Should You DIY Your Wedding?

If you are getting married, the decision pile is pretty high. Now, if you are crafty or if you have crafty friends and family that have offered their help, there is a big decision you should make quickly. Should you DIY any or all of your wedding? Speaking as a major crafter and DIY junkie, I have a pretty good answer for this one. And the answer is- Maybe.

The most crucial question to ask yourself before embarking on the DIY wedding train is- Why do you want to DIY most of your wedding? I’m going to recommend you stay away from the DIY party for this particular event if your answer sounds like any of the following:

  • How hard can it be?

  • We’ll save so much money if we do it ourselves!

  • Why pay someone to do something I can do myself?

  • My sister offered to sew all of our bridesmaids dresses/make all the centerpieces/put together the bouquets and I don’t want to hurt her feelings.

  • My bridal party is crafty and they’ll happily come over a few days before the wedding and take care of everything

These are all samples related to situations that I have witnessed go very, very badly. First, if you are not an avid and successful DIY-er, your wedding is not the time to try your hand at it. You will likely end up spending so much money finding the right supplies and tools, and fixing the mistakes, that you’ll just end up crying and hiring someone anyway. Second, you want to enjoy your special day and to not be frantically running around trying to finish up the last minute final touches to all of the projects. Or, in another scenario, you don’t want to find yourself all alone in the bridal suite because the bridal party and parents are frantically trying to finish up projects before the guests arrive.

 

Just because you CAN do it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. If you are doing something simply because you want to prove that you can….well, that’s just silly. And it’s not worth the angst. I can teach my son how to ride a horse because I have years of experience, but that doesn’t mean I should. I want to keep my joy-filled relationship with my son, and therefore, I will let someone else take that role. (Parents, you know what I’m talking about). Replace “teach my son how to ride a horse” with any wedding DIY project and you get the picture.

The Pinterest tutorial of how to make a beautiful 10’ photo backdrop does look super easy and so cool. The reason for that is that the people writing the blog and in the pictures showing you how to make the backdrop are actually PROFESSIONAL crafters. They do this kind of thing everyday--they just made their staff move out of the way for the picture so it looks like an easy 4 hour project. Did you notice how they said, “I had 100 of these giant sequins laying around for months, so I thought I’d whip together a quick backdrop using the new super charged glue gun that a manufacturer sent me to try out, and this old 10 ft. board leftover from last week's headboard project…” I’m not blasting crafty bloggers here, because I’m blogging and have my own stash of random crafts supplies I can just pull out when I feel like it. But that’s because I’m a professional. Those tutorials are made by professionals. Their job is to make things look easy. Are you catching my drift?

Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic / Getty Images

Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic / Getty Images

Now that I’ve bashed the DIY idea, let me also shine a positive light on it. DIY touches can be so special. There are definitely situations where the DIY idea comes together perfectly. If you are no stranger to DIY projects and have a knack for strategically and accurately planning the time and money it will actually take to accomplish the projects, then I give the green light. Or, perhaps all of your friends happen to be professional florists, bakers and dress makers. Then having them lend their services as a gift of love is a sweet and lovely gesture. One word of caution though- be clear about your vision and check in with them regularly. All too often I see these professional “friends with skills” make two mistakes.  They either overdo it because they want to show off, but they actually miss the mark on what you really wanted. Or, they think it’s so easy that they can whip it together last minute and end up delivering something less than desirable.

So in conclusion to the initial question- Should I DIY my wedding? My answer remains- maybe. There is a place for a happy medium. If you really want DIY elements in the wedding, decide on the MOST important elements, what you are most interested in making yourself, and what will actually make the most impact. Do your guests really want that handmade coaster with your picture Mod Podged on it? Probably not. Save your time and money. Will guests notice the personal notes that each member of your bridal party hand wrote on chalkboards lining the pathway to the ceremony? Yes they will. See the difference?

Choose those few special things that will really stand out, that won't drain your time or bank account, and focus on those. But, if you just had to look up what Mod Podge is….DIYing your wedding is probably not your best option.