DIY Wedding Flowers - JanessaMann.com

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: http://photos.pass.us/janessa-nicwedding
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 BunchesDirect.ca, 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 - JanessaMann.com
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 - JanessaMann.com
Nic’s boutonniere – one of my bridesmaids saw what I was putting in my bouquet, and made Nic’s have some of my elements!

Supplies:

  • 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!

Engagement Pictures with Taylor Clark Photography – Wedding Episode 4

This August Nic and I got our engagement pictures done by Steph and Ben of Taylor Clark Photography. I thought I would share some of our pictures since they turned out so well! We ended up doing our pictures at the Toronto Harbourfront because it was most convenient for us to meet them since they had a client meeting right before in Toronto.

What to Wear for you Engagement Pictures:

  • Plan your outfits together so that they work well
  • Make sure you have backup ideas for rain or snow etc. Don’t ruin your beautiful heels in mud.
  • Have a casual and a fancier outfit
  • Keep your personalities in mind. What do you like to do? How can you incorporate your interests into the pictures?
    • Nic and I had wanted to do some photos in a rented canoe, since we love canoeing, but when we got to the location we realized that it would be too complicated, so we stuck with our other idea of getting the ice cream. 
  • Make a shot “wishlist.” If you’re on Pinterest, take advantage of that, and find pictures that you like. If your photographer is also on Pinterest, let them see that board. They can do their best to get the shots that you want, and will understand your style better.
Here are some links to check out:

My engagement ring is from Peaces of Indigo, and Etsy site
We couldn’t get our pictures IN a canoe, but we used the bright colours behind us anyway.

There was an outdoor salsa concert going on, so I had to dance.

My man is jacked. And look at those dimples. 😉

Planning a Wedding | Episode 2: The Photographer

One of the most important things for a wedding is the photographer, because that’s how your children will get to tease you when your outfits go out of style. Even though it’s a ridiculous idea to print out all the pictures your photographer takes, you still want to like what you’re paying for. Do you want to save on the photos by going under $1000 but have awkward compositions and over-exposed pictures? Do you have a friend or relative who is a freelance photographer and would be willing to do it for free or at a discount? (Or would they prefer to enjoy the day?) Are the pictures extremely important to you and you want to budget more for them?
When Nic and I were researching photographers, we found that there were some in our area that were under $1000 but they had an older style that did not fit the vibe of our wedding or relationship. In Ottawa, the nicer photographers start closer to $2000 including the engagement pictures, so make sure you feel their prices are reasonable.

How to Find Your Style:

  • Search through wedding sites, or even Pinterest’s wedding page, and see what sorts of pictures jump out at you. Are they more formal, candid, or relaxed? Do you want the pictures to be portraiture, journalistic, or candid? Do you want all the little details captured, like buttons on the dress, and the invitations? Not all photographers are good at changing the styles, so when you start looking at their blogs remember that you can’t ask them to change their usual technique. 
  • What is the colouring of the photography like? Is it more realistic, black and white, or some sort of vintage-y vibe? Those differences are easier for photographers to change.
  • Create a collage board or a virtual board like on Pinterest. This way it’s easy to compare people to your style.
Once you’ve determined as a couple what you want your pictures to look like, start searching for photographers in your area. You can very quickly determine if their pictures fit your style by looking at the first page of their site. I also vetoed any page that had music playing in the background, because that fad is so over. 
Create a spreadsheet that includes their name(s), website, email address, what is included in the package you can pay for with your budget, and any other comments you may have. This comparison is challenging because everyone puts their packages together differently. A good idea would be to break down the total by hour so that you know what you’re getting out of it. Don’t forget taxes! Start looking as soon as you can, because when we were emailing people in March 2014 for our June 2015 wedding, many of them were already booked.

Question Guides:

Who is our photographer? Steph from Taylor Clark Photography. Her pictures are stunning, and I am so excited to work with her. I discovered her when I was searching for pictures at the Britannia Yacht Club–I fell in love with her pictures and the BYC.
She got married to her husband Ben this past summer, and it’s the wedding I wish I could afford, so I know that she understands the feel Nic and I are going for with our wedding. Nic and I drove to Kingston at the end of April and had a lot of fun hanging out with her at Starbucks. We ended up not doing our engagement pictures then, because it was pouring rain, but we’re excited for August 9 in Toronto when we’ll try again.