As wedding bloggers, we here at Bridal Musings have blogged about, swooned over, and repinned hundreds of DIY weddings. They are often the most creative, unique, beautiful and utterly romantic big days. But they can also be all kinds of stressful!
It’s wonderful to be able to put your own stamp on your wedding, but if you and your other half spend the six months beforehand, drowning in a sea of burlap, clocking up glue gun scars, and forgetting that you’re supposed to be having fun and throwing a party, then is it really worth it?
Planning a DIY wedding can be so enjoyable, and so rewarding, but only if you’re realistic.
We’ve put together a few tips for DIY brides and grooms to hand make their way up the aisle, without losing their sanity to DIY doily bunting…
Do play to your strengths
You don’t need to be a carpenter, AND a baker, AND a calligrapher. Instead of stressing yourself out over the skills you don’t have, show off the talents you do.
(And, if you have a particularly illegible scrawl, leave it to the professionals with our fave Etsy stationers!)
Don’t take on too much
Pick one or two tasks to DIY, and spend your time focusing on them, rather than trying to do it all.
It may seem impressive to tell your guests you made your cake, and arranged the flowers, but if you’re too tired to hit the dancefloor at your own (albeit beautifully crafted) wedding, it really won’t be worth it!
So it’s not fair to pawn all your DIY-ing off on your friends, but why not create a fun way off sharing the workload?
Get your girls over for a crafternoon, and thank them with some sweet treats and bubbly. Spend the weekend hanging out with your dad, making chalkboard signage. Or while away a day out with your other half, trawling thrift shops for vintage adornments for your centrepieces.
DIY-ing is so much more fun when you make it social, rather than try to do it all yourself.
Don’t forget your supplies
Make sure you have everything you need before you start a DIY project, rather than realising you’ve run out of washi tape half-way through your geometric table plan.
As a rule of thumb, get 10-20% more of your supplies than you think you’ll need, you can always put it to use again if you’ve got lots left over.
Check out our pick of pretty (and handy) DIY wedding supplies.
Do set deadlines
Give yourself the week before the big day entirely free of DIY tasks, and try to spread your projects out over the months before your wedding.
Setting deadlines will make each job more manageable. Get bigger projects done with a month or two to go, and leave daintier crafts to the few weeks before your wedding so they don’t get damaged. And if you’re doing anything last minute, like desserts or flowers, start early and leave yourself plenty of time so you won’t be stressed.
Having a deadline also means if the DIY project isn’t working out, there’s time to go with a backup…
Do have a backup
When a craft project works out, it can look incredible. But they don’t always work out!
There’s no shame calling in the pros if your craftiness doesn’t turn out as expected (you’ve seen Pinterest Fails, right?).
Whether it’s those save the dates, your tissue paper pom poms, or that flower crown, incredible pro crafters are just a few clicks away, and by choosing an Etsy maker, you won’t lose any of that made-by-hand charm.
Don’t think short term
So you’ve put your evenings, weekends, and days off (not to mention your heart, soul and credit card) into your DIY projects, and they’re only going to be enjoyed for one day. That’s kind of tragic, don’t you think?
Try to plan projects that can be used again in your home, or gifted to your guests and enjoyed for weeks, months or even years to come. Hang your bunting up in your garden, use your ceremony backdrop in your guest bedroom, or give your DIY ring pillow to a friend as their Something Borrowed.
Try to create meaningful keepsakes rather than one day wonders.
Don’t forget the cost
Many couples opt for a DIY wedding to cut costs, but all too often, it ends up setting them back even more.
Tassel garland? All you need is paper and string. A calligraphy backdrop? A sheet, ink, paint brush, (and a very steady hand!)
But if you love the laser-cut look of paper goods and cake toppers, buy them ready-made rather than investing in a pricey laser cutter that you may never use again.
Specialist supplies or equipment may need to be bought in bulk and can be costly, so make sure you factor in if it’s really worth the added expense, just for the DIY bragging rights.
Do find tutorials
Just because sewing your own bunting sounds easy, doesn’t mean it will be when you sit down to do it. There can be several ways to do things, and some might be faster, and easier, than others.
Look for crafty inspiration in magazines and on Pinterest, and consult your favourite blogs for step-by-step guides or video tutorials to help you on your way.
Don’t forget what it’s all about
When it’s three in the morning, two days before your wedding, and you’re frantically tying dried lavender to your wedding programs, step away. Put it down, give your partner a kiss, and remember what it’s all about.
You’re getting married!
And while all your efforts will be adored by your guests, no one’s going to mind, or notice, if your menus are lacking a ribbon, if two centrepieces are smaller than the others, or if your Mr & Mrs calligraphy turned out a little wonkier than planned.
They’ll be too busy being chuffed to bits for you and your other half.
If you’re planning on DIYing your own big day, check out our pick of DIY supplies, or should you choose to fake it, rather than make it, peruse our very favourite Etsy decor buys and detail finds that have will give your wedding a handcrafted polish, without you getting Mod Podge Sparkle on your mani!
Oh, and take a peek at our Best of British Etsy picks, too – homegrown prettiness to be proud of!