Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Perks and Perils of a DIY Wedding

Is a DIY wedding really worth it?

Picture this: You’re recently engaged. You’re happy, excited, and more in love than ever before – just as you should be! Congratulations to you both!

You’re now in the beginning stages of planning your wedding and can finally start thinking about all of those DIY Pinterest projects that you’ve been pinning for years. But before you get too involved in your do-it-yourself (DIY!) projects, you need to ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?”

Booking your venue, photographer, and cake designer are easier once you’ve determined the overall style and design of your wedding, but there is a lot to consider when planning to tackle invitations, décor, and all of the other nitty-gritty details, DIY-style!

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE all things crafy and DIY, and had actually incorporated some cute little projects in to my own wedding, but here are a few things to consider before embarking on the DIY wedding path.

{Time Management}

DIY projects take time.

A lot of time.

Do you have the extra time to spare in between your work, fiancé, family, and friends to spearhead all your DIY projects (and get them done on time!)? What looks oh-so-simple on Pinterest can actually take dozens and dozens of hours to complete.

When considering your time invested in a project, don’t ignore quantities. A grand affair of 300 of your nearest and dearest will tax your time budget for DIY invites far more than an intimate gathering of 40. The same applies to favours, programs, centerpieces, etc.

Ensuring you have time to complete projects is critical as there is nothing worse than being half-way done your project, with life catching up with you, and then having to scramble last minute leading up to your wedding day. So much stress! And it’s all unnecessary.

Sure, you might be saying… “Oh, but my bridesmaids! And my friends, and family. They will all be there to help me. That will save a lot of time.” 

But make sure you think about their own time with other wedding duties, their own families, out of town guests, significant others, and friends. And if they’re still willing to help, that’s awesome!

…. but are you sure that you actually want their help?

What if your mother-in-law ends up gluing all your single-faced satin ribbon on the wrong side? or what if your Maid Of Honour’s penmanship doesn’t stay consistent across ALL of your escort cards? Not only are you left having to carry out an awkward conversation, but on top of that, you’re going to have to re-do what they’ve already done (increasing time and money invested in to what was supposed to be a simple, DIY task).

{Money Talks}

And if we’re on the topic of money, I’ll be honest with you… some DIY projects can get surprisingly pricey.

Be careful with what you pick up at the dollar store. The glass is usually less dense, the candles are made of the lowest grade of wax available (just ask Mary about the one time a bride nearly burned down her venue), and adhesives don’t boast the same durability of higher quality options.

Hobby stores have beautiful, great quality items, but purchasing everything through them may end up costing you as much as it would to have everything professionally done, especially if you’re spending your own time putting it all together. Some craft stores have lovely pre-made stationary sets though, and you can design and print your own invitations, ceremony programs, reception menus, and Thank You cards at a fraction of the cost of ordering from a vendor.

To help brides stick to DIY project budgets, the WG website launched The Shops @ WG, where you can buy items like vases, candles, mirrors, vase filler, ribbon and decor items directly from our wholesalers; robust event quality, on a budget!


The reality of making things beautiful, and I mean really, really BEAUTIFUL, takes either time, or money, or both.

Décor will be among the most expensive and time consuming of all your DIY projects. There are so many elements of design when it comes to adorning your wedding with all-things-stylized-and-gorgeous.

Centerpieces, for example, depending on the theme of your event, are made up of a handful of elements that need to be seamlessly designed together to create a beautiful cohesive look.
Wheat Sheath Rustic DIY Centerpiece decor
Not only are there a number of small details that should be included to create depth, balance, and personality for your centerpiece, if you’re not able to make all the elements of it yourself (or can’t buy in bulk), retail costs will climb quickly.

Oh… and as far as bulk is concerned…. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve seen brides in discount department stores begging the manager to start making phone calls to find a large quantity of the one specific item they’re looking for… to no avail.

But let’s say you do find the items, you do put together all your lovely centerpieces and they’re happily residing around the perimeter of your living room, dining room, and across the kitchen counter. Now, what about setup? Do you have access to your wedding venue the night before the wedding or have they given you a narrow time frame on the day of? Do you have people who can help you set up? Do you have a large enough vehicle (or access to more than one) to transfer all the fruits of your labour safely and efficiently?

