Friday, October 19, 2012

Top 10 Tips (from a Bride) :: How to Create a DIY Wedding

Today, I'm handing the mic over to a DIY wedding mastermind! Holly, one of my beautiful brides (check out Holly & Laurie's wedding here), spent months preparing for her wedding on Excel spreadsheets + sewing over 100 meters of purple bunting. She convinced her fiance to craft paper flowers (Laurie's such a good sport) and she saved up a small archive of jam jars! When I walked into their marquee on their wedding day, I was blown away by her creativity, style & sheer ability to pull it all off. So now I invited you to buckle up for this special blog feature...Holly's Top Ten Tips on How to Create a DIY Wedding! Take it away Holls!
1) Firstly (and probably most importantly) make sure you have a small army of friends and family who are willing and kind enough to help out and don't be afraid to ask for help. In his speech Laurie described our friends as the 'games makers' of our wedding and they really were- we couldn't have done it without them! In preparation for the wedding I spent many an afternoon sat on our living room floor with one of my friends making paper flowers - it's amazing what people will do in exchange for tea and cake or a test run of your wedding picnic!

2) Make sure you have a willing fiance! 
Laurie helped me out so much with all the preparation! He put up with me spending hours reading wedding blogs, chugging away at the sewing machine for days on end, spent a whole weekend printing out and tying up invitations and didn't bat an eyelid when I casually said 'I want to base all the tables around wedding anniversaries and make different decorations for each one'
3) Spend some time working out what is really important to you and know what you're willing to let go. However hard you work you wont have time to do everything. I had big plans for a box full of confetti and vintage hankerchiefs at the castle for our ceremony but just didn't get round to it in the days before the wedding and I don't think the wedding was any the lesser for it.

4) Spend time planning, budgeting and sourcing. 
DIY doesn't always mean saving money but it will if you do your research and source things wisely. With a bit of Googling I managed to find binding tape for my bunting for about 15p a metre - it's nearly a pound a metre in John Lewis! I know it doesn't sound like much but with over 100m of the stuff it made a difference. We created quite an elaborate spreadsheet to keep track of planning and budget and I set goals for what I needed to achieve each month. This really helped to keep me focussed and meant that I didn't leave everything to the last month.

5) Jam jars are your best friends 
You can use them for everything from flowers to tea lights to containers for straws and they're free! You'll be amazed how many you can collect in the months running up to your wedding. 

6) If you have time scour ebay, charity shops and car boot/yard sales 
You can pick up lots of pretty things for a fraction of the price they cost in shops.

7) There is so much inspiration out there for DIY weddings 
I became (and still am) slightly obsessed with Pinterest, it is full of beautiful images and ideas. There are also a few blogs I would recommend for inspiration; 'The Natural Wedding Company blog' for ideas and wonderful suppliers (this is where I found Chamonix's competition so it has a very special place in my heart), 'Junkaholique' for gorgeous vintage styling (and their wedding is one of the loveliest I've ever seen!), Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled and A Beautiful Mess provide a daily dose of crafty goodness. Spend some time gathering inspiration before you start planning so that you know the kind of wedding you want and you have an idea of how it will all tie together.

8) If you see something you like give it a go 
I didn't really follow instructions with my craft projects- I just look at photos of how things were made and tried out ideas. Sometimes projects didn't work out quite as I'd hoped but more often than not they did - so just have the confidence to give it a try.

9) If you're making something yourself make sure you think about how many you'll need and how long they'll take to make. 
I made little lavender bag favours for all the ladies at the wedding and I'll admit now that making one was quite fun but making 50 took AGES!

10) My final piece of advice is to enjoy it. 
You're creating a day that is uniquely yours, a day when all the people you love will be in one place and a day that you'll remember forever. DIY weddings are definitely not an easy option but can make a limited budget go much further and creating something with the help of your friends and family is lots and lots of fun!"

To check out more of Holly & Laurie's wedding, feel free to swing by their wedding photography plus site or check out their blog post here!

Oh and did I mention that they had hand-wrapped cheese in twine with hand-written labels? I mean, really?! I melted like fondu when I saw these (and then took about 500 photos of it!) LOVE!