I posted this almost two years ago (1/2009) but it still holds true today and thought I would share this story with you again, as similar stories have been coming up more and more lately.
PREVENT A DISASTER WEDDING 101: Do it yourself FLOWERS.
This is a very risky idea that could end up costing you more money than having a professional floral designer help you with it. I had a bride who I quoted $1,000. This would cover her bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaids, a flower girl, about a dozen boutonnieres, some corsages, 10 small centerpieces, cake flowers, and delivery & set up. Sounds like a lot of money, but it was actually pretty decent for all the things she wanted and the flower choices that she wanted. However, she decided that she could save a couple of hundred dollars if she went to Costco and bought and designed her own flowers with the help of some "creative" friends.
The bride decided that she would start working on the store bought flowers a few days before the wedding to give her enough time. So she went to Costco bought what she thought she needed, had her friends over to help her, and then started on it. This was harder than she thought. But they were all having fun and when all the flowers were used up, she had to make another run to Costco to get some MORE flowers, and then a third run because she didn't realize how many flowers she actually needed to make the bouquets look decent. Now she was getting worried because she was actually spending a bit more money than she thought. However, she was still under the $800 mark so she figured she still did good.
The bride had finished most everything a day ago, put the flowers in her refrigerator and felt that they would certainly do great in there. WRONG! Refrigerators have food products in them which give off ethylene gas and kill fresh flowers. This is exactly what happened to this DIY bride. Most of her flowers had gotten too cold, froze, and then turned brown due to the ethylene gas and some of the other flowers wilted due to the culture shock between Costco, the car ride home, the mishandling of the flowers by the unprofessional "creative" friends who helped design the flowers, and then going into the fridge. So the night before the wedding, the bride is now at a grocery store ordering her flowers. She ended up with whatever the grocery store had available, which was not exactly what she had wanted, and spent about $500 more here. Her total for flowers between Costco & the grocery store ended up being $1125.
It is not worth saving a few hundred dollars when you are working with perishable items. Leave this work to a professional florist who not only knows how to handle and design the flowers, but can guarantee them as well.