Wedding Tips for DIY Brides
My Wedding Day
Looking back, I was pretty caught up into the wedding and through the planning it never hit me I’M GETTING MARRIED! To be honest, a lot of brides say it doesn’t ‘hit them’ that they’re getting married until they walk down the aisle. Which is exactly how it happened for me. I was totally calm the whole day, until my dad and I were waiting to walk down the aisle. Then cue the nerves and shakes.
My point is that just remember through all the planning that at the end of the day you will be married. So if you’re stressing about the little stuff, trust me it’s not worth the frustration.
So a little about my wedding. We are both college students, and while our parents paid for most of the wedding we didn’t want to go crazy. Kyle and I are both pretty old souls, but we aren’t traditional. We didn’t want a church wedding, the bridal processional song, those types of things. Our wedding was outdoors in a red barn located in the country.
Although it was hot, there isn’t one thing I would change about our wedding day. It was perfect. Even if there was something that didn’t go as planned, I didn’t even know. I have to give a lot of credit to those who helped me put everything together, because I had no ‘professional’ help.
Here are a few tips based on my experience:
Involve those who you trust to help you plan
Ultimately it’s your wedding, like I mentioned. Consult your fiance before anyone else on major decisions such as the wedding date, venue, and guest list. As much as your significant other may say they don’t care they’ll give you an answer regardless – and more than likely they do care because they want to marry you! Kyle and I made the decision of our wedding date, and most importantly the horrid task of a guest list.
I would not recommend doing a guest list on your own. Kyle and I took about a week to create one, and it was so hard but in the end you have to trust your instincts. So anyways, of course most girls involve their moms in planning their wedding. However, my mom lives in another country so I wasn’t able to have that experience that others girls have.
It was hard not having my mom there, but I was always able to ask for her input and facetime her! That’s why my closest Aunt was there for me through the whole process. I literally could not have done a thing without her. Technically were not related, but we’re super close and I consider us family.
My point is, it’s important that you have a go to ‘person’ while planning your wedding whom you trust sincerly. They will be able to give you honest feedback, and be there for you no matter what.
Choose your bridal party wisely
One of the hardest decisions a bride can face. Who will be in my bridal party? What helped me decide is asking: “Do I see this person being apart of my kids life, in the future?” How many people to include in your party is entirely up to you, I had five and I think that was the perfect number.
My biggest advice is to always trust your intuition, and not rush too early on your decision. Now you don’t want to wait too late, otherwise you will be pushed for time on choosing the attire for the party.
Save money where you can
Like I stated Kyle and I did not want a huge hooorah, or a fancy schmanzy venue. While those types of wedding are beautiful, that’s just not who we are. We love simple, and we love the country. We were lucky enough to find a venue that allowed us to use our own caterer, supply our own alcohol, AND use the decor that they already had. Which included tons of glass jars, centerpieces, and these gorgeous wooden doors that opened up to the ceremony. If you can find a venue that can offer some of these features, then go for that one if you’re not sure.
Our caterer, was actually a family friend who makes ahhmazing food, so of course we wanted her to prepare the food. When we initially looked at venues, most of them didn’t allow outside catering or alcohol. Which meant more money, especially on bigger catering companies and buying alcohol from the venue.
Other ways you can save is by assessing your ‘vendor list’ and determining if they’re necessary and if you know of someone local or a family friend of a friend who can offer you the same service for a better price. For example, a girlfriend of mine started her own little baking services. So of course I wanted to support her, and her cakes are beautiful. For flowers, I didn’t want to spend thousands on them since they would literally just die within days.
I supported the local florist in a surrounding town who literally told me that other florist overcharge, and she says “I don’t know why!”
Attend a Bridal Fair
Because there are tons of food samples! I’m not kidding, my Aunt and I went to one in January and all the caterers had samples of their food. Which led me to find my caterer for the rehersal dinner. But the main reason you should attend a bridal fair is for the free stuff. I received a coupon for a site that gave me so much money off of certain items for brides. I opted for our guest book, and it only costed me $25 vs. $100.
I will say, we did get ‘scammed’ into thinking we won a free cruise. We attended this ‘seminar’ where they basically tried to sell us pots and pans at a ridiculous price. Don’t get me wrong the cookware was really nice, but we obviouisly did need them or have the money. However, we did get free champagne flutes, and some free food. So I guess it wasn’t totally a bad deal.
DIY, DIY, DIY
Of course as a DIY bride, you need to implement a couple of DIY projects. Luckily I didn’t have to spend a fortune on decor or buying supplies for decor. The venue allowed us to borrow their decor: glass bottles, centerpieces, cake table, large wooden doors for the aisle. The most DIY items I did were my wedding signs.
If you started searching on Pinterest for wedding ideas, then you’ve probably seen those adorable signs on chalkboards or wooden palletes. I looove those, still do. So instead of paying for one online, I decided to buy boards from Hobby Lobby. I would go in at separate times and use a coupon to get close to half price on each sign.
I’m pretty decent at lettering so I just used chalk markers to write on the signs. It only took me like fifty times to perfect it until I finally said ‘noone is going to come to me and tell me ‘welcome’ is crooked’. Lol. Another idea I loved was buying an old wooden window frame, and making a sign out of it.
The sign came from an antique store for $10, I cleaned it up and added my lettering and it was one of my favorite crafts. So save yourself the trouble and figure out how crafty you are, and which projects you’d like to DIY. Maybe your not so crafty, ask your bridal party, your mom, your sister, your Grandma!
My favorite part about my wedding was the popcorn bar. Popcorn, to me, is basically another food group. I ordered popcorn in bulk that was mailed and sealed for freshness. I ordered 22 gallons, but it was just the right amount. All the seasonings, and kraft paper bags I ordered on Amazon for a great deal. We used galvanized buckets to put the popcorn in, and it’s safe to say the popcorn bar was a hit. The best part were the seasonings, which you can grab below! We had a great mix of fun seasonings such as dill pickle (my favorite), asiago and pepper, sriracha, and more.
If you’re planning a wedding I wish you the best luck!
Hopefully these tips will help ease a little stress, even though that probably isn’t possible. There wasn’t enough wine for me to decrompress some evenings. Safe to say, I do not want to be a wedding planner and props to them because they could deal with some really cranky brides.
Just remember: At the end of the day, it’s about you and your spouse and the life you are creating with one another.
Photos courtesy of Carrie Hastings Photography
Venue: Red Barn Events