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Wedding DIY Style
First, you must decide what you want your personal touch to be. Do you want to follow a theme? Do you want to replicate your personal style? What is your style? Can you define your style as simple, elegant, classic, modern, vintage, rustic... Would you prefer artistic, funky, earthy, punk?
Now that you know how you do or do not want to theme, design, style your wedding - you can find venues, services, people who will help you put that together. Google, Pintrest, The Knot are great resources for pictures, information, or ideas - but ultimately the reason to DIY is to be unique, different, or financially responsible.
Set a time, date, and place - this may be tougher than you can imagine. It's not always about what you want and more often about what is available. It depends on your time frame and budget, but you should be a bit flexible. Have a few dates in mind and know that you can switch it up a little. This will make it easier to schedule and finalize a venue.
What is more important to you? Where you have it or when you have it? That's the real question. If you have a set location in mind then you will have to work around their schedule. If you have a set date in mind then you will have to find a location that has that date available. The latter is a more expensive route because they are giving you what you "need".
Pick a venue that meet your needs, style, theme, etc. You don't want to be married in a barn if you are looking for elegant or beach themed. You don't want to get married in a mansion if you are thinking simple or rustic. Don't try to pick a place to impress everyone, pick something that suits the two of you and what you want to focus on for the big day.
Set a budget and stick to it. Make sure you know what is important to you and your fiancé. Don't sacrifice on things that matter and don't include things that you don't care about. Do as much yourself to save money, but don't try to do something that you can buy cheaper. It's all about figuring out what you absolutely cannot live without. Then make sure you can fit all of that or a version of that inside your budget.
What is most important to you?
Decorations, Cakes, and More!
Things are easier to make than you would believe! Make a chandelier with wire and crystal beads. Make your own centerpieces by using recycled wine bottles, spray painting them, and placing flowers inside - they don't need to be live flowers. Go with cupcakes instead of a full cake - do fun and easy.
Family is important and more people will attend your wedding if their kids can come. Make it family friendly. Design crafts or coloring books for the tables - include crayons. It's a fun project for the little ones and keeps them busy while mom and dad are talking, eating, or dancing.
Invitations, Programs, and RSVPs
What do you need? What do they need?
People need to know they are invited and what they are invited to. They need to know how to respond to you. Follow the standard who, what, when, where invitation format. Make sure your guests know what they are attending, the formality of the invitation indicates the formality of the event, they need to know who is invited (are you including kids), when and where should they show up. Keep it simple and easy. Print it on paper, put in envelope, mail out and your set!
What to wear?
Shop the sale rack for your dress! Nobody knows how much you spent but you and it will be beautiful and make you feel special no matter the price on the tag. You are wearing it one and most of the time people are watching your face for smiles and tears, not waiting your dress!
Shop the sale or the department stores for the suit/tux. Don't worry about renting an expensive tux. Buy something he will wear again! Pick a solid color like gray, black, or blue. This saves you money now and later.
Don't be afraid to make a statement. Wear something with color or wear something traditional. Be sure you are comfortable in everything you have on. Wear slippers instead of heals - or - wear converse instead of dress shoes. Make it your style - not what everyone else expects or traditionally abides by.
Photographers, videographers, photo booths, etc are a lot of ways to help you hold on to those memories you are creating on your special day, but they are also expensive....
Do you know someone who takes photos? Having a friend or acquaintance shoot the event for you will save you lots of money - merely because you aren't paying for a name or brand. Your photos will likely be more personal because this person will really know you and you will be more comfortable around your family and friends.
Photo booths are a blast, but again can be done DIY. All you need is a curtain for a backdrop and some home-made props or something from the dollar store. You can set up a digital camera with printer to print - or - you can just put some disposables and promise to share photos once developed.
Videography is a great way to capture your wedding, but doesn't this look like just setting up a stationary video player and then using an app or program on your computer to edit it and put music to the background?! Easy. Plus - it will again have your personal touch.
DJ or Playlist
Do you pay a DJ or do you create your own playlist and hook up an iPod or computer? All a DJ does is create a playlist and hit play - Can't you do that? Listen to the radio and take note of songs you love. Look up popular songs for the year, for dance or weddings, etc. It's easy as pie to download songs from an artist website or iTunes while supporting artists you enjoy without having to purchase their entire albumin.
Are you going traditional here or are you writing your own?
Traditional vows are perfect if you are not a writer or are too nervous to write your own and know you will be an emotional mess just saying the "I Do".
Do not write your own unless you really mean to. Do not make them cookie cutter or steal someone else's lines from an online search. You need to make them personal. The point of writing your own vows is to make them personal, genuine, sincere, and to express something that the traditional vows do not express. This is perfect for times when you want to incorporate promises or commitments that are not incorporated in the traditional vows or when you don't want to say what everyone else has said ...
Write a love letter to your spouse and read that. Avoid cliches, but remember to make promises and commitments to them. Remember how you fell in love and talk about how you plan to stay in love. What does marriage mean to you and how will you act that out through your own marriage? When you were little you dreamed of a prince or princess - how are they your prince or princess?
The goal to writing your own vows is to touch their heart and make them really understand that your commitment goes beyond the traditional "till death do us part"!
DIY is all about being unique and incorporating you. Do not loose site of that. \ When it comes to last minute things, those are the ones that you don't have time to do yourself. If you are still crafting the day of your wedding... you are not going to be happy with the outcome and you will be spending time doing something that is not relaxing or family oriented. Take a step back and know that you have to say yes to some things and no to others. Do not stress over trying to do something that is bigger than you, just get help or buy it.