As I stated in the last post, there is an endless realm of possibilities for a DIY wedding. Making some (or all) of the elements of your big day by hand can add the ultimate personal touch and ensure that you have the unique, memorable day that you've always dreamed of. Here, I will go into more detail about some of the ways that you can stretch your dollar by doing-it-yourself.
Invitations: If you have a good printer, fancy paper, and some design experience, designing and printing your own invitations can save you hundreds of dollars. This is one way I am really saving on my wedding, and it also gives me the peace of mind knowing that no one else's invitations look the same as mine. (I will show you how they turn out in a later post.)
Catering: If you are having a smaller, more intimate ceremony/reception, think about serving your guests a nice, home cooked meal (cooked by your mother or your groom's mother) rather than having the extra expense of hiring a catering company. Some couples even opt for having a potluck reception - definitely less traditional, but it's also a way to get your guests more involved in your big day (not to mention a money-saver)!
Favors: Giving your guests something homemade as a wedding favor oftentimes has a lot more meaning. It really lets your guests know that you appreciate their love and support, rather than just giving them a store-bought trinket solely for tradition's sake.
Hair and Makeup: With all of the different online tutorials available out there, you can achieve the look you are going for without having the added expense of going to a professional. My look for my wedding is going to be pretty natural and laid-back (I don't really wear makeup on a day-to-day basis), so it doesn't make much sense to me to shell out hundreds of dollars for a one-day-only makeover when I can spend that piece of my budget elsewhere.
With all that being said, don't try to do EVERYTHING yourself - you will drive yourself crazy! Delegate, delegate, delegate. That's what your wedding party is for - the more people you have willing to help, the more projects you will be able to take on leading up to the big day. Here are a few do's and don'ts:
- If you have friends or relatives that specialize in a particular area, see if they will offer their services in lieu of a wedding gift (it could turn out to be priceless).
- Ask for advice- but take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes, your married friends and family can refer you to good quality vendors and help you get the best deal possible, but sometimes they can be too pushy/overbearing and that is definitely not good for your stress level.
- Shop local. Small businesses are more likely to give you more personal service and a much better deal. I'm going with a local florist in my area for all of my wedding flowers- they give the best advice and the best price, and they can tell you what will be in season during the time of your wedding to save you money.
- You will probably still have to hire vendors for a couple things (like a photographer - one thing that is definitely worth the investment) - so shop around!
Remember, the point is to have a nearly stress-free planning process, stay within your budget, and when the big day comes.... ENJOY IT!
Until next time,
My Beautiful Midwest Life