If you’re planning on DIYing your flowers, choosing your flowers and greenery is only half the battle. Once your order is placed, it’s never too soon to get yourself prepared for their arrival! Scroll on for a comprehensive checklist of what you will want to have on hand when your flowers arrive…


DIY Flower Processing Supplies - FiftyFlowers

DIY Flower Processing Supplies – FiftyFlowers

Processing Supplies

  • 5 gallon buckets – These can be purchased at any hardware store. As a baseline for estimating how many buckets you’ll need, you can fit around 75 stems (3 bunches) of standard roses in each bucket. Though more would physically fit into the bucket, we don’t recommend packing them in together too tightly while they’re still blooming open, since overcrowding can slow down the process. If you want to consolidate your flowers into fewer buckets for transportation after they’ve bloomed, this is perfectly fine.
  • Floral shears/bunch cutters – A nice, sturdy pair of shears are a must when processing your flowers. It’s a good idea to invest in a couple of pairs for your processing “team” to help things go more quickly. Plus you’ll want to have these on hand when it comes time to put together arrangements, as you often need to adjust stem lengths as you go.
  • Gardening or work gloves – You can work a lot more quickly if you aren’t worried about thorns or splinters! Also helpful if you’re processing a tinted product, as some of the tint can leak out where a stem has been freshly cut or leaves have been removed.
  • Tarp or drop cloth (optional) – If you have a lot of flowers and/or greenery set to arrive, you may want to cover the floor of your processing space with a tarp or drop cloth for quicker clean-up. You’d be surprised how many petals, leaves, and trimmed off stems end up left behind!
  • Thorn strippers (optional) – It’s definitely a good idea to have one or two of these on hand if you’re receiving Roses, Garden Roses, or Spray Roses–though they also make quick work of stripping excess foliage off of any hardy stem.


General things to keep in mind: Prior to your flower delivery, clear out a nice large space for all of the boxes and buckets, and fill the buckets with about 4 inches of cool tap water. Keep out as much natural light as possible, and aim to keep the temperature below 70º.


DIY Flower Arranging Supplies - FiftyFlowers

DIY Flower Arranging Supplies

Arranging Supplies

  • Vases – Yes, an obvious one, but having all of your vases laid out and pre-filled with water will help things go smoothly when arranging. Also, set aside vases intended for the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets so that you can get those back into water as soon as you’re finished arranging them. (Keep these vases filled with only a few inches of water if you have a decorative wrap that you need to keep dry, but be sure to watch their water levels!)
    Bridal and Bridesmaids' Bouquets Hydrating

    Bridal and Bridesmaids’ Bouquets Hydrating


  • Floral tapeFloral tape is perfect for creating boutonnieres and/or corsages, binding bouquets, adding some sturdiness to a weak stem, the list goes on!
  • Floral Wire – If you plan on incorporating any items that arrive stemless (like Orchid blooms or Succulents) floral wire is the way to go. (You can check out our tutorial video and blog post on creating a faux stem here!) Floral wire is also super helpful if you plan to hang a garland and/or attach flowers to your ceremony arch or the bridal party’s reception chairs, or if you want to create a custom floral crown.
  • Floral foam (optional) – If you’re making arrangements in something other than a vase (like a wooden box, or a lantern, or a long, low vase) floral foam can be hugely helpful in the arranging process. If you plan to use it, it’s wise to pre-soak your foam so that it’s ready to go when you start arranging. Simply set your pieces of foam on top of a large container of water (your buckets could come in handy here!) and allow the them to absorb the water on their own. Do not force the foam into the water, as that often doesn’t allow the water to soak all the way into the center of it.
    Lantern Centerpiece Using Floral Foam

    DIY Lantern Centerpiece Using Floral Foam

{Source – a FiftyFlowers bride!}


  • Scotch tape (optional) – A super helpful tool if you’re making arrangements in a vase or container with a very wide opening. Use the tape to create a grid to help a cascading, overflowing centerpiece stay in place.
DIY Centerpiece Using Tape Grid

DIY Centerpiece Using Tape Grid

{Source – a FiftyFlowers bride!}

  • Ribbon and pins – To add the finishing touches to your bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. Keep in mind that you’ll want different pins for securing your bouquet wraps than you’d use to attach boutonnieres and pin-on corsages–you can find both here. You might also want to accent your vases with the same ribbon you used on your arrangements to tie your whole look together!

Now that you have everything ready for processing and arranging your flowers, read up on how to transport them to your venue!

from FiftyFlowers the Blog