helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

I admit it — I’m not really one to do it herself. I am not a crafty person. I am in awe of crafty people. For instance, my almost mother-in-law. If she pins something to Pinterest, she will actually make it. And make it well. She’s like a MacGyver with a sewing machine. I made a pillow once in 7th grade. Other than the occasional button-to-shirt, which always looks a little bit off after, that’s all I can handle. Generally, I am of the mindset that if I have a choice between making pad thai and ordering it from a place down the street who makes it all day long and is essentially a pad thai expert, why would I risk putting the wrong amount of Sriracha in my food and potentially making it inedible. Being a New Yorker has spoiled me a bit in that way, I suppose — when literally anything can be steps from your door, you have to be pretty motivated to DIY.

Don’t get be wrong, there are plenty of things I like to do myself — like baking. I love making cupcakes and cheesecakes to rave reviews. I do make a mean cheesecake. In fact, my fiancé’s uncle once called my cheesecake better than Junior’s. And for a New Yorker, that is a BIG deal.

But, other than my mad baker’s skills, I’m pretty limited in the DIY department. Which, as a bride looking to save some serious dough, I knew could present a problem. I’ve read enough Budget Savvy Bride to know that DIYing is key to an on-budget big-wow wedding. So early in the planning process I made a list. I asked myself, what can I reasonably do myself to save money? And of all of the offers of help I’ve received from family and friends for the wedding, I should probably cash in on some of those, huh?

I started with the things I knew I could do: the cake. Actually, the idea of making my own wedding cake seemed really fun. Sure, I was probably thinking mostly about the taste-testing at the time, but I was on board with it. Since I was leaning towards doing cupcakes rather than an all-out cake anyway (there’s always tons uneaten cake on the tables at weddings when everyone is up and enjoying the party anyway, right?), I knew I could make my own (cup)cakes at a fraction of the cost of one of the many bakeries seen on the Food Network (not that those aren’t delicious because they totally are). With a few willing extra pairs of hands and many hungry mouths to help me, I could actually DIY something!

Check out this three-tiered wedding cupcake I found on TheKitchn.com!
Check out this three-tiered wedding cupcake I found on TheKitchn.com!

Making our wedding cake also goes along with our eco-friendly theme, since I can choose everything that goes into them. Not to mention that few things are truly greener than DIY. With lots of Googling, I know I’ll find a recipe that everyone will love, and a DIY project I’m actually excited to take on!

Are there any other not-so-do-it-youselfers out there? What costs are you cutting out with your (perhaps limited like mine) DIY skills?

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About Ashley

I'm Ashley, a 31 year old witty, sarcastic New Yorker planning a wedding on a studio apartment-sized budget in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I consider myself a Brooklyn girl, and I fell in love with a Queens boy, who I will marry on July 5, 2013. He's as witty and sarcastic as I am, and he's awesome.

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  • Zareth Acosta

    First of all, kudos to you for talking such a task as baking your own cake/cupcakes. I was also a DIY bride, but I do consider myself crafty. I don’t have any baking skills, but I did know I wanted to do a cake with butterflies. My now husband’s friend knew how to bake cakes, and she made our three tier cake for $75! It fed 120 people. I did the décor of the cake, which was 100 plastic butterflies. I printed butterflies in turquoise and magenta on presentation paper (the ones used for projectors in school). I cut them all by myself, and had a friend pinned them on the cake the day of the wedding. I love the way it came out, it was what I wanted and I got it for under $100. Of course, it took me many hours to cut all those 100 butterflies, but I did it while I commuted in the bus.
    This is what it looked like

    http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/8161/cakeba.jpg

    I’d love to see more projects of yours!

  • Ms. Morgan Leigh

    Deb Perelman who writes the blog Smitten Kitchen (and lives in NYC) made a wedding cake. She blogged about the experience. Here is a link to the archive: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/category/wedding-cake/.

    Good luck!

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  • http://www.thebudgetsavvybride.com/author/ashley Ashley

    Thanks!

    Zareth, your cake looks fantastic! Great job – especially for under $100! Incredible!

    This is great, Morgan – thanks! I’ve read Smitten Kitchen before, but didn’t know she also made her own wedding cake. I’ve pinned this so I remember to heed her advice come July.

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