DIY Wedding: Yes or No?

I love creative crafts. I love art projects. I love the feel of personalized items. The imperfect beauty of something made by the hand. Tediously. But always with love. In short, I love DIY.

My fiance (now my husband), on the other hand, loves mass production. Things that look exactly the same - cut, colored and done perfectly the same. Although an artist, he'd rather buy than create. He likes the quality of things professionally made and would rather spend his time earning money to afford them than make them.

So our ideas often clash. Sometimes, they clash real hard.

But being a DIY advocate who was then marrying a non-DIY enthusiast, it allowed me to see the other side of the coin and gave me a whole new perspective on wedding, budget and DIY.

To DIY or Not To DIY?

Let's face it. Going the DIY route, especially for your own wedding, is not for everyone. And it doesn't mean that because you didn't lift a finger to craft something for your wedding, it won't be as special and personalized.

So why DIY?

Often, it's because couples want to cut back on the wedding budget, and the concept of doing something yourself seems cheaper than hiring someone to do it. But DIY wedding projects don't always translate to big savings. Trust me, if you won't watch closely, having things done by yourself can sometimes turn out to be more costly than having it done professionally.

DIY though is not always about saving money. There are other factors involve why someone would prefer crafting over buying.

So when are DIY wedding projects really worth the time and the effort? A combination of any of these reasons below will indicate that you should or you can pull off some, if not most of these projects:

  1. If you love creating. Nothing beats doing something that you're passionate about. If time, effort, labor, burnt hands, cut fingers and other DIY pains don't faze you, then by all means, follow your heart's desire. A lot of those who DIY do it for the love of doing it and not necessarily to help the budget. Being able to save is just a bonus for them, the real gain is in creating something beautiful with their own hands.
  2. If you have the time. If it takes 4 hours for you to finish one craft and all you can really spare is 30 minutes everyday, then it makes perfect sense for you to stop and rethink your DIY career. Time is gold. And if you think you're wasting precious minutes (that you can use to do other things equally important) by doing something you'd rather buy, then you probably are.
  3. If you have the skills. Seriously, gauge your skills and the task that you want to impose on yourself first before you undertake a project. If it's too much hassle, if it's too ambitious, and if you don't even have the skills to do it, then forget about it.
  4. If you've been doing it already. You've been making your own hair accessories since you were in grade school. There's no reason why you shouldn't do it for your own wedding.
  5. If you're tight on the budget. DIY is still one of the best ways to save money on your wedding.
  6. If you have the resources. Or you know where to get them easily and inexpensively, especially if your reason for DIY'ing is #5
  7. If you want something unique and tailor-made to your taste and preference. And you're absolutely sure that no one else can do it but you.
  8. If nobody else is making and selling it. What choice have you got?

DIY Wedding and Budget

Budget is the often the main reason why couples go down the DIY path. If you will look at the list of the wedding items that you can DIY below, it's easy see why doing-it-yourself is often hailed as a good money-saving strategy.

But like what I said, be careful. Always include the cost of the materials, your efforts, the time you spent doing it and the quality of your work when you hold your DIY project against something professionally made.

Be true to yourself, if the total cost of proudly handmade DIY wedding craft is not far from the price of the same product you can buy or order somewhere, but the quality is miles away (yours is so-so, their product is stellar), then it makes sense to just buy instead and spend your time doing something else that's just as important.

My husband told me that I should always factor in the time I spend on creating my DIY wedding crafts. Because time has a value and as he puts it, if the time he spent on doing a DIY project is spent on earning more money instead, then he'll be able to afford the commercial counterpart, and maybe be able to buy some other things as well. Earning more, according to him, is better than saving a little.

Well, he's got a point.

Bottomline is, DIY wedding projects will only truly help you cut down on the wedding budget if the savings you get from them is significantly big, like if the cost will be reduced in half or more than half. Or better yet, if the cost is free and you only need to put in time and effort.

Do you think you can do any of these?

Common DIY Wedding Projects

The most common DIY wedding projects are usually the things you can do months ahead so that you're not too stressed out on the days leading to your wedding. They include:

  1. Wedding invitations and Save the Date cards
  2. Wedding ceremony accessories (if applicable): candles, ceremonial veil, wedding cord, rosary
  3. Ring holder (and arrhae holder, if applicable)
  4. Bouquets and boutonnieres (if not using real flowers)
  5. Bridal accessories like garter, jewelry
  6. Bridal purse
  7. Bridal shoes
  8. Hair accessories for the bride and female wedding entourage
  9. Wedding favors
  10. Wedding cake toppers
  11. Wedding guestbook
  12. Ceremony and reception venue decorations (again, those that do not involve real flowers)
  13. Music during the ceremony and reception
  14. Reception table decorations/centerpieces, place cards, menu cards, table numbers
  15. Backdrops for the ceremony, photo booth, couple's table, etc
  16. Photo booths + props

Wedding flowers are also relatively easy to DIY. But you have to do them really close to the wedding date, ideally the night before the wedding, so the flowers will stay fresh on the day of the wedding.

Ambitious DIY Wedding Projects

There are also some more ambitious DIY wedding projects that require serious skills. These are the type of things that you've been doing already for a significantly long time, maybe as a profession, a business, or a hobby.

  1. Prenuptial photos
  2. Bridal gown and other wedding dresses
  3. Wedding rings
  4. Wedding cake
  5. Dessert buffet

Plan Your DIY Wedding Projects

Let's say you've decided to have a DIY wedding. You have skillful hands, plenty of time and buckets of patience to do all the DIY wedding projects that you want to do. Now what?

If you're aiming to do as much DIY wedding projects as you can, you have to plan.

  • Do the most important things first - especially those that are needed in the wedding ceremony. Non-essential DIY projects are easier to abandon in case you run out of time.
  • Be realistic on how much you can do with the time that you have. There are certain crafts that take too much time to create. And sometimes, you won't know it until you're doing it already. So you have to adjust accordingly - reduce the pieces you need to make or let go of some projects.
  • Ask help. It can be overwhelming if you do everything by yourself. So don't hesitate to ask help from your partner, family and friends. If even they're not as skillful as you are, there will be some areas that they can cover so you can do the more tricky parts.
  • Learn to let go. If it's too stressful and tedious to do, if you're running out of time, if it's not looking as it should or as you expected it, if it's turning to be more expensive than buying or having someone to do it--let it go. You don't need additional stress.
  • Think about how to execute your DIY projects. There are projects that require "work" after you've made them. How are you going to haul that beautiful but large cardboard backdrop that you made for the photo booth? And who will be manning the DIY photo booth? You have successfully baked and decorated your multi-tiered wedding cake. But how are you going to bring it to the reception venue? Who will assemble it?

The doing-it-yourself is just one part of DIY wedding. There are other things that you need to consider and things you need to prepare for to make sure that everything will go as smoothly as they possibly can. But if you plan well, your DIY wedding will be a success.

Are You Up for DIY Wedding?

  • Yes, all the way
  • No, I'd rather buy than DIY
  • Maybe some DIY wedding projects, but not everything
  • I want to try but I don't have the skills
  • Yes, because we're on a budget. Otherwise, no because it's so tedious
  • No, most DIY wedding crafts look cheap and tacky
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DIY wedding is not always easy and not for everybody. But for those who love DIY, it's never too hard to do. I hope you find this hub helpful. I'd love to hear your comments and DIY wedding experiences (successful or otherwise) below.

Enjoy your wedding preparations!

© 2015 shintashen

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