Most of the weddings I share on the blog have an element of DIY to them these days: invites, flowers, cakes or reception stationery being top choices for a bit of home made wedding crafting.
But equally, most of my lovely readers will buy some of these things from established wedding suppliers. And that’s fine! It makes perfect sense to balance your time so you’re not spending every weekend in the months before your wedding covered in glitter and glue.
Sometimes it seems as though wedding blogs focus on DIY a little too much, especially when it comes to invitations and stationery. Home made is fine, and if you know what you’re doing it can look great… but it’s not always as easy as it first seems.
Marrianne and David’s Kent wedding was full of DIY touches and looked amazing – but Marrianne is a trained designer and it most definitely shows! If you love crafting and making things, and still love it after the first 100 hours, then you too could achieve the look that this lovely couple had for their village fete wedding. I don’t think I have the stamina but I admire Marrianne so much for what she achieved!
Hannah told me the other day about her experience crafting a brooch bouquet –
“I had seen pictures of brooch bouquets and loved the style and the fact that you could add in special pieces that meant something to you. Having found instructions online, I decided to give it a go. I can confirm it is certainly possible, but involves a lot of evenings sat in front of the tv, with wire, tape and sore fingers!”
In Hannah’s case, the blood, sweat and tears look to have been worthwhile!
I’ve seen lots of gorgeous DIY touches on wedding blogs, like Claire and Andrew’s world map table plan and Hannah’s home made brooch bouquet. I also see some amazing details on wedding photography shoots and from weddings where a planner or professional designer has been hired to create those beautiful special touches.
But when you have a hundred and one things to plan, and the very thought of another trip to Hobbycraft or afternoon trawling Pinterest makes you shudder, it’s actually still OK to buy from the professionals. Trust me.
Sometimes it comes down to priorities. Yes, you could save £200 by making your own wedding invitations. But you’ll lose two weekends and ten evenings.
Learning a skill for your wedding is a great idea – my cousin Jenny went to silversmithing classes and learned how to make her tiara. There was a sparkle in her eye when she told me about all the power tools she was allowed to use to melt metal! But again, it’s a question of how much time you have.
The same goes for wedding flowers and cakes: to do a brilliant job of your bouquet and decorations you will need to go to a few classes. Will the price of the classes, buying your own flowers and all the bits of wire, jam jars etc. save you enough to justify the time you spend?
After her Iscoyd Park wedding Katie told me, “the lovely Jo at Nettle Flowers did the bouquets, buttonholes, centrepieces and ceremony room. The flowers were one of my favourite parts of the process (apart from marrying Craig, of course!) – Jo totally “got” what I had in mind and was such a joy to work with. She was enthusiastic, really clever about ensuring we made the most of our budget and, as she likes to work with herbs as well as flowers, made the bouquets smell amazing. One of the most exciting moments in few days before was popping into the shop and seeing all of our flowers lined up and ready to go!”
Working with someone who has years of experience, a natural creative flair and who is excited to get to know you as a couple makes everything seem so easy! And personally I think it’s worth it.
Hiring a professional wedding stationer, a florist or cake designer will cost a little more than going down the DIY route. Sometimes*.
*Accurately costing all your materials and tools might surprise you – DIY can be more expensive. Wedding suppliers will buy wholesale and get discounts on all the materials you need – as well as their tools.
But the smooth process is worth its weight in gold. Knowing your flowers won’t flop and the lace won’t fall off your table plan is so reassuring. Having an expert to ask questions of – like, how big a wedding cake do you need for 90 guests – will save you time and stress.
These days your wedding will have a unique touch if you dare to pay for your stationery, flowers, cake and decor rather than DIY-ing it like everyone else! So be brave, be bold and don’t feel as though you have to DIY everything for your big day.