DIY wedding flowers: A planning + budgeting guide in collaboration with Hollow Meadows Flowers

Last week we brought you the real wedding of Jenny + Will, set in the breathtaking mountain tops of a Colorado forest. A beautiful rustic wedding lovingly prepared by two lovers, and their family and friends. With DIY wedding flowers and bouquets that looked so professional, you would off never guessed they were made by the same bride holding them!

Because just like us, Jenny + Will decided to take the wedding florist challenge into their bare hands. This week we’ve teamed up with Rachel from Hollow Meadows Flowers as we give our local flower growers & florists a bridal nod of appreciation and pick up some sound DIY wedding flowers advice in the process!

Why we chose to take the DIY road? 

When Paul and I first got engaged, I turned to real wedding features for style inspiration. In the process, I learnt some things very quickly: that rustic, vintage, festival looks appealed to us. Secondly, that our lives as a couple were anything but mono tone. A cookie cutter consistent colour scheme simply would not do. a crazy mash up of colours was necessary!

As the styling quest continued, my screen shot collection of British wild flowers grew and grew. The array of colours and beautiful imperfections made the perfect marriage for our WEDfest theme. They made Brides and BM’s outfits pop without taking away from the main show…THE DRESS!

But for as many boho inspired gypsy queen brides I saw, I spotted just as many brides playing it safe. Perfect white and cream posies with not one flower out of place. 

As beautiful as each wedding was, I couldn’t help but be reminded that “Perfection is truly in the eyes of the beholder and has many different ‘wedding themed’ faces.”  

DIY wedding flowers bride and bridesmaids flower crowns
We embraced beautiful imperfections and had a rustic boho look for our wedding blessing. Flower crowns & bouquets lovingly made by Hollow Meadows Flowers Photo credit: Rachel Takes Pictures

When planning our Sheffield blessing, we wanted to represent Paul’s hometown and be as ‘Yorkshire’ as possible, with the majority of our suppliers being sourced locally. The Yorkshire Moors held a special place in our hearts, from childhood memories, to long strolls when we first got together. And we weren’t the only ones with couples being more environmentally conscious than ever.

Our generation are starting to give back to their communities. Consciously trying leave the smallest environmental footprint from their big day as possible, and locally grown DIY wedding flowers suits the trend perfectly! Sustainable, local, ethical and beautiful – what more do you need?

DIY wedding flowers
Collecting antique vases and teacups from local charity shops became my ultimate favourite pastime and highlight of the planning experience. Photo Credit: Rachel Takes Pictures

Rachel couldn’t agree more “DIY wedding flowers are becoming more popular as many couples pay for the day themselves so feel they have the freedom to do it “their way”. I have had quite a few couples come to me for wedding flowers that have met in Sheffield as students, made their home and eventually married here. Many want to use local businesses, of which the city has a thriving community of independent suppliers.”

After witnessing my bridal squad back home arrange our flowers for our Aussie wedding armed with the knowledge I tailor my flower package to suit our needs, I knew I could take on the flower challenge again. Opting to share the load leaving the flower crowns, bouquets and boutonnieres to the professionals.

DIY wedding flowers arrangement in vintage jars
Our DIY wedding flower experience was a true family affair. With loved ones coming together to help create our beautiful floral creations Photo Credit: Rachel Takes Pictures

So Hollow Meadows, tell us a bit about yourselves! 

Farming has been in Rachel’s families blood for generations, where they’ve owned their current property for over 30 years. Originally a dairy farm, her parents turned to beef when the milk prices dropped. Growing up in the beautiful peak park district with the countryside as a playground, sparked a love of Mother Nature in Rachel, that has grown into a thriving business.

4 years ago, Rachel decided to take over a small stretch of land on the property and start her own flower patch. Inspired by a network of growers called Flowers from the Farm, deciding to take on growing as a part time job while looking for a change in direction.

DIY wedding flowers
Photo Credit: Hollow Meadows Flowers

All these years later, she still sees herself more as a grower than a florist. Her beautiful creations however would prove otherwise, gaining some great experience from like-minded growers and her florist community. She finds herself getting more and more creative as she continues to learn which varieties grow well and how they need to be lovingly nurtured and conditioned to be rest proudly within a bride’s bouquet.

