Post # 1
Now that it’s too late, I’ve discovered a few things that would have been good to know from the beginning:
1) I shouldn’t have planned to do silver calligraphy on the invitation envelopes. Silver calligraphy ink doesn’t work very well at all because the pigment particles are larger than in normal non-metallic colors. The ink either won’t flow properly through the pen nib because it’s too thick, or it flows but is so watery that the ink barely shows up. It’s been a huge headache for me.
2) Despite the higher cost, buying pre-made mask forms would have been much better, and I should have worked them into the budget. Though making paper mache mask forms is more cost effective, it takes hours and hours and hours just to make one, and it’s not practical to make as many as I need.
3) Likewise, although pocketfolds for the invitations can be made cheaply, it’s not worth it to have to cut, sand, and glue each individual piece. Basically, I should have better weighed the time-to-cost ratio of each of these basic components and just spent the money where necessary.
What have you learned? Maybe you can help other bees avoid your mistakes.
Post # 4
DIY invites have been a pain in the ass for me. I wanted really fancy invites and didn’t want to pay what they cost.. so I decided to make them myself! I am still not finished (not even close)..I still have to do the letterpress on my L letterpress..(which I have never used before) and I am not motivated at all.
Post # 5
I found that alot of the DIY things I wanted to do I could find cheaper on Etsy.
DIY sounds cheap…but make sure you really tally up all those little parts to complete your project. You may find that having someone else do it is cheaper and more cost effective.
And in the end..time is money. Sometimes its worth buying it then doing it yourself when your DIY projects pile up and you run out of time.
Post # 6
echoing to fully consider the cost of invites before DIYing. Mine still ended up being close to $1000 for 200 invites. And it took several hours of sisterly and motherly love to complete.
Post # 7
I will vote on pricing a 3rd time! DIY to me is not a money saver, in some aspects it can be but for me it is a way to personalize and customize my wedding the way I want it. Our STDs ended up being $300. Could I totally of sent out the postcards from Vistaprint costing $22 as is? Yes. Would they be toted as “the cutest/most original/creative save the dates” that our guests have ever seen? No.
Another thing I learned, and explained to my FI who thinks I am crazy for doing this, is to make a mock-up of one item before making a hundred! My friend printed/cut-out/hole punched all her program materials before she realized that it would not work. Fast forward to us at 11pm the day before the wedding putting together programs. Always always do an example first to work out the kinks before you start an assembly line!
Post # 8
I did a TON of DIY (not to save money, but because I’m crafty), but now there’s no one to help set up!!! It’s beyond what my caterer can do, so now I have to hire ANOTHER person. ughhhhhh
Post # 9
Assign other people easier DIY projects plenty of time in advance to save yourself some time and frustration. It’s OK if they didn’t end up doing it exactly as you would…it got done and looks beautiful no matter what!
Post # 10
I semi-DIYed mine with a kit from Target, and it was lower-cost and didn’t take that much time, so that was definitely good. I would say don’t be afraid of kits, because it’s doubtful your guests frequently shop for wedding invites, so it’s not like they’ll recognize them :).
I do wish I hadn’t tried so hard to make glittered signs like the ones I used in my e-pics. It’s sooo hard to get glitter to go on evenly, and it just wasn’t worth it. I also wish I hadn’t spent an entire afternoon making swizzle sticks, because about two people picked them up. Then again, they are really fun for parties now that we’re married!
Post # 11
@jo.lee: I’ll second this about the kits. We did the print-your-own Brides invitations kits from Michaels and have gotten so many compliments on how beautiful they are. I was surprised…I like them, too, but I assumed that people would realize they were cheap. Like you said, most other people aren’t constantly shopping for wedding stuff, so no one will know the difference!
I started out with many DIY projects and ended up with very few. Ultimately I decided it was going to be more expensive than just buying something premade. Every time I go to a wedding, I tried to zero in on the cute DIY items and ask myself, “Have these enhanced my experience? Would I even have noticed these things existed if I weren’t planning a wedding?” I realized the answer was usually no, so I decided to save my sanity and skip most of my planned DIYs.
Post # 12
I agree with making the prototype/mock up before committing time and money to making everything at once. This saved me loads of time and money on the centerpieces. Also, I ended up changing some of my colors and the old first mock up of my invitations won’t work now. I am so glad I didn’t just order a bunch of supplies.
Post # 13
I also think it helps to take pictures of the prototypes. Sometimes things look different in photos and most of your wedding will be in pictures.
Post # 14
@utcalgirl: That’s a really good point!
Post # 15
We’re doing DYI. And building our own invites. And doing letterpress. BUT FI was in art school. And has access to the letterpress building, and screen printing lab. But, I do know that it is a lot of time and worry.