We know how much work goes into planning a wedding. Figuring out guest lists, seating charts, catering, the venue, etc., can be overwhelming. On top of wedding planning, more couples opt for DIY touches. Whether you’re looking to get crafty to save money or make your special day more personalized for you and your future spouse, there’s much to know about hosting the DIY wedding of your dreams.
Planner Vs. No Planner
Here at Junebug, we can’t recommend wedding planners enough. While they may seem like an extra expense upfront, they can save you money in the long run. They keep you on track, execute your vision, and manage the budget meticulously–including finding discounts when possible and implementing day-of coordination so you can be present with your partner. They also make things a whole lot less stressful.
If hiring a wedding planner is not practical or possible for you and your spouse, consider hiring a day-of coordinator. Rather than help you plan throughout the process, they will help coordinate everything you have put together yourself. This allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your wedding day as much as possible.
Tips + Tricks For Planning a DIY Wedding
Create A Mood Board
If one thing makes planning a wedding easier, it’s creating a mood board. They help guide decisions and keep your holistic vision in mind while visually describing your desires to your wedding vendors.
They’re convenient when DIYing items at your wedding because they serve as inspiration. Have you found a centerpiece that you want to recreate? What about a backdrop that you have to have? Tackling these items will be much easier when you have images to refer to.
Put Together a Budget
No matter what kind of wedding you’re trying to plan, putting together a budget can save you quite a few headaches. Sit down with your partner and discuss how much you’re willing to spend, how much financial help (if any) you expect from family and friends, and your top priorities. For example, if a photographer is a top priority, budget accordingly, and you’ll be able to identify the areas where you want to cut costs, which will help you figure out what DIY projects you can tackle.
Recruit Help From Your Wedding Party and Family Members
For the sake of your sanity, ask for help. Your wedding party and family are there to make your special day come to life. Make DIY projects fun with movies, snacks, and wine. This way, you’re crossing things off of your list quicker and making them more enjoyable for yourself.
Consider Thrift Stores
Weddings, while of the most memorable days of your life, are also incredibly wasteful. Unwanted decor gets tossed time and time again. Not only is this a waste of money, but it’s also harmful to our planet. For a more sustainable and budget-friendly option, consider sourcing items from thrift stores, your home, or apps like Facebook Marketplace and Offer Up. You’ll be surprised by the stunning vases, table settings, furniture, and artwork you can find secondhand.
Play To Your Strengths
While it may be tempting to DIY everything you need, it will quickly waste your time and money if something needs to be fixed. Of course, you can pay a world-class vendor to correct mistakes at the last minute, but then you’ll be met with stress and another bill you didn’t plan for.
Focus on your strengths- sewing, baking, drawing, calligraphy, floral design, etc. The same goes for the family and friends you also include in your projects.
Don’t Save Projects Until the Last Minute
There’s no denying that DIY projects are time-consuming. Whether you’re DIYing a good portion of your wedding decor or just an aspect or two, taking your time is essential. As soon as you’ve settled on a project list, it’s wise to get started. This ensures everything gets done before the big day and makes everything look well put together rather than rushed. There’s no such thing as starting too early.
DIY Wedding Inspiration
DIY Wedding Invitations
While wedding invitations are a small part of your special day, they can be expensive. Who knew that paper and printing costs could add up so fast? Luckily, there are many different options for invites and stationery. Often, the most cost-efficient option is to design and print using Photoshop or Canva (which has premade templates you can edit in a pinch). However, this can take time.
Suppose you consider yourself something other than a graphic design pro, online options such as Minted or Shutterfly offer gorgeous templates at reasonable prices. They both frequently offer discounts as well.
One thing that can take a wedding up a notch is custom lighting-which doesn’t come cheap. Everything from the bulbs you use to where your candles are placed can make or break your wedding. Sound dramatic? It’s not.
Wedding lighting will help people see where they’re going and light the photos you’ll cherish forever. Proper lighting lets you keep the party going even after the sun sets.
There are many options when it comes to lighting that you can easily create yourself. It’s essential to remember the terminology so you don’t end up with bright beams when you dream of a soft natural ambiance. Here are a few of the most popular options for that perfect glow:
- Uplights – Uplighting is created when lights are placed on the floor and turned upwards towards the ceiling to create a soft glow. Many venues will offer this as a premium, but there are better upgrades than $1,000-$3,000. That’s where DIY Uplighting comes in. For only $17 a light, you can save hundreds of dollars by renting these multi-colored LED lights. Once your wedding is over, repack all the lights and drop them off at USPS with the prepaid shipping label. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
- The ceiling of lights, aka Twinkle Lights – If your wedding takes place outdoors, a “ceiling” of lights is a straightforward way to add a romantic touch while keeping things lit. They create the look of a starry night even when the sun is setting. Hang these stringed lights from trees, tent corners, etc. You can find solar-powered options like these on Amazon for as low as $15
- Lanterns – Lanterns look beautiful in open-air tropical settings. You can find a pack of 5 paper lanterns for under $15 on Amazon.
- Candles are one of the easiest ways to make a space feel warm, welcoming, and picturesque. They’re also highly budget-friendly. Combine flameless tealights and tapered candles throughout your area if you’re afraid of having open flames.
- Hanging lights. Hanging large pendants-such as Edison bulbs-from greenery, arches, and tree branches instantly upgrades an outdoor seating area and provides an intimate glow.