When a woman becomes engaged it’s like she quickly become addicted to all things DIY and suddenly evolves into a hoarder of burlap, lace and doilies. Thanks to Pinterest we are inspired to have every detail of our weddings hand stitched with love. In our heads we think, “I love glitter and ribbon, I don’t need to buy anything pre-made! I will save so much money if I just DO IT MYSELF!”. Unfortunately ladies, the truth is DIY does not always save you money and it certainly does not save you time, which can be your most valuable asset with a wedding in the works.
After planning my entire wedding last August and doing almost everything on my own or with the help of my crafty team of bridesmaids (DIY ninjas as some may call them), I learned I should have just bought some of the details I envisioned for my perfect day. To save future brides time and money, I am sharing my top 5 things not to DIY at your wedding.
If I could give a bride one tip on how to not waste your wedding budget, it would be not spending $$$ on DIY invitations. For my wedding I got this crazy idea to DIY my invitations, but not just simple paper invitations….I wanted them to be written on vintage handkerchiefs. Why you ask? I have no idea, but this was probably the biggest time consuming DIY affair ever. We spent a whole day looking for 200 vintage handkerchiefs (it was a miracle we found them). Once we found them we were so excited but they were about $1.50 each so my bill came out to about $300 just for the old handkerchiefs alone. Even though they were absolutely adorable and completely unique…I wouldn’t recommend spending this much on a detail you send away to all of your guests and never see again. After buying the printing supplies, envelopes, and paper for RSVP directions I had spent around $450 on invites alone and spent a full day with 5 people helping me.
DIY Cost: $450
Hours Spent: 16 hr
Store Bought: $300
Hours Spent: 2 hr
If I would have bought invites online like I had originally planned to I would have spent around $300 and saved 14 hours of my time and my bridal party’s time. I highly recommend Wedding Paper Divas for gorgeous wedding invites. My maid of honor ended up buying the bridal shower invites there and they were absolutely perfect in every way and so easy!
2. Table Numbers
Even though I absolutely adored my handmaid moss table numbers made with all of my bridesmaids the day before the wedding, I do not recommend making your own table numbers. You can find some really inexpensive and just as adorable table numbers online that will save you loads of valuable time, sure they may not be handcut and glued with love by your seven bridesmaids and grandmother, but no one will know and no one will care. These were really difficult to transport without breaking and were really confusing the day of the wedding since we had 15 tables and 21 individual numbers to match up.
DIY Cost: $150
Hours Spent: 20 hr
Store Bought: $20
Hours Spent: 3 hr
If I could do it again I would print out table numbers and buy frames from the dollar store to put them in. Still a little DIY but much more simple and easier to pack and unpack the day of.
3. Floral Bouquets
This is one thing I am proud to say I did not DIY on my wedding day, but I have been in enough weddings to know it is not worth it to DIY your wedding bouquets. The bouquets are such a beautiful part of the ceremony and especially bridal party theme, they can definitely make or break your photos. I have had friends who ordered fresh flowers and made their bouquets the day before or morning of and let me tell you ….it is not worth it. If you are not a florist and do not want to worry about tulips wilting or roses looking brown, spend the money to get your bridal party bouquets professionally done.
DIY Cost: $700
Hours Spent: 8 hr
Store Bought: $500
Hours Spent: 2 hr
I had Whole Foods florist make 7 bouquets , 9 boutonnieres, and 2 corsages for under $500. My only regret is I wish I would have paid to have a test bouquet made way before the wedding so I could have the florist make exactly what I envisioned. Although my bouquets were not what I had in mind they were gorgeous and I only spent 2 hours with the florist. On the day of the wedding, one of my bridesmaids picked them up fresh and ready to go with no effort or stress for me, the bride.
Keep in mind florists can purchase flowers in bulk straight from suppliers at wholesale prices; they also have all of the tools and supplies that are needed to make bouquets beautiful and sturdy.
4. Table Floral Arrangements
One day I wash shopping at Trader Joe’s and I saw these adorable purple potted flowers for only $3.99 each! I knew they would be perfect for the centerpieces so I worked with the florist at Trader Joes ( yes they have someone in charge of all of those super cheap and gorgeous flowers) and she helped me order 20 potted Campanulas for my tables to pick up the morning of the wedding. We only needed 15 for the tables but we bought a few extra for the cake table and buffet table since they were so inexpensive! I cannot express how perfect they were and how cool it was to buy flowers that the guests could take home and plant instead of throwing away at the end of the night. This is the easiest store bought purchase to make at your wedding…potted flowers! No vases, no water spilling, no ribbons to tie, just beautiful live flowers!
DIY Cost: $200 (at the minimum for 15 center pieces)
Hours Spent: 8 hr
Store Bought: $80
Hours Spent: 1 hr
I am so glad I did not decide to skip having a videographer at my wedding. I know a lot of brides have family or friends take amateur ceremony videos or cell phone videos of their wedding reception but when the wedding is all said and done, all you have left are the photos and the video. DON’T DIY YOUR WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY! Quite a bit of my wedding budget went to videography but I do not regret it at all! I watch my video all of the time and it is such a great way to remember your special moment. I found a videographer willing to shoot our whole wedding for under $1,000 and since it was on a weekday he even dropped down the price! If you are getting married in the Reno Tahoe area I highly recommend Mabble Media.
DIY Cost: $0
Hours Spent: 8 hr (gathering b-roll from friends)
Professional Cost: $900
Hours Spent: 0 hr
I hope this is helpful for all those brides to be! Leave me a comment if you have any questions or things to add to the list of what not to DIY at your wedding.
*Please note I am an affiliate with Wedding Paper Divas, but they did not pay me to promote their products.