What to DIY and What Not To DIY for Your Wedding

A DIY wedding can save you a lot of money, but it can also cause you a lot of stress. Even if you don’t do everything yourself, many couples decide to do some things themselves. It allows them to save a bit of cash and add a personal touch to their special day. The question is, what should you DIY and what’s better off left to the professionals?


Professional: Scheduling the Day


You probably think that it’s pretty easy for you to schedule everything, and decide what will be happening and when. It’s not as easy as you might hope it would be, but it’s also not the most complicated thing in the world. You probably will be involved in deciding how the day will progress, no matter what you do. However, the one thing you don’t want to do is to be in charge of scheduling on your wedding day. You have enough to worry about, without running around and trying to make sure everything is happening at the right time. Hire a coordinator instead.


DIY: Stationery


One of the first things that you’re likely to do for your wedding is send out save the date cards or invitations. The good thing about these is that even when you choose a professional route, you can still do a bit of DIY. You can either make your stationery from scratch (try to keep it simple), or you can use a website that will allow you to customize everything. This is an easy way to put your personal touch on your stationery while also saving money and receiving a professional finish.


Professional: Flowers


Flowers are everywhere at a wedding, from the venue to the bridal party bouquets and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres. It could be easy to convince yourself when looking at flower arrangements, that you could easily do it yourself. However, flower arranging is more difficult than you think. Not only that but if you do it yourself, you need to deal with collecting and arranging your flowers at the last minute. You don’t need that just before you get married. Use a professional florist if you want to have all of your flowers ready on time.

DIY: Decorations


If you want to help with decorating, making some decorations could be a lot easier for you to handle. They’re not going to perish before the big day, so you can make them in advance. Even paper decorations can look charming if you choose the right design. In particular, creating decorations for the ceremony is a good way to save some money. The ceremony won’t last long, so spending a lot of money on decorating might not be a priority for you. It’s easy to create some baskets of flowers or buy some candles (or LED lights) and decorate to your liking.



Professional: Cake


Even if you’re a seasoned baker, who has taken on similar challenges, who wants to spend the days before their wedding making their cake? Baking and decorating a cake that’s big enough to feed all your guests can take a long time, and then you have to get it to the venue. If you’re determined to bake your own cake, you’ll have to be prepared for a lot of stress. Using a professional is much easier, and you can still customize it to your liking.


DIY: Party Favors


If you want to provide a sweet treat for your guests, doing it with your party favors is a much easier DIY option. It’s not difficult to put together a few little gifts, whether you choose candy or something else. You can turn inexpensive items into something a bit more special just by adding a couple of your own details. For example, a candle can be a lot more presentable just by putting it in a glass holder and tying a ribbon around it. You can get your favors ready long before the wedding, so it won’t stress you out.

Professional: Outfits


Obviously, you want everyone to look their best on your wedding day. Some people do decide to make their own wedding outfits, which you could do over an extended period before your wedding. If you feel confident about it, it might be something you choose to do. However, unless you’re an experienced sewer, it’s not a great idea. If you want custom outfits, you can have a dress made or shop Chookhare.com for custom suits. There are some experienced professionals who can give you want you want so you can look perfect for your wedding.


DIY: Accessories


One thing you might find a bit easier to DIY is your accessories. It’s not as difficult to sew some pocket squares or even make a necklace as it is to make an entire dress or suit. If you want to make your own wedding jewelry, one of the easiest ways to do it is to learn to thread beads and choose some that you like. Another great option is to take a workshop. You can even make your own wedding rings under the guidance of an expert.

Professional and DIY: Photography


A lot of people will warn you not to DIY your photography. While it’s true that you probably want to avoid only having DIY photography, it doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up a bit. If you’re trying to save some money, consider having a professional photographer for the ceremony and perhaps a few photos afterward. For the rest of the day, you might consider something else. Maybe you have a friend who’s learning photography or does it for a hobby who you can trust (check their work first). Or you might just want to rely on your guests to take some photos. You’d be surprised how many accidentally excellent photos your guests can take. And, let’s face it, do you really need hundreds of professional photos of everyone dancing and getting drunk?


