When I was planning my own wedding, I swooned over the idea of doing my own wedding flowers. The amount of money that florists charge can get really pricey, even for what feels like a simplistic design. I ultimately chickened out of undertaking the DIY wedding flowers for myself but had great success in convincing my sister in law to do it!
When I was considering it in 2011 I remember coming across Fifty Flowers. Their prices were reasonable looked like great quality products. In 2017 I hosted a friend’s baby shower and I came back across Fifty Flowers and purchased some garden roses for the centerpieces. They turned out beautifully, the cost was very reasonable (and I’m a frugal gal) and the customer service was very good.
Fast forward to 2019 and I’m helping my sister in law plan her wedding. Like every bride, she’s floored at the florist’s estimate for her very minimalist arrangement vision. She wanted lots of eucalyptus with baby’s breath and white garden roses. For the centerpieces, there would be 2 wine bottles with stalks of eucalyptus and baby’s breath. The bouquets would have white garden roses, the baby’s breath, silver dollar eucalyptus. The estimate came in at over $2,500.
I recommended the idea of us DIYing them and introduced her to Fifty Flowers. We looked up the flowers at wholesale and she was amazed that at cost savings. We priced out the flowers, found a 10% off coupon code, and there was no turning back. She took the plunge and man was it worth it!
DIY Wedding Flower Order:
- Baby Eucalyptus Greenery | 30 Bunches | $249
- Baby’s Breath | 30 Bunches | $274
- Garden Roses Creamy White Blush | 72 Roses | $209
- Silver Dollar Eucalyptus| 5 Bunches | $99
- Total Cost: $793 after tax and discount
She purchased the above with the intention of using them for 17 center pieces, 7 bridesmaid’s bouquets, and the bride’s bouquet. We ended up with many extras and repurposed them for alter decorations and around the reception.
The flowers were shipped on different days based on the recommendation of the site. You put your event date in and the website will decide the best day based on each flower’s ability to acclimate and stay fresh. The wedding was on a Saturday so the baby eucalyptus, baby’s breath, and silver dollar eucalyptus arrived on Wednesday with the roses to arrive on Thursday.
We ended up only receiving 15 bunches of the baby eucalyptus. Fifty Flowers was willing to resend some overnight prior to the wedding or offered a refund. We opted for the refund given timing and it appeared like we would have had more than enough. The customer service was very timely in supporting this issue and also ended up giving an extra % off the entire total for the inconvenience.
Preparing the DIY flowers
The flowers shipped to my house and the process of getting them out of the box and in water was fairly straight forward. All flowers needed to be opened, ends cut, and placed in fresh water. I used a combination of bins and buckets to store the flowers in. The Home Depot buckets seemed to work the best. For the bins, I sectioned space out in a grid because the flowers kept falling over.
The flowers can look “thirsty” when they first arrive, but once you get them into the water, they perk right up! The roses were also still very tight when they arrived but this is expected so they are opening right before your event.
When preparing the flowers, you need to cut the stem on an angle under cold water and trim off any steams and leaves that can touch the water.
Using both rubber bands and balloon string, I sectioned out a grid to support the flowers. I was working with what I had available, but I do not recommend doing it this way (again, I think the buckets are the way to go).
First set of flowers after they arrived on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, when the roses arrived- the baby’s breath had really bounced backed from the box life!
Transporting the flowers in the bins turned out to be a bit tricky. I loaded them all into my mom van (alone-had me sweatin’ my butt off) with the seats folded down. All was well until I had to slam on my breaks in Baltimore City and one of the bins turned over, spilling water all over the bottom of my van (dang thing smelled for weeks after that).
So if you are going to transport them, make sure you have good way to tuck them in securely, like the roses 🙂
Making the Arrangements
We made the arrangements on Thursday night as a fun pre-wedding activity with the Bride, the Mother of the Bride, and the Maid of Honor (plus me!).
Setup and Prep:
- Vases (used for ceremony and tablescapes)
- Wine Bottles (used for centerpieces)
- Flower Wire
- Pruning Sheers
- Flower tape
- Ribbon and pins
We started with the wine bottles, the easiest part. We placed 3 stalks of baby eucalyptus in one bottle and 2 bunches of baby’s breath in the other. Rinse and repeat for 17 of each.
- 7 roses
- 3 stalks of baby eucalyptus
- 2-3 stalks of baby’s breath (sometimes more if needed)
We de-thorned and removed the leaves from the roses and also reinforced the steams with the flower wire. From there we used a vase as a way to arrange the flowers and visualize the look. We started with baby’s breath along the out side, layered in the roses, and then centered 3 stalks of baby eucalyptus. We set up an assembly line of sorts where 1 or 2 people would style the flowers, another would tape the bouquet, and finally another would wrap with ribbon and pin.
- 20 Roses
- 3-4 stalks of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
- 3-4 stalks of Baby’s Breath
Similar to the bridesmaid’s bouquets, I start the design in the vase. I started with baby’s breath and silver dollar eucalyptus. These have lots of little off-shoots and it’s a lot easier to place the roses and move those around. I went for a equal mix of flowers all around and created some dimension by popping the eucalyptus out further than the rest.
I was so surprised by how easy it was to style this bouquet! It turned out beautifully and was exactly what she had envisioned.
Flower Girl’s Bouquet
We took the last 3 roses, bunched them together and wrapped them in ribbon. It was a very minimalist design but the flower girl loved it. We made sure to take extra care in wiring her roses so they could withstand the depth of her excitement and twirls.
We ended up with WAY more baby’s breath and eucalyptus than what she had planned for. This was partly due to keeping the bouquets on the simpler side, but also because we just didn’t realized how much product would come. Overall, the “bunches” were very generous and she could have likely bought half and still had enough for her original flower plan.
Once we realized how much extra we were going to have, we ran to the dollar tree and bought about 20 vases. We rapid fire filled and arranged the rest of the flowers into the vases. Once again, we were so surprised with how many beautiful vases we were able to make (20+). The baby’s breath and silver dollar eucalyptus really went a long way. The extra flowers in the ceremony space were unplanned but really rounded out the winter romantic vibe. We lined them along the massive fire place which served as the backdrop for the ceremony, but also the family pictures.
Overall I highly recommend using Fifty Flowers to DIY wedding flowers. It took a little prep and patience but ultimately they turned out beautifully and for pennies on the dollar compared to a florist. The flower process took us about 3-3.5 hours from start to finish and can get a bit messy. After the experience for my sister in law’s wedding, I really regretted not taking the plunge for my own wedding. If you’re on the fence, just DO IT! Grab a few friends, some wine, and kick-off your wedding weekend with a fun DIY. If you’re worried about having enough time, the flowers were so fresh, we could have easily made them a day or two earlier and they would’ve kept just fine (my bouquet lasted several days past the wedding).
I hope you find this review helpful!