Do it yourself floral arrangements, are they worth it?

Do it yourself floral arrangements, are they worth it?
Photo: Rawpixel, Pexels

DIY flowers seem to be the in thing at the moment. Everything from flower arrangements to the more popular DIY wedding floral arrangements. Although there are no hard statistics as to the increasing number of people opting for the DIY route, this author gathered my own numbers & there was an interesting result.

Out of the total number of people who indicated interest at a large wedding expo, the number of people who said they were going to DIY their wedding flowers was about 5%. Now based on the number of weddings held in Brisbane city on an average weekend sitting somewhere around 300, that means that 15 weddings per week are actually DIY. Now 15 may not sound like a lot, but when you think about the value of an average floral arrangement DIY wedding package is worth about $1,500, that means a $1.1M trade on a yearly basis.

What would make someone want to do their own wedding flowers?

1. Perceived cost saving is obviously the main driver for this.

I wonder if they have considered the downside to the decision based solely on cost as well as the upside of saving about $500?

2. Many people don’t believe that floristry is a bonafide trade skill.

If you look to the north in Europe, people spend 4 years gaining their floristry qualification, exactly like any other trade does. Here in Australia, it is possible to become a minted florist on paper in as little as 12 weeks.

3. What people tend to forget or possibly not even realize is that DIY flowers is much like DIY home renovations.

You start out with great intentions, gusto, and even unbridled enthusiasm but what you often end up with crooked paint lines & splotches on the carpet.

You see flowers is to flower arranging exactly what Paint is to Painting. Tools of a trade. Once put into the hands of a skilled trades person, they become something truly beautiful and unique. In the hands of an amateur, they have the possibility to be done right, but the likelihood is that they will not bloom to their full potential yet rather be thrashed and splashed about with wild abandon, sort of like an idiot savant painting using far too much and overdoing it.

When you look for a flower arrangement from wholesale flowers that is done by a real florist, it is constructed in such a precise and specific way. There is height, depth, and scale. There is grouping, symmetry, and balance. There is a set process with a start, a middle and a finish. Some call it placement, others call it a vision in action. No matter what the term, a skilled florist will make a floral work that truly represents value and will be a thing to admire and ponder.

Now I am not trying to suggest people should not DIY flowers in their own homes, far from it. I am simply suggesting that there is value in paying a professionally trained skilled person to undertake a body of work on your behalf. Once they have gone about their creative process you are left with what is truly a modern-day, living work of Art.

Floristry is no different than a songwriter crafting a well-written verse, nor that of a Graphic Artist who dreams of living a truly unique masterpiece. Why then do people mistakenly believe that they can achieve great cost savings by self-doing it?

To save money you need to:

A) Physically have more money in your pocket than you otherwise would have spent

B) Have a product that is of similar value and quality.

This is the main problem with people undertaking the DIY flowers. Although the dollar savings may be there, the end work result can be left wanting in many ways.

There are some unique benefits to Floral Arranging flowers in one’s own home, namely positive mental health effects can be experienced by using mother natures crayons (flowers) to compose a living expression in a vase.

Arranging flowers in a vase or even in a ceramic filled with floral foam forces you to slow down your thoughts, to focus on the task at hand. It makes you assess what looks balanced, in scale and right. Micro decisions on how short or long to cut a stem are anguished over to the point you would think you are in the midst of creating a work of art that was to be judged in the local art show. Yes, DIY floral arranging is a great way for you to slow down a little. Take a break from the stresses of everyday life and indulge your creative senses in a wonderful activity.

Flower arrangement on a table
Photo: Anton Mislawsky, Pexels

But what about the people who haven’t done it for a mental health kick. What of the ones who have set out to spare hard-earned cash, who have gone the whole hog and have unwittingly committed to a DIY wedding. Problem is that there is nowhere to hide when you are walking down the aisle, on show in front of all of your gathered loved ones. Family and friends smiling at you as you sashay through the pews towards the handsome hunk who is soon to be your husband.

Your thoughts are of how in love you are, of how dashing he looks in his tux when suddenly you notice the flowers in your DIY bouquet starting to unravel in your very hand with every further step you take. They fall apart, little by little until there is a trail behind you down the Aisle. You try not to shriek out loud as you have the self-realisation that you should have spent the money, like you did on all the other wedding bits like the photographer, the venue, the dress, the tuxedos, the invitations, etc, so that you could simply show up for your big show & only worry about smiling and waving, not about flowers falling all over where they were not supposed to be. You make a mental note. Next time. I will do it differently. I will gladly pay the florist.