Don’t forget that etiquette suggests the night before the wedding should be spent at your rehearsal dinner with friends and family (and out of town guests) and not painstakingly setting up your venue, last minute.

Weddings are stressful enough – the night before should be spent being pampered and in love, not worrying about whether your escort cards were set up straight.

If you’re DIYing an outdoor wedding, have you considered whether everything that you need to set up (the day before, or the day of) is in place?
Hanging Lantern Wedding Decor

It’s stunning alright!

But if you’re using natural elements as part of your design scheme, make sure you don’t forget your ladder at home! Oh, and if there’s a chance for wind, make sure your lanterns are heavily weighted (but not too heavily, as you don’t want the branch snapping and crashing in to your cake).

Note: As a wedding planner, it is my responsibility to warn you that there is always a chance of wind.

Check out this video that Mary made for eTalk last year about DIY weddings.

Yes, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds had a crazy-gorgeous barn-set DIY-inspired wedding. But did you know that it took a team of SIXTY of Martha Stewart’s planners and coordinators to make it come to life??

As a crafty, seasoned DIY-er, I’m not here to dissuade you from your creative ideas and budget-savvy decor. If anything, I want to see you DIY-away!! But as a wedding planner, it is my job to make you consider the details…ALL of the details.

It’s my job to make sure that a bride, who is usually planning her wedding for the first time, knows the good, the bad, and the ugly of the feat she’s about to undertake.
The trick, ladies, is balance.

If you love the personal touches of DIY details, pick a few that are most important to you and leave the rest to an expert. Consider cost before hastily making purchases, and remember that your time is valuable too.

Most importantly, make sure to ask for help. If you’d DIY’d your entire wedding day vision, you best be bringing on board a Day Of Coordinator who will work alongside you pre-wedding to ensure that all the intricate little details are set up exactly how you imagined while you’re busy with hair, makeup, and bridal portraits.

A wedding is a production, but getting married is about being in love. Go ahead, be crafty… but don’t let your commitments to 184 DIY favour tags overshadow your excitement to walk down the aisle and say, “I do.”

If you have questions about DIY styling or want to get in touch about hiring a Day Of Coordinator to help make your wedding day flawless, email me:
To buy decor items from The Shops @ WG, or to have our budget-savvy floral team help you boast beautiful blooms without breaking the bank, make sure to get in touch! I’d be happy to help you custom-pick your items and style your designs.

Otherwise, you can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I’d love to connect!

Of course, you can also find more wedding-related content at

:: Photo Credits (in order of appearance)


  1. These are all good points!! :) We did a couple of things on our own, but not too many and it was definitely worth it to have people do the bulk of things.

  2. Great points. We had a very simple wedding, which was even more elaborate than we had initially wanted but it turned out great. I'm glad Pinterest wasn't around at the time though, I'm sure I would have had big elaborate dreams too!

  3. Honestly never put much thought into it as was gonna leave it all to my mother except my dress, but really nice points raised bad food for thought x

  4. excellent points...if you love that sort of stuff and have the time, i think it's worth it. But if it stresses you out...paying someone else to handle it is always a better idea!

  5. I love this! I feel like I need to share this all over the place! Would it be funny to share it on Pinterest? lol
    Thanks for your input, its so simple to get caught up in the DIYing dreams.

  6. I did a partial DIY wedding - flowers and centerpieces, and I liked that because I could make everything individual and unique. But there is no way I could have done it all!

  7. Great tips for a DIY wedding! I don't know how you did it all! Absolutely amazing!

  8. Great tips! We did a DIY, as well, and it was well worth it! Your wedding looks gorgeous! <3

  9. I love this post! My cousin is getting married soon, so these tips will come in handy!

  10. Great post! Planning a wedding is such a larrrrge task! Good tips! (:

  11. I DIY-ed parts of my wedding and think that it adds such a personal touch. I really enjoyed getting stuck in. :-)

  12. I just know that I'll be that Bridezilla once I get to that point in my life!