The new, trendy, hip thing in wedding planning is to not have anything hip or trendy. Gone are the days of identically perfect centerpieces, matching table wear and stuffy, overly formal dinners. Most of the blogs I come across feature weddings with a whimsical feel where things are less formal and stuffy and much more fun. There are brides serving lemonade in mason jars, luggage tags are being substituted as guest books and that first dance is becoming more and more entertaining. (This one happens to be my favorite, but it won’t be featured at my wedding. Tom is terrified enough of the spotlight.)
All of this means that weddings can be a lot of fun and can cost a lot less since creating things yourself allows you to put a unique twist on even the most overdone aspects of your wedding. DIY does come with its own sets of problems though, especially when you have a disability like mine which effects fine motor control. However, I refuse to let my disability hamper my frugality. No matter how long it takes or what level of hell I am driven to, I refuse to pay for things I feel can be done myself.
That being said, I have limited my DIY projects to centerpieces, favors, bridesmaids gