We all have the perfect wedding, baby shower, gala, and other celebratory parties planned in our imaginations way before the event is to take place. The execution of these dream affairs quickly brings us back down to reality, and creative design and planning must be utilized to get the best results. DIY, or “Do it Yourself”, event designs can be your saving grace by giving you custom designs and allowing you to put a personal stamp on your special day. On the other hand, DIY will cause you unnecessary stress if you do not have a specific plan and give yourself the time and budget to execute. I interviewed a few brides to be, a bride who just wrapped up her wedding, and a few brides who have been there and done that. These ladies have all the do’s and don’t even think about is that you will need to conquer your DIY event.
Let’s talk invites. Invites are the intro to your event, so it makes sense that you would want a custom design that speaks to your events overall style. I think DIY invites are a great idea as long as you give yourself the time, and invest in the appropriate materials and tools to get the job done. Make sure you have extra supplies for trial and error, know that every invite will not be exactly the same, and have fun with the construction. If you are busting sweats and going off on your team of helpers, then you are probably in over your head. After surveying my brides I found that most of them found DIY invites to be a bit more work than expected. Those who tried were satisfied with the outcome, but when asked if they could go back and choose to make invites again, most answered that they would pay to have invites professionally done.
Centerpieces are basically your event’s earrings and pumps. They add that extra pop of color, create conversation among guests, and provide you with the opportunity to add that personalized punch. I think this is the perfect element to test out your DIY skills. You can create the most beautiful, awe inspiring, expensive looking centerpieces by using the most simple, affordable, and easy to acquire materials. Mason jars, votive candles, hemp, twine, pictures frames…need I say more? All of which can be found at your local hardware stores, thrift shops, and craft stores.
Party favors can be a hit or miss situation when you are making them yourself. If you have a smaller guest list, go ahead and DIY your favors. Lately my friends and I have been obsessed with homemade scrubs. Consider making a hand or face scrub using pumpkin or brown sugar ingredients for your autumn and winter wedding. Attach a small thank you note using your best penmanship for that extra touch. Half of my brides were down for the challenge. The other half did not want to spend the time and money for materials to create over 100 favors. It’s all about what you believe you can handle without stressing. Let’s be honest, most favors end up in the trash, or lost among the countless knick knacks on the shelf. If you are going to take time to make favors, make sure it’s practical and something that will not be a nuisance to your guests.
Chatting with the ladies I realized that each one had specific projects that they wanted to create on their own, but definitely had other event designs they were willing to invest in. Pinterest has lead us all to believe that we are all carpenters, paper craftsmen, and five star chefs. Make DIY work for you by determining what’s worth your time and money, pick something within your realm of craftiness, get a group of friends together to help, and accept the fact that your design may have minor flaws. Anything you make from the heart will leave the impression you hoped for.
Ashley Bailey Farley is the owner and principle planner at LE Events.
Image courtesy of Pinterest