DIY Wedding Flowers -

Wedding Wednesday:How to DIY Your Wedding Flowers

DIY Wedding Flowers

If you’ve read any of my other wedding posts,(see here) you know that since Nic was in grad school and I was saving up to pay off my debts/get ready for grad school, we had to cut costs wherever we could. One was was to do our own flowers. This is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve never arranged flowers before, you probably should skip this unless you know someone who has. I was fortunate that Moira, the mother of one of my bridesmaids, had done the flowers for another wedding Ally had been in, so she was able to direct us on how to make the centrepieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, and aisle pieces. In all, we spent about $300 on the flowers, containers, and supplies–way cheaper than typical wedding flowers!

View More:
My bouquet

If you think you want to go this route, there are a few steps:

  1. Start a physical or Pinterest board of what floral styles you like
    1. (See mine, here)
  2. Make sure you have friends and family who are willing and able to help with the flowers- we worked on them for 5 or 6 hours on the Friday before, and the day-of people had to make sure there were no dead blooms.
  3. Research places to buy flowers in bulk
    1. Some cities have flower markets, but I wasn’t willing to risk not getting flowers I loved
    2. We went with, who sells bulk orders of flowers online, and then we picked them up at their dealer in Ottawa
    3. Stores like Costco also sell them
  4. Once you know what styles you like, check to make sure you can get your preffered flowers in your wedding season.
    1. My favourite flowers are peonies, so I had this ridiculous dream of having white peonies at the wedding. I knew it’d be tricky for a June 20 wedding, but I held out hope. Moira surprised me with 3 beautiful blooms for my bouquet, and it was one of the best gifts I could have received! However, I didn’t go and order beautiful flowers like anemones, which would have fit the theme, but are in season in October, and therefore much more expensive.
    2. Hope but don’t obsess!
    3. Be willing to give up something you want for something else interesting: I wanted stocks, but BunchesDirect was pricing them too high, so I went with Irish Bells instead, and they ended up being really cool and unique.
DIY Wedding Flowers -
Bridal bouquets – it was a lot of fun for each of us to make them unique. Each bouquet worked together because of the colour theme (white and green) but I had each woman pick wahtever they wanted.

List out what elements you need, then edit it to make sure it fits your budget:

  • Bridal bouquet
  • Bridesmaids bouquets
  • Boutonnieres
  • Corsages
  • Headpieces
  • Centrepieces
  • Altar bouquets
  • Aisle runners
  • Wreaths
  • Garlands
DIY Wedding Flowers -
Nic’s boutonniere – one of my bridesmaids saw what I was putting in my bouquet, and made Nic’s have some of my elements!


  • Flowers
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • Scissors and wire cutters
  • Vases, bowls, whatever else to put the arrangements in
  • Tubs to put the flowers in
    • When we first got the flowers, they were in boxes and very flat. We let them soak in the water for a while, and they opened up
  • Fridge to keep them fresh in

How to have a floral party:

  • Willing participants
  • Supplies
  • Pictures of your ideas
  • Good instructions on floral care and assembly
  • Lots of time
  • Don’t rush it, have fun!

Two final tips: don’t make your centrepieces super tall, people want to have conversations. Also, stay away from super smelly flowers, or some people might get terrible allergies and sneeze all through your vows!

Some Resources:

Let me know how it goes!

Our Kitchen Herb Garden

Kitchen Herb Garden

What’s better than fresh herbs for your cooking? Not much. Nic and I picked up some more potting soil, a window planter, and four herbs to plant for our use this summer.


This is an adorable and perfect size for our kitchen window. We had thought about putting it outside in a real window box, but Nic pointed out we wouldn’t use it much then. You have to go around outside the building, unlock the gate to the alley, and then get what you need. We decided to use the windowsill instead, which will be much more convenient, and we get to enjoy the scents more!


We got basil, mint, lavendar, and parsley. This is going to be a great summer! I already used the mint last night for some fresh tea with honey.


Want some gardening resources?

  • You Grow Girl with Gayla Trail – I have her book by that name, and she also has an Instagram which documents her urban organic gardening in Toronto
  • My Pinterest plants board
  • Grow It – helps you determine which plants will do best in your area, and crowd-source answers to your gardening questions
  •  Inhabitat Herb Garden Infographic – lots of info on when in the year to grow, how to propagate, etc.
  • Homegrown Remedies” Anne McIntyre – includes recipes and tips on what to grow together


A Mini Spring Haul

This Saturday Nic and I headed down to the mall at Keele to pick up some things including bike brakes at Canadian Tire. For the fun things, I picked up a new colouring book, which will be a lot better at de-stressing and more fun than the one I bought in September. Nic bought me this adorable “Some Bunny Loves You” mug from Home Sense, and it’s so cute! There’s also a cake carryer and Nature’s Gate Chamomile Conditioner
Wouldn’t you just LOVE to have those plants? They would just liven up everything. 

That mug is just so adorable.

My babies are coming up!

February Favourites

February Favourites -

February has been a pretty good month for me. My family came to visit, I went to #emptyROM, Nic and I tried out some new coffeeshops (Black Cat Espresso, Box Car Social, and Settlement Co), and I achieved some fitness goals!

February Favourites -
I love to read, and I’m currently working on my “What I Read in February” post. I also like to use the hashtag #whatjanessareads on Instagram, so you can always see some of the books I’m reading, or check me out on GoodReads. 
I’m currently trying to follow through on my goal of reading all the Canada Reads 2016 books, and “Birdie” by Tracey Lindberg is the second one I’m on.  
Check out my January books post.
February Favourites -

In yesterday’s post I talked about getting selected to go to #emptyROM, which was a super awesome event where about 10 of us got to go into the dinosaur room before the museum opened and photograph everything without having people in our shots. It was a lot of fun! 

February Favourites -

For my product favourites, I don’t have many, but I do love these!
Joe Fresh Matte Sheer Tint in “bisque” – I was so excited to see that this BB cream lasts through a workout! And by workout I mean everything from yoga to legs day to stairmaster! I’m so happy with the results! It also doesn’t get too matte, so I don’t get dry patches.
NYX HD Concealer in CW01 – I haven’t found a concealer I like in a long time, so I was delighted to find this on sale at my Shoppers (so glad NYX is now here at Shoppers!). The colour is a great match for my under-eyes, and also lasts pretty well on any imperfections.
MAC “Kinda Sexy” matte finish – My favourite nude
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in “Diffused Heat” – This will probably always be my favourite blush. It’s so perfect to give you a great flush and glow with the gold streaked through it.
Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm with Vitamin E – just love.

February Favourites -

Nic’s been growing this adorable sweet potato vine! I can’t wait until we have tons of vine to drape around everything. 

February Favourites -

When we were in Dollarama a couple of weeks ago, Nic decided he would buy this trellis for his golden pothus. It really adds a lot of character to our white bathroom!

February Favourites -

I have gotten really into Crosswords this month. Yes, I sometimes cheat, but it’s really cool to notice how now I’m getting the hang of the secret language of crossword clues.

Allan Gardens – Free Things to Do in Toronto

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
I have wanted to go the Allan Gardens in Toronto for a while. We rotate between two churches, Grace Toronto and the Downtown Meeting House, and Grace’s newly purchased building is beside the Allan Gardens. One of my university friends (who attends Grace) often stops in after worship, and posts the most beautiful pictures on her Instagram. We finally decided to visit on a Saturday afternoon after my shift at work. 
We were not disappointed by the beautiful greenery!
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

It’s very easy to get to the Allan Gardens – on line 1 of the subway, get to College station, and take the streetcar east to Jarvis.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

The conservatory has many rooms, and they are themed differently.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

I love turtles. So much.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
My husband in the jungle
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

One of the ponds with beautiful (koi?) fish. Also, that massive white one.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
The main room is gorgeous. They even have a little stage in the middle, presumably for weddings or performances. 
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Nic said he felt like he was in Jurassic Park, and I completely agree, with those huge fronds. 
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
As expected, the cactus and succulent room was my favourite. 
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Someday Nic and I hope to make a vertical garden like this!
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Our window gardens – apartment living

Nic and I really like plants and greenery around the home. He’s a little better with keeping them alive than I am, so that’s nice. Over the years I have killed cacti, a beloved venus fly trap, lots of different herbs, and who knows what else. With Nic’s help, hopefully I’ll keep my wonderful plants alive a little longer than a season.


I bought this cactus back in the spring from IKEA, and spent hours scouring the internet to find out what kind it was, so I would know how to take care of it. Eventually, I discovered what I didn’t know for my previous cactus: water once a month. Whoops.

Bir’ds Nest Fern and Norfolk Island Pine

In our wedding ceremony, Nic and I wanted to have a unity tree to symbolize our marriage. We had our parents bring soil and water from our childhood homes and then we “planted” the tree. (I have that in quotations because I was wearing a white dress obviously, and didn’t want to get that dirty.) We chose this type because we won’t have a house with a yard for the forseeable future, so we needed something that could survive inside in a pot. Nic’s dad, who is a gardener, suggested the Norfolk. It’s definitely an interesting shape, and I like it.

Bird’s nest fern

A few weeks after moving to Toronto I found this fern at Metro for pretty cheap. It’s supposed to freshen up your air, but I really bought it because it looks really cool.

English Ivy

Nic and I share a love for ivy, so one day at a market buying corn, I impulse-bought this English Ivy. At the top of the window is a nail, so I decided to make a “macrame” hanger for the plant. I found lots of tutorials on the internet, but for my first time I used twine from Dollarama and this one from My Little Sunshine House.  Remember that when watering it, you should put it in the sink. We have cupboards above the sink, so the loop on the plant hanger fits perfectly on the knob so that all the extra water goes into the sink.

Nic’s palm tree
My Jade plant

 I love jade plants, and I’m not sure where that obsession came from. Yet again, I made an impulse purchase at Home Depot in the spring, hoping that having more greenery than my sharp cactus, would help with my depression. It defintely did. The beautiful pot is from IKEA.

The left side

I have no idea what kind of vine that is on the left, and since moving a couple times, Nic has lost the tag. Oops.

Nic was given a clipping of a jade plant from our friends Maddie and Alina, and it’s interesting to compare our two plants.

He also has grown this avocado plant from a pit starting sometime last fall. It’ll be another 6-7 years before we find out if it will grow any avocados, but it’s so cool to watch plants actually do their stuff.

That aloe plant is from IKEA, the short growths were used on Nic when he got a sunburn in July!

What’s next?
We’ve been growing some green onions from the roots, and used the first batch yesterday. We will probably continue with growing food from scraps, both because it’s cool science, and because produce is expensive.
On the same note, I’ve been hunting for a mint plant for our kitchen garden, but that hasn’t worked out. We might end up just growing some herbs from seeds (is that what you do? lol).
We also love succulents, and sinceo our hens and chicks from the wedding centrepieces didn’t propagate well, we’ll probably try another one.