Be Mindful of the DIY

Are you trying to do it all so that you can save money on your wedding? Be Mindful of the DIY is a letter to brides warning them of the unforeseen pitfalls that can come with trying to do too much in order to save money.

Dear Bride-to-Be, 

Weddings are exciting, joyful, and a bit overwhelming. Often your budget can feel like the dictator of the day. Or, even if you have a large budget, you want to stretch that money as far as possible so that you can include as many details as possible. I've worked with people on both side of the equation, and I fully understand both of the struggles. 

One factor in this struggle that always concerns me, however, is the ease of saying "I want to do this, but I'm going to tackle it the week before my wedding when I have more time off/so the flowers won't die/because my gal pals will be in town and able to help."

While this is a perfectly fine thing to say when you're talking about one or two projects, it can easily get overwhelming when you stack almost every DIY item into that final week. Suddenly you don't have enough hours to get the projects done because you have other essential week before tasks - bachelorette party, nail appointments, bridal luncheons, etc. Instead of enjoying the week and anticipating your wedding, you start to feel overwhelmed and ready for it to be behind you because you don't have time to think or breathe.

Dear bride, beware of the DIY. 

While a beautiful DIY by itself is harmless, they can lead to overwhelm and a stressful wedding experience. What can you do to avoid this situation? 

Only give yourself 1 (maybe 2) DIY tasks the week before your wedding

Limit yourself! Hold that week before your wedding as sacred! (Two weeks before is even better.) Don't commit to anything that you don't need to, and give yourself space to just relax and enjoy your last few days as a single lady. If necessary, ask one or two of your bridesmaids to hold you accountable so that you don't over commit and exhaust yourself.

Ask yourself with every DIY idea, "Is this really worth the money it would save me by doing myself or is there someone I could hire to do it for me?"

Sometimes, when you make yourself sit down and calculate the cost of doing it yourself, you'll find that it might actually be more expensive to DIY. OR that the price difference is not that extreme. This is not always the case, but I would encourage you to check each time. Especially in instances where the price isn't very different, I would encourage you to go ahead and order the item that you love or hire someone to create it for you. With weddings, saved time can often save your sanity. 

If the price difference is huge, then go for the DIY but get it done as quickly as possible so that it's off your plate! 

Also ask yourself, "Is this something I can go ahead and accomplish now or does it have to wait until right before the wedding?"

Does it involve fresh flowers or having all of your RSVPs confirmed? Then it might need to wait. Is it painting a sign or a photo backdrop? Go ahead and check it off the list! Don't wait until later - just get it done. You'll feel so much better having a bunch of completed tasks behind you than if you leave them looming in your future.

Once you pick a decor element, decide if you're buying or DIYing and then just get it done

This point goes along with the others, but I think that it's important to drive home. When the idea pops into your mind, decide:

  1. Do you really want to do it?
  2. Can you buy it?
  3. Do you want to DIY it?
  4. Pick a direction and then get it done.

Plan DIY days with your close friends

Enlist help! You don't have to do this wedding thing alone. If you have crafty friends get them together and knock some of those wedding tasks out together. For the most successful DIY days try the following:

  • Have a purpose/specific task in mind for the day.
  • Have instructions and/or an example for your helpers to follow.
  • Do one yourself before the big day so that you can help your helpers help you.
  • Know what you want the final result of each item to be and clearly communicate that to your helpers - they will be looking to you for leadership and wanting to make you happy, don't make them guess.

How do you plan to avoid DIY overwhelm with your wedding?

xoxo, Stacia