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Avoid wasting time and money when planning a DIY wedding

Have you ever heard of the term ‘time is money’?

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When it comes to a DIY wedding this statement can become all too true. There are several reasons doing it yourself can not only create unexpected problems but can also cause you unnecessary stress. It has the potential to drain the enjoyment from a day that should be one of the most memorable, for all the right reasons not the wrong ones. It can take over your life for months sometimes years and before you know it you’ve become the person that swaps nights out with your friends for making invitations, or date nights go from being a romantic meal out to tying ribbons and making decoration pieces in your front room.

Pinterest and Instagram are wonderful tools to gain ideas but be careful. Not everything that claims to be DIY actually is. How many times will you buy materials and attempt something before realising it’s either not possible or simply doesn’t look as good as what it does on the website. You’ve wasted hours of your precious time and possibly a good amount of money to end up no closer to achieving your goal.


Lovely DIY flower design

Just because you’ve seen homemade jam jars filled with stunning flowers on Pinterest it doesn’t necessarily mean you can recreate them. Firstly, you may underestimate how many flowers you need to buy. Having sparse, lonely looking displays can be rather disappointing on the day when they don’t look anything like what you had in your mind.

By purchasing flowers from a local florist of supermarket you will pay way more than the wholesale price so actually it may end up costing the same as having a professional do it. Also, you are reliant on them having the flowers you want. You may have designed your whole wedding around a rustic, bright coloured country theme with sunflowers playing a large part. But when you get to the shop 2 days before your wedding and they don’t have sunflowers, what do you do?

Finally, flowers are a temperamental, living element of your wedding. You can’t buy them too early or they’ll die. Likewise, you can’t buy them too late as you don’t want to be making up centrepieces on the morning of your wedding. Not only is it finding the time to do this but also the space in your house to store them, they’ll wilt if they’re too hot and die if they’re out of water. Finding the time to include this element can be difficult. Definitely give the addition of DIY floristry some serious thought before assuming you can reproduce what an experienced and talented florist can, especially within the time frame you have.

Ways to keep the cost down or approach DIY floristry

  • Select an in-season variety of flowers, keep the displays simple and use items such as tea light candles to fill out the spaces on the table.

  • Fill the displays you wish to add depth to with foliage and gypsophila.

  • If you insist on purchasing the flowers yourself it’s worth paying a visit to one of many local floristry wholesalers. Just remember when looking at prices in these stores you need to be aware of the added VAT.

  • Attend a floristry workshop. Plenty of professional florists offer this service and from it you can get ideas and ask advice on how best to approach it from a professional.


Giraffe theme invitation

We all like to think we are talented and creative. Many of us are. However, items such as invitations can be an extremely time-consuming aspect of your wedding planning. You go out and buy all the elements you want to include for every conceivable stationary item before realising that it is way more time consuming than you first thought and you end up spending all of your evenings and weekends, prit-stick in hand covered in glitter wishing you’d never committed. At this point do you carry on because you’ve spent all that money? Or do you concede and just pay someone else and waste the bits you’ve started? Like every aspect of doing it yourself, you have to ask. Is it worth giving all my time to this project.

Sourcing your items on line

We’ve all heard of the horror stories surrounding the purchase of wedding items on line. Especially when ordering important items such as your dress. Yes, you will be able to get a replica dress sent from China for a fraction of the cost of buying it in a boutique. However, are you willing to run the risk of it arriving and not being right. What if the quality is bad, what if you don’t get what you expect or what if it doesn’t arrive in time. Don’t get me wrong, some brides have a perfectly fine experience with ordering their dress this way but every bride is different and you have to decide if it is worth the risk on your wedding. If you do insist on sourcing your dress or any other items this way then you will need to order them early to avoid being left in the lurch. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait 6/9 months for some items, especially if they’re being sent from abroad. Then you need to factor in fitting and alterations on a dress which will take a further few weeks. DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO THE LAST MINUTE. It will become one of the biggest stresses of your wedding.

Other ways to cut costs are to buy second hand decorative items, this is a great way to recycle items however there are many people out there who are simply selling off their own used (sometimes tatty) items just to get rid of it so be careful and it is sensible to find out if you can arrange to view items before paying.


Don’t be fooled. Just because you are opting to do it yourself it certainly does not mean it is going to be cheaper. If you cut back on items you may save pennies here and there but generally the way to cut back on spending at a wedding is simply to not have certain items. Sometimes having nothing is better than having something that isn’t very good.

Many DIY weddings I have been involved in have not been because the couple want to cut back on cost but have been because they enjoy the involvement they get from doing it and being able to have things exactly how they want. The cost of these weddings mirror those who have each element done for them and can sometimes exceed them.

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Remember, doing it yourself may be great fun in the early stages. Even as the wedding day draws near you may enjoy finalising all of the bits however, are you going to enjoy doing it yourself on the day? A question that is certainly worth asking yourself. On your wedding day, you should relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Not be laying tables, making centrepieces, placing out chairs, chasing suppliers and then organising the room turnaround, meeting with entertainers and overseeing the catering. These are tasks you need to delegate. A wedding planner or coordinator is the ideal person to take on these tasks as they are experienced and have more than likely worked on a similar wedding set up before. Don't rely simply on the word of your venue to get things done, there is no such thing as hindsight with weddings so get it right first time, cover all bases and ensure your day goes exactly to plan.

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