Saturday, March 7, 2009

Be Careful Not to Overdo-it-Yourself

I consider myself a “crafty” person. I have a background in art and absolutely love to create. Therefore, it was only natural that when I was planning my own wedding, a lot of the details would be produced by me. The operative word there is details… meaning something small. However, I had two years to plan a wedding and let’s just say… I started out a little overly ambitious.

After my wonderful husband (fiancé at the time) slipped that beautiful sapphire and diamond ring on my finger, I started thinking about all the contributions I would make to my wedding. However… I got a little overzealous in my insistence on creating every element of my wedding by hand.

For example, I was going to design and sew my own dress. I spent HOURS looking at various patterns and fabrics. I analyzed elements of each dress that I loved, and drew sketches to determine what I would have to do to recreate that look. Keep in mind, I can sew, but I am by NO means a professional. I can only IMAGINE what the dress would have looked like

My husband jumped on the DIY bandwagon right along with me. He decided that he was going to bake and decorate our 4 tier wedding cake. He likes to bake. So what if he had only ever made one layer cakes? He was confident. He would make the cake… and all our guests would be incredibly impressed.

Luckily, we woke up from our delusions in time enough to hire REAL, PROFESSIONAL vendors! Unfortunately, some brides never recognize that they’re in over their heads and continue on with these projects. The enormity and timely nature of these projects can create a lot of stress. You should enjoy the process of planning your wedding, and you shouldn’t spend the days before your wedding running on little sleep and nervously biting your nails (think of those ring photos!)

These are the items I suggest a couple avoid attempting on their own:
  • Wedding Cake
  • Catering
  • Floral Design
  • Ceremony/Reception Music
  • Wedding Dress/Bridesmaids Dress

However, sometimes it’s a nice touch when elements are handmade by the couple. These items are usually things that can be done well in advance of the event and are smaller details. These aspects include:

  • The invitations/save-the-dates/thank you cards
  • Favors (design, execution and packaging)
  • Signage (signature cocktail, table numbers, placecards)
  • Guest book or variations thereof
  • Your veil/headpiece (I did this myself. My veil cost approximately $4 and it was exactly what I had envisioned)
  • Candy/cookie/dessert buffet

The time leading up to your wedding should be enjoyable and as stress-free as possible. No bride should be sick of the idea of her wedding day by the time it finally arrives. It should be as exciting as the day you started making your plans. There is a reason people pay for professional wedding vendors… they are worth EVERY PENNY. Even if you have the ability to create a lot of these things, your time and energy are more important!

What are you planning to DIY for your own wedding? For those already married, what details did you personally contribute to your event?

[photo source: Blue Orchid Designs Blog]


Delilah said...

I DIYed the invitations, place cards, favors, signage/decorations, table centerpieces and some floral arrangements...
I did not take the DIY route on the wedding cake, but I did get it sooo inexpensively by finding a woman who bakes them from her house and she did and AWESOME job. It was only $200!
I've seen people semi DIY their cakes by buying each tier separately as a plain cake, in different sizes with just plain white frosting. Then, right before the wedding they assemble the tiers and then add decorations. I went to an autumn wedding where they placed apples on the cake with a maple leaf vine type thing and it looked so great.

Elizabeth said...

Delilah- thanks for your comment! I love people who appreciate the care and personalization that goes into handmaking elements of your event.