The reality of a DIY wedding
Now that the crafting is over, the vows have been exchanged and the thank you cards are written, I am finally ready to write this post.
I first started thinking about writing this two nights before the wedding as I was nose deep in sewing a stuffed goose, putting together the seating chart, creating the vow books, and the many other projects I was scrambling to finish. I decided against it, mostly because I had no time, but mainly because I needed to wait and see if it was all worth it.
Needless to say, now that it is a couple weeks after the wedding, this post is completely different than it would have been that night. My DIY wedding taught me a lot about time management, prioritization and what the term DIY really means. Here are 5 things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about planning any type of DIY party:
1. DIY really doesn’t mean you have to do it ALL yourself
This point I may have figured out a little too late. I LOVE crafting and I had a bunch of ideas in my mind (and on my pinterest board) that I wanted to DIY. My mom, bridesmaids and friends were all shocked that I had not asked anything of them leading up to the wedding, but I took pride in not having to bug them to help me with all my silly crafts. When I began running out of time (the night before the rehearsal), I started to call on my friends to come help and they all did! Without their help, I don’t know how I could have done it. My advice is to not take the Y in DIY too literally!
2. You will save TONS of money by doing-it-yourself
As a young couple, we obviously wanted a budget-conscious wedding. Crafting our way through every element of the wedding allowed us to afford to add more to our wedding than we would have if we bought everything outright. That being said, it also helps if you really like crafting or have a group of friends who are willing to help, as it does take a lot of time to pull everything together by hand.
3. You don’t have to rely on the services of outside vendors
This one became clear to me when my photographer asked us to list all our vendors if we were to get published in a magazine. Due to the nature of our wedding venue and caterer (we got married at a Military Officer’s Mess), we only really had one vendor to speak of: our cake person. We were very blessed to have my godfather do all the flower arrangements, as that was one less vendor to keep track of! Below is a photo of our dessert table, where the only thing we outsourced was the wedding cake and cupcakes. I made all the decor myself, my mom and aunt made the cookies, and my step-dad made the grooms cake. It was so special to us to have everything made my family and friends and really saved us a lot of money in the end.
4. You will run out of time and sanity as you get closer to the wedding
Start as early as you can, because time will surely run out on you. I started early. Like super early. I think it must have only been a couple weeks that we were engaged before I started crafting. Although some people will tell you you’re a little eager, your future self will definitely thank you. But remember, if you can’t get everything done, dropping some projects will not be the end of the world. We had to prioritize our crafts as we got closer to the wedding, and no one at our wedding noticed the things we couldn’t finish. The more you can get done before the last month, the better!
5. Everyone loves homemade/handmade, imperfections and all
Planning a DIY wedding isn’t meant to be perfect and easy. Imperfections are what makes your wedding yours, and is what made ours special. From our table runners to the jam favours, we had a hand in it all, and we could tell our guests appreciated it. Our friends and family realized how special each element was to us, and loved our unique DIY wedding.
A DIY wedding doesn’t need to be as daunting as it seems, but it’s also not for everyone. Will and I were absolutely pleased with how our wedding turned out and wouldn’t have changed a single thing about the day. We’re so grateful for all the helping hands that made it all come together and couldn’t have done it without all our loving friends and family.