I'm Down with the DIY | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

So you might have seen in my bio that I describe myself as a “DIY bride” and that is very true, I love crafting and always have. When I was a little girl, I always wanted to “make” something, even if it was just out of sticks and yarn. So when DIY started to become a popular theme in weddings, I was stoked! It was totally the kind of feel I wanted for my own wedding and I know that it can be a lot cheaper to make things yourself.

But when I sat down to list all of the things I wanted to DIY, I got a little overwhelmed. Here’s the list:

  • Custom corn-hole boards
  • Cake bunting
  • Dessert buffet banner
  • Guest mad libs
  • Painted glass bottle centerpieces
  • Save the Dates
  • Invitations
  • Straw flags
  • Guest welcome bags
  • Cookie bar
  • Tears of joy packets
  • Wedding arrow sign
  • Boutonnieres
  • Photograph wall
  • Reception garlands
  • Moss letters or wreaths (for church doors)
  • Tissue paper flowers
  • Programs
  • Family photo display
  • Message on groom’s tie
  • Photo booth/props
  • Throw pillows
  • Quaker marriage license

Are you overwhelmed for me? :) I know it’s a lot and I kind of had to give myself a reality check. Although it is difficult for me to admit, I have been known to not follow-through and complete projects. I start out so well-intentioned! But I just kind of lose steam along the way. So I commenced with the P-word again, no not panic, PRIOROTIZE!

I split all of these DIY to-do’s into 3 categories: “Mandatory”, “Important”, “Bonus.” There are some things on that list that I have to do for my wedding such as the invitations and programs.

Then there are other things that are really important to me to have at the wedding such as garland to decorate the reception tent and the marriage license that I want guests to sign in lieu of a guest book, kind of like this one:

Photo courtesy of OrleansPaperie

And then there are those “would be nice to have that” things like the custom corn-hole boards and straw flags. Things that aren’t vital but the little details that make a wedding so special. So now my list looks like this:

MANDATORY!

  • Save the dates
  • Invitations
  • Cake bunting
  • Cookie bar
  • Boutonnieres
  • Programs
  • Family photo display

Important

  • Dessert buffet banner
  • Guest mad libs
  • Painted glass bottle centerpieces
  • Guest welcome bags
  • Photograph wall
  • Garlands
  • Tissue paper flowers
  • Photo booth/props
  • Quaker marriage license

Bonus

  • Custom corn-hole boards
  • Straw flags
  • Tears of joy packets
  • Moss letters or wreaths
  • Message on Groom’s tie
  • Throw pillows

So it still has everything on there, but this helps me focus on the most important things first since I sometimes get distracted by the details.

Hopefully I’ll have some DIY tutorials coming up in the next couple of weeks!

Any advice for undertaking massive DIY projects?

Laura is a DIY bride who is planning an autumn wedding in North Carolina. She has 6 months to plan with a budget of $7,500. She has a love of all things southern and homemade and can't wait for the day when she gets to marry her best friend.

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    • Jana
    • June 28th, 2012

    I took on quite a few DIY projects as well (I’m an invitation designer so of course I did my own). The key for me was to schedule everything on the calendar. Work backwards and put in the mandatory items first, then the next ones, etc. I pretty much scheduled one project per week and let myself only focus on that project for the week so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. For day of setup, I wrote up instructions for every item so people would know exactly what to do with everything. Good luck, I hope that helps!!

    • That’s such a great plan! It’s amazing how organized you were!

      • Laura
      • June 28th, 2012

      That’s what I’m going to have to do too. Maybe I’ll write an update post about my DIY schedule. Thanks so much for the tips!

  1. I’m from NC, Laura! I live in Alabama now but my family is NC and so I’m always drawn to other North Carolinians now, haha. I love all of this, your love of southern and homemade things, and your project list. I took on a lot of DIY for my own wedding 3 years ago and enjoyed it but got really overwhelmed, too! I hope you have some good bridesmaids to help, you need to have some wedding themed movie night parties and rock it out!

    • Such a great idea, Kelly!! If you can make it fun and bribe them with pizza it’s always good too :)

      • Laura
      • June 28th, 2012

      Yay! Another North Carolinian! My friends have definitely offered to help me with some of my DIY projects and I’ve told them that I would feed them as payment :) I think it will be a fun girls night!

    • Valerie
    • June 28th, 2012

    I love diy-ing it! I love that you’re doing so much. For my wedding, I designed the wedding invites, embossed each the invite envelopes, designed the programs, made the bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets from silk florals, and my necklace and bracelet (which I still wear all the time)! More so than diy, I tried to make my wedding as simple and user friendly as possible. Our wedding was in the winter, so real flowers didn’t make sense to me. We used greenery garlands and small christmas trees with just white lights, which I now use as Christmas decorations. Our unity candle holders were regular taper candle holders that could be used in any decor. I still wear my jewelry that I made for myself. My bridesmaids wore black tea-length dresses of their choice from wherever – most of them have ACTUALLY worn theirs for other functions. I had cakes as my centerpieces which were then eaten. And I’m trying to figure out what to do with my dress. I tried giving it away, but haven’t had much luck, but I’m really tempted to diy my wedding dress into curtains or a tablecloth or something neat like that.

    Hope your wedding turns out just perfect for you!

    • That’s alot of DIY Valerie! It sounds like it was fabulous! You should consider submitting it for a real wedding feature! You can check out the info here.

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