Planning

DIY Weddings Do’s and Don’ts

How much is just right?

By Natalie Tsang
September 5, 2011

Everyone is talking about the do-it-yourself trend. From favors to decor to the wedding dress itself, it seems that “made by me” is eclipsing name brands. Some people love it and some people hate it; others are simply overwhelmed. Of course, there are those gifted individuals who have the hand-eye coordination, good taste, and patience to make things for hours on end, who take a break from the stress of wedding planning by crocheting tablecloths. Some even have friends and family who are also crafty geniuses, but what about the rest of us?
Initially, do-it-yourself was a convenience rather than a fashion statement, but now it seems that handmade articles are often more expensive in terms of equipment, supplies, or time than simply buying the project. Many brides overestimate how much they should do by themselves, forgetting that venues often already provide a lot of decor. Or they grossly underestimate how much time it takes to make something like adding beading to their grandmother’s silk wedding gown.
Here are three strategies to consider:

Garnish

For brides who have some craft experience and limited time, small touches are the way to go.
Limit the number of handmade objects. Perhaps the invitations and the favors are the only things that you do. This not only makes the projects more manageable, less expensive, and labor intensive, but they also serve as accent pieces. Fewer DIY objects will actually attract more attention.

Semi-homemade

For brides who have little experience, think along the lines of packaging. You’ve probably wrapped some presents in your lifetime, and try to stay with the familiar gestures of gluing, taping, and tying ribbons.
You can always buy objects and add a finishing touch with a glue gun or a coat of paint. For instance, you can buy a dozen vases for your centerpieces, dip them into a glue-water mixture, and press paper doilies onto their sticky surfaces. Or you can go to an antique store or buy a dozen cameo pins and attach them to the bridal bouquets.

Seemingly Homemade

If you have no time, then you can always scour the Internet during your lunch break. There are stores and companies that cater to an artisanal or handmade look. While some items are mass-produced, others are handmade and sold by small vendors on websites like on Etsy. So even if you didn’t make it, you can support small companies that do.

General Do’s and Don’ts

DO research.
DO measure twice, cut once.
DO set a schedule with deadlines and a budget with some wiggle room.
DON’T call your bridesmaids at the last minute.
DON’T buy objects online without looking at detailed pictures.
DON’T get carried away.