One of the best ways to really make your wedding your own, and often save on money too, is to channel your inner craft skills and handle a few of the wedding details DIY style. But, some tasks, either because of timing or the expertise required, are best left to the pros. Keep reading to find out which wedding tasks to take on yourself (or with the help of industrious bridesmaids) and which ones you should leave to others.
6 Wedding tasks you can do
Stationery and Paper Goods: Announcements and invitations are the first shot of style your guests get to peek at, and one of the best ways to set a personal tone for all of the wedding celebrations. The stationery can be worked on as soon as you nail down the who, what, where, and when, and this makes it an outstanding candidate for custom DIY treatment. There are lots of resources to give you a leg up while still letting you have it your way. Take a look at the usual bridal heavy hitters plus Mountain Cow, Carrot and Stick Press, Paper Source, Design Betty and Wedding Paper Divas for all sorts of paper goods from those mentioned to centrepieces, favour containers and even room decor, all made from paper.
Decor you can preassemble that can be set up by other people. Think chair swags or covers for the bride and groom, paper lanterns, wall stencils, non-floral centrepieces that can be placed on tables by your caterer.
Favours: Jean M, and Beau-Coup are great places to start for DIY favours and favour containers. You could also opt to bake cookies in the shape of brides and grooms, hearts, a shape that fits your motif or a hobby you share, your initials…the possibilities are endless… Make and freeze them a month or two ahead of time. Again, you’re going to need someone to be in charge of putting them out at the reception, but it’s a low-key send-off that you can definitely pull off.
Welcome Bags: Short of camping out for a day or two at the hotel (hotels?) where you’ve booked rooms, there’s no way to welcome each of your guests as they arrive. These bags, filled with some water, wedding weekend details and a little background info on the area — or about the two of you — can do your welcoming for you. Put them together well in advance (a month or more) and drop them off at the hotel(s) a day or two before the first guests’ check-in.
Veil: It’s basically tulle attached to a hair barrette, clip or comb and trimmed with satin or lace. If you want to keep yours this simple, or even if you want something lacier, and know your bobbin from your basting stitch, then you can make your own veil.
Tosses: Paper cones, glassine sleeves or envelopes filled with flower petals or other rice substitutes are an easy project. You can find paper in your wedding colours or printed with an appropriate design, glassine sleeves, and personalized stamped tags at places like Michael’s, Target and local craft stores, or hunt down fun, biodegradable confetti and confetti alternatives, like bubbles and flower petals.
4 Wedding tasks you should not do yourself
Flowers: Assembly of the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and large church or reception arrangements is an art. The more you handle flowers, the more they get beat up and the less their longevity. Also, florists know which blooms are hardy and which need more TLC and will make choices accordingly. The scale and size of arrangements for the church and many of the reception pieces requires an experienced hand, too. Another factor: timing. All of these arrangements need to be done one, or two days, max, before the wedding, and that’s time you should be relaxing with guests and preserving your mani-pedi, not playing with florist’s tape. Proflowers.com is as close as we recommend to DIY blooms.
Dress: Wedding dresses are, for the most part, extremely complicated garments. Even if they look simple, what lies beneath is a complex framework of boning, seaming and god-knows-what that come together to help you look ravishing. Also, designing and sewing a dress like this is a major, major time commitment, and the dress is one of the more emotional pieces of the puzzle. Go to a salon or seamstress with a lot of experience to assure you can look back with nothing but wonderful memories of how beautiful the gown made you feel.
Cake: This is another one of those things that has to be done in the last few days before the wedding, and that alone makes it a bad DIY option. Add to that the architecture that is often involved and the transportation challenges, and you get a project that only trained bakers should tackle. Sure, the guys on Cake Boss love their jobs, but they’re stressed a lot of the time, too. You don’t need that kind of responsibility the week before your wedding!
Any food, really: Unless you’re having a very small wedding, you probably don’t have a kitchen that can handle food prep for your reception. And even if you do have a kitchen that can take the heat, can you? We bet not. There’s a reason there are so many people behind the doors toiling away in restaurants and catering kitchens. Also, you’ll have to figure out a way to transport all of your delicacies and then keep everything at an appropriate temperature until it’s served. It’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth.