When to DIY and when to call a professional!

To Do It Yourself or To Hire Help?

This is a question most couples ask themselves pretty much RIGHT after they get engaged. Honestly the answer to this question may change frequently during your planning! Most of us have pretty grand fantasies about the most important day of our lives but sometimes we need to be reminded that taking on full responsibility for executing our fantasy can turn the whole day into a nightmare!

This is not to say that you shouldn't DIY if you really want to. I'm just saying that there are some misconceptions about DIY that might make your decision a bit easier if you're aware of what you're truly getting into.


Doing it yourself is cheaper...Not necessarily, when it comes to flowers. Florists buy wholesale and they buy from extremely reputable and trustworthy suppliers. When you hire a florist you are purchasing the peace of mind that your flowers will be of the highest quality no matter what. When I buy flowers for a wedding, I order and have them in my possession usually 24 to 48 hours ahead of time. I treat them with special solution to increase each stem's ability to absorb water. Different flower varieties require different treatment, some like cold, some like warm, some can handle being out of water longer than others and some flowers bruise and wilt if you look at them the wrong way. Florist have (or should have) extensive knowledge about flower varieties, what seasons they are available and heartiest, what varieties will lend themselves to applications like boutonnières and bouquets and which ones do better in centrepieces where they are never out of water. If you are planning on making your own flowers, read about the varieties you love and buy more flowers than you need. When a florist does a wedding, sometimes flowers don't survive the process. The heads pop off, they bruise or have air bubbles from travelling and cannot be brought back to peak freshness, or sometimes the colour is just a little off. When you hire a florist you never know about these hiccups, you just see the end result. No stress... No mess.


Florists markup their product more for weddings so you may as well DIY. This is sort of true. I have worked for lots of flower shops who use older blooms for weddings and funerals. Why? Because generally they are only expected to survive the day so this is an opportunity for flower shops with too much inventory to get rid of older stock. Buying flowers retail and doing it yourself will be cheaper but as I mentioned already, unless you have a lot of flower knowledge you will not be able to guarantee the freshness of flowers bought at the grocery store or Costco etc. One way to make sure that you're getting really fresh product from a professional florist is to choose a florist who works from a studio or freelance. These florists aren't open to the public and so they don't have inventory getting old in a fridge. Florist who work exclusively on special event floral design purchase your flowers specifically for your wedding and they are extremely fresh. House of Penney works exclusively with special events and you can expect your fresh flowers to last at least 3 days after your event, longer in the case of centrepieces and other florals that are kept in water. 

DIY gives you control over the design and is the only way to go for those of us who are a little OCD. If you do your own flowers you will obviously have the most control but sometimes you need to let go a little bit and just enjoy. Wedding flowers are time consuming and if you've ever participated in a floral design workshop you'll know what I mean. Fresh flowers have to be made as close to the date as possible. At House of Penney we are often up all night the night before an event arranging flowers in a room that is almost as cold as a refrigerator to make sure everything stays super fresh, super bright and super healthy. You don't want to spend the night before your wedding doing this... you want to be drinking champagne or tea and getting excited with your bridal party. On the day... florists are up at the crack of dawn loading your arrangements into the truck, driving them to where the bride gets ready, where the groom gets ready, the ceremony and the reception to set everything up perfectly. You don't want that kind of responsibility on the morning of your wedding. 

If you want to have a say in what your florals look like, your florist should fill you in on the process, ask you lots of questions to get the sense of your style and offer you a sample of whatever you want to see ahead of time at a discounted rate. At  House of Penney we love talking to our couples over email, skype, facebook, and in person. It's important to us that we are executing your vision! If you don't know what you wan't yet or don't feel like a creative type, thats fine too. Part of booking your event with us is planning with us one on one. We aren't a flower shop, we don't have a big fridge with flowers waiting to be bought. Everything is custom and it's important that we form a trusting relationship with our clients. Its the personal touch that you get with small business like House of Penney that can put you at ease while you plan your wedding. 

****** we are working on offering floral design workshops to help you DIYers learn the basics. Once you attend one workshop with us you will be able to buy bulk flowers from us at near wholesale prices. Please comment with your email address and wedding date if this offer interests you!