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Have a DIY Wedding they said. It’ll be fun they said! OK, maybe NO ONE said that to me. Except for the eager voice in my head. The process was exhausting. But in the end, it was fun. For me, anyways. I chose a DIY wedding so that I would be able to create the wedding of our dreams.
DIY Weddings can be A LOT of work!
Every piece of the wedding, from the “Park Here” signs, to the alter, the flower arrangements, and the “Best Day Ever” backdrop for pictures, I created. First in my mind, to doodles on paper, to long days and nights on the basement, living room, and bedroom floors where there are still tiny scraps of paper, bits of eraser shavings, and yes – hot glue drippings. (and tears, don’t forget the tears)
When someone asks, what is the key to a successful DIY wedding? I simply reply: hot glue.
Hot glue held my wedding together.
When I think about it, hot glue has held my life together for as long as I can remember.
From age 7 with Barbie doll heads, after my two older brothers would get their hands on them. My mom would hot glue the heads back on, inevitably causing the once perfect Barbie doll to now be without much of a neck, and absolutely no head movement. I had my doll.
To age 27 and planning a wedding. The alter, bouquets and boutonnieres, seating chart, table numbers, welcome sign, guest book, hand fans, and paper flower backdrop – all held together by hot glue. I had my wedding day.
I obviously learned young the importance of hot glue. But what this has really meant to me is that things can be fixed when broken, and created if you really put in the time and effort.
A DIY wedding takes exactly that: time and effort. How much time? Well, that depends on so many factors: size of the wedding, what you want to create, how many helping hands you have (if any!), how much time before the wedding date, total budget, etc.
How much time did my DIY wedding take?
I gave myself six months. From a December 15th proposal to a June 17th wedding, I was busy, busy! But I was so happy.
I had the luxury of not shopping for a venue, which tends to dictate your wedding date and final budget. My parents graciously opened their backyard to me and my (at the time) fiancé, and after meeting with a caterer and designing a seating plan for a small, 75 guest wedding, I went to town on physically creating the wedding I envisioned.
Backyard weddings are the perfect avenue for DIY because you don’t have to worry about what is and what isn’t allowed at the venue. It’s your backyard – have whatever you want! For instance, confetti poppers! Throwing or popping confetti over the new bride and groom can be quite picturesque and add so much extra excitement after hearing “I now pronounce you husband and wife!”
Many venues will not allow confetti poppers, which is understandable – it can be quite the burden to clean up (however, this particular brand we used disintegrated after one rainfall).
The confetti poppers ended up giving us our favorite photo of the day.
DIY Backyard Weddings allow you to break all the rules. Because for the most part, there aren’t any strict rules. But please, make sure if you’re planning on still playing dance music at 2am that you’ve invited all the neighbors to the wedding and offer them any leftover alcohol the next morning as a thank you.
It works well. Trust me.
Write up a DIY plan
Before you start throwing together every craft you can find online, write up a plan. The true key to a successful DIY is proper time management. Take the time to plan ahead.
Do you want a color scheme? (Blush)
Do you want your wedding to have a theme? (Rustic and Dreamy)
Do you want any specific sayings (Best Day Ever!) or love-quotes (Where you go, I will go)?
I chose the saying “Best Day Ever” and placed it on a few things around the wedding. I created a backdrop for photo opportunities with the saying, I put the saying on hand fans (it was hot), and I found napkins with the saying. Subtle and consistent.
I also chose a flower “theme” (backyard wedding in June — flowers were everywhere!). I created a paper flower backdrop to accompany the Best Day Ever sign, I wore a flower in my hair as well as flower earrings, my bridesmaids wore matching flower earrings, and all seven (yes, SEVEN) flower girls wore a flower in their hair. I also used two wood pallets to display a quote about flowers my now husband had given to me a year prior in birthday card. “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever” – Tennyson
Again, subtle and consistent.
Most of the décor I made in varying hues of blush, with a touch of navy and grey to tie everything together.
DIY as much as you can!
Think about decor you can DIY that will cost little to no money out of your pockets. For example, the paper flowers. I found an inexpensive 100-pack of white poster board on Amazon. I not only had more than enough paper flowers, but I had plenty of paper left over! (fun crafts for the near future!)
Another inexpensive DIY wedding project can be the centerpieces. I chose to use wine bottles as my table centerpieces and other décor uses around the wedding.
I had roughly 70 empty wine bottles from friends and family (we got engaged close to the holidays, empty wine bottles were readily available). All I needed to purchase was paint and spend the time painting them all, which didn’t take much time at all with spray paint and a fiancé.
I also used the same paints to add splashes of color to my paper flowers. Saving time and money while tying everything together.
So, now what?
A DIY Wedding can be great for the budget conscious couple. A Backyard DIY Wedding can be greater; backyard = FREE venue.
Doing all of the decorations and prep work will be time consuming and stressful at times, but it is so incredible to create your day exactly how you envisioned it to be. If you chose a more traditional venue, make sure you talk with the coordinator to find out what is and isn’t allowed within the venue before you begin working on your DIY projects.
I would love to hear your thoughts on DIY weddings!
Any questions about my DIY wedding? Email me!