Need DIY flower help..

I need help

My mother used to be a florist so she volunteered right away to do the flowers. She said it would really mean a lot to her to contribute by making our bouquets and the boutonnieres. She lives in Florida (I'm in Ca) so with the distance and the time difference, we don't have many opportunities to talk "wedding". Plus, she has a lot on her plate and I don't want to stress her with wedding details (she has MS and when she starts to get stressed out, some of her symptoms flare up.. she will get very tired and have to lay down. I don't want to put any pressure on her because of this. Also she is undergoing shoulder surgery next week. She has enough on her plate than to be called and bombarded with questions about flowers.) 
When we have talked about it, she said that when she flies in, we will go to a flower outlet/wholesale shop, buy the flowers, and go from there. She flies in on Thursday and the wedding is Saturday. I want to get as much done as possible before she flies in. Again, trying to minimize any extra stress for her.

I just don't know where to begin.. like:
*What flowers are the least expensive and in season?

*Do I need to call the flower shop ahead of time so they have the flowers ready?

*Should I order online and have them shipped here (would that be less expensive?)

*Is it better to make the bouquets, etc the day of the wedding or could we do it the day before? (I will be helping).

*How many flowers will I need to make a bouquet? Should I get extras? Where should we store them until we're ready to use them (fridge?)

Aaaaahh so much to think about. Ideally I would like to have the details figured out before she arrives so there is less for her to have to do. She will be still be recovering from her shoulder surgery as well. :(

Does anyone have any advice for me? Anyone else do their own flowers? Please help, anything will help. Thanks in advance. Sorry for the novel..

Re: Need DIY flower help..

  • Wow, congrats on having a Mom who is putting up with so much, yet wants to do something so special for you.

    You decide what flowers you want. You place the order. Have the flowers ready at your residence the day before she arrives, or the day she arrives, in buckets with floral food. She will know what to do from there if she's an expert.

    Maybe you can reduce the stress by having her do just the centerpieces and you can get a wedding package online. We ordered the rose wedding package from, $399 for 20 pieces. They are willing to "swap out" centerpieces for extra bouquets, or vice versa. The order needs to be placed 30 days in advance of delivery, but it's very reasonable.

    I ordered bulk flowers from the local Costco "floral arranger", the person who arranges the flowers for the kiosk in the store. I got her number from the customer service desk. There are also other options online. Your mom has experience, so she will know what to do, what's in season etc . However, being in California means you can probably get great flowers year round from florists.

    Good luck.
  • Your mom must be so very excited for you!  I have MS and know exactly what you are talking about when you mention the stress, fatigue, and symptom flares.  It is often a balancing act.  But honestly, I would not think that phone calls to plan for the flowers should be stressful, instead it would provide the 'right' type of excitement.  Now, after the surgery it would be another matter.  The physical stress of surgery may cause the MS symptoms to surface more readily.  Encourage your mom to rest and follow the doctors after care recommendations for a speedier recovery.

    One thing which you could do is to find out what supplies your mom would need to make the arrangements and to have them purchased, organized, and ready to go at your home.  Shopping for the flowers would be a fun part of the process I would like for your mom.  Find out where the 'best' flower market is near your home (or between the airport and your home), check it out in person, and maybe send a couple of snapshots to your mom to see if she thinks that you'll find what you want at that market. 

    Prepare a big empty space in your fridge in case that is the best place to store the flowers before or after they've been arranged.  I would guess that your mom would want to make the arrangements on Friday.

    Thinking of traveling, I don't know if your mom has mobility issues.  But even if her walking is only mildly affected, encourage her to take advantage of the wheelchair service at the airport.  She and her entourage will be able to go through security more quickly and avoiding walking those distances in the airport will go a very long way to avoiding fatigue.  Ask your mom what her idea of will happen on Thursday is.  Ask her if she wants to have a few hours to rest after her arrival. 

    If your mom takes medications for specfic symptoms, including fatigue, gently remind her to pack extra meds for the trip.  When I travel, I even go so far as to have an emergency prescription of oral steroids on hand just in case I wake up one morning and can't see or can't walk.

    For both you and your mom, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water.  Dehydration is very much fatiguing!! 

    So my suggestion is to call your mom and plan some strategy.  Also discuss what a back-up plan might be should your mom know 1 week or 2 weeks before the wedding out that she will likely not be physically able to make the bouquet and bouts herself.

    Good luck!
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