When we first set the date I knew I would need to DIY a lot of our wedding. Being a DIY bride appears to be the ‘in thing’ at the moment… To an extent. What I didn’t bargain on though was how much I would enjoy it.
My invites are made by hand, by me. The order of service booklets are made by hand, by me. The favours are made by hand, by me. I have printed out RSVP’s, the inserts for the invites, the inserts for the favour boxes, the place cards. Just because its DIY’d, it doesn’t mean it’s crap, rubbish, tacky or unprofessional. Yes, every invite and order of service is slightly different from the next and some lettering is slightly off centre, but isn’t that the beauty of it being handmade? That each one is unique?
The other thing that makes DIYing a fabulous idea is the money it has saved us. To make 50 invites I paid less than £40, I think it was something like £37.28. That’s less than £1 per invite; to have them made for me, it would have cost me far more. (The cheapest I have seen start at around £1.95 per invite.)
There are a lot of options when it comes to buying the raw ingredients for you DIY stationery and it can get somewhat confusing. But what are the best tips I’ve discovered since researching my DIY ideas?
Shop around – don’t just head to Hobbycraft, things can be expensive there. Remember, chances are you’ll be buying a lot of what you need so don’t rule out wholesale suppliers. But also remember that eBay can be your best friend, and often you can find the outside eBay sales website of a company you would have never heard of otherwise. I discovered the The Paperbox this way and they come highly recommended for their fantastic customer service (honestly there is nothing like it).
Use the Internet – there are hundreds of websites (and not just wedding sites) that can give you ideas for every part of your wonderful wedding. I have found Martha Stewart Weddings very useful particularly their wedding guest book ideas slideshow. Another one I found invaluable was Glitter Monster Crafts and their card making and craft ideas. Then there was twitter – other like minded DIY brides are a fountain of knowledge.
Get started early – we set the date of our wedding 14 months before. Now we have just 5.5 months to go, and guess what in 8.5 months I’ve completed the invitations and am 10% of the way through the favours, 80% of the way through the order of service books and still have 100s of things left to sort out. Or so it feels like.
Make prototypes – this is the only way you are going to know if an idea works. I’ve made prototypes of the favour boxes, order of service and invites, and still find things to change by the time I’ve started on the real ones.
Write a list of everything you’re going to need – this will help you set a realistic budget for everything. My house is covered in post it’s detailing everything I need for individual wedding related projects, and still find that I’m adding to my budget.
Most importantly, ENJOY IT – your wedding is about you and your man. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for some help. I’m quite stubborn and a bit of a perfectionist so I am generally found refusing help, however, if things start to get on top of me I know I am going to have to start delegating.
I’m sure there are more tips, however these are my main ones, I hope you find them useful and if you have any more to add please leave me a comment and I’llbe able to put them all together in another post.