Great DIY Wedding

10 Steps to a Great DIY Wedding

Are you considering a DIY wedding so you can customize everything yourself?  In this century, technology and modern ideas make DIY weddings easy though sometimes still a bit time-consuming.  It used to be that everyone’s wedding was DIY because weddings were intimate gatherings with loved ones.  Preparations for food, decorations, and party favors were all done by and with the family, and the expenses were very minimal because everybody helped out.  Today, DIY is still a great option especially for the creative and hardworking bride.  Here are some tips for making your DIY wedding a breeze.

1. Detail the Timeline

Since you’ll be on top of everything, setting a detailed timeline is critical.  Make sure you jot down all the activities you want on your wedding day—ceremony, cocktails, first dance, meal, cake cutting—everything.  

Pro Tip: Use a “last minute” wedding planning timeline to help you stick to the basics. This is a great place to start:

2. Tighten the Budget Belt

The reason to DIY in the first place is to put a personal touch on your wedding and to save a lot of unnecessary expense.  It’s crucial to be realistic about how much you’re willing to spend so check all the elements before you pay for anything.  Also, allow a little wiggle room for some changes you may make along the way.  

Here’s a great article on how to make the most of your wedding dollar:

3. Choose the Food Creatively

There are a lot of advantages for preparing your own wedding food, and you really can “do it all” with help. Here are some of the best perks:

  • Use your favorite family recipes for a guaranteed menu hit
  • Easy to work around food allergies
  • Potlucks “spread the work around” so no one feels pressured
  • Make your own cake or cupcakes for less than a bakery

Pro tip: One of the hottest wedding cake trends these days—and it couldn’t be more perfect for a DIY wedding—is the “Naked Wedding Cake.” Check out the top trends here:

4. Create Clever Favors

Party favors are costly if you just go to a store and buy something, especially if it involves customizing or printing or other features.  With DIY favors, your expenses are controlled, and the design you want will always happen.  There are plenty of YouTube videos on how to make your own favors using cost-effective materials that still look gorgeous—and look expensive!  

Here are the Top 10 DIY wedding favors trending today:

5. Brainstorm Ceremony & Reception Options

During the planning phase, you should already come up with a theme for your wedding.  From there, you’ll have an idea of how the venue should look.  Most couples prefer having the ceremony and reception in just one place which is 100% doable with DIY.  

Here’s a terrific 2-part resource with ideas to pull off a gorgeous home wedding:

6. Arrange the Flowers

Arranging flowers on your own is not that hard thanks to technology!  There are a lot of video tutorials online which you can follow.  Just be sure to gather all the tools and materials ahead of time.  As for the flowers, choose ones that are sturdy and are in season.   Some couples stick to either one color or just a couple of colors and then add ribbons and embellishments for pizazz.  

Tip: Check out our blog for DIY flower ideas.

7. Streamline the Invites & Paper Goods

Let’s face it—guests are just going to read the relevant details on the invitations, and after the wedding, they won’t even remember where they put them.  So if you spend a fortune on an invitation from a print shop, that could take a big bite out of your budget.  Today most couples want a way to make their invitations serve more than one function, and if not the invitations, then the programs and menu cards.  For instance, if you have a beach wedding, why not make copies of the program into hand fans?  There are more creative ideas out there than we can even begin to mention. Just have fun being creative and thinking outside of the box—as far outside as you dare!

For ideas on what you do need—and do not need—when it comes to paper wedding goods, check this out:

8. Befriend Photo & Video Gurus

If you know a friend who produces amazing images, then you know that if he covers your wedding, every shot he takes will be epic.  It’s crucial to know the style of the photographer ahead of time so that you already have an idea on how your pictures will turn out.  You do need to think twice before hiring a friend, though. You might want to mix it up—have your friend or your guests take candids but pay a professional to make your formal photos look truly magnificent.

For advice on why you should hire a photo pro, at least for your formal shots, check this out:

9. Mix Your Own Music

Although some couples hire a live band to play at their reception, others just want to hear their favorite playlists.  So why not sort out your favorite tunes and arrange them according to the program of your wedding day?  This way, you can also control the lag time at the party.  Just be sure to test your music equipment at the reception a few days before to make sure everything goes well.

Here’s a great cheat sheet for how to choose the perfect wedding music for each part of the ceremony and reception:

10. Get Help Getting Beautiful

The bottom line when it comes to a successful DIY wedding hair and makeup is this: Don’t do it all alone!

It’s always better to have something else put up your hair and make sure your shadow is even, but you don’t have to pay a pricey pro to do all that. Just research and practice ahead of time.

Here are great tips for DIY makeup:

And of course, beautiful hair for you and your attendants—in 10 steps or less!

Bottom Line when it Comes to DIY Weddings

Ask for help with everything. Let your friends’ and family’s wedding gifts to you be their time and talent. You know they’ll already be proud of you for saving so much money and doing your wedding yourselves. Why wouldn’t they want to help in any way they can? Don’t be afraid to tell people exactly what you need. You might be surprised at what hidden talents there are in the people who love you the most!


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