– Ask a Real Bride – Should I Try a Wedding DIY?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of an engagement ring must also be in want of a Pinterest-perfect wedding. And since limitless budgets are but a fantasy, many brides quickly pivot from browsing Pinterest for inspiration to clicking through the site’s many, many DIY tutorials for everything from favors to florals.

But we all know: for every Pinterest success story there are many more Pinterest fails. So what’s a bride to do? Is the potential stress of executing a DIY worth the savings? And which projects are better left to the pros?

DIY wedding aisle decor mason jar baby’s breath
This aisle decoration would make a simple DIY! | Photo Courtesy of Threefold Events

The Survey Says: Most Brides Did a DIY and Loved It!

Once again, I turned to Instagram for some expert advice from real brides (and a few grooms, too). I found that 78% of the brides I surveyed did a DIY-project for their weddings, and 88% of those surveyed said they would do it all over again! Today, I’m sharing their best tips and tricks for tackling the DIY wedding projects filling your Pinterest board. Hopefully, their advice which help you figure out which projects are worth DIY’ing, and which ones to rethink!

Words of Wisdom For the Aspiring DIY’ers:

“Get a lot of helping hands. Delegate. And know that nothing is ever going to be perfect, but you will be the only that could tell. Projects like this can be a lot of fun, but make sure you are not adding more stress to your wedding.” -Indira A.

 

“My whole wedding was DIY! My advice: don’t take on too much (don’t bite more than you can chew!) And in general, stay calm, ENJOY the wedding day, be flexible knowing things may not be perfect. Things YOU notice, others probably won’t!” -Christina C.

“Take pictures of the process! I wish I had pictures of my brother folding the 1000’s of origami flowers he did. Also, don’t stress. People are there for YOU, not the table decorations. If there is a mistake you’re the only one who will know.” -Beth P.

 

The Bottom Line:

  1. Have a Team: Whether it’s you and your fiance doing a project in the weeks leading up to the wedding, or a group of family members and bridesmaids handling day-of DIY’s, you’re going to need help. Don’t try to go at it alone!
  2. Have a Plan: This isn’t the time to “wing it.” Do lots of research and make a detailed timeline of how you’re going to get it all done.
  3. Stay focused on what truly matters: enjoy your big day! Your family and friends are there to celebrate this new chapter in your life. Don’t get so caught up in the details that you miss those meaningful moments!

So which DIY’s should you attempt? I’m breaking down the responses from our DIY brides to help you determine which projects are right for you!

Easiest Wedding DIY’s:

Printed materials (invitations, save-the-dates, menus, programs place cards, signage)

Wedding menu DIY Etsy
Photo Courtesy of bride Tiffany Peterson and The Big Day Photography

“My aunt made all the place seating cards which saved us a good amount of money and then I had menus printed for each seat and a menu for our signature cocktails! Fun little touches for fraction of the cost!” -Tiffany P.

 

“Remember to get samples and when printing make sure you start with brand new ink!”-Cristina O.

With so many templates available on Shutterfly, Etsy, and Canva, designing and printing your own wedding materials is a manageable, cost-effective DIY. These projects are also done well in advance of the wedding, so there’s no added stress to an already intense day. Bonus: your groom can help with this, too!

DIY wedding place cards sand dollars coastal theme
Table cards are a popular DIY because they can be done in advance of the wedding, and are a cute way to showcase your wedding theme | Photo courtesy of bride Marissa Gray

Wedding Favors

Favors were another popular DIY, because they can be done in advance and add a personal touch to your wedding day. Whether you choose to bake your favorite treat or make a keepsake, this is another DIY that can be done weeks or days in advance and together with your groom. For handmade favor ideas, scroll to the bottom of this post!

More Challenging DIY’s:

Florals

DIY bridal bouquets greenery Hawaii wedding
Photo courtesy of bride Christina Chubb and Jess Henderson Photography

“My bridesmaids made their own bouquets and mine. I like to think it was a fun activity for them while I was getting my hair and makeup done. It was special knowing my bouquet was made by my friends and sister.” -Christina C.

“We made most of the floral centerpieces the day before with YouTube, floral styrofoam, and all the bridesmaids before a little brunch. It was great. I was also super fortunate to have two best friends with big sisters who worked in events so they graciously offered to tag team the day of just to make sure it all went smoothly.” -Jess W.

If you haven’t yet received a quote from your florist, prepare to be a little blown away: professional arrangements are expensive, and so many brides consider doing their bouquets and centerpieces themselves. Beware, brides. Those florists charge hefty prices because it’s both time-sensitive and labor-intensive to deliver, arrange, and transport fresh blooms!

DIY wedding centerpiece hydrangeas, roses, ribbon
My mom, aunts and grandmothers made 25 of these centerpieces for my wedding! Every project at my wedding was more “DBM” (done by mom) than “DIY;” and when it comes to as big an undertaking as your centerpieces, you’re going to need a team! | Photo courtesy of Kallima Photography

Only take on this DIY floral challenge if you have a capable, experienced team of helpers. You’re also going to need a detailed vision and plan of how you’ll execute. Consider doing a few practice bouquets/arrangements to master the look you want to achieve, determine how many of each variety of flower you’ll need, and how much time it will take you to get it all done.

DIY pallet bar wedding reception
Bride Caroline  Hamburg shared this photo of the custom bar her father made for their wedding reception. Caroline’s sister did all the flowers for her wedding too! Talk about a talented family! | Katie Lopez Photography

Decor

If you or your fiance (or any other family members) are handy, you’re in luck–a few brides shared that their “team” built wedding arches, painted wooden signs, and even planted potted trees to create the wedding of their dreams. Be realistic with decor DIY’s: if you’ve never used a nail gun, don’t try to master one the week before your wedding. Give yourself plenty of time to try a decor project–and if it doesn’t work out, you can always try something else!

Most Challenging DIY’s:

Wedding Cake

DIY wedding cake fresh fruit
Photo Courtesy bride Camile Lofters and Shmily Face Photography and ShutterKey Photography

A few brave brides we surveyed made their own wedding cakes and desserts, and if baking is your passion, go for it! If, like me, you prefer watching cooking shows to actual cooking, you probably want to leave this baking challenge to the pros or a talented baker in your family or friend group.

Hair and Makeup

If you don’t plan on wearing a lot of makeup for your wedding and going with a simple hairstyle, this might be the DIY for you! Tips: do a practice run (with your veil) and take a few pictures to be sure you like how your makeup photographs. If you have a close friend or bridesmaid with a gift for hair and makeup, ask for their help!

Leave These to the Pros:

Bride and groom wedding portrait
Photo Courtesy of Threefold Events, a Birmingham-based wedding coordinator | Brittany Jayde Photography

Coordinating

I feel like I include this piece of advice in every “Ask a Real Bride” post: hire a professional coordinator! Having a pro handle your budget, timeline, and vendors is a modern-day “must” that will save your time, energy, and sanity!

Photography & Videography

When I asked brides what was worth the “splurge” for their weddings, the number one answer was photography and videography. Invest in an experienced, reliable photographer who will capture your wedding in a beautiful and timeless way. Don’t just trust your friend with a nice camera to get the job done–go with a pro!

Feeling Inspired?

If these DIY tips have inspired you to try your own wedding project, we’ve got you covered: we gathered the very best Wedding DIY’s in this post! We hope you’ll find ideas you can use for favors, flowers, decor, and much more.

Have a Question for our Real Brides?

Let me know what topic you’d like us to tackle next! And if you’re interested in learning more about etiquette, gift giving, and celebrating in style, be sure to subscribe to the RegistryFinder GiveIt blog for weekly posts on wedding etiquette, bridal showers, wedding trends, and of course, wedding registry guidelines and tips! And as always, be sure to refer your guests to RegistryFinder.com, where they can conveniently locate all of your registries in one place!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The ideas are ours, but we may be compensated if you make a purchase by clicking on one of the links. Thanks for your support!

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