real weddings
floral inspiration
floral education
all blog posts

Hi, I'm Stefanie, owner and lead designer of a Kansas City-based boutique wedding flower studio called KC Bloom.

My husband and I have dedicated our family to Jesus Christ, and we love being a part of a vibrant local church. Parenting our two young kiddos keeps us very busy (and very tired), and now we've added wrangling a goldendoodle/velociraptor puppy named Biscuit to our daily tasks.

We're committed to making our family life simple and joyful. This blog will highlight a lot of floral work and business, with sprinklings of home projects and recipes - my other two passions! 

Meet Stefanie

Wedding Flowers : To DIY or Not to DIY?

Floral Education

DIY Wedding flowers are one of the first things couples consider to save money. I have feelings about this, and they probably aren’t what you think!

First, a story. 

Picture it… an outdoor wedding… Autumn. The florist (fine, it was me. The story is easier without all the mystery) traveled to design an out-of-state wedding and rented a mobile cooler to house all of the finished pieces. Long story short, after 2 long days of design work, I headed out to the cooler to place the bridal bouquet in it. 

To my dismay (and by dismay, I mean an overwhelming feeling of total and complete doom) I discovered that the rental company had set the temperature on the cooler incorrectly.  

Do you know what happens to flowers at 45 degrees?  They are extremely happy.  

Do you know what happens to flowers at 4.5 degrees?  THEY ALL FREEZE.  28 centerpieces and a gigantic sweetheart table piece just turn into flowersicles – which is another word for ruined. The wedding was in less than 24 hours.

What would you do?

Well, if you’re the florist (which I was!) you get ahold of your trusty wholesale rep, race over to the warehouse, and race through the aisles of flowers at top speed, grabbing the best you can find in the color palette. You also call your emotional support bestie and whine a LOT.  Then you race back to your workspace and spend the rest of the night re-doing everything instead of prepping the large arch like you intended.  Then you get started bright and early with the arch and work until the bridal party is literally walking into the venue for pictures, surreptitiously sweeping behind and around the arch while moonwalking out. 

As you can see, it turned out juuuuuuust great (she’s crying tears of joy because she didn’t have to worry about a thing!)

Now, let’s get real

If you’re planning to DIY anything of that magnitude (28 centerpieces, 8 bouquets, 2 flower crowns, sweetheart table, lush circle arch) then you will fail.  Just accept that and move on with your life.  It’s too much for you to do, love.  

But a smaller wedding… I believe you can do anything.  In this case, I highly suggest that you be honest with yourself about your general temperament and ability to embrace imperfection. 

Standard Operating Procedure

From my point of view, crazy things happen all the time.  It’s part of the job, and part of the reason florists exist. We think through all of the possible issues, and plan for ALL the contingencies.

  • Coolers turn into freezers
  • The venue only gives you 2 hours for setup and you need 4
  • Extra-wide tables didn’t end up being extra-wide, so floral runners have to be re-sized on-site
  • Pieces fall down and have to be re-made on the spot 
  • Flowers have to be repurposed to make an extra piece no one told you they needed
  • A mantle you thought was small is actually massive
  • Or a mantle you thought was massive is only 3 inches deep and the containers are 5 inches deep
  • Flowers are delivered in terrible condition and need to be replaced before design can begin
  • The Jr Bridesmaid wants a flower crown instead of a bouquet so you have to make it on-site
  • The cake needs flowers (that weren’t ordered)


As a professional, I know how to fix it, and I can do it calmly(ish) and efficiently. If you’re the bride, also needing to get ready for the biggest day of your life, these are not stresses that you should have to endure.  

This is a value add that comes from hiring and partnering with a professional florist.  The stress is all on me, baby. You just enjoy your day.

More Storytime with Stefanie

Picture it… an outdoor wedding… Autumn.  Yes, this is a different story. And the florist is still me.  But I’m also the bride.  PLOT TWIST. 

That’s right, I did my own wedding flowers way before I was a florist. We had a small budget and a how-hard-can-it-be attitude.  So we got married in my backyard, made a ton of wooden yard games (two cornhole sets, ladder golf, giant Bananagrams, giant Jenga, giant Farkle), baked 50% of the desserts, built a giant trestle table, made our own charcuterie, collaborated on a killer Spotify reception playlist, and DIY’d a boatload of decor and signs. We had a caterer come and cook burgers, hot dogs, and beans on-site for dinner. We made a s’mores bar, had three firepits, and encouraged our guests to change into casual clothes for the party. 

All of this was done in 3 months of planning.  This is how:

  1. I was a VERY laid-back bride.  Some might even say a little too laid back (I didn’t decide what the wedding party was wearing until the week before). 
  2. We have an amazing support system that pulled a wedding out of thin air on Saturday morning and by afternoon were in lovely clothes cheering us on as we got married.
  3. We got married at my house, which meant we had time, space to store things, and things could be in place days in advance.  This is a HUGE factor.
  4. I just didn’t care if things looked perfect.  And believe me, they did not. My priorities were the people and the party.

In Conclusion

You can absolutely DIY your own florals. Check out sites like Flower Moxie for great tutorials and pre-made floral packages. There are so many resources out there for industrious people to make it happen.

Before I let you go, a quick game of 20 questions:

  1. Do you truly want to DIY your flowers? 
  2. Are you ok with the homemade look?  
  3. Do you have extra money set aside for practice flowers? You’re going to want to do this a few times, especially for a bouquet.
  4. Do you have all of the tools (shears, scissors, bind wire, floral tape, petite pins, ribbons, rose stripping shears, heavy duty gloves, flower food, hydrating solution, foam or sustainable pouches, etc)?
  5. Do you know how many flowers you need for each item (bouquet, centerpiece, etc)?
  6. Where will you buy flowers?
  7. Where will you source the vases/containers?
  8. Where will you process (trim, de-thorn, remove leaves) and store the flowers (cool spot, lots of buckets)?
  9. Have you researched techniques for flower preparation, storage, and maximizing longevity?  
  10. Do you have a cool space (preferably very cold space) to keep all of your finished work?  
  11. Have you been honing your finger strength and dexterity for bouquet making (because the hand cramps are really something)? 
  12. Does creating florals fit in your schedule the week of the wedding? This is not a day-before activity – it’s more like a several-phases-over-several-days activity.
  13. When do you plan to get your nails done? I hope it’s not before you work on the flowers because they will be fully wrecked and your hands and arms will be covered in little cuts.
  14. Do you have access to an obnoxious number of buckets? 
  15. Do you have a space to fill and empty and clean an obnoxious number of buckets?
  16. Do you have supportive footwear and a good chiropractor?
  17. Do you have a way to safely transport everything to the venue(s)? 
  18. Do you have a space that you can fully and completely trash without worrying too much?  Because the mess… it’s unholy.  Shocking in a way you can’t understand. And someone has to clean that up. 
  19. Do you have someone who can unload and place everything for you at the venue(s) while you’re getting hair and makeup done? 
  20. Is that person also someone who should be able to enjoy your wedding day? Do you want to remain friendly with this person? I kid, I kid. But also, seriously, it’s a lot to ask.

If the answers to these questions are all positive, go forth and DIY.  I’m not being snarky, I really believe in you!  I did it when I knew nothing about flowers and I’d never discourage anyone who wants to… but also, it was pretttttttty obvious they were DIY.  Tee hee.

If you read these questions and DIY wedding flowers feel like a bit much, get in touch with me or a florist local to you.  For ideas on how to find one, see this post.

Our nails are already a mess and our bucket collections border on the obscene. We would all love to help.