We’re big fans of DIY wedding days, provided that everything is done properly of course and that means not being too ambitious. We say you should play to your strengths, know your limits and stick to them.
Your talents may lie in different areas, you may be great at art but not so hot on baking. Or you may have fabulous handwriting but be useless at arranging flowers. Here are five things we think you should considering doing yourself and five things we think you should just leave to the professionals!
Five things that you could DIY
You don’t have to do the whole lot either. Maybe you could just DIY your save-the-date cards and your thank-you cards and leave the main bit to be printed professionally.
For save-the-dates you could do something as simple as take a photograph of the pair of you holding a sign, maybe a chalkboard, with your names, the date of the wedding and ask your guests to save the date. Print out as many copies as you need, stick onto plain cards and then mail them to your invited guest list. You can do something very similar for thank-you cards – get your photographer to take a picture of you both on your wedding day holding a Thank You sign and then use this as a way to say thanks after the day.
Decorative table centres
These really don’t have to be elaborate. In fact, the less fussy the better, there’s nothing worse than high table centres that stop people talking to one another across a table. Depending on the season you could buy pots of spring bulbs, lavender, daisies or winter berries in the local garden centre and put them into decorative holders.
The trick here is to be creative. A very simple idea is to find a large framed mirror in a junk shop or antique shop and then write the table names on this in white marker pen in your best handwriting. Or you could print out the table plans on your computer onto coloured card in an eye-catching font. Cut these out with decorative edge scissors and then stick onto a mirror board.
Depending on your venue, you may find it works out cheaper if you supply your own wines, beer and soft drinks. Ask if this is an option at your venue and what it charges for corkage and then do the maths. We love the idea of making your own wedding cocktail.
This idea is all about presentation so you’ll need to source candy striped bags and glass candy jars, so you can show off your sweets. The only thing we’d say is that unless you’re having a winter wedding, it’s best to avoid chocolate because it might melt in anything but a cool atmosphere. If you’re a chocoholic and it’s a must-have, then you could always have a chocolate fountain!
Five things NOT to DIY
Seriously. Even if you’re a keen dressmaker it’s best to leave this one up to the professionals. You don’t want the stress of having to create a dress yourself. By all means choose a gown you love that flatters your best features, just don’t get busy with the sewing machine yourself!
We’ve heard of several brides who’ve asked amateur photographer friends to capture their big day on camera and they inevitably end up disappointed. Your friends may well want to socialise with others and get distracted from the matter in hand and then what do you do? Our advice is to use a professional photographer, shop around and let them handle this side of things. They won’t know anybody at the wedding so they can just focus on getting on with their job and capturing those perfect shots.
Okay, so we know that some brides get a wedding cake made by a professional baking friend or a mum or granny who should be a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. But what we’re saying here is that you shouldn’t make it yourself – unless of course you’re a professional baker. Your cake is going to take centre stage and you don’t want it to look amateurish. If you’re watching your budget there are ways to save like buying a supermarket cake and decorating it yourself or having dummy tiers.
We’d say you should hand your crowning glory over to a trusted hairdresser on your wedding day. You’re going to feel a bit nervous in any case and the last thing you want is a bad hair day on your wedding day. Also, chatting with your hairdresser, your mum and your bridesmaid while you’re getting ready is a memorable part of the build-up to your day and should help you relax.
Have a band or a DJ and tell them exactly what you want and the atmosphere you want to create. But don’t leave the all your music up to your trusty iPod or even a friend. A friend might say they’ll sort the music but get side tracked and in any case they’re almost certain to want to socialise themselves. And what if your equipment breaks down? So again, this is one best left to the professionals.
If you’re a hands-on bride-to-be, make sure you check out our handy DIY Wedding section where we show you how to make your very own wedding pom poms!