I want to share with you how to keep the details in your DIY wedding AND cut the costs. When we planned our wedding, I knew that it would be the ultimate crafting challenge in order to stay within our budget. Today, more and more people are paying for everything themselves and therefore looking to cut costs where they can. DIY doesn’t have to mean simpler, easy, or cutting corners. With creativity, time, and teamwork it is possible to create the desired aesthetic and level of detail desired.
Here are some things that I learned over the year’s process of planning, crafting, and coordinating both the larger picture and small details:
- You don’t have to give up quality, details, or the aesthetic that you want in order to save money. You just have to be willing to do more labor. Our invitations were gorgeous, layered, and had twine tied around them to give them a bit of a ‘backyard NH wedding feel’. It meant hours of cutting paper, spray gluing layers, assembling the invite, and tying the twine. But in the end, I had an invite that I loved and that conveyed the tone I wanted.
- Remember that you are crafting on a major scale and plan accordingly. I wanted Save the Dates that looked like mason jars. However, after cutting 10, my hand hurt but I was already committed to this design. So I had to cut out 65 more mason jar Save the Dates. I learned from this experience and made sure that my invitations were rectangle so that I could use a paper cutter. (Bonus tip: invest in a small paper cutter).
- Use friends and play to their strengths. I hosted multiple crafting parties and served food and drinks for anyone who came to help. Some of my friends had horrible handwriting or couldn’t lay out a pattern to save their lives. They were in charge of cutting the paper, painting the center pieces, or alphabetizing/organizing completed projects. Everyone can assist in some fashion and every little bit will add up and be a tremendous help.
- It’s okay for projects to serve double functions. We were having a backyard wedding and therefore needed to provide glasses for everyone. We took this as an opportunity to make the glass the wedding favor. We bought mason jars for everyone (which tied into the invitations and save the dates) and used chalkboard paper to individualize each one. No one lost their glass all evening and everyone had a personalized favor to take home.
- Make your bouquets. We gathered flowers from neighbor’s gardens and fields the day before the wedding and tied them together with twine. They were beautiful, free, and locally sourced!
- Think about set up. I had to set up all the tables, decorations, and reception area before getting ready for the wedding. In order to make this process smoother, I packed and labeled materials for each table separately. Once I set up a sample table, others were able to copy it from other pre-packaged materials. Take the time to organize beforehand because it will save so much time on the actual wedding day.
- While you’re at it, think about break down. My materials were either compostable, recyclable, or trash. Very little was actually kept after the event. It made clean up run smoothly and I didn’t have to figure out how to fit everything back into the car.
- Embrace the imperfections. Some of the invites were slightly askew. The initials we burnt into the burlap table runners weren’t the same size. However, each one was handmade by myself or friends. When everything was set up, I saw the hard work and love that everyone had put into its creation.