You can make your wedding special by choosing to DIY some of the elements. Just be careful about what you DIY and what you entrust to a professional.

Making Your Wedding Day Perfect for You

Naturally, you’re going to want your wedding day to be perfect. However, there’s only one person (or should I say two people) that it has to be perfect for – you! It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks as long as you love it. Here’s how you can make your wedding day perfect for you:

Do Lots of Research

Do lots of research on different kinds of weddings, themes, and vendors to get an idea of what your wedding day could be like. You don’t have to have a traditional wedding day just because that’s what people might be expecting. The more research you do, the more ideas you’ll get.

Plan in Advance

Start planning your day in advance so that you get all of the vendors you really want for your special day. Many vendors will book up pretty early, so to avoid disappointment make sure you don’t procrastinate. The best catering services will be booked up really far in advance, so make sure you think ahead.

Get Important People Involved

One of the best ways to have the best day of your life is to get all of the people you love involved. Rather than using hired people to do some things, why not use your nearest and dearest? You could get them to do the videography, for example, if you have somebody in your family with a talent for recording. This will save you money too! However, you could also have somebody sing, recite something meaningful, or do something like that to make your day special. My cousin played guitar, and Match’s sister was ordained and married us!



Drop Traditions

You don’t need to stick to traditions if they don’t mean anything to you or speak to you in some way. You can drop them if you don’t love them! One tradition that many couples are dropping, is not seeing their other half until the alter. Many are having some quiet time with them before they marry, before all of the chaos ensues. We didn’t do this, but I do remember wishing I could go talk to him before the wedding. We did drop the tradition of registering for wedding china, because, who needs? We also dropped the tradition of having a bridal party. It’s something I regret a little bit, but it also made things less complicated.

Get Creative

Get creative with your big day. You can take it in just about any direction you want to! You could have a pirate themed wedding if that’s what you really wanted. All that matters is you do what feels right to you and enjoy it.


Don’t Stress

The worst thing you can do on your wedding day is stress. It’s all too easy to get stressed out if something hasn’t gone exactly to plan, but there’s nothing you can do about it anyway. You shouldn’t let something small ruin your mood and change your big day. Practice de-stressing before the day and you’ll be able to cope well with anything thrown your way on the day. I stressed out near my wedding date, and ended up breaking out in hives on my arm. The swelling went down, but you can still see the hives in pictures. It makes me so sad!

Hopefully, these tips will help you to make your wedding day as perfect for you as it possibly can be. At the end of the day, it’s only your opinion that counts. If you want to base your wedding day around your favorite film, then do it! If you have tips of your own, leave them below. 

How You Can Achieve the Wedding of Your Dreams

When you start to plan your wedding it can feel a little overwhelming. There is a lot to plan and a lot to remember to include. There can also be the pressure of your expectations. There may have been a few things that you would have wanted in your wedding, since you were quite young. Some of us have been planning our dream wedding since we were much younger. So when the prospect of it is becoming a reality, it can lead to mixed emotions. You’ll be excited but it could be quite a daunting prospect. You want your day to be perfect and go just as you have always imagined it.

With all of these thoughts flying around your head, it can stress you out. We don’t want any stressed out brides-to-be, though! Here are a few steps to take, to make sure that you achieve your dream wedding, with as little stress as possible.


Pick a Date

This first step might seem like an obvious one. But you must start at the beginning; it’s a very good place to start! It can be hard to pull of a big dream wedding with short notice. In most cases you will need to have at least six months to plan it all. The best thing to do is to start with the location. This can help you to decide when the wedding will be. Quite often we might have a season or month of the year that we are leaning towards. So if you have always wanted a summer wedding, the location will decide the date for you. If your dream wedding is a big church wedding, you need to make sure what dates the church you want to get married in is available. If you have always wanted to get married in a certain country house or barn, again, you need to check availability. Quite often this narrows down the dates that you have to choose from. Once you have the date, so many more things can be arranged. Some of you readers may remember that Match and I picked a date, and then had to change it after we’d put down deposits and everything! Lucky for us it worked out, but it is definitely not something I’d recommend! 


