Are you choosing to DIY your wedding day, or at least parts of it? Chances are you’re weighing out what elements of the wedding you are capable of doing yourself versus the parts you’ll want to hire out.
This is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I always encourage brides to be reasonable and realistic in what they decide to take on for their wedding. But, it could be that in your decision making, you’re not even considering some areas for DIY that could be a better fit for you and your wedding (and your wallet).
There are some things that brides tend to fixate on when they think of DIY weddings, and other areas they may not even realize are DIY-able. What are the most common wedding projects brides tackle themselves?
- Decor – Be it the centerpieces, the guest book table, or the seating chart, decor is the most common DIY wedding project. This is because it can be whatever you make of it and as involved or simple as you’d like.
- Invitations – Lots of brides choose to put their crafting to the test and make their own invitations. A large part of this DIY can be done on the computer with different fonts and designs.
- Favors – This is where brides most often show their personal touch, by doing their own wedding favors in their unique theme. It allows each guest to walk away with a handmade gift.
Those are all very common areas for brides to choose to save money and/or personalize their wedding day by doing themselves. These next categories are uncommon ones for brides to consider for DIY, but maybe deserve a second thought before they are dismissed as too involved. Would you think of doing any of these wedding projects yourself?
DIY Your Wedding Music
Most brides choose to hire DJ’s for their wedding, and for good reason as they can read a crowd and adjust. But, have you considered saving the several hundred dollars that a DJ would cost (and the possibility of having him or her mispronounce your entire bridal party’s names) and picking the music yourself?
With Spotify and Pandora offering relatively cheap premium services, your entire night could be DJed by the cloud. Build your own personalized playlists, or make use of their expertly collected playlists so you can have the perfect musical mood on your big day.
I would recommend doing a test run of the songs you’re playing ahead of time. Consider setting the songs to overlap several seconds so there are no awkward silences between songs. Also, you will want to find a friend or family member who will be the ‘keeper’ of the playlist. They will need to be able to troubleshoot and stop and start smoothly when it’s time for speeches or special songs.
Don’t forget to find out about speakers. DJ’s usually bring theirs, so if you DIY your wedding music you’ll want to make sure you have a way to play it. Check with musically inclined friends and family to see if they have a sound system set-up, and also with your venue as they may have speakers built in.
Estimated total time commitment: 3 hours
DIY Your Wedding Ceremony
Now, while you can’t literally officiate your own wedding, you could coordinate and write out the entire ceremony yourself. There are so many ways to make the program personalized to you two, that you miss out if you don’t DIY this part of the wedding.
Select readings that reflect your love, but also your personality. Love all things whimsical? Add a Dr. Seuss excerpt to the script. Maybe you two are big music lovers… sing your vows to each other. Have the officiant tell a special story about you and your beloved that no one else has heard before.
Add in a feature song that is meaningful to your journey together. Plan something participatory and get your guests involved by having them recite something with you all. When you DIY your order of ceremony, you’ll keep guests on the edge of their seat with the originality and personality of it all.
Estimated Time: 4 hours
DIY Your Wedding Flowers
Surprise! You knew I would add this one in here. Many gals who think of themselves as “DIY” brides haven’t even considered the possibility of doing their own flowers. But, this aspect of your wedding is actually very doable.
You could always decide to do several pieces yourself and hire out for the rest. For instance, make all the bouquets and centerpieces the day before, but let your florist make and deliver those delicate boutonnieres and corsages.
Use my flower planning worksheet to figure out how many blooms you’ll need for each arrangement and get an overview of what each arrangement will cost. This DIY project is intimidating for most brides because of their lack of floral experience. But, never fear! This is simply overcome with a practice session or two and some guidance.
There are some great reasons to DIY your wedding flowers. And this DIY is going to save you a lot of money! The typical florist mark up is somewhere around a factor of 3. When you order and arrange your own flowers you could save yourself thousands of dollars.
Estimated total time commitment: 8-10 hours
DIY Your Wedding Cake
Most brides don’t consider making their own wedding cake, but this could be a special labor of love for your wedding guests. Enjoy baking? Show off your mad skills, and impress your loved ones’ by choosing to DIY your wedding cake.
It doesn’t even have to be cake, you could try something unique like pies, cupcakes, or cookies. Some pastries even freeze well so you can bake everything up ahead of your busy wedding week and dethaw for the big day.
Is fondant too intimidating for you? Expand your frosting possibilities. Buttercream is simple to make and is always a crowd-pleaser (be careful using buttercream for a hot summer wedding, it’s prone to melt!). Why not tray a ganache and pour it over your cake layers for an instantly smooth finish?
There are lots of ways you can DIY your wedding cake, the sky is the limit! Consider this DIY project to show off your special skills and truly personalize the wedding sweets.
Estimated total time commitment: 4-6 hours