Why You Should Never Design Your Own Wedding Flowers

This subject is near and dear to my heart because I've heard too many horror stories over the years. Over and over again, I hear from friends, colleagues, or total strangers (who often open up and share with me once they learn what I do for a living) that they or someone they know experienced a stressful floral experience for their wedding. 

Here's the thing. Floral design is H-A-R-D work. It's beautiful, artistically fulfilling, and aesthetically significant, but it isn't easy. It's an art form that requires skill, training, industry knowledge, supplies, and time. I could go on and on about this, but let me break it down into three simple points: 

1. A bride does not have time to design wedding flowers. 

When you order bulk/fresh flowers, you'll need to have many hours of available time on your hands to unpackage, process, trim, and prep the flowers long before you ever start designing with them. Even for a small, intimate wedding with a few bouquets and a small quantity of simple centerpieces, our  team is realistically still going to spend 8-15 hours working on floral design. For an average size wedding with 100-150 guests, we're probably looking at 20-35 hours worth of work. Often we need much much more hours depending on the scope of the project. If you're getting ready to walk down the aisle on Saturday, you just don't have time to design your own flowers in the 24-48 hours before your wedding. And if you try, I can all but promise you'll regret the decision, be exhausted, and feel unsatisfied with the finished product. But let's also talk about another unpredictable time-intensive complication: the need to troubleshoot... 

 Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

2. Working with fresh flowers involves frequent setbacks and delivery delays. 

Let's say you order 100 garden roses and they don't arrive because the grower or distributor realized the quality wasn't good enough to send them to you. Or, let's say you order 100 garden roses and they have to be shipped to you but there's a big storm that prevents FedEx from delivering them on time. Or, let's say you order 100 garden roses and they arrive, but they look terrible and you realize you can't use them. Do you know what to do next? Panic isn't an option. Instead, you need to be readily equipped with connections, knowledge, and once again... time(!!) to figure out alternative solutions. I wish I could say this is an infrequent occurrence, but it isn't. Working with a sensitive, fresh, perishable product is by definition always going to be challenging. It's not uncommon to need to change our plans at the 11th hour, receive a delivery a full day or two later than we planned, work late into the wee hours to get the job done, or source alternative product from other sources. If you plan to take a DIY approach to floral design for your own wedding, you could quickly find yourself in an extremely stressful situation. Imagine a scenario where you plan to receive your flowers and design them on Thursday, but due to circumstances outside of your control, they can't arrive til Friday or Saturday (wedding day)? That's a real possibility and it's one you need to confront. 

Bridal Bouquet with Juliet Garden Roses | Nancy Ray Photography

3.Good design matters when it comes to flowers

This should be a no-brainer, but all floral designs and arrangements are not created equal. Floral design has the ability to elevate an overall sensory experience, compliment a color palette, infuse beauty into any given situation, and so much more. But fresh flowers don't just do that automatically. Great design involves artistic talent, learned skill, training, and an overall sense of how flowers will behave, the mechanics and tools necessary to achieve a given look, and a general knowledge of design principles that can make all the difference in the world. When I design a bouquet, I'm thinking about how the bride will carry it, what flowers will serve as a focal point, how it can transition for her from the ceremony to photography time, how it will photograph, etc. These things matter! 


I've been happily married for almost thirteen years now and have no plans to be a bride in any other weddings. That said, even with the skills and experience that I have, if I were getting married in this day and age I still wouldn't do my own floral design. Why? Because the moments leading up to a wedding day are precious. The time spent with loved ones, the time spent in sweet anticipation, the joy that comes with those final hours... that time is so valuable and you can't ever get it back. 

Hire a professional floral design team. It's a solid, sound, and wise investment and you won't regret it. 

Becca