We love looking at beautiful DIY weddings as much as the next girl, but when it comes to actually doing it ourselves for our own weddings…well, that’s different. DIY is definitely trendy right now, and for good reason (it can be less expensive and satisfy a creative need), but it’s not for everyone. Here’s why the Lover.ly team thinks it’s OK to skip the DIY decor (plus tips for deciding when to do it yourself and when to pay a pro)!
Your version of DIY is not the same as Martha Stewart’s version DIY. While some brides definitely discover creative talents they never knew they had, that’s not the case for all of us. So while your best friend’s DIY centerpieces may have looked perfect, that doesn’t mean yours will. If you don’t have any artistic skills, trying to DIY everything for your wedding might result in disappointment.
Lover.ly tip: Try a few non-wedding-related craft projects before you plan to DIY anything. Think arranging flowers for a friend’s baby shower or addressing your holiday cards in calligraphy. Be honest with yourself about how well the project turned out so you can better assess your skills. If you find you have a knack for arranging flowers but your envelopes ended up covered in ink blots, you’ll have a better idea of what you can DIY for your wedding.
It’s not always cheaper. Sure, it can be less expensive to write your own escort cards rather than having a pro do your calligraphy…but once you account for the materials and time (time spent researching, practicing, picking up supplies, returning to the store when you realize you forgot something — which almost always happens), you may have been better off just paying a pro. And if your project turns out so badly that you end up paying a pro anyway, it will cost you even more.
Lover.ly tip: Figure out what your time is worth. How much do you get paid an hour? How much do you make doing overtime, or odd jobs like baby-sitting or proofreading friends’ resumes? Then that’s what your time is worth. Make sure you take this into account when you tell yourself that a DIY project is best for your budget. And don’t forget, most wedding pros are small business owners; support your local economy by paying vendors you trust and believe in to do their best work for you.
It’s a lot of work for a bride to take on. DIY implies you’ll be doing it yourself, which may mean others won’t be expecting to offer any help. This can lead to resentment toward your fiance or even your bridesmaids if you get frustrated by a project. Before you decide to do your own wedding decor, talk to your fiance, family, and friends to find out if anyone is willing to help you. If you’re going to have to do it completely yourself, you may want to reconsider. But don’t take on a ton of extra work thinking everyone will jump right in to help you spray paint faux birds nests or drive all over town looking for the perfect grosgrain ribbon.
Lover.ly tip: Set a time budget for wedding planning. Have a conversation with your fiance about how much time you’re each willing to devote to wedding planning each week and discuss how each of you thinks that time would be best spent. Then write it down just like your actual budget. When you start telling yourself it’s OK to skimp out on sleep every weekend so you can complete the new DIY project you’re thinking of taking on, refer to the time budget for a reality check.
If you’re dying for a creative outlet or a chance to learn some new creative skills, then go for it. But if not, just remember: there’s no prize for couples who DIY, and no shame in admitting you don’t have the time or the skills to DIY!
Loverlies, are you planning to DIY your wedding? How do you stay sane?
Rachel and the Lover.ly team
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