Following one of my earlier posts about DIY Weddings, I thought I’d share some things that I learnt along my DIY wedding journey. Whether you want to save money or just put your own creative stamp on your day, here are my top tips for successful wedding DIY.
- 1. Give yourself plenty of time
Let’s be honest; wedding DIY is no walk in the park, even if you are naturally creative. It is extremely rewarding but only if you don’t make it stressful for yourself in the process. Once you’ve decided that you want to design, make, and create things for your wedding, be sure to give yourself plenty of time before the big day to actually do it all. When it comes down to it, there is no such thing as starting too early. The last thing you need is to be running around like a headless chicken weeks before your wedding day. Make a list of all the things you want to do yourself and how much time you think it will take you. Then add half that amount of time again, just to be on the safe side. This will allow for any “faffing” or alterations you might need to make to your ideas. If you’re super organised, why not set yourself a DIY timeline to keep yourself on track? There are some things you won’t be able to do until the last minute (place cards, table plans etc) so make sure you factor this in too. If you’ve started early, it means you’ll have time to enjoy the run up to the big day.
- 2. Practice, practice, practice
This one comes hand in hand with tip 1; practice EVERYTHING. This is the only way you will figure out if your ideas will work. When I got married earlier this year I decided I wanted to paint my reception table plan. In my mind each table would be an elaborate snowflake silhouette (we had a winter wedding theme) that I would then hand paint the guests names into. I had grand ideas to enlist my Dad’s help to jigsaw a wooden template that I could paint/spray paint around. Needless to say, I was never going to have the time (or skill for that matter) to get this all done. In the end I painted my, now smaller, snowflakes freehand and put the table numbers inside them instead. I then wrote the guests names out underneath by hand and added some glitter. It still looked great. The point to my anecdote is, you don’t know until you try, and it’s better to try whilst you still have time.
- 3. Don’t be afraid to try the big things
Want to make your own wedding cake? Why not! Fancy giving the flowers a go? Try it! Don’t be put off trying any of the big things. If you think you can do it, you probably can. A friend of mine is a fabulous baker and made all of her own wedding cakes and cupcakes for her big day. Granted, she knows her way around a kitchen aid but if you’re not so confident, seek the advice of someone who is. We all know someone who bakes, right? I had no floristry experience before I did my wedding flowers but I’m glad I did it. So many of our guests commented on how beautiful they were and I’ve even been asked to do flowers for a friend’s wedding next year. If it doesn’t work out, at least you won’t regret not trying it yourself.
- 4. Keep track of your spending
Take it from me, it is far too easy to get carried away in Hobbycraft so make sure you – or your husband to be, in my case – keep an eye on what you’re spending on all of your DIY materials. The idea is to save money, not to make it more expensive for yourself. The most important piece of advice I can give here is, have a plan before you start buying things. Have an idea of the things you want to do, whether it’s making your own bunting or photo board, have it in your mind before you start splurging on materials. Buy only what you need and if you find yourself running low you can always replenish once you’re at that point. Maybe set yourself a budget within your budget? Or draw up an idea of how much you want to spend and try and stick to it.
- 5. Get your friends and family involved
I can’t stress enough how much easier and more relaxing the whole journey will be if you let people help you. It will save you heaps of time and will also involve your family and friends in your plans. I was dreading having all the bridesmaids, my extended family and the in-laws at the reception venue the day before my wedding to help us decorate. In hindsight, I am so glad they were there ready to take orders, hang fairy lights and scatter pine cones. I’ve mentioned before how I had my bridesmaids and friends form a production line to help create my wedding favours, but honestly I can’t recommend it enough. Not only is it less stressful for you but it makes everyone feel like they are a part of it. These people love you and know how important your big day is so will be more than happy to help, even if that means taking orders!
Finally, enjoy it! The whole idea is to add a little piece of you to your day. Make it personal and fun and have the day you’ve dreamed about!
P.s. All the pictures in this post were taken by our fabulous wedding photographers Chris & Helen @ Scuffins Photography. These guys are seriously awesome and take beautiful pictures!