Running Numbers…

Once I had established that I could comfortably execute the floral arrangements (phew!), it was time to price out the different floral wholesalers. I wanted to assess the significance of the savings, and just know what I was getting into, budget-wise… that planner gene. I must admit I was dismayed that I wouldn’t have access to the LA Flower Market in New Orleans, since it is noticeably cheaper than the online floral wholesalers… like, less than half price…. damn shipping upcharge. Anyways…

I built a spreadsheet comparing prices from Costco, Sam’s Club,, and Potomac Floral Wholesale, a site recommended by a florist I spoke to. I included flowers I definitely liked/wanted, as well as lots of others that play into the yellow/white/peachy-coral game. My plan is to prioritize the floral choices for bouquets, and then just pick and choose an assortment of cost-conscious flowers that will be used in the mixed arrangements. Notes: Prices for Potomac are their retail prices, not wholesale, as we have not yet gotten the discounted price list. Also, you’ll notice succulents are not on this chart. They are grossly (in my opinion) overpriced from the floral wholesalers, so we are growing them from cuttings and overnighting a box of them from LA to New Orleans before the wedding. More on that another day.

My findings were as follows:

My thoughts, as I built this spreadsheet (and by that, I mean plugged in numbers, Mr. Archer helped with the math and highlighting):

  1. “HOLY CRAP! I can TOO get peonies in October!” Then I realized that I had already gotten over my peony obsession, they are so spendy, and I just don’t care that much. Garden roses will do wonderfully… if only I could differentiate between the strains.
  2. Designer roses are confusing. (And they die, unlike shoes. Poor investment….oy.) What is the difference between the 15 (differently priced and named) species of yellow roses?
  3. 1000 mini daffodils? Is that price a mistake? No?? I’m glad I like daffodils…
  4. OOH! Baby daisies, need those.
  5. Some of these prices are even-ish across the board, others are hugely different…. how is this possible?

et al.

Even doing rough calculations, doing our own flowers is going to save us a FORTUNE. For example, we were quoted $75 for baby’s breath bouquets for my bridesmaids. Generously estimating at $10 each (trial run was 10 stems, which would be $7.99 from Potomac) to account for non-floral supplies, that is a savings of $520 on the bridesmaids’ bouquets alone. Amazing!

Doing all the research and test runs and such was a little time consuming, but it is a huge relief to know that I can do this AND save us some cash. That’s nice, since I have a list of out-of-budget wedding wishes…. that I can hopefully now reevaluate.

Are you taking on a major DIY project to conserve funds? Do you think I’m insane for doing my own wedding flowers?


Mrs. Archer

Los Angeles/New Orleans
Wedding Date:
October 2012
Wedding Bandalicious
Our DIY Zig-Zag Escort-Card Holder

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  1. msdragon Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 8:14 am

    I think if you can pull it off, it’s totally worth it! It sounds like you know what you’re doing so I think you’re in good shape.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Cara, Guest @ 8:16 am

    Since you seem to know what you’re doing, I’d say you aren’t insane, lol. I on the other hand am NOT crafty or artistic and would always rather pay somebody to do something right when I know I would personally just bungle it…I will not be DIYing anything at my wedding, haha. My florist actually quoted $45 for bridesmaids bouquets of babysbreath + wrapped stems etc (which is obviously much higher than $10 but also much lower than $75, ouch) and once again I don’t have to do anything for it other than tell her what I want and when I want it. I am a born planner. Not so much a born doer :) Also we only have 3 BMs so it’s not a big deal…Props to you though!

  3. eagle Member
    eagle 1552 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:17 am

    We’re doing ours too! We’re getting 500 peonies from a farm for 500 bucks. I will gladly sacrifice sleep 2 days before the wedding to put everything together.
    Florals are really expensive, and one of the things we wanted to have that were NICE, but we’re both so cheap. Lol.

    I’m excited to hear more about your home grown succulents :)

  4. Member
    josina 687 posts, Busy bee @ 8:27 am

    I am DIY’ing my flowers as well. I want LOTS of flowers and don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount for something that doesn’t seem so hard? Maybe I’ll look into taking a class first though… I’m 99% sure I’ll be ordering from fiftlyflowers though.

