestal and urns. Off to Aldi she goes, swerving by M&S to grab the last 20 yellow roses in the shop. She carries on snipping and placing, snipping and placing until late afternoon. She realises she hasn’t even had a cup of tea since breakfast at 6am.

And then, and only then, she can start on the bouquets. These take her considerable time. They have to be perfect. The bride’s especially. She wants it to be just what you want it to be. (Sadly, she didn’t listen to the white roses and peonies bit, though)… but she tries. She tries really hard. It takes her 2 or 3 goes to get it perfect. Now where is that wine? As she plonks the last of 5 bridesmaids’ bouquets into their water vases she sighs. It is midnight.

Auntie Sue forces herself out bed on the morning of the Big Day at 5am. She starts work on the buttonholes for the men and corsages for the Mothers. Fiddly little things, sticky tape and small bits of this and that… they take forever. At 9am she is finally ready to take all her hard work to the church and the marquee. As she tries to shoe-horn the last of the table decorations into her Ford Focus, she remembers the pedestal that was in the hallway (no room for it in the shed). She has to unpack the Ford Focus and start again. Or do two trips. Her feet hurt now.

A couple of hours later, she has put each flower arrangement in its place. She nips round to your house to deliver all the bouquets, and then on to the pub where the men are on an early pint, and personally pins on all the buttonholes.

Auntie Sue has done it. Now she just has to fill in the bags under her eyes, wedge her hurting feet into a pair of heels and be a fabulous guest at the wedding of her favourite niece.

Before you decide that you want to DIY your own wedding flowers, please have a think about all that goes into providing these beautiful arrangments, and LET ME BE YOUR AUNTIE SUE!! (She will thank you!) xx

© 2019 by Marion MacDonald | thelittleflowerstudio