As weddings get more and more expensive, the desire to DIY certain elements gets stronger. However, if you’re a DIY newbie, the creativity involved and the time that it takes to get crafty can add a lot of pressure to an already stressful process. If you’re still deciding which route to go, we’ve come up with a list of popular projects that you might consider tackling before your big day.
What’s your budget? Aside from the wedding venues, your wedding website, food, and other items in your wedding checklist did you set aside a separate budget for DIY projects, or is it something that you plan to account for as you go? This is something worth considering, as even small purchases can add up over time. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking of DIY as a “free alternative,” but that’s seldom the case.
How much time do you (realistically) have to spend on these projects? When it comes to wedding planning and the many DIY wedding ideas you have, it’s easy to overestimate the amount of free time you’ll have until your wedding day, so make sure to check the essential tasks off your list before you start tackling DIY projects.
Do some research in advance and find out how much time each project should take so that you can work it into your wedding planning timeline. You can also ask around or consult wedding vendors for tips on doing things quickly and efficiently without wasting your budget.
Will you have help? How involved will your wedding party be? Refer to your wedding planning checklist and see if you have friends or family who have a particular knack for creative projects. It’s worth considering who you can delegate tasks to before you make any decisions about what to DIY.
Do you like the DIY “look”? Do you like a rustic wedding, backyard wedding, and/or handmade-looking wedding dress and decor, or are you looking for something more polished and upscale? Though saving money has a lot of appeals, it’s also important to make sure that the details and decor suit your overall vision.
Keeping these questions in mind, below are a few of our favorite DIY projects to consider for your wedding.
Pros: With fancy wedding invitations or save the date cards suites costing upwards of $5,000, choosing to DIY your invites is extremely appealing and can save you a lot of money early on. With the many card stock designs available, it also gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of styles and printing. Plus, you can choose to reprint or redesign at a little extra cost. There are also free wedding websites that can double as your wedding invitation. What’s more, you can easily customize it yourself.
Zola also offers an assortment of pre-designed options to help you save time, while still providing the flexibility you need.
Cons: The biggest con to DIYing your invitations is the amount of time it’s likely to take. Between selecting (or creating) the design, printing, assembly, and addressing the envelopes, you and your fiance are going to need to allocate an extensive amount of time to the project. You’ll also likely be limited when it comes to certain design elements, such as letterpress and foil stamping.
Pros: If you have a very specific vision and are confident in your floral styling abilities, DIY wedding flowers might be the way to go. Not only are wholesale fresh flowers dramatically cheaper than pre-designed options, but you’re also likely to have more options for your bouquet. You may even be able to recruit a talented friend or family member who’s willing to help out.
Cons: One issue with designing your wedding flowers is the actual assembly. You’re already going to have your hands full on your big day, so adding one more thing to fit in might not be entirely realistic. There are also many lesser-known benefits of working with a professional florist, including knowing which flowers are in season, how to store the bouquets, and more.
Pros: Many different elements compose table decor, from place cards to napkins and runners. Depending on your vision, wedding theme, and wedding reception venue, you can select small DIY wedding decorations. Choose elements that aren’t likely to take too much time, such as making small mason jar wedding centerpieces, place cards, or watercolor table numbers. Not only does making your table decoration save some money and make things more personal, but it’s also a great excuse to get your wedding party together for some creative bonding.
Cons: Since there’s a lot of flexibility with tablescapes, there aren’t many cons to DIYing a couple of elements. However, if you commit to tackling too many projects in your wedding decor checklist, it can be difficult to keep things cohesive, and you run the risk of running out of time.
Pros: DJing your wedding has grown in popularity over the years, as it not only gives you full control over your playlist but also saves you a significant sum that can be spent on more tangible elements (such as that epic backdrop you’ve been dreaming of). This route is perfect for laid-back newlyweds who are having a more relaxed gathering.
Cons: There are a lot of intangibles that make DJs great at what they do, including technical skills, knowing when to switch things up, and understanding how sound will travel in your specific venue. If you choose to DIY your music, you’re also going to be responsible for renting the right equipment (which may cost almost as much as the DJ).
Pros: From wedding party gifts to wedding favors, this is a popular choice to DIY… and for good reason. Since there are few expectations attached to a wedding gift and wedding favors, you’re free to let your imagination run wild and create something uniquely personal. From pressed flowers to macrame coasters, there are absolutely no limitations.
Cons: Again, time is the only thing working against you. Because there’s a lot of flexibility that comes with DIYing gifts or favors, it’s hard to find a reason not to, but time management is going to be key. We also suggest sticking to simpler projects so that what was meant to be a fun, creative outlet doesn’t ultimately become a source of stress.
When it comes to DIY weddings, the most important factor is time. If you’re still months away, and you thoroughly enjoy the planning process from the wedding registry, wedding venue, to your wedding decor, then tackling a DIY project or two might not be a bad idea. However, if you’re expecting to be stressed or don’t have a creative bone in your body, then it might be best to leave it to the pros. No matter what, make sure to follow your gut and stay true to your vision.