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Homemade weddings – do it for love, not to save pennies!

Have you ever been to a wedding where everything was homemade… only not so well? I hear from so many brides who’ve felt pressure to get their craft on but didn’t enjoy the process or love the results. I hate to say it, but I feel there’s too much focus on essential wedding DIY these days, and it’s kind of spoiling the fun for those of us who really do love getting all gluey and covered in moss and glitter spray!

Craft because you’re crafty. Craft because you love it!

Winters Barns Kent wedding blog Parkershots Photography (19)

All this articles images are by the fabulous Parkershots Photography, and are taken from Rod and Kirsty’s handmade wedding on the English Wedding Blog

If you craft to save money, because you’re on a tight budget, because you can’t afford to hire someone – for any reason other than you LOVE doing it… it’s not going to work.

Hobbycraft sent me an email last week with some stats about the rising cost of weddings and observations about wedding crafts being on the rise. It was a little depressing… but only because of the implied link between the two. I’m not sure I agree with what they told me:

With over 230,000 couples marrying every year, the cost of the ring is the least that men have to worry about… The average wedding costs a staggering £20,000** (up £6,000 since 2002***) and with most couples opting to foot the bill themselves, Hobbycraft reveals that more couples than ever are going for a handmade wedding day. As well as saving money, handmade weddings offer the Bride and Groom the chance to add a personal and bespoke touch to their special day; whether it’s making their own stationery and wedding favours, to table plans and even bouquets.

Hobbycraft reveals that engaged couples opting for the handmade touch will save up to as much as £1,000 and with more couples than ever getting savvy to the money saving tip, the craft retailer is this spring extending its wedding range to keep up with demand… By making a few small changes, the make-it-yourself wedding can save couples nearly £1000 – money which could be put towards a well-deserved honeymoon!”

Winters Barns Kent wedding blog Parkershots Photography (30)

Wedding budgets have always been on the rise…

To be honest, average spend on everything rises over time. Houses, food, cars, Terry’s chocolate oranges… it’s inflation. Simple. Don’t let anyone instil panic in you by quoting a rise in wedding budgets. Average wages have gone up too.

The trend for handcrafted isn’t driven by cost…

Wedding blogs have surged in popularity since 2002 as well… there is wedding inspiration everywhere, and suppliers everywhere are under pressure to come up with the most sensational and creative ideas.

This is a good thing! Everywhere you go there are craft projects, designers and makers publishing tutorials and how-tos for crafty brides and grooms. There’s never been more inspiration online for you to follow!

And there’s another huge trend, outside of weddings: the trend for crafts and making things. Mollie Makes has broken records since its launch. Look at the popularity of Etsy and Not on the High Street: we LOVE people who make things with their hands. And we want to have a go ourselves.
Winters Barns Kent wedding blog Parkershots Photography (39)

Craft for love of getting gluey

Choose to have a handmade wedding if you’re a handmade, crafty kind of couple. Craft if you love getting your hands dirty. You might save pennies; you’ll spend the equivalent in time.

But don’t feel pressured to make things if you’d rather buy, or even ditch some of the traditional things you ‘need’ for a wedding. We can do without invites, cakes or flowers if we need to save money: at the end of the day you need two people, nothing more.

Winters Barns Kent wedding blog Parkershots Photography (37)

Homemade and handcrafted aren’t necessarily the same thing!

I publish plenty of handcrafted wedding ideas. I love seeing beautifully made things, by talented craftspeople or brides with an eye for quality and style. I admire those of you who pour your hearts and souls into making things and doing it well.

But I also – and equally – admire those of you who support the independent craft businesses who’ve brought this trend to life.

Buying isn’t a cop-out; sourcing quality handcrafted items for your wedding is something to be proud of.

Balance your budget creatively by omitting boring traditions instead – it’s a far better way to save pennies.
claire gould calligrapher signature

Winters Barns Kent wedding blog Parkershots Photography (43)

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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