Wedding DIY projects can be a fun way to have a craft night with your best friends and can occasionally even save you money. However, they can also make you want to pull your hair out and end up costing way more than you anticipated in time, money, and stress. Because of that, “should” really means “could” in this context. There are quite a few aspects of your wedding that can be DIYed for the sake of simplicity and/or sticking to a budget. That doesn’t mean it will be the same quality or level of ease as if a professional did it!
If stationery is low on your priority list and you have an eye for graphic design, invitations are a good starter wedding DIY. This. Is. Time. Consuming. Especially if you’re having multiple inserts, inner envelopes, or any embellishments like belly bands or vellum paper. Also, be sure that you understand postage because many invitation suites cannot be sent using a standard stamp.
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Like invitations, your day-of stationery is a good candidate for wedding DIYs if they aren’t a high priority for you.
Depending on the complexity of the table numbers you want, these can be relatively quick and easy to create on your own with paint pens and photo frames. If your handwriting looks like chicken scratch, you may want to reconsider.
If you want a large, complicated display for your seating chart, this is not the wedding DIY for you. However, if you’re happy with escort cards on a table or a simple printed display, you could trade your time to make it happen!
There isn’t really one particular vendor that handles favors, so this is a pretty common wedding DIY. Whether you’re buying and customizing favors yourself or just adding a sweet note to them, this is something you can do easily and well in advance of your wedding day. I do not recommend trying to cook/bake anything for favors- leave that to the pros.
Polaroid photo booths are super cute and fun and easy to DIY in advance of your wedding. Just make sure you have someone in charge of setting it up and checking on the film throughout the evening.
Ceremony decor can be left sweet and simple, but make sure you have pros to take care of a ceremony arch and any floral arrangements.
I know it’s tempting to DIY your wedding flowers, but I promise it is nowhere near as easy (or as cost effective) as you would think. You need to buy all of the supplies (floral cutter, wire, floral tape, flower food, floral foam, vases, etc.) on top of sourcing and buying the flowers and greenery. It adds up quickly, and don’t forget that you need to spend countless hours researching which flowers are in season and learning how to actually design an arrangement.
After alllll of that, you then have to actually arrange the flowers. Something you have likely never done before. No more than three days before you’re wedding. When you’re already thinking about a million and a half other things. Oh, and it will definitely leave your house a mess afterward. PLUS you have to figure out how to keep all of those bouquets, boutonniere, and arrangements cold (but not too cold!!) after arranging them and before they need to be placed. It’s a LOT of work, and there are too many incredible florists in Kansas City for this to be a wedding DIY that you take on.
See: florals. For very similar reasons, catering your own wedding is not a good idea, even if you (or your cousin Stacy) are a really good cook. Not only is it time consuming and stressful very close to your wedding day, but caterers have specific training on food safety during preparation and serving. DIY wedding catering can lead to cold steak, warm salad, un-bussed tables, or worse, food poisoning.
A “simple backyard wedding” is never actually a simple backyard wedding. Unless you’re having dinner for eight under a pre-existing pergola, I promise it will be nowhere near as simple as you think. Here are just a few things that people forget to consider before deciding to DIY their wedding venue: tables and chairs, flooring so people don’t trip on the grass, a tent so people don’t get rained on or sunburnt, building out a kitchen so that your caterer can safely and properly prepare food (meaning electricity and water hookups), electricity for lighting/music/anything else, and bathrooms (you can’t have 150 people in and out of your one bathroom house all day). None of that is simple.
Your photography is the only tangible thing that you have from your wedding day five, ten, or fifty years later. Please, do yourself a favor and hire a professional.
DIYing wedding linens is tempting because you can almost always buy them online for less than you can rent them. Have you ever stopped to think there might be a reason for that..? I’m going to shame myself for a little bit here. I tried to DIY my wedding linens. We bought tons of tablecloths online thinking we could turn around and sell them after the wedding. I spent approximately 75 hours (and every square inch of my house) ironing and steaming them.
Then I realized that I didn’t have the right tools to fold and store them properly, so I did a half-assed fold and left well enough alone. They got even more wrinkled, took over multiple closets in my house, and one week before my wedding I started sobbing because I was tired of steaming and hated the color and how sheer and cheap they were.
In a panic, we called a rental company hoping they would have something available. Luckily they did, and they delivered them to us the day before the wedding. At the end of the night, we tossed them in a linen bag and brought them back to our house. We dropped that bag off with the rental company and I never had to think about them ever again.
Meanwhile, I still have the original tablecloths sitting in my house, taunting me. I never even used them and still haven’t sold them almost a year later. So take it from me, someone who should have known better, do not DIY your wedding linens.
Philosofi couples can hire us for hourly help to assist with things like stuffing invitations and filling welcome bags! Contact us to learn more about joining the family!
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