For your wedding, you may be thinking that you want to create some of the elements yourself. DIY is great for couples who are creative, who want to put their own spin on their wedding décor, or who simply want to save a bit of cash.
Some of us are DIY experts. While the rest of us have never even been into a craft store and have no idea where to start. It’s okay. Whatever level you’re at you can pull off some DIY elements for your wedding.
You might be throwing yourself completely in to the DIY elements or be just doing a few things so as not to overwhelm yourselves. Either way, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you succeed.
Play to your strengths
While DIY can be great for weddings, it’s not so great if you don’t have the skills to back up the project you’re conquering. Some people think that they’ll save money doing their own DIY elements even if they have to teach themselves a skill along the way. This can certainly work for some, but for most people it can just be a big mess.
For example, say you want to bake your own cake and decorate it too. It’s a cake, it can’t be that hard, right? Well, it actually is that hard. That’s why there are professionals who do it for a living. If you’re not someone who cooks often and when you do, often burns things to a crisp, then baking your own cake may not be the best DIY project for your wedding. In this instance, you’ll likely end up wasting time and money trying to get it right when if you had known that your strengths were in sewing and cooking, then you might have been sewing up a storm rather than setting fire to your kitchen. See what we mean?
When it comes to DIY, pulling it off successfully will come down to what skills you can bring to the party. If you’re good with your hands, then you might be great at decorating your wedding cake and end up discovering a new hobby. Or if you’re good at art, then you might end up dominating at designing your wedding invites.
If you think of all the DIY elements at your wedding in a realistic way, you likely won’t fall into any traps. You may want the challenge of covering a three-tier cake with fondant, or you might decide that it isn’t worth the time, sweat and tears and instead focus on elements you know you can do well. Doing this will save you time and money down the track. After all, imagine the costs of a last-minute wedding cake after you burnt the first one or last-minute invites after you realised that you’re not very creative. Outsourcing for things you can’t do is smarter than trying to do everything.
Don’t become a social media horror story
We all know the ‘nailed it’ sections of popular social media. This is where we see people attempting to recreate something they’ve seen on social media and it’s an epic fail, yet they think they’ve ‘nailed it’. This kind of thing is funny to laugh at when it’s not happening to you, but when it is it can be so super embarrassing. No one wants their wedding day to be seen as some kind of joke because you make some poor DIY decisions.
The ways to avoid this are simple. Firstly, don’t attempt things you know you’re unable to do. Unless you’re someone that can easily learn new skills, it’s better to leave the stuff that’s out of your league to either the professionals or to simply buy it in.
In order to do DIY successfully, you need to be honest with yourself about your skill level. For example, you might be good at sewing. You may have made a few dresses or pillow cases. But can you really tackle making your bridesmaids’ dresses? Be honest to avoid disaster.
If you’re going to give something a go but you’re a bit inexperienced, say for example baking your wedding cake or desserts, then practice beforehand. If you’re launching into something where you lack the experience, then you really need to practice because we’re telling you now, there’s no way you can pull off something remotely professional the night before.
Avoid being the next ‘nailed it’ sensation by tackling projects you can actually do or practicing until you actually have nailed it for real.
Create a vision board
An easy way to keep on track with your projects and your theme is to create a vision board. This will allow you to maintain your focus on your inspiration for your wedding DIY. It also helps if you’ve got a few whacky ideas and you’re not sure if they’ll fit in with the rest of your wedding. If they clash on the vision board, then they’ll clash in real life too. So it makes them easy to cut out.
Having a vision board will also stop you from letting your ideas get out of hand. You may have a lot of ideas for your wedding. You might actually have too many, so a vision board will help you see what is necessary and what is too much. It will help you see when you’re going overboard and when you’re pulling focus from other more important elements. Plus, it’s perfect for getting an overview on budget and time constraints which are obviously very important when it comes to your wedding planning.
Don’t copy, create a new version
Scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest in the lead up to your wedding is definitely going to be something that you do. This is all well and good; you always need a bit of inspiration as a jumping off point. The problem lots of people have is when they end up just copying the original thing they were inspired by instead of making it their own.
Say for example, you see a beautiful bouquet of flowers on Instagram that you want to recreate for your own bouquet. Copying it exactly will result in something beautiful, but you have to ask yourself if those exact flowers in those exact colours are completely you. If you always thought you’d have tulips, but the bouquet is a bunch of roses, step back and consider what you like about it. Is it the colour? The way it’s sitting together? The binding? The shape? It might not be the entire bouquet that you’re in love with but one of these elements instead.
It’s your wedding day so you need to put your own stamp on the little elements. Let your imagination wander with this stuff and arrive at a place that you know reflects who you are. Take something you see and put your own twist on it to turn it into a representation of you.
Browse, research, then buy
Okay, this is a big one. When it comes to doing DIY elements of your wedding, you’re going to be looking online and in stores for the things that you need. The problem with going shopping in either environment is that you’re bound to get distracted and pulled in lots of different directions. It is far too easy to get caught up in a sale only to realise you never wanted anything in that sale to begin with. It’s important to slow it down and think about exactly what you want before you launch in with purchases.
Far too many couples get excited by the prospect of spending money for their wedding. They spend money buying elements that they don’t need. Things that may not even go with the rest of their wedding. For example, you might buy 100 glasses bottles for your wedding favours only to realise later that perhaps those bottles don’t go with their theme as well as glass jars would. That purchase is now redundant.
All the money that you spend for your wedding is important. So you need to treat it that way. If you’re dead keen on those bottles, then sit on that decision for a week. Give yourself a bit of thinking and breathing time before you go ahead with that purchase. If it’s still seeming like a great idea in a week, then buy them. If it’s not, then move on.
Another super important thing to do here is to talk things over with your partner. Spending big chunks of money should be something that you decide on together. And if they’re thinking that waiting is the best option, then do that and come back at it later.
So, now that you’re not getting carried away anymore, what you need to do is make yourself a list. Plan exactly what you want to get and then go browsing. Don’t browse before you know what you want or you’ll end up wasting time and getting distracted. Have a plan and then shop around for the best deals online. You can find some great bargains particularly in online shops. Plus, it’ll save you time than shopping in physical stores will.
Make it fun
Okay, so you absolutely do not want your wedding planning to be a drag. So don’t let it become that. If you’re planning on tackling some DIY projects, make it a fun and exciting experience. Invite your friends over to help you create flower crowns or have a movie marathon while you make your wedding favours. You can really make this fun if you don’t let the stress get to you.
Remember that DIY elements are time consuming. You don’t want to commit to them if you don’t have the time or the relaxed nature to handle the project. So consider this before you decide that DIY is for you.
Give yourself time
As you can imagine, DIY elements take a long time to prepare. These aren’t things that can be whipped up quickly especially if you’re learning as you go. If the things you’re working on have fiddly or time consuming elements, then it’s worth starting the projects early. This way you won’t be stressing about the time frame because you’ve given yourself more than enough time to complete the projects.
This is another way that your vision board can come in handy. If you start early, then you’ll easily be able to have a sample of what you’re making pinned to your vision board. This will keep you inspired to keep on track in getting this element finished early.
Remember that if you leave everything to the last minute, you’ll end up creating a negative vibe around this and probably other DIY projects for your wedding. You definitely don’t want that as it’ll lead to unnecessary stress. Starting early, staying organised and managing your time well is essential for pulling off a DIY wedding.
Be prepared to scrap something if it doesn’t work out
So we’ve mentioned that you need to be honest with yourself about your skills. You can always attempt something and then find out later that that kind of DIY isn’t for you. If you’re at this stage and you’re not sure where to go next, consider scrapping the idea.
This may sound extreme, but hear us out. Sometimes things just don’t work out. You might have had some elaborate origami-esque ideas for your wedding invitations. But as hard as you tried, they just haven’t worked out. Don’t be afraid to scrap the idea entirely in favour of something more achievable. Simple done well is better than complicated done poorly. If it’s not right, then don’t force it because you’ll end up wasting your time and money and potentially could up right where you started. it’s really not working, then accept the defeat and come up with a new way to tackle your invitations or you wedding favours.
If you need a bit of DIY inspiration, then check out our Real Weddings section here to get you started.
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