Day 3: Become more ‘DIY’ oriented

As much as I love doing things myself, I have a knack for pawning everything off to other people. Some call it laziness, I call it a lack of time. Don’t get me wrong, I love arts, crafts, home-made dinners and the like, but time is just not running parallel with me lately. Between a full-time job, keeping up my blog/web site and planning a wedding, I barely have time to eat, think, bathe and exercise. Most of the crafty tasks I end up pawning off on others or purchasing aren’t that meaningful, therefore don’t bother me that they weren’t constructed with my own blood, sweat and tears. However, when it comes to my wedding, my personal touch is too important and meaningful to forgo.

As my wedding date inches closer, I am beginning to freak out a little bit about how much I want to do and how much time I have to do it all. I have so many visions of my wedding day and all of the beautiful decorations, party favors, florals and centerpieces that will make it up. However, as soon as I have the realization that I haven’t even begun these projects, these  beautiful and serene visions quickly turn into horrible, tear-wrentching nightmares.

So, instead of procrastinating, which is something I do oh so well, I am getting a full year head start on the aspects of my wedding I plan to do myself [or partially do myself] which are my party favors, table decorations, save the dates, place holders and invitations. I’ve given them all a lot of thought and am really excited about how fun they will be to do and how beautiful I hope they turn out. BUT, I’m going to keep them a little secret from the world [until they are finished] so I don’t get ahead of myself and let myself down if they all do not turn out exactly as I hoped.

Although I can’t share my exact plans, I will definitely share some of the great tips and pieces of advice I’ve picked up along the way regarding DIY weddings for all of the other brides out there who want to add a special, personal touch to their big day.

Tip 1: Don’t bite off more than you can chew

As a first time bride and complete novice to the wedding planning world, one of the first places my mind went to after I got engaged was  how I was going to do everything for my wedding. I remember gushing to Elliot, “I’m going to hand-make all the decorations, chose all of the bridesmaids accessories, hand-pick all the flowers, decorate the venue myself, plan the whole thing without any help!” His face of utter terror was all the response I needed because both him and I knew I’d literally turn into a sleep-deprived, crazy, alcoholic lunatic if I tried to take on EVERYTHING. So after a few sob sessions and bridal magazines, I realized that I don’t need to do it all. That’s why there are wedding planners, maids of honor and parents, to help out with the stuff that us brides just don’t have time to tackle. The last thing we need is something else to stress over!

Tip 2: Have realistic expectations going into any DIY project


We are all not Martha Stewart, obviously. Some of us girls are much more crafty and DIY inclined, while some of us, well, aren’t. I like to say I fall in the middle. I do know girls on both sides and truthfully, not one is better than the other. Keep that in mind. If you’ve never sewn a button, been to a fabric store or even painted your own nails, don’t think just because you are engaged you will wake up magically one day with the ability to make a 25 piece centerpiece or pinecone candle holder. You need to have realistic expectations on what you can accomplish. For example, I know I can creatively construct beautiful centerpieces and party favors, but for the life of me, can not bake and decorate a cookie. [SPOILER ALERT!] As place settings, I want to have cookies decorated with the guest’s name. Well, knowing I can’t bake or decorate, I’m going to have those ordered. DIY weddings are all about give or take, we can’t do everything, because if we could, we’d be Martha. If you aren’t a DIY kind of girl, don’t think your wedding will not be as beautiful or meaningful as a DIY bride. In the end, the guests will not know the difference between a hand made centerpiece or one store bought. They will, instead, be gushing over how beautiful you looked and how great of a party it was.

Tip 3: DIY projects don’t always mean less cost

I know, seems wrong right? DIY should cost less than buying! Which, in most cases, is true. Most DIY projects do end up saving you money in the long run, but that shouldn’t be expected with every project you take on. According to my best friend, who is getting married in 2 months, some DIY projects can end up costing more than if you had just bought it. She says it’s due to the cost of supplies, how many ‘do dads’ you plan on making or the amount of people on your guest list and whether or not you make mistakes. Many brides don’t take in account that they may fudge up a project and have to re-buy all of the necessary supplies for a do over. In most cases, though, DIY projects can save you some money, especially if you chose to build your own centerpieces, goody bag gifts and bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts. Just make sure you add into your wedding budget the cost of all of the supplies for each project.

Tip 4: DIY does not have to be labor and time intensive

DIY is not code for burning the midnight oil. I’ve read so many articles in magazines and blogs where brides-to-be chose not to make anything for their wedding because “they just didn’t have all of the necessary time to do it.” In some brides cases, like ones with short engagements or for brides with children, full-time jobs, etc, time is certainly a constraint. I understand that, but it’s also key to understand that many DIY projects take very little time, sometimes less time than it would take to buy it! I have seen so many great ideas for a home-made touch that can take under an hour! [Come on ladies, who doesn’t have an hour?] For example, instead of numbering your tables, hand write or print in a fancy font names of your favorite things instead, such as wine varieties, cheese varieties, countries, oceans, designers, etc. Another great idea [that takes almost no time!]  is filling little gift boxes [can be bought at JoAnne Fabrics or Michael’s] with home-made cookies! Just buy little boxes and ribbon to match your color scheme and fill with cookies for each guest or each table, depending on your budget and time.

Your wedding is about you afterall, why not have it reflect your tastes and personalities? DIY!

For some great ideas on DIY projects for your wedding, visit, and

~ by therealnutritionist on March 17, 2010.

2 Responses to “Day 3: Become more ‘DIY’ oriented”

  1. I love that you wrote “do-dads” in a blog post. I’m going to work on incorporating that in my everyday conversation.

    Remember, I’m here to help with anything you need!

  2. […] loving and dedicated bridesmaids] and make some of the gifts from scratch [see my previous post on DIY weddings to get a sneak peek of what else I plan on making!] That way I’ll save money and will have a […]

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