Why a DIY Wedding is not (and should not be) for everybody

With the abundance of wedding-inspiration blogs all over the internet, it’s no wonder that every bride thinks she can pull off a wedding worthy of a magazine spread all by herself, and maybe a few crafty friends.  And I get why you’d want to try–they make it look so easy, beautiful and inexpensive.  I agree–that sweet bunting made of vintage handkerchiefs would look darling draped from your dessert table, oh and while you’re at it, homemade jam favors would be a nice touch.  These are ideas that you can begin work on long before the wedding day and keep safely stored until it’s time to use them.

But there is another side to DIY, and things don’t always come together as you had hoped.  The $39 print-at-home invitation kit on sale at Michael’s is swell…and then you realize that your printer eats the paper, doesn’t center the text properly and all in all, looks like you did it yourself–in third grade.  By the time you spend the time and money to go and buy new materials and start from scratch, you’re probably wishing you had hired the pro in the first place.

Now let me say, that I am not completely against a creative, crafty bride using her skill and ideas to pull off a unique, handcrafted event–just the opposite in fact.  I love these special touches.  But you can’t go into it with the expectation of doing it fast, cheap and good.  Sure, it might be fast, but will it really be that good?  And if it’s cheap, it probably won’t be too fast.  For it to be good, it will be time-consuming, and quality materials will cost you.

I have a recent, real-life example of a DIY debacle that left both the bride and me with high blood pressure–fortunately, this fabulous woman is a good sport and was able to laugh the whole way through!  I custom designed programs that she intended to print herself.  Time got away from her and when she printed 200 copies of the front side on her home printer (2 days before the wedding) something went wrong and she couldn’t print the backs.  Scrambling to a local copy shop, she was told that the colors would have a major discrepancy and they would have to reprint the whole batch in order for it to match.  At this point, a day before the wedding, she’s got to buy new materials, pay a rush-service charge, spend an extra hour and a half of her precious time–not to mention the stress of having to do this amidst the pre-wedding jitters.

Does this mean that every DIY attempt is destined for failure–of course not.  What it means is that you need to plan ahead–further ahead than you thought you needed to.  Allot extra money in your DIY budget for the unsavory results that may come of your first (and second) attempts.  Know when you’re in over your head, and trust a professional to help you.  The hope is that you do this whole wedding thing once–if you’re bothering to DIY, then you obviously care about the details.  Be realistic about your skill level, your resource and supplies budget and the amount of time you’re comfortable sacrificing for handmade centerpieces.

And don’t worry–if your whole plan for your handcrafted paper goods goes south, you can always call me–just let’s try and give me more than two days before the wedding!

tags: , , , | June 8th, 2010

One Response

  1. michelle says:

    Wonderful article I have been getting more and more requests to just create the design and they will print it themselves(which didn’t turn out as well as they had hoped) It’s always wonderful when couples want to go that extra step but I think there needs to be balance between adding personal touches to having some handmade help. My biggest piece of advice is you want to be able to sit back and not only enjoy the day but be worry free leading up to the event. So happy you did this article I hope a lot of brides to be will read it as well:)

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