Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DIY or DIE?

I think it is safe to say that we have all seen “how easy” it is to do everything for your wedding all by yourself. From your own invitations to the flowers, brides need no one but themselves. Right?
I hate to break it to you ladies, but saving money may not be that easy.
If we take a look at what you’re worth as a starting point, you’ll recognize that all the preparation needed for some DIY (do it yourself) projects may end up costing you more than hiring someone to do it for you.
Invitations are the favorite DIY, but tying all those ribbons into bows, the cost of ink or a printer, the time it takes to center, word, customize a design and get into an actual product could take weeks, on top of your everyday job and commitments. A simple invitation, your Save-the-Date and even Thank You cards may be more practical DIY items. You want your invite to set the tone for your wedding, something without embossing or a professional touch can throw off the entire feel of your big day.
Reflect on your experiences when deliberating on your wedding DIY projects. Plan out your programs, for instance, and purchase a Program Package from your local office supply store, such as Staples. These packages tell you how to set up your “Print Settings” and “Page Setup” to get the perfect look. You can then print out one and bring it back to the store to make copies on your other program sheets. This saves you money on ink and hiring a professional to put together the entire program. Your job will be to fold, tie, staple or otherwise assemble them. **
This is just one example of how to separate each task into actual money-saving steps. Evaluate your strengths and go from there. If you know you’re terrible with computers, don’t plan a DIY project that relies solely on computers. If you’re great with finishing touches, take the finalizing step in each task- such as ribbon tying, bow making or hot gluing. Are you good with a calligraphy pen? Try doing your own place cards and addressing your invitations- get the envelopes shipped before the invitations are completed.
Whatever your wedding plans are, remember to ask for help and consider your time just as valuable as someone you hire. You need sleep and less stress- not to take everything upon yourself. Make small projects or one large one.
** There are event planners who will assemble programs and favors, address thank you, etc. for less than the company you order from (rates vary).

SMALL PROJECT IDEAS:
Tying ribbons/bows around candles and vases
Assembly of favors/invitations/programs
Handwriting your place cards
Printing menus for rehearsal/wedding

LARGE PROJECT IDEAS:
Making your own invitations
Addressing your own invitations (by hand- proper etiquette)
Doing your own flowers
Creating your own centerpieces
Making your own play list- iPod wedding
Making your own programs- start to finish
Doing your own d├ęcor at the ceremony and/or reception site