Tipsy Tuesday #3: To DIY or Not To DIY?

June 14, 2016

Get help deciding on what to DIY and what to buy when wedding planning | Dan & Erin PhotoCInema, Phoenix AZ

To DIY or not to DIY, that is the question.

Right? I mean, in the world of wedding planning and Pinterest-ing, you absolutely have to DIY everything, especially if you have a little craftiness in your talent repertoire. Right?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

Coming from your resident DIY crazy-person (Erin, in case you were unsure) we have some thoughts on the subject.  Now, this isn’t just the photographer speaking, but someone who has had way too much DIY experience.  Nearly 12 years ago, when we got married on a super small budget (which I’m kind of proud of, actually!) we DIYed almost everything – including our dessert buffet and flowers.  Yes, friends, I made my own bridal bouquet.  Generally, when I see something in a home decor store that I think would look great in our house, my first thought is, “Could I make that for cheaper?” Some may call it resourcefulness, I call it a disease. ;)  Just kidding.  Kind of.  We think DIY weddings are beautiful and amazing and so personal.  But, they can also be a huge pain to those implementing the DIY elements.  So, please hear us when we say, “Go for it!” and, “We can NOT wait to see what you create!” because all of that is true.  We just want you to get to your wedding day feeling somewhat calm and not too stressed out.

So, for today’s Tipsy Tuesday, we’re offering thoughts you might want to consider before deciding what to DIY for your wedding, and what you might want to delegate, buy, or write off altogether.

Get help deciding on what to DIY and what to buy when wedding planning | Dan & Erin PhotoCInema, Phoenix AZ

When deciding what to DIY, here are questions to ask yourself:

Is it something you’re naturally good at, or at least know how to do?  Learning a new skill, like chalkboard hand-lettering, while planning all the rest of the details, might not be the best idea.  If you’d like to DIY something you already do all the time (say you’re a graphic designer and want to design escort cards) then it may be worth a shot.

Do you have time, and is it worth it to spend your time on this DIY?  Time is valuable, especially when undertaking a giant project like a wedding.  Be honest when answering this question.  Do you truly have the time?  And, is it worth it to you to spend all of that time on this particular project?

Can it be done better (or even cheaper) by someone else? One of the biggest reasons DIYers jump in on projects is because they we (see what I did there?) think no one else can do the project as perfectly/inexpensively as we can. Sometimes that is true.  However, quite often you’ll spend more on craft supplies, flowers, tools, or whatever else you need than you would just paying someone who does it all the time to do it easily for you.

Can my wedding be what I want it to be without completing this project?  We know, we know, Pinterest is chock FULL of amazing wedding details and you must have #allthethings.  ;)  But, take a step back and really think about why.  Maybe your day will be just as perfect without that project, and you’ll save yourself a lot of sore fingers and frustrated friends/helpers.  Or, maybe you definitely need that amazing detail at your wedding and it is totally worth it.

Get help deciding on what to DIY and what to buy when wedding planning | Dan & Erin PhotoCInema, Phoenix AZ

Here are some thoughts to consider about DIY weddings:

DIY isn’t always cheaper.  Often times, a bride wants to add DIY elements in order to save money.  But, once you buy all of the supplies and tools, it quite possibly could have been cheaper to hire someone or rent the items.  We captured a wedding once where the bride had purchased all of the dishes, cutlery, and glassware from thrift stores.  It looked awesome.  But, it may have been less expensive to rent those items from a local vintage rental company – and then there wouldn’t have been boxes of dishes to deal with after the wedding!  Just do your homework before jumping in.

DIY affects others too.  Usually, friends and family are involved quite extensively when a DIY project is a part of a wedding.  DIY-ing all of your centerpieces?  Consider who will be setting them up and make sure that person is on board.  DIY-ing your invitations?  Invite your bridesmaids over for an envelope stuffing party waaaaay in advance of when they need to be done so you aren’t stressed out by deadlines.

DIY is memorable.  If you pick the right elements of your wedding day to create yourself, you will have sweet memories of those details.  If you choose something that you don’t know how to create, or something that is an enormous undertaking, you may not end up with memories so sweet.  ;)  Once, we captured a wedding where the bride created her own guest book out of a treasured copy of The Secret Garden, which totally fit their wedding theme.  It was beautiful, and now she has a sweet keepsake from their special day.

Get help deciding on what to DIY and what to buy when wedding planning | Dan & Erin PhotoCInema, Phoenix AZGet help deciding on what to DIY and what to buy when wedding planning | Dan & Erin PhotoCInema, Phoenix AZ

Ready to jump in?  Great!  Here are some wedding-day elements that are perfect DIY projects:

  • Guest book/canvas/art for the sign-in table
  • Charms to tie to your bouquet/boutonniere that honor passed loved ones
  • Signs for the backs of your reception chairs
  • Chalkboard signs
  • Ring pillow/box
  • Candy buffet
  • And more – seriously, the sky is the limit, as long as you’re ready! :)

Want to see other tips?  Here they are: Tip #1, Tip #2

The images from this post are from Kenzie & Matt’s Backyard Wedding

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