  5. Member
    sleepypanda 60 posts, Worker bee @ 8:53 am

    @Miss Archer You may just be my lifesaver! I’ve been procrastinating the spreadsheet thing because I’ve just been so overwhelmed and somewhat fearful of finding out the real costs. I would love it if you would email me your spreadsheet since I can’t quite see it on the post? I also tried to figure out how to PM you all this, but for the life of me, I can’t find the elusive “message” button that’s supposed to lead me to being able to PM. If you’d be willing to part with all your hard work, I’d be terribly grateful!

  6. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 9:22 am

    You really did your homework on this stuff, good for you! It sounds like you are going to have beautiful flowers at a great deal :)

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    FutureMrsBauer, Guest @ 9:44 am

    we are DIYing our flowers. My sister and MOH is trying desperately to talk us out of it. I really don’t want to be up at 5AM on the day of the wedding making corsages, and etc. Do you think they will hold if we make them the afternoon before? We are using only roses and planning on have berry accents…

  8. castle Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:48 am

    You are like my hero. A destination wedding AND you’re doin your own flowers. I thought about it for a hot second and then decided it would be to hard and add stress to my long distance planning. Glad you are going for it, and it’ll be wonderful!

  9. coyote Member
    coyote 1932 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:59 am

    Still think you’re insane! 😉 Just kidding my dear! 😀 You have planned this out so well and your trials looked amazing… Definitely worth going the DIY route, especially with all that money you will be saving!!

  10. Member
    MissCanyon 212 posts, Helper bee @ 10:03 am

    I was all for doing my own flowers before our wedding but for a variety of reasons, that didn’t work. People who were going to help couldn’t help but were only able to give me a week’s notice, other last minute projects came up, etc.

    I ended up going to a local florist the Tuesday before my wedding and saying ‘Hi, my wedding is on Saturday and I don’t have any flowers. Can you help? Oh, and I only have $300.’

    She totally busted it out! I got a GORGEOUS bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaids bouquets, 10 (I think) boutineers, and 6 corsages…all for $300! The included roses, freesia, carnations, berries. It was seriously amazing. If I had it to do over again, I would have contacted her months before the wedding and not worried about it.

    So, just know that you’ll want to limit the tasks that you are directly responsible for during the week of the wedding. You’ll be so busy just being a BRIDE! :)

  11. Member
    nyscpa2be 1606 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:08 am

    Miss Archer, that is amazing savings! It’d be great to see the figures on the spreadsheet – I can’t read it on my pc. :( Would you be willing to PM it?

  12. archer Member
    archer 551 posts, Busy bee @ 12:01 pm

    @Miss Eagle: i would be alllll over a local peony farm. i’m hopeful about my succulents- though the one dying on my desk currently is not exactly inspiring.
    @sleepypanda: @SubmarinersBride: pm’ing you both.
    @FutureMrsBauer: we;re planning to do bouquets and arrangements on friday, and ccorsages and bouts the morning of, since they can’t sit in water.
    @Miss Castle: you are probably right, but i apparently enjoy driving myself crazy, lol!
    @Miss Coyote: i’m certifiable. owning it!
    @MissCanyon: that is a steal- you lucky girl!

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Karen, Guest @ 12:59 pm

    Miss Archer, we share wedding colors and I am looking to DIY my own flowers too! :) Can you please send me your spreadsheet also also! Did you check out The Growers Box?

  14. Member
    karebearangel 7 posts, Newbee @ 1:00 pm

    Logged in :)

  15. Member
    karebearangel 7 posts, Newbee @ 1:06 pm

    Also – does Potomac Floral sell to brides? Some wholesalers I’ve spoken to only sell to florists with Tax IDs.

  16. archer Member
    archer 551 posts, Busy bee @ 2:01 pm

    @karebearangel: sent you the spreadsheet. i did look at the growers box, but cannot remember why i excluded it from the comparison- either the price was noticeably higher, or they were lacking something i wanted. sorry! potomac sells to everyone- at the prices i listed. if you have a tax id, they discount further.

  17. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:52 pm

    We’re doing our own flowers, too. From my calculations, we’ll save at least $500 (granted we’re having a smaller wedding party).

  18. Member
    cowpoke06 132 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:54 pm

    My mom thinks I am absolutely out of my mind because I want to DIY the bouquets, bouts and corsages. FLOWERS ARE SO EXPENSIVE!!!! I could pay $75 a piece for five maids or u 100 white roses for $80 bucks and make their bouquets, all the bouts etc. My mom thinks I will be too stressed out but I’m not getting married for two freaking years (to save up). I have plenty of time for all of the other stuff. I can spend the day before making bouquets. I’m totally doing it and I”m glad I’m not the only one!

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