If there’s one buzz word that you will see in every wedding blog and magazine at the moment, it’s the infamous DIY! I know I am equally guilty of championing the notion that DIY equals cheaper and more personal, but as a bride who went into the wedding experience believing this whole heartedly, I think it’s important that reality is talked about too!
My husband and I wanted to put as much of ourselves into every aspect of our day, but didn’t necessarily have the budget that matched the ideas in our dreams! DIY in our eyes, would let us put our own creative stamp on things, and ideally save money in the process. In most cases, it did exactly this, and we were over the moon with the results. But getting to that point was also incredibly exhausting, sometimes stressful and at times tedious!
If we could do it all over again, I think we would still put a lot of our heart and soul into the wedding through DIY, but with the benefit of hindsight we would pick and choose the projects more carefully, have asked for help, and found professionals to some jobs!
It’s so easy to take on more than you can handle, so if you’re considering the DIY route, be sure to put some thought into the following points first!
1: Know your Strengths Have you got any experience in the area you are taking on? If you’ve been rocking out amazing flower arrangements for your front room for years, maybe doing your own bouquet could be your chance to put those skills to good use! If you have no experience in cake baking or invitation creating, are you willing to learn how, and do you have time and funds for lots of trial runs? Keep in mind there’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project and not being happy with the final result!
2: Figure out your costs DIY will only be cheaper if all of the supplies you need to make it a reality don’t add up to a small fortune. List every item needed and cost every aspect. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of extra supplies for practice and failed attempts! We printed out our own invitations from a designer sourced through Etsy. We loved the design she created for us, but didn’t really consider all the extras, including paper, ink, pens, envelopes, and a paper guillotine. The costs add up sooner than you think!
3: What’s the time vs money ratio? Everyone knows that when planning a wedding every penny (or cent) counts! Figuring out how much money you will save is an important first step, but the real question is how long is it going to take you to complete the project? Making 200 personalised place cards for your guests might seem like a lovely idea now, but are you really willing to spend many, many hours of your life on it? Sometimes your time (and sanity!) is more valuable than money, and it can be well worth paying a professional to do an amazing job and make your life a lot easier.
4: Will you need help? DIY projects can be a really fun way of involving your family and friends in the wedding planning process. Most of the time people love having the chance to help out in any way, so don’t think you’re super woman and can do it all alone. That being said, be honest about how much time and commitment a project will take so that willing helpers don’t start to feel resentful! Figure out how much time you think it will need, and double it!
5: Be clear about your priorities, and motivation Unless you have an unlimited budget (in which case DIY probably isn’t needed!) prioritising what’s important to you in the whole wedding experience is essential. For us, the food, music and photography was top of the list for the day, so we allocated the majority of the funds into these areas. Look at what’s left on your list, and see what could be a potential DIY project after considering all of the above factors. Instead of taking them all on (trust me, it’s too much!) pick a few DIY projects that you absolutely love and put your effort and time into doing them really well.
That way, ideally you end up with a few DIY projects that you adore, that you can achieve without losing your sanity!
One of the DIY projects my husband decided to take on (believe it or not!) was our wedding cake! This project certainly wasn’t for the faint hearted, but if there are a few of you considering taking the plunge, stop by on Monday where I’ll share our recipe and the whole DIY cake experience!
Is anyone else in the midst of DIY dilemma’s at the moment? I hope I haven’t deterred you from taking on a project you love, DIY can be so lovely when done right, but save yourself the heartache and think carefully before you take it on! If you’d like any further advice, be sure to leave a comment below!