DIY Tips for Your Wedding Day (That’ll Save You Money)
After I was engaged, and the swell of my (happy!) emotions had deflated enough to begin thinking of my future wedding, I realized something: Weddings are expensive. Of course, this isn’t breaking news by any means, but as an eager bride-to-be, I was faced with the reality of trying to afford my future dream wedding.
The reality, beyond being able to marry the person I would love and cherish through sickness and in health, was that we were going to have to wait for our special day. To be fair, being a typical busy millennial, I wasn’t exactly sitting around, twiddling my thumbs until it was time to start getting ready for the big day. Waiting to walk down the aisle was mostly a financial decision, and as it turns out, that’s pretty typical for people my age. Millennials as a whole are waiting to get married for a number of reasons, economic conditions being one of them.
With all of that in mind, I knew I didn’t want to wait too long for our special day, so while we saved up, I researched all the ways I could cut corners (and where I should not).
Try More Modern Styles
The first item I realized I could definitely DIY was my wedding veil — more specifically the flower crown I opted for instead of a traditional veil. Considering a flower crown fit my overall wedding theme, I researched exactly how to go about making the perfect one. To my surprise, it was actually really easy to follow along with the instructions I found. For example, some flower crown experts recommended, “some foliage, some statement flowers and some softer, smaller blooms to complement the bigger ones.”
As a rule of thumb, this was easy enough to follow when picking my flowers and resulted in some classically beautiful crowns (I made some for my bridal team as well). Naturally, you are able to totally customize your crown and even make an extra one to wear for your bridal shower or bachelorette party — that’s how easy it is!
Get Creative and Personal
Speaking of bridal showers, most of my bridal party (and guests for that matter) were millennials like myself, meaning they were in the same economic boat as me. Being equally tight on money, I sat down and discussed with my maid of honour how to cut down on party costs, not wanting to stress her or anyone else with the pressure to deliver an over-the-top bridal shower. We found the bridal shower actually had a lot of places where DIY could stand-in for the traditional costly items.
For one, having the shower held at my mother-in-law’s house removed the cost of a venue entirely. As far as the decor, we were able to utilize some sound advice found online and we made some pretty fabulous and personal DIY pieces. My favourite ones were from taking a clean wood pallet we got for free from a local business, diving it up between the bridal party, and then painting romantic or funny quotes on them with flowers, hearts, etc. We ended up placing them all around the backyard, and they really added to the laid-back but lovely atmosphere.
Through my wedding DIY adventure, I was able to learn some pretty interesting and fairly useful facts. For example, in the U.S., an individual is allowed to make up to 100 gallons of their own wine each calendar year (200 gallons for a household in which two or more adults reside). While it might be a little messy, inviting over your bridal party, groomsmen, in-laws, whoever, for a wine-making night is a great way to quickly and cheaply supply the bar at your wedding.
I found a recipe online that sounded right, tried a small batch, loved it, and we were able to make enough bottles that lasted almost the entire night. If you plan on having a bigger guest list and 100 gallons of wine isn’t going to cut it, you could also ask around to see if any of your guests happen to have a beer homebrewing kit. I attended a wedding once where a friend of the groom was able to make several kegs of a special wedding brew, and it was a total hit. Alcohol can get expensive, but a little homework, elbow grease, and help from friends can help supply all those amazing dance moves and toasts.
Know When to Buy or DIY
After making our own wine, I will admit to feeling a little exhausted with DIY; I think it’s important to pick a few labour-intensive DIYs and use your budget for the rest. The food, wedding cake, and wedding photography were a few things I decided were not worth DIYing. Instead, I shopped around and compromised a bit to save money. I didn’t have the time nor the skills to feed a huge crowd and snap pictures — and let’s not even get into my cake decorating skills. Deciding for yourself and your wedding what you’re willing to DIY and what you’re not can help you plan out your budget and ensure you’re not too overwhelmed with a million projects before the big day.
Ultimately, stress may be inevitable leading up to your wedding, but don’t let it ruin your special day! Weddings can take a village to pull together, but you’re there to finally marry the person of your dreams and live your happily ever after — good luck!
Brooke Faulkner is a writer and mom working to help others save money in the ways she’s learned how. She loves finding natural and affordable solutions to daily problems, and writing about them to share! You can find more of her writing on Twitter, @faulknercreek or alternatively you can check out more of her writing portfolio here.