Before you decide to DIY your wedding...

Tricky subject today- DIY weddings.

I’m not going to say do it, I’m not going to say don’t do it… but seriously. There’s a few things you need to take into consideration before you break out the craft box (although if you already have a craft box, chances are you’ll be ok with a bit of wedding DIY! Keep reading anyway)

 

I've distilled the essence of this post into a handy dandy flowchart :)
Thinking about doing some DIY? Make sure it’s right for you before moving forward :)

There’s loads of talk at the moment about DIY elements for your wedding- the magazines often have features on the topic, and Pinterest is full of cute things you could make, so it’s very tempting to believe that it’s super easy to make everything and have it all looking perfect

There are many reasons that couples make things themselves for their wedding. Some of them can’t find what they’re looking for. Some of them want it to be a bit more personal. But for most couples, it comes down to cutting the budget.

Which is fine. I know how costly weddings can be, and there is nothing wrong with trying to save a few pennies on one aspect, in order to be able to afford something else.

BUT… how much are you actually going to save by making it yourself, as opposed to paying a professional?

I’m not just talking about money- I know, cutting costs is probably the main reason you’re even thinking about making anything yourself, but hear me out before deciding to make 100 paper flowers/half a mile of bunting/80 cupcakes.

Yes, you might be able to buy the materials for a lot less than you’d be charged by a professional- don’t forget, you’re probably mainly paying for their time and experience- and if you’ve already got the equipment, then so much the better (if you don’t, remember to factor in the cost of that when making your decision. It might turn out that once you’ve bought all the bits and bobs needed to put everything together, you’re only saving a few pounds, and still spending hours making everything. Also think about whether you’ll use the equipment again later)

But when you’ve bought everything and saved the money, do you actually, actually want to spend the time making whatever it is?

Of course, if it’s something you enjoy doing and are good at, you should definitely get making :) Believe it or not, I actually love it when couples get making things for their wedding- I know a lot of this post reads as being quite negative about it, but that’s just not the case at all. I’m only against it when I know that the DIY option is going to make the wedding planning less fun– which is what happens when someone tries to make something they’re never made before, don’t have the equipment for and haven’t got the time to make properly or get good at making properly. And, when you’ve made something yourself (especially for an important occasion!), you are your own worst critic and will notice everything that is slightly not right. It might be that no one else will notice, but that slightly wonky bow/blob of glue in the wrong place/rough edge is going to scream out at you and drive you crazy. If that sounds slightly overdramatic, speaking as a creative perfectionist who has remade many a thing over a teeny tiny error, it’s not.

True, if you’ve only got one or two fairly simple things to put together, then it’s probably not going to be too much of a headache, even if you’ve never tried anything like it before, but making a few dozen of the same thing can get a bit tedious or overwhelming. Oh, and however many you’re making, please make sure you have enough materials/time to make some spare. I’ve made thousands of wedding invites professionally, so I kinda know what I’m doing, but I still make mistakes every now and then!

The major factor to consider before DIYing is the time you have available to complete the task. It might be that you have weeks/months to complete it in, but take out the time you spend at work, with family and relaxing, and how much time have you really got to spend on it? Also factor in some procrastination time, and a few ‘really can’t be bothered’ evenings, as realistically, you’re probably not going to want to work on it every hour of the available time. How does the thought of creating the time to complete the task in that amount of time make you feel? If it’s a feeling of dread, stress or other negative reaction, find another section of the wedding preparations to cut back on and pay someone else to to it. Wedding planning should be fun, and spending hours on a task you hate will not contribute towards this!

Final point on this topic- if you’re planning on making various different things for your wedding (e.g, invites, paper flowers and bunting), focus on one thing at a time. I really can’t stress this one enough, don’t try too many different things at once otherwise you’ll get confused, things will start to go wrong and you’ll just get in a mess. Plan it out, make sure you have the time, and complete one thing before moving onto the next.

Hopefully, you’ve now got a bit more insight into what it actually takes to make things for your wedding, and are now better informed as to whether it’s right for you (and I do hope it is, making things can be great fun), or whether it’s time to find a professional. If it is a case of a tight budget, talk to potential suppliers and let them know– you never know, they might be able to offer suggestions as to ways to bring the price of their service down (for example, simplifying the design a little, or choosing alternative options like flowers that are in season locally) They might not, but there’s no harm in asking :)

Oh, and if you start something and it just isn’t working for you, again, contact a professional and see if they can help you out, or see if there’s any relevant craft groups or classes near you that might be able to offer advice or a bit of training. Just because you’ve made something yourself, doesn’t mean it should look shabby, so if you’re out of your depth, ask for help :)

Hope that helps you to understand a little about what it takes to make items for weddings, and helps you to make an informed decision about the DIY elements of your wedding.

If you do decide that DIY is for you, check back next week when I’ll be sharing some of my top tips to make it easier :)

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