(Closed) DIY plans…am I going overboard?

posted 5 years ago in DIY
Post # 2
8444 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

Having and completing a long DIY list comes down to two things: staying organized and not procrastinating.  Here was my DIY list, I had a 10 month engagement.

  • cake topper
  • boutonnieres
  • bouquets (bridal, 2 Bridesmaid or Best Man, 2 nosegay (moms), 1 toss)
  • aisle decor
  • altar arrangements
  • centerpieces
  • table decor (luminaries)
  • Invitations
  • Programs
  • Tissue packets
  • Escort Cards and stand
  • Guestbook table Numbers
  • Table number stands
  • Custom hangers
  • Groom’s Gift (boudoir scrapbook, cufflinks, etc)
  • Bridal Jewelry
  • ‘will you be my bridesmaid’ gift boxes
  • Bridesmaid’s jewelry and gifts (macaron coin purses)
  • Gifts for Parents (scrapbook)
  • Pop-up gift card holders for wedding party
  • Favors (Caramel Chex Mix)
  • Sweet n Salty buffet items (cheese straws, dipped pretzels, cake pops, etc)
  • Sweet n Salty buffet container signs
  • Buffet Item Signs
  • Menus
  • Bar Menu
  • Cardbox
  • Make-up/Nails
  • Welcome Bags
  • Map and itinerary (for welcome bags)
  • Thank you postcards

All paper items were designed on my computer (photoshop and InDesign) and printed/cut/assembled by me at home.  As for the “keepsake” items (photo albums, canvas prints, etc), you’ll be able to do that after the wedding, so you’ll have plenty of time.  I think the flowers were actually one of my easiest DIYs, so I wouldn’t stress about that part too much unless you’re using particularly tender/delicate stems.

In addition, since you have limited time to decorate, pack and organize everything with clearly marked directions.  This way you won’t be asked a million times how something is supposed to look on your wedding day.  Here’s a sample of what I did, hope this helps 🙂

Post # 4
330 posts
Helper bee

nerdybee:  The list isnt really long but the details may be a bit unmanageable (and may be just as expensive)

Flowers… how far in advance were you planning on getting these and why a climate controlled environment? That just sounds really expensive! Just as expensive as paying for professional flowers. Im not really sure what your budget is but I have seen bees comment about 10 bouquets for $150 from Costco. That could be an option for you where you could get pre arranged flowers done and pick up before the wedding. they also sell bulk flowers. see sample bouquets at this link http://www.costco.com/Pink-A-Boo-Bouquet-(Growers-Choice)–10-Bouquets,-150-Stems.product.100070684.html



Invitations/other stationary products… I am also doing this and yes it will be time consuming but like the PP said, budget in the time. I would also suggest that you have like a wine and cheese party and ask ppl to help you assemble. So many ppl have dont DIY invites that I dont see this being crazy taxing. photo shop isnt really a subscription and but if you could design and stick with your invitation type I would recommend the free trial so that you wont have to spend hundreds of dollars. 

Centerpieces you can buy this stuff from craigslist or even here but maybe renting these types of things would work better for you if you feel crunched for time

Linens – RENT! RENT! RENT! Sewing isnt something that you can just pick up.. its a skilled craft and if you arent good at it, I wouldnt recommend doing this for your wedding. Also Sewing machines are expensive! (i own one) yes there are cheap ones on the market but if you buy something cheap, you can expect that you will snap your needle numerous times, screw up you bobbin and all other kinds of unspeakable tragedies… NO… dont do that to yourself.

Doing your makeup and pedicure yourself are normal things to do. I would recommend getting supplies wayyyy in advance and doing plenty of trials if this isnt something that you are well versed in.

Shoes and embellishments it would depend on what type and how much but i think you could do this in one day if you are really disciplined!

Photography albums and canvas are both post wedding so I wouldnt worry about those now. Sorry this is so long but here are my thoughts!!!

Post # 5
295 posts
Helper bee

I would price out invitations both DIY and non DIY if you are going to buy a cricut and the cartrages you need and photoshop plus all the other supplies your DIY invitations could cost double what premade ones would

Post # 6
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I think you definitely have enough time, but for some of these things, I dont think it would be more affordable.

Flowers – $$ flowers, $$ supplies, time to arrange, $$$ climate controlled storage. Very expensive. You could order from Sams Club or a place similar & have it delivered the day before? But really, I would probably have flowers done for bridal party and then skip flowers for the centerpieces to save time/money. 

Invitations – $$ cardstock, $$$ cricut, $$ envelopes, $$ software, $$ postage, $$ adhesive, $$ ribbon, $$ photoshop. I think a cricut is ~$500 on its own. With all the other stuff you need, I would think you’d be getting close to $1k making these (depends on how many you have to make). Way way cheaper to use Vistaprint, Weddingpaperdivas, or 123print.

Linens – lace is expensive. And tricky to sew. Do you already know how to sew? I’m thinking no if you don’t have a machine.. To make tablecloths, you need a heavy duty sewing machine.. So you’re talking $$$. I’d look around eBay, etsy, cvlinens, etc. Try & see if you can find anything that would work<br /><br />Centerpieces- birdcages, books, & flame less candles are good, I probably would eliminate fresh flowers and tea candles. Consider how much stuff you are going to have time to set up, realistically, if you only have 1 hr at the reception beforehand.. From what you have listed, you’re going to have to put table linens on all tables, chair covers on all chairs, set up/build centerpieces for every table, put out menus, table numbers, escort/seating cards, guestbook… 

*Makeup – yes, very doable. If you are going to get a make over before hand, consider doing it morning of your bridal shower or bachelorette party – two events with your new make up!<br />*Nails- yes, also very doable.

nice thing about DIYing these is less stress morning of imo. You don’t have to worry about vendors being late/behind/not showing up.<br /><br />*Shoes- yes, doable.<br /><br />*Photography- yes, doable.<br /><br />

Post # 8
8444 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

nerdybee:  Oh these were the ones that were cost efficient.  I had a few projects that really didn’t pan out (i.e. tissue paper pomanders, shoe clips, etc).  The key to keeping your DIY low cost is to keep everything in house (nothing pre-made, no kits, print and design at home, etc), upcycle, and cross utilize materials.  I spent about $9 for a stack of cardstock to make these cones

then used the leftover scraps and some trash items (old pickle jars, disposable salad dressing cups, etc) to make my centerpieces.  My total cost for both projects was less than $15.