How does seasonality impact the flowers couples will have available on their big day? 

Seasonality plays a large part in Rachel’s growing cycle and therefore the flowers she provides for her couples to be.

SPRING: Brings you a “A riot of colour from the Tulips, Ranunculus and Anemones. With more subtle shades in Narcissus bringing a wide range of colour pallets to choose from.”

DIY wedding flowers
The warm seasons gave us endless colour possibilities and choices Photo Credit: Rachel Takes Pictures

SUMMER: Boasts an ever-greater mix of colours, from pastels to bright flamboyant shades. Where meadow flowers open like butterflies into stunning bold blooms, with Dahlia’s, Sunflowers and Rudbeckia continuing to thrive right into the Autumn.

DIY wedding flowers
British flowers are so stunning there’s no need to source from overseas! Photo Credit: True North Brew Co.

RACH’S TOP DIY WEDDING FLOWERS: “One of my favourite flowers has to be the Scabious. A good all-rounder, easy to grow and cut, versatile in arrangements, very pretty and the bees love it!”

2017 WEDDING FLOWER TREND TO WATCH: “Foliage and greens will pay a big part in 2017 weddings. A real mix of colours are going out this year, with lots of lovely herbs, fillers and evergreens providing the foliage.”

DIY wedding flowers scabious flower summer flower
The Scabious – The perfect all rounder flower Photo Credit: Hollow Meadows Flowers

How do I order my DIY wedding flowers? 

“The first thing I like to know from couples when they get in touch is their wedding date and if they’re happy with the concept of seasonality. If they definitely want Sweet Peas in December then we may not be suited! If all is well I invite them to visit the farm for an informal chat and a brew.

I have been doing wedding flowers for three seasons now and I have had many people at my kitchen table sharing a cuppa. From single brides with a list and a mission, full families with children, parents and in-laws, even the odd dog too. There is no set pattern in the wedding planning process – and I love that”

DIY flower buckets can be easily arranged via email, ideal for the time poor or people unable to visit the farm. A 20% deposit is taken to secure the date, the flowers are grown, looked after and then cut, conditioned and arranged if needed all ready for collection. Simple!

DIY wedding flowers
Photo Credit: Helen + David

How much will I need and how much do I budget for?

The DIY flower buckets are filled with flowers and foliage, ideal for bouquets and table arrangements. One bucket costs £45, providing enough stems to make 3 bouquets or 3 large table arrangements e.g. A large jug or vase, alternatively 15-20 smaller vessels like bottles, small vases or jars.

Wedding Date: August 2016
Guests: 150
Tables to decorate: 14 guest tables, 1 x bar, 1 x cake/candy bar table
Bridal/Groom squad: Mr&Mrs, 3 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen, 2 page boys, 2 flower girls
Flower order: 3 x small buckets & 4 x large buckets (used for table settings), extra bucket of foliage (to decorate cake table and aisle), 4 x bouquets, 4 x flower crowns, 14 x button holes/corsages
Total cost: £676

What parting advice can we give to our DIY couples? 

  • If you want to use British flowers you need to be flexible in your flower choices. The seasons can change with different varieties being available at any given time.
  • Church flowers don’t have to be made up of carnations stuffed in oasis, no matter what the nice lady there tells you! Don’t be afraid to venture outside of the box!
  • Farmers and growers run a tight ship so stick to your appointment times! You have only one wedding to attend that day, but they may have 4!

Most importantly, don’t be scared or overwhelmed to take the plunge and do it yourself. These experiences are creatively empowering, unique, rewarding and fun. With every flower that has been lovingly planted, grown and prepared for your special day, a loving memory with family and friends has been made in the process. Ones that will be cherished for years to come.

If you want to be Rachel’s next DIY bride, get in touch here If you’re based outside of the Yorkshire region, check out Flowers From The Farm to find your closest grower.

DIY wedding flowers wild flowers in a milk bucket
Photo Credit:  Helen + David

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