Your Wedding Dress


In most cases, you will want to get trying on dresses as soon as you know you are engaged. This is quite wise, to be honest. If you have imagined a certain style of dress for a long time, the chances are that you will get a dress adjusted or made. This can take around nine months to get just right. So if you are having an engagement of about a year, you should try on dresses sooner rather than later. Here is a quick timeline of the wedding dress and things to bear in mind.

Nine months before the wedding you will want to pick your gown. This will involve paying a deposit in most cases. About half the cost of the dress is common. The dress will be made just to your measurements. Around three months before the wedding, the gown will be just about finished. You will go for a fitting and any adjustments will be made. About six weeks before the wedding you will have another fitting. This will be an important one. So don’t go and lose too much weight after it. Or equally, don’t go and only eat doughnuts from then until the wedding! Some minor changes to the dress will be made if needed. A month before the wedding you will have a fitting with the headpiece and veil if you are using. It is important to take the underwear you will be wearing for the wedding too. Trying it on altogether is a must. The final fitting is usually two weeks before the wedding. The dress will be done and it is important to have everything with you to try everything on. So have your shoes, veil, jewellery, tiara or any other accessories with you for the final fitting. You might take your dress with you then. Sometimes dresses are only picked up a few days before the wedding. At the final fitting, you will pay the balance of the dress and any extra for alterations. There is more about the timeline of your dress over at www.theknot.com/.


Hair and Makeup

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Now you have thought about your dress; you need to think about the style of hair system and makeup you will have. You might have always wanted your hair in a certain style. If so, it is important to find a friend or hairdresser that will be able to recreate the style. If you aren’t sure what to go for, make sure you attend a few trial sessions. You could try a few different hairdressers too. You want to have the look that you have always wanted. Think about what style will look good with your dress too. A higher neck might suit an up hairstyle better. Something with a wider neck, or without sleeves, might suit a hairstyle where a lot of hair is down. Try out a few things and see what you like best.

Like you should have trials for your hair, you should have trials for your makeup. Unless you are a makeup guru, it will eliminate a lot of stress if someone else does your makeup on the day. Look up some pictures online of wedding makeup to give you some ideas. If you normally don’t wear a lot of makeup, your wedding day isn’t the time to start to wear dark, smokey eyes. So think about what you normally wear and go for a similar, but slightly more dramatic look. It is important to think about the run up to the wedding too. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water in the weeks leading up to it. This will help to reduce the chance of getting spots and pimples. You will want your skin to look flawless!


Planning the Ceremony and Reception

wedding gown

The best way to plan the ceremony and reception is to know what budget you have in mind. You can have a fantastic wedding on any budget. The good thing about them is that they can be completely personalised. If you have always wanted a string quartet as you walk down the aisle, then you could get one. Calling on friends and family with talents is a great way to save yourself a lot of cash too. Have you got friends that play the violin or play in any musical groups? They could be recruited to organise the music if that is what you have always wanted. My cousin played guitar while I walked down the aisle, and it was beautifully done. I just wish someone had thought to record it!

You might have always wanted to have a wedding with a bit of a ‘wow’ factor. Have you always wanted to fly off to your honeymoon in a private helicopter? Have you always wanted to have fireworks as you leave the evening reception? It could all happen, depending on your budget and plans. For something like a firework display, it is a great idea to get a professional in to run it. You can find out more information about having a firework display at www.fireworksinternational.co.uk/wedding-firework-displays/. I wanted to have a photobooth at our reception, and I wish I had budgeted for it. They are so fun, and would have provided that wow factor we wanted.



