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NWweddingplace.com's Planning Advice & Articles Section

Complete Article: To DIY, or Not To DIY.
We have put together a list of wedding components that could potentially be DIY’d.  For those of you who don’t know, DIY stands for do it yourself.  If you have a tight budget or you’re a handy person, DIY'ing certain parts of your wedding rather than hiring someone will save you money.  It won’t save you time in most cases however, so choose your DIY projects appropriately according to your time and budget constraints.  We’ve broken down the projects into 3 categories – Easy, Moderate and Difficult.  Depending on your skills and abilities, the following aspects of a wedding are potentially good to DIY:

Easy – photography/videography, invitations, guest favors, hors d’oeuvres, recorded music, transportation services.

Photography - You probably know someone (or even two people) who has a nice digital camera who’d be willing to be your official photographer.  Another fun photography idea is to have disposable cameras for the reception tables that guests can use to catch candid shots themselves.  If you or someone you know has a video camera, find someone willing (and familiar with the equipment) to run it.  One extra thought about DIY photography - the photos of your wedding will be potentially the only items enduring through the years from your wedding day.  Some people decide to spend their money on professional photography services for this reason.

There are 3 options for DIY invitations – 1. Use your computer & design skills and print them out, 2. paper craft them – i.e., stamped or scrap book-type cards, or 3. buy blank wedding invitation cards from a store and write in them with nice script or calligraphy.  For guest favors, at the NWweddingplace.com wedding shop area, we have a huge selection of guest favors & thank you gifts that make it so easy & affordable to get that part taken care of.  Even personalized favors!  We also have DIY favor project ideas in our DIY section as well.

A simple way to DIY your own wedding catering is buying platters from your local grocery store’s deli dept, or limit your hors d’oeuvres to just a few items and buy them in bulk.  Or, ask friends to each bring a dessert item on a nice plate.  You’ll fill up your table in no time.  If you want more extensive catering, you’ll probably need to hire someone or find a skilled & efficient friend.

Recording music for the ceremony and reception is very easy, but will take a bit of time to collect all your chosen songs, and burn CD’s.  Look at our DIY section for more specific wedding music tips and links to online music download sites. 

Last in the easy category is transportation services.  You may or may not need this unless your ceremony and reception are in different locations.  If you have any friends or family members who own a really cool car, they're always looking for somewhere to show them off.  What better place than at a wedding?!  Get them to whisk you away to the reception, or away from the reception afterward.

Moderate – Potential projects requiring moderate skill could be reception table décor, making bouquets & boutonnières, veil.

We have many excellent ideas for table décor in the planning articles and DIY sections.  Many of these ideas require only minimal crafting skills.  Some will need to be made beforehand, and other just basically need some assembly on site.  Either way, you will need a trusted assistant to set it up on the day of the wedding because you will be getting yourself ready.

Depending on what sort of bouquet you’d like, you may be able to get away with making your own very inexpensively, and some bouquet styles would be in the easy category.  Silk flowers also make great bouquets that are everlasting.  Boutonnières are fairly easy to make, but will require a few supplies.  Refer to the DIY bouquet and boutonniere article in our DIY section.  One other thing to consider is silk flower bouquets and boutonnières can be made far in advance, but fresh flower ones cannot.

Lastly in the moderate to DIY category is a veil.  You can save lots of money by making your own veil and it shouldn’t take you that long.  If you’re handy with a sewing machine or even just a needle and thread, you could easily make a simple veil.  See the DIY section for more DIY veil instructions.

Difficult – gown, wedding cake, doing all the floral. 

Sewing your own gown takes a lot of time and sewing skill.  You’d certainly save money if you can DIY it, and it would be something very special to keep.  Another easier option would be to buy a very simple, inexpensive dress and add to it.

Making your own wedding cake would save money, but not time. If you know someone who’s good at cake baking and decorating, ask if they'd be willing to make your cake as their wedding gift to you. It must be done last-minute and requires quite a few special supplies & skills.  DIY'ing a groom’s cake would be much easier compared to the main cake.  Another excellent and trendy money saving idea is to have a top tier professionally made (for your cake topper) and then have matching cupcakes for guests.  We have cupcake ideas on our Cakes & Table Decor Idea Gallery page. 

Doing all the floral work for the ceremony and reception would be time consuming, depending on the extent of your floral desires.  You would certainly save money.  Once again, if you want silk flowers, you can put things together far in advance, but fresh flowers will need to be bought and arranged within 1 day of your wedding.  Doing all the floral would probably require helpers!

You need to decide for yourself which is more valuable and available to you right now – time or money!  Happy planning to you, and keep the main thing – the main thing.  You’re getting married and your wedding is only the first day of the rest of your married life together.  Remember that NWweddingplace.com has more information, resources and products available to help you plan your Northwest wedding and successful marriage. Be blessed.

Copyright NWweddingplace.com 2008. All information contained herein is intellectual property and copyrighted by www.NWweddingplace.com. For information regarding use of this article, please contact article-inquiries@NWweddingplace.com.

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