What is that old saying? "A bride by any other name would still be just as crazy'." Something like that .
Whether you are a bride with an extensive budget and a full-service wedding coordinator at your side, or a bride paying for her own wedding and keeping it on a strict budget, doing a few projects yourself has a certain 'charm' to it. Of course there's a certain charm to showing up to your own wedding and magically having everything finished without you having to lift a finger, too.
In either case, both of these brides (and all the brides in between) are at risk of losing their mind over wedding project-related stress. Our wedding has been a combination of DIY Projects and calling in the experts when we knew we were in over our heads. Sure I made all the bouquets, all of my accessories, and the boutonnieres. Yes, we designed our own Save the Dates, Invitations, Ceremony Programs, and a number of other printed projects. But after comparing costs for the centerpieces I wanted, we decided just to rent them. And after burning several fingers trying to make corsages, I decided to order them from a florist. With a DIY wedding, there's a fine line between successfully saving yourself some money and failing to save your sanity.
Here are a few of my tips for the aspiring DIY bride. Of course they are all things I learned the hard way, but hopefully I can save some others the trouble:
1. If you don't know how to tie a professional-looking bow, learn how! Enlist the help of a friend or be friendly and ask your local florist or craft store worker. Even if you hate bows, you'll be surprised how often you need to tie a nice one during the wedding process. (YouTube also has several Tutorials that will help!)
2. Take a class on floral design or enlist the help of a florist to teach you how to do your own flowers. This is a place where you can save a lot of money, and most brides are surprised how easy it can be to make bouquets or centerpieces.
3. Learn how to spell boutonniere. Memorize it. Odd contribution to this list? Sure. But trust me, you'll thank me.
4. DIY'ing will be easier if you tell yourself it's okay that everything doesn't match perfectly. Incorporating a few colors, a theme, or color family will make the entire decision making process easier and will prevent you from unnecessarily spending money on special ordering things in that exact shade of pink
5. Buy a glue gun. And buy a back-up one. And lots of glue sticks. I ran out mid-project more than once and there is nothing more upsetting. (For your reference: I went through 110 glue sticks during the course of planning).
6. Research taxes and other applicable fees before you start to plan your budget. I made the mistake of overlooking our resorts 23 percent service and gratuity fee, which can really offset your perfectly planned budget in a hurry. Get these numbers finalized with each venue/vendor right away so you don't have any surprises during planning
7. Organize your addresses and make it a priority to keep them organized. We somehow ended up with multiple copies of our address spreadsheets, which can create quite the mess. Do your best to organize them all in one place and keep it like that. This is especially helpful for brides who are printing their own address labels, etc.
Above all, to be a successful DIY Bride you have to throw your inhibitions out the door and trust in your skills and creativity! You'll be surprised what you can create, and in most cases you will like it more than anything you could have purchased pre-made. These are just some of the things I have learned along the way, but I hope it is helpful to other brides out there!