I DIY’ed almost everything about my wedding: invitations, veil, garters, wedding cake(s), a personalized figuring cake topper, all the reception decor and flowers, photobooth props, programs, the ring bearer pillow and a set of clutches that were part of the bridesmaid gifts. I’d also thought about making paper flowers for the reception, but was sick of it after making like 10 of them. Instead we bought flowers from Costco and my mom and aunt and I prepared and set them up. I had 8 months and 5 days from the time I was engaged to the day of the wedding, so it is definitely possible on a short schedule, as long as you are willing to put in the time.
Looking back, I’d definitely say it was worth it to DIY so much (huge money savings, especially for the veil, reception decor/flowers and the invitations (150 very custom invites for about $150 said and done-the ones I based the design on were ~$10 each)) and it made everything a little extra personal. HOWEVER, the wedding did pretty much take over my life for months leading up to the wedding – I spent SO MUCH TIME working on wedding stuff – and the days in the week leading up to the wedding were extremely stressful trying to pull it all together.
One key to successful DIY is that you have to be very careful about where you are buying supplies for your crafting and really do your research to make sure you’re actually getting a deal or it can definitely be MORE expensive (ex: I shopped around for invite printers and found that the university would do it for 1/2 the price of kinkos but I had to do more of the set up of the printing files and I also waited to buy the paper from Michael’s until I had a half off coupon).
The other advice I’d give about DIYing so much, is that you’re going to need A LOT of help getting everything set up for the ceremony reception the day before/day of the wedding. I think for us it would have been almost impossible to get everything done if we hadn’t been able to get into the venue to set up the day before (although I had a very early wedding, so there was really NO time to set up the day of, it would be more doable with a late afternoon wedding). I was VERY lucky to have a bunch of family come in early who were all willing to help set things up (mom and my aunt worked on the flowers, my dad and uncle hung the chinese lanterns, my brother put all the linens on the table, Fiance and another groomsman set out all the mirrors/vases/wine bottles with candles/table numbers on the tables, brother finished the escort cards, organized them and set them up, one of my bridesmaids helped set up where certain tables were going and hung up wall decorations…etc…). I was definitely grateful for all the help setting up, but directing that many people is very stressful, especially because they are all really wanting to do it how you want it done so you’re constantly being asked questions and called away from what you’re wanting to get done – don’t plan on personally accomplishing much yourself! One thing that could definitely have helped is to have a list of each task needing to be done (for you, so that you can see what’s been done, what’s left to do without having to think about it) and also have each task written out on a note card with details about how to do it, a picture of how to do it, and a labeled box with the supplies for that task. That way you can just sort of hand off a packet to someone with instructions and a visual of how its supposed to be.
If you’re feeling really stressed about the time you have left, I would recommend scheduling everything out that you’re wanting to get done (i.e. shop for supplies for escort cards on Monday, Dec 10, start cards on Tuesday, finish Wednesday) and include a little extra buffer time in your scheduling for when things go overtime. Doing that will hopefully help you 1) keep making progress and 2) allow you to see what is feasible for you to get done and what isn’t. Prioritize your projects and get the ones that are most important done first, that way if it gets close and things aren’t done you can drop them and not feel too bad.
The other thing I would recommend (that I did not do very well) is to communicate with others that you need help and delegate if you can. If you expect all your bridesmaids to help you set up be sure to (clearly and nicely) tell them that (and buy some breakfast for everyone while you’re all working!). A lot of people are very willing to help out with stuff if they just know that you want and need their help.
Anyways, good luck on all your projects!