To DIY or Not to DIY

DIY, or Do-It-Yourself, is a wedding trend that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and it's easy to see why. DIY weddings allow for an incredible amount of personalization and can give couples more hands on control over their day. Plus, the abundance of wedding blogs and websites out there, from Martha Stewart Weddings to Pinterest, make finding inspiration a snap. But with so many options and so much to accomplish, how do you know when to dive in to DIY and when to step away from the glue gun? Here are a few things to consider before getting started. 

DIY weddings mean something different to everyone. For some couples it's a few handmade details to enhance the look of the day. For others it's taking on everything from crafts to music to food. Start by figuring out the scope and level of DIY you're hoping to achieve. Make sure you take the size, look and feel of your wedding into consideration. For example, a small backyard bash might be the perfect opportunity to DIY a large portion of your day, while a formal gathering for 300 in a ballroom could present a much greater challenge. 

There's no denying that weddings can be expensive, so finding ways to save is always helpful- but don't fall into the trap of thinking that DIY is always cheaper. You'll have to buy equipment and supplies, which can really add up. You may buy too much, too early and by the time you finish everything, it will be too late to return what's left over. It's also possible that something won't turn out the way you planned and you'll either have to spend more money to try again, or you'll scrap the whole thing wasting everything you've spent. Your best bet is to research each project you're hoping to work on. Once you figure out roughly how much something would cost to make yourself, compare the price to what you'd spend using a pro. See how much you'd really save and what's truly worth the effort. 

DIY takes time, so make sure you have time to give. Consider how many months are left before your wedding as well as how hectic your day-to-day life is. If you find yourself with plenty of evenings or weekends free before the big day, then by all means, go for it. But if you're usually only home long enough to eat a quick dinner before bed each night, you might want to give it a second thought. Keep in mind that planning a wedding can add a lot to your to-do list. There are vendors to meet, dresses to shop for, parties and showers to attend. Once you know how much you're looking to take on, make sure you can commit to a fairly regular schedule in order to accomplish everything.

Yes, DIY stands for Do-It-Yourself, but going at it completely alone can be difficult. Is your fiance willing and able to help? Remember, you're supposed to enjoy your engagement, so don't take on so much that you want to kill each other in the process. How about family and friends? While you'll need to keep in mind the fact that they have their own lives and commitments, consider setting up a day or two where you can all work together on a task over snacks and a few bottles of wine. If you don't have anyone who is able to lend a hand, make sure you pick projects that you'll realistically be able to complete yourself. 

Skill Level
How much experience do you have in whatever you're attempting? Have you ever used a sewing machine or a Cricut before? If not, the months leading up to your wedding might not be the best time to start. Just because that tutorial you pinned on Pinterest looks easy, doesn't mean it actually is. Play to your strengths. Everyone has different talents and skills. Choosing projects that coincide with those will not only make the DIY process easier, but it will be a truer reflection of you at your wedding. If you're not crafty at all, don't worry. You can always purchase customized items from sites like Etsy to give your wedding a more homemade feel. 

Your skill set is just one part of the bigger picture. Crafting and creating for fun is different than having a specific number of items you need to make in a limited amount of time. DIYing for your wedding takes a fair amount of discipline, so it's important that you consider how your personality would mesh with the process. Are you organized, focused and passionate about details or are you a procrastinator who loses interest easily? Will it stress you out or be a stress reliever? Being honest with yourself in the beginning can save you a lot of aggravation in the end. 

Be realistic about your expectations and what you're willing to sacrifice. When you take on a DIY project, you should acknowledge that your results will be very different than those of a professional. So before you bake that cake or design those invitations, make sure you're honestly willing to accept the way they turn out. You may quickly realize that some areas really require a pro, while others are easy enough to achieve yourself. 

If you've given some serious thought and all signs point to DIY, there's one more hurdle left to tackle before you should commit- logistics. First, there's the issue of storage. Make sure you have enough room for everything, from supplies to finished projects, because you'll be living with it for months. Try to avoid things that require your attention the day of the wedding. While doing your bridal party's makeup might seem like a nice gesture, do you really want to be stressed out and pressed for time while you're getting yourself ready? The same goes for elements like floral centerpieces and bouquets that would require flowers to be purchased and assembled at the last minute to be fresh. You want to enjoy your wedding day, no worry about completing the details, so pick projects that you can finish well in advance.

In the end, the choice is yours. Consider all your options and do whatever works best for you and your wedding!


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