Post # 9
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

To me, the restriction of only having an hour to decorate your venue seems like the biggest detriment to DIYing a lot of decor.  Are you going to be running around setting stuff up on tables up to a few minutes before you’re walking down the aisle?  If you have a lot of help and can avoid having to micromanage it then maybe…

As far as bulk flowers for centerpieces and such, if you get them from Costco or Sams Club, typically you have them delivered on a Thursday (possibly Friday) for a Saturday wedding.  They don’t need to be refrigerated for that time period.  They actually can even warm up a bit so they open as many will be in a bud-like stage.  They probably shouldn’t get hot, but room temps should be OK.  You would need a decent space to work in though – it is messy and takes a lot of space, which it doesn’t sound like you have.  We had a basement space plus a storage space in our rec room for the completed arrangements.  Then transportation can be a big issue as well.  I wouldn’t recommend unless you have space and time.  I might not DIY this again just because it was a big hassle and messy and a lot of physical effort that tired me out.

I do however recommend the bridal package (bouquets, boutineers, etc) flowers from Sams/Costco.  They are already assembled so you just need to unpack them.  Super easy and mine were beautiful!

I DIYd my invitations and was pretty happy with it.  It’s something that is over and done with a long time before the wedding.  If you have the supplies/software you can also do the escort cards, table numbers, etc.  Not only saving money (hopefully!) but avoiding issues with timing of placing orders and getting things shipped and so forth.


Post # 10
1229 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Things like chair covers, centerpieces, photo albums, shoes, and makeup are all reasonable.    

I wouldn’t recommend doing your own wholesale flowers- that can be very stressful and put a lot of pressure on you.  If you want to cut costs, you can do silk flower arrangements, and get a friend or family member to arrange your bouquets and boutonnieres.  If they have a house with a fridge it would save you from renting a unit.  If you picked a single flower, it would be easy for them to arrange and you wouldn’t need to supervise it yourself.  You can even teach them in advance.  

For the cards, have you researched Vistaprint or Etsy?  Once you add the cost of the cardstock and supplies, DIY can be more expensive than if you bought them.

Post # 11
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

nerdybee:  Omg please don’t store your flowers in a storage unit! I work for a storage company and you would not believe how bad the units can get (bugs, dust, dirt, weird smells, etc), even climate controlled ones! Also, depending on what flowers you get the CC unit might not be cold enough. We DIY’d the flowers for my sister’s wedding and we had to store the flowers at 55 degrees. Most CC storage units will be around 70-75 degrees in the summer. We have a floral company in our town called The Flowerman, where they order and store the flowers and you can bring in a group of people to assemble them 1-2 days before the wedding. You can then pick them up on the day of or have them delivered to the venue. Do you have anything like that where you live?

I would also look into purchasing some of the other items like your linens. Purchasing is usually cheaper than renting and you can sell them to someone else after!

Also, David’s Bridal sells invitations that look decent and are pretty inexpensive. For about 75 invites, RSVP cards, and accomodation cards the total is only around $300. Might be more cost effective after you factor in all the supplies you need and the time it would take to make them. 

Best of luck to you!

Post # 12
2510 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We are doing DIY for most of the things you have on the list to save money, with exception of the photography book and the flowers.  Honestly, especially if you are doing your own makeup, you aren’t going to have the time to run to a storage unit to arrange flowers, and the with the money you are spending on renting the storage unit, the money saved probably won’t be worth the hassle.  Instead, I would get a florist to do just flowers for the people using simple/ inexpensive flowers.  

As far as the photographer’s book, I’m very artsy so thought I could do them myself, but then I saw a book my photographer put together, and there is no way I would even have the printing ability to print something THAT nice!  You might be ok with a little less quality, but I would encourage you to at least look at the sample books your photographer has done so you can be sure of your decision.  <br /><br />

Also- for invites we got Wilton kits at Joann fabrics.  We waited until there was a sale plus we had a coupon on top of it and spend 50 dollars on 100 invitations.  There were a little time consuming, but not too bad, and they look beautiful

Post # 14
740 posts
Busy bee

Besides the whole flower/decorating thing in 1 hour right before the ceremony… that is totally do-able.  Get started now though and slowly chip away at those projects.  I had a similar DIY list, though I didn’t do linens.  I looked into the cricut and I think you should explore all your options before going that route – if you’re familar with how it works, go for it. For me, I would have had to learn the machine and software from scratch, and though I’m very savvy with that sort of thing, it would have been hours/days of unnecessary stress.  I DIYed my invites for less than $2 each and got tons of compliments on them – paperandmore.com.  As for the flowers, we were able to cut them all ourselves 2 days before the wedding (from our yard, friends’, etc) and had a florist arrange the bouquets for a very small fee.


Bottom line – you’ve got options!  Set your priorities and get to work! 🙂

Post # 15
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We DIYed:

Coffee filter flower balls down the aisle

My Swarovski rhinestone shoes

Card Box

Flower girl basket

Ring pillow

Table numbers


Escort cards

Chair bands

Dyed Pink Petticoat

bubble Tags

wedding Favor tags


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