Planning your own wedding allows you to infuse personal touches, customize every detail, and create a celebration that truly represents you as a couple. I'll guide you through the process of planning a DIY wedding, from setting a vision and budget to crafting personalized décor and making it a day to remember. It's not easy but if you can do a few things yourself, it will save money (possibly not time)!
1. Set Your Vision
Begin by envisioning the overall atmosphere and style you want for your wedding. Do you envision a rustic outdoor thing, a bohemian beach situation, or an elegant garden party? Take the time to create a mood board or gather inspiration from websites, magazines, and social media platforms. This will help you define your wedding's aesthetic and guide your DIY endeavors. We wanted a backyard-at-our-villa vibe and the venue and little additions we made delivered.
2. Establish a Realistic Budget
One of the advantages of a DIY wedding is the potential for cost savings. However, it's important to establish a realistic budget to ensure you stay on track. Start by determining your priorities. Allocate funds for essentials such as venue, food, and attire, then allocate a portion for your DIY projects. Research the cost of materials, tools, and equipment needed for your projects to ensure they align with your budget. You may save money but it will cost you time. Doing things on our own saved us thousands but required planning, research, and time. Keep that in mind. If the time spent isn't worth it, stop reading and hire someone to do the things for you. It won't be worth it if DIYing isn't already something you enjoy. You can have quick, fast, cheap but you can only choose two. I had been planning this wedding in my head since before I met my husband. I knew what I wanted and we had time to collaborate on a vision. We wanted it to feel hand crafted, organic, and elegant. Etsy goes a LONG way. Whatever budget you have in mind, add 5k to it at least and it may be more accurate.
3. Personalize Your Décor
Infuse your wedding with personal touches through DIY décor. Create handmade centerpieces, design unique table settings, or craft personalized wedding favors. Incorporate elements that reflect your interests and hobbies, such as handmade signage, custom-made photo displays, or DIY photo booths. Your creativity will shine through, leaving a lasting impression on your guests. This can truly be anything. Never forget that the rules are made up and this party can be whatever YOU want it to be. You and your partner are sneakerheads? Have vintage Jordans as your center pieces. Why not? The way I did this was to have a charm on my bouquet that included pictures of my loved ones who had passed. It was simple to put together and meant a lot to have my dad and grandparents honored. Here's a link in case you're curious.
4. Involve Your Loved Ones
Planning a DIY wedding provides an excellent opportunity to involve your friends and family. It can also create lots of stress and conflict. Be honest with yourself about the dynamic you have with the people around you and be mindful of peoples abilities/temperament as you ask for help. The whole point of the DIY part is to, if you're like me, save money and make something beautiful. Don't create unnecessary stress. *Special shout out to my fantastic friends who also happen to be artsy and project managers. Angels from God, truly.*
5. Embrace DIY Stationery
From save-the-dates to wedding invitations and programs, DIY stationery can add a personal touch to your wedding. Design and print your own stationery using online templates or unleash your artistic side by handcrafting each piece. This allows you to showcase your creativity while saving money compared to professionally designed and printed options. This saved us A TON. We also didn't send final invitations. Our save the dates had a link to our website and we directed people there. We did our site and save-the-dates through minted.com absolutely worth it, would recommend. Our name cards, welcome bag stickers, wedding favor stickers, and itineraries were all from Etsy. Similar themes but just different enough. We used the templates and printed things at Office Depot on fancy stationary we bought in store.
6. Plan for Assistance on the Day
While a DIY wedding can be immensely rewarding, it's crucial to have a plan in place for the day itself. Recruit trusted friends or family members to help with setup, coordination, and vendor management. Consider hiring a day-of coordinator who can ensure smooth execution while you relax and enjoy your special day. Don't plan to do anything other than get dressed and married on the day. The stress of executing the vision, if at all possible, needs to be placed on someone else. PERIOD. Enjoy your day.
7. Don't Forget About Logistics
Give yourself as much time as possible to assemble things. Allot more time than you need. Make it a little party and if friends are helping provide snacks. Have fun with this part. We put our welcome bags together once we got to Villa Agape. We packed all the things that would go inside along with the stationary we'd need on the day and flew everything to Italy with us. In our carry-ons. Listen, we worked real hard to find all those things and didn't want to repurchase at the 11th hour in a different country. We got a glass of wine at the bar and set up an assembly line. When we were done doing welcome bags we handed everything to the front desk. They gave them to our guests as they checked in. Everything was at a casual pace and gave us ample time to relax.
Planning a DIY wedding is a labor of love that allows you to create a celebration that is uniquely yours. From personalized décor and DIY stationery to involving your loved ones in the process, embracing creativity will infuse your wedding with a heartfelt and personal touch. Remember to stay organized, enlist assistance when needed, and enjoy the journey of crafting a wedding that reflects your love story. With a little creativity, dedication, and planning, your DIY wedding will be a memorable and extraordinary day filled with love and personal expression. Remember, this is the fun part.