DIY Wedding Planning 101

If you’re like most brides, you’ve already been to quite a few weddings. Come time for your own, you’re probably trying to think of ways to personalize the affair. One of the best ways to achieve an individual touch is to add something DIY, whether it be tiny (home-baked cookies as favors), or a bit more elaborate (centerpieces). Adding something you created yourself will make your wedding stand out, and reveal just a little bit more about your personality.

Before you embark on any DIY project, make sure you have the time. Those pinecone-candelabra sconces might seem like a wonderful endeavor, but you need to realize just how hectic wedding planning gets closer to the big day. Also, make sure that whatever project you complete, a close friend or relative will be willing to set it up on your wedding day. You are not going to have the time.

If you’re good with graphics, wedding invitations are a nice hand-made touch. You can download computer software, and make it a joint project with you and your fiancé. (Some people even do their own calligraphy.) If the idea of making an invitation is too daunting, you can always do something smaller, such as the wedding program. Another option is to make the place or table cards yourself.

Home-made non-floral centerpieces are a wonderful touch, as long as you’ve got a creative bent. Flowers are very difficult (plus, if you’re working with a florist, you don’t want anything to clash), but some people like to use candles or other decorative items. If your wedding is on the casual side, you can add to the theme by decorating with seashells or Halloween candy—the sky’s the limit. Once again, if you’re a little self-conscious, go with something simpler, like seashells or candy wrapped up in creative, hand-made packaging.

It’s an old saying that nothing beats a home-made cake, and if you’re a wonderful cook it makes sense. Once again, know that it’s going to take a lot of time, and a lot of work on the actual day. If you don’t want to have that much pressure, you can make a smaller, groom’s cake, or a second wedding cake (wedding cupcakes are a smart idea).

One great personal touch that can be big or small or in between is a personal gift basket to place in the hotel rooms of guests. Buy the baskets, use a little ribbon, and place inside of them whatever you see fit, from maps and metro cards, to chocolates and microwave popcorn. There are no rules about gift baskets, but guests love them. If you personalize them, it immediately lets your loved ones know you wanted a little bit of yourselves to go a long way.

-David Toussaint

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