The Dos and Don’ts of a DIY Wedding

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

You’re getting married! (Yay!) And we bet you’re seeing dollar signs. (Boo!) While you may be thinking about saving yourself some money by embracing the DIY wedding trend, you need to be realistic about the things you can actually make yourself — especially if you’re not very crafty to begin with.

Here’s a primer on how to save some money and your sanity.

DO be realistic about what you have time to do.

This is a big one. While some DIYs might seem like a breeze, typically anything involving glue, paint, or calligraphy will take awhile. If you have a full-time job and want to maintain friendships and sleep leading up to the wedding, you might not have time to hand-etch glassware for the Champagne toast.

DON’T cater it all by yourself.

No matter how much you love to cook (or how many friends’ weddings you’ve done), this is a bad idea for your own wedding. You can’t attend your wedding while cooking for it, too. If you are set on making some things, stick to things that can be made ahead of time and then executed/sent out by someone else.

(Image credit: Winnie Au)

DO consider how much it will cost.

You love to arrange flowers! And you think it’ll be cheaper to do them yourself. Do the math to find out. Get estimates from local florists and then price out how much it will cost for you to buy the blooms yourself. Don’t forget to add in how much it will cost you in terms of time. Because time is money! Can you afford to take the time to go to the flower market and make the arrangements yourself?

DON’T be afraid to cheat a little.

Maybe you want to make your own cake, but you’ve never actually made a four-tiered cake before. Consider ordering an undecorated cake and adding the final touches yourself. Or buy cookies from a beloved local baker and package them yourself for the favors. You don’t have to make every part for something to be considered a DIY project.

(Image credit: Lettermate)

DO DIY in order to personalize.

If there are certain special details (like movie-themed table numbers) that you can’t live without and you can’t buy them, add them onto your to-do list. That is the whole purpose of DIY — customization. But if you’re thinking about monogramming napkins yourself, well, that’s something you might want to buy.

DO enlist help.

No bride is an island … that’s how the saying goes, right? You’re going to have to get some extra hands to help out. Whether it’s your mom, your bridesmaids, or your betrothed, put some (willing) participants to work! Even if that just means putting someone in charge of picking up supplies. Tip: If you’re hosting a craft night at home, don’t be stingy with the wine!

DON’T wait until the last minute.

Remember, you probably have a rehearsal dinner (or some sort of gathering) the night before and hair and makeup the day of. You don’t want to be scrambling to throw it all together.

More on DIY Wedding Elements

What elements did you DIY for your own wedding? How did it go?