This is a guest post by Camille Wooding, DIY Place.
DIY has become quite fashionable among millennials getting married. That ability to have something unique that reflects your style and be in on the latest artisan trends is hard to resist. And hey – is cheaper, right?
Weeeelllll – maybe, maybe not. First of all – don’t mix up DIY with “handmade” – DIY means “Do-It-Yourself” – you, your friends, your family. It requires commitment of time and effort. You have to design the elements, obtain the products and then make the stuff. It’s a tall order.
Here are some handy tips:
- If you are not into craft and you don’t have a close friend or family member who is, DIY is not for you.
- Choose your DIY wisely. While you can, theoretically, make anything you see on Pinterest (I say this, just as a parent tells a child they can do anything when they grow up), many craft items require special machines an tools such as die cut machines, paper trimmers and embossing tools. If you don’t have these machines, unless you plan to buy them, you are stalled. Even if you buy the tools, add time for learning how to use them. Stick with items you know how to make.
- Make sure your design is consistent – get feedback on the overall design from a professional or from friends you trust. A good idea will be to choose a line from one manufacturer because they match colours for you. Once you know the theme and colours, you can also visit your local craft store. Many times the owners have access to manufacturers products that are not on the shelf and can order these for you. They also have information about products that are due to be released so it expands your options.
- Local craft store owners can also give you advice on appropriate tools. Depending on your needs, a few punches and a paper trimmer may be all you need instead of a die-cut machine. This can save you lots of money.
- Budget – DIY is not necessarily cheaper. It can be inexpensive if you know what you are doing. For example, it may be less costly to buy generic cake boxes and decorate them, than to try to make the boxes yourself. If you want 1,000 flowers – its not going to be cheap.
- Plan. Plan. You need to plan out the process and allocate the required time. You need to make the prototypes and time each one so you have a realistic view of how much time you need to spend on each element. Invitations need to be done first and you should plan to get the other DIY stuff (boxes, tokens, centre pieces, place cards, agenda etc.) at least a month before the wedding. Why? – Because that month will be chock full of other wedding stuff – rehearsals, makeup testing, dress fittings, bridal showers etc.
- Communicate and gain commitment. Don’t assume friends and family are available when you need them. Get them to commit to a schedule ahead of time.
- Be flexible – what you have in your head, is not necessarily what the final item will look like. Also, you may not be able to find all the elements you are looking for. Have some alternative ideas in mind when you go shopping. You may be inspired by something you didn’t think of. You local craft store owner can also give some help here.
- Keep it simple. Unless you are a craft pro and have lots of time on your hands, keep the designs simple. This makes it more manageable.
- Know when you need a pro. Most of the items are expendable (yes, a lot of it ends up in the garbage). Things like your guest book remain with you forever. Spend more time on this or get a professional to do it.
- Take little steps – do things in small batches at a time. You don’t want to start off too ambitious and lose steam. You need to keep your momentum going (and have some fun while you are at it.)
- Yes – you need a decorator. It could be hired help or a friend but you would not have time to set up the room if you are getting married the next day.