8/7 Real Bride Kimberly: To DIY or Not to DIY, That is the Question.

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So, one thing I wanted to wrap my head around before I got into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning was my list of DIY projects. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to do a test run for each project so that I could determine if:

  1. I had the skills or could learn the skills needed to create the item. I consider myself a crafting veteran, but I haven’t done EVERYTHING.
  2. I had the time needed to create all of the items before the wedding without pulling out my hair from the stress.
  3. I will actually save money by doing it myself, or if the money and time would be better spent on buying it ready made.

I’m lucky in that I have a lot of family and friends who have offered to help with my various projects. But of course, I don’t want to take advantage of their generosity. So, while I have the option of outsourcing various projects to my loved ones, I want to use that option sparingly. My wedding isn’t the center of their life, and I don’t want to stress them out with a million projects.

I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills.

So, with that said, I sat down with my wedding binder and wrote down everything that I could possibly DIY. I’m not going to do all of them, but I wanted to see what my options were. Once I wrote everything down, I started moving items into two buckets:

  1. DIY Projects – these are projects that I felt my fiancé or I could take on ourselves.
  2. Outsource To Family & Friends – these are projects that I have asked people to take charge of because it involves a skill set that they already possess.

I love making lists, it’s a sickness.

Putting my inner crafting goddess to work.

I’ve always loved decorating for parties, from my mom’s 50th birthday to my daughter’s 1st birthday and everything in between. I love, love, LOVE it! Therefore, decorating for my wedding was a no-brainer. Immediately, I placed ceremony décor and centerpieces into the DIY projects bucket. Next, I added stationery to include: Save-The-Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards and Thank You cards. I made the invitations for my daughter’s baptism, and I felt with enough time, they wouldn’t be a problem. Then, I added the backdrop for the sweetheart table. I’ve made backdrops before, for personal use and work events, and I felt that making one for the wedding was doable. 

Lastly, I stuck the selfie-station and the paper flowers in this bucket as well. I’m a little worried about making all of the paper flowers I need to decorate the ceremony and reception space. So, I might end up making some and buying some, or swap them for something else. We’ll see how the test run goes. As for the selfie-station, I haven’t decided what that will look like yet, so I have more work to do. However, I know I want to make it myself.

Next at bat: my fiancé.

I chose two projects that I had my heart set on, but doubted I could do them by myself. Since my fiancé is a whiz at building things, I asked him to build the ceremony aisle arches and door-frame ceremony entrance. I know you are probably asking yourself, what the hell are those? I wanted to give my ceremony aisle that wow factor, by adding some arches draped in fabric. Something you don’t see often. Since we plan on the ceremony being outside, I wanted to create the illusion of “entering” the ceremony space. Hence the doorframe.

My blueprint for the ceremony aisle arch that my fiance is going to build.

Outsourcing: No need for references.

The first project I added to this bucket was the wedding cupcakes. At first, I was going to do them myself. I used to work in a grocery store bakery as a cake decorator so I knew I could make them. But, I was worried about the timing and being stressed on my wedding day. One of my bridesmaids was also a cake decorator, so when she offered to make them I said, hell yeah! She’s going to do a tasting and everything, just like going to a bakery. I can’t wait. 

Next, I added the wedding signage to this bucket. My sister/ bridesmaid got a Cricut last year for Christmas, and it has upped her crafting game significantly. She doesn’t want to be “in charge” of the signage, but she can take the lead. Then, when she is busy, she can pull me in, which is just as good. If I had to do all of the signs by myself, I probably wouldn’t do half of them.  

Finally, I added the ceremony canopy where we will stand while we say our vows. My future sister-in-law/ grooms-maid is going to knock out this project for us. She is also handy, like her brother, and I thought she would do a great job with it. We are going to tag team it, she’s going to make the frame, and I am going to make the drapes.

My plan for the centerpieces, this is an early draft.

Don’t rush me, I’m still thinking about it!

Now, there are three projects I’m still mulling over, and I go back and forth on them:

  1. Flowers – I don’t want to make my bouquet, but I am unsure about doing the flower arrangements. If I can get some reasonable quotes, I would prefer to hire someone to take care of them, and not have that hanging over me. If I had more experience with flowers, I wouldn’t worry so much, but I seriously lack a green thumb.
  2. Favors – I want to have some type of edible favor, but I don’t want the stress of baking something in the days leading up to the wedding. That’s why I outsourced the cupcakes. I am mulling over the idea of using candy, and have to hit up Pinterest for some more ideas.
  3. Bridesmaid tank tops – I like the idea of my bridesmaids having matching tank tops on while we get ready the day of. I love those pictures and think it would be fun. However, I don’t know much about making them, and I haven’t researched ordering them, so they are still an unknown at this point.

Commence with the crafting parties!

Now that I have my list, I can start testing projects. My plan is to do a few each month so that I have time to come up with alternative ideas if needed. I would like to have a game plan in place by the New Year, so I can create a crafting timeline. I will make an offering to the crafting gods, in the hopes that they will bless this massive endevor. Luckily, nothing is set in stone and if some projects have to go, then they have to go.

Wish me luck!