Wedding photo backdrops set for pictures

To be able to remember your dream wedding, you want to have an amazing photographer. If you look back at your wedding photos and are disappointed, it will not leave you feeling positive when you look back and think about your wedding. For photographers, in can be very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. You will need one that is in your budget, but you want to see a lot of their previous work to get an idea of their style.

It is important to meet the photographer in person too. Take them to your wedding location of that is possible. Then they can get thinking about what pictures they could shoot. Give your ideas and listen to theirs too. One good thing is to have a list of the pictures that you want to have. You may have always wanted a certain style of a picture with your groom, or with your father, for example. The photographer needs to know that, or you will be disappointed if the picture doesn’t happen. You can’t rely on remembering on the wedding day. There will be so many things you will be thinking about and photography won’t be one of the priorities for you!
One of the best pieces of advice is not to listen too closely to other people’s unsolicited opinions. You might find people telling you that you shouldn’t have a certain colour bridesmaid dresses for a certain season. If you want to have dark blue bridesmaids dresses in spring, then you can have dark blue bridesmaids dresses in spring. You will find a lot of people have opinions about the smallest of things when it comes to weddings. My mother-in-law to be told me that lilies were for funerals, but I told her they were my favorite. I’m glad I didn’t compromise!


Just remember it is a special day for you and your love. You are the two people that will make the decisions. You won’t be able to please any one, particularly when it comes to something like a seating plan. Just make sure those people are the two of you.

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

Liz: I’m telling you, this is my year. I feel like the show’s going to be great and I’m very positive that I’m going to meet someone else.
Jack: Women your age are more likely to be mauled at the zoo than get married. –30 Rock

Happy New Year! The lovely Michelle did a great post about the year in review and I loved it so much I thought I would do my own. 2010 was an incredible year for me, and it definitely deserves a review.

This past year I…

Planned our wedding.

Had fantastic parties thrown in my honor, like my Hen Party and my Bridal Shower.

Went on my first trip to Tahoe with Match, and can’t wait to go again soon.

Survived Match working graveyard shifts and being like two ships passing in the night. I got really good at playing psp solo games and finding other ways to occupy my evenings alone, like making my own escort cards and working on our guestbook scrapbook.

Set the date and then reset the date of our wedding and survived the aftermath of that mess.

Celebrated with Match as he got accepted into the Law Enforcement Training Academy.

Got married to the most amazing, dedicated, incredible man of my dreams.

Turned 27, which used to sound so old to me. Now it doesn’t seem so bad, especially with 30 looming out there in front of me.

Moved to a new town, and survived the first few weeks of Match’s academy, which was basically like bootcamp hell.

In 2011 we will…

Have three weddings to attend: Token Gay Couple, Chandler & Monica, and Geeky and her Fireman.

Match’s Academy Graduation and the start of his law enforcement career. I will attempt to not develop ulcers from worrying.

Our long overdue honeymoon. At this point I think I’ll settle for a three day weekend here in California. Just as long as we get to spend some quality time together. Maybe we’ll go camping!

We’ll celebrate our one year anniversary. I’ll try not to pout that I’m no longer a blushing bride and don’t get to have fabulous parties thrown for me. Well, except my birthday. 😉

Hopefully I’ll be on my way to a new career.

Our lives have changed so much since last January, and I’m so excited to see what this next year holds!

A Year Ago Today: The Proposal

Jim: So this morning, we are having breakfast together…and I just looked up from my cereal and I said, “You know what I wanna do today? I wanna marry you.”
Pam: I had just woken up. I didn’t look cute. That’s how I knew he meant it. –The Office

A year ago tonight, Match asked me to marry him. I can’t believe it’s only been a year! So much has happened and our lives have changed so drastically in just 12 months.

I remember thinking in that moment that I couldn’t be happier. But I am, because now I’m not just Match’s fiancée, I’m his wife. Here we are about to spend our first Christmas together as a married couple. We’re starting new traditions and our life together is just beginning. At the risk of sounding cheesy, Match, you really are the best Christmas present I could ever ask for!