The idea of doing a DIY wedding is appealing, in the sense that you can save dollars, make a personal touch, and get things to look exactly the way that you want. DIY means doing everything or most things yourselves which could mean creating the table settings, invitations, perhaps even stitching your dress together, making the bunting, painting your signs etc. The ideal situation is making your wedding decor and then reselling it, and gaining some money back. As someone who has gotten married and did the DIY thing, down to even providing dinner, there are some things I wish I knew before hand.
Important things to note before doing DIY:
It all takes time, and a lot of it.
Because you aren’t paying someone else to do it, that means you aren’t paying for their time to do it, this means that it will take you the time to do it. It seems like this is trivial, but in fact, some people don’t realise how much time it takes to literally hand cut invitations, paint signs, make the salads for the dinners etc. I had to take off work the week before the wedding and from 8am – 5pm I was busy doing the DIY things. I was constantly busy thinking about what was needed for the wedding, if we bought enough for what we were doing, and if we were going to get it done in time. So consider time before you consider DIY, and if you have the time for it.
It can be stressful for your family and friends.
If you are taking most of the wedding off the shoulders of professionals and onto your shoulders, there are people in your life who will want to help and might even offer to do things for you, even if you try your best for them not to. Your problems will become their problems. For example, for our wedding, we were bringing your own chairs and couches to our lawn wedding, which required trailers to bring them on. And we needed people to do this, so and friends and family offered, and we gratefully accepted, because we had no other options. My mum wanted to help do the food, and she busied herself doing this, without us even asking. Sometimes people will take on the stress because they want to, which seems nice on the outside, but the stress will likely fall onto them. Just be aware that this can happen, especially if you had bitten off more than you can chew.
If you are having your venue at a family home / lawn / location, keep in mind that your family will probably be busy trying to make the venue nicer than usual, because it is your wedding after all. This will cause them stress, no matter how much they tell you that it won't. So keep this all in mind, especially if you choose to do a family home as a location for your wedding. Be prepared to delegate and make time to do working bees at your family home to make the workload easier for them.
It can be more expensive than just hiring professionals.
I guarantee you’ve heard this one. And it’s because of a few things. Firstly, as said in point number one, it takes a lot of time, and your time is worth money because you’ll be taking time off work, but also spending your valuable time after work and weekends making table settings etc. Secondly, you might make mistakes, which cost money, or you may spend more money buying all your glassware, thinking you will resell it, which you may not. It’s a hard game to play. But it can pay off if you do it right.
If you are doing a venue that requires a lot of DIY e.g. a field, a forest, etc. Remember that you need to consider bathrooms (which can be expensive), and a wet weather option (marquees can be expensive). Those extra costs will add up.
DIY requires a lot of planning and good organisation.
Seems a bit of a no brainer here. But it really does. You probably will need to get your spreadsheets cranking to keep on top of it all, especially if you're delegating, so that you don't lose track of who is doing what and when. If you don't keep on top of it all, it can cause major stress to your family who obviously know what is happening at your wedding and are quite aware that you aren't on top of it, and then they will take it under their wing.
It depends on what you want in the end. If you’re ready for more work, potentially more stress for you and your families, and maybe spending more cash. But it is worth it, if you manage to save thousands of dollars, and add a personal touch to your wedding.
Why you should do a DIY Wedding:
Here's a bit of positivity on why it's all worth it to do a DIY wedding. The personal touch of DIY is really lovely, especially because it has your love and care behind it all and not a strangers. Not to say that someone professional won't do a good job, but if you hand-made all the wedding favours it's a lot more touching than buying them mass online.
You can make it exactly how you want it to look.
Depending on who your hire to do your wedding decor, sometimes it can come across as commercial - especially if it's perfectly done and overdone. I'm a big fan of things being a little quirky, mismatched and a little rough around the edges. I wanted our wedding to feel causal and informal, so that's why our decor was done by ourselves with no stress for it to be 'perfect'.
Selling on Wedding Pages isn't too hard.
If what you made looks beautiful, and it's unique, it will probably sell well to other brides. Especially in Auckland, New Zealand, there's many wedding pages, on Facebook, with brides constantly looking to buy DIY decor. We managed to see all our decor for more than what it cost to make. Although this might not be the same story for everyone, just keep in mind that this is an opportunity that you could take.
Take a risk, gain the reward.
Doing DIY requires a little risk, especially if you're sewing your own wedding dress, making your own arch etc. You don't know what it's going to look like until you do it, and you don't know if you can make it look like the pinterest photo until it's finished. There's a little bit of uncertainty in it. But if you manage to pull it off, and you saved money, and it looks amazing, then you will reap the best reward.