So you don’t want to splurge on hiring a florist for your wedding day. Who could blame you? Wedding flowers can cost thousands of dollars, and many brides aren’t willing to spend that much on evvvery single detail. But before you DIY your wedding flowers, make sure you know how to care for them (and make killer arrangements). After all, you don’t want to end up with wilted flowers on your wedding day! Here, we share the craziest tips from floral experts including Richard Lim, president of Bloominous DIY flower company, and Cecelia Heffernan, author of Flowers A to Z.

1. Dunk hydrangeas in cold water. These blooms can drink from both the stem and the head. “If they start to wilt, dunk them in cold water for 10 minutes to liven them up,” says Lim.

2. Don’t put water on rose petals. Unlike hydrangeas, roses won’t respond well to water on their heads. In fact, they will mold if you drip water on them.

3. Be careful when mixing flowers. Heffernan’s book tells us that certain flowers decompose differently, so stick with one type of flower per container if you want to prolong your arrangement. And a single flower in a vase will last longer than several of the same kind.

4. Don’t create a perfect circle. Today’s floral arrangements are more organic looking, so don’t fret about placing the flowers in a circular shape. Lim recommends using varying lengths and mixing with greenery for a natural look.

5. Keep flowers away from foods. Before you put your flowers in the fridge, chew on this: Many foods emit gases that can cause flowers to wilt. Heffernan writes that you should place flowers next to a window or in a cool room.

6. Wait to remove the sleeve. “When you receive flowers in a box, they typically have been traveling for 24 hours or more,” Lim says. “Don’t unwrap them from the protective sleeve prior to letting them hydrate.” If you remove the sleeve, they may not perk up even after hydrating, but the sleeve keeps them upright until they receive enough water. It’s safe to remove the sleeve after a few hours, he says.

7. Squeeze roses for freshness. When buying roses, Lim says to squeeze the flower at the sides. If it’s soft, it’s old, and if it’s firm, it’s fresh.

8. Use wire for ranunculus. Ranunculus are a bridal favorite, but these flowers have heavy heads and thin stems that can make them droop easily. According to Heffernan’s book, you can fix this by inserting a wire into the stem or using the wire as a brace alongside the stem.

9. Give stems frequent trims. After two days, Lim says that you should re-trim the stems to maintain water uptake.

10. Keep greenery out of water. Make sure greenery — leaves below the flower — are not submerged in the water. “This will keep the water cleaner and the flowers fresher,” Lim says.

11. Leave thorns on stems. Thorns can create a nice base for other flowers in a vase because they hold the stems together. But if you’re carrying the flowers, consider discarding those thorns. Be careful not to take off the skin, because it keeps water inside the flower.

12. Make sure flower food dissolves. Flower food can actually be bad for flowers if it doesn’t dissolve completely before you place flowers in the vase, Lim says. “It may create blockage at the stem and decrease water uptake,” he adds.

Will you be DIYing the flowers for your wedding? Let us know in the comments!

(Photos via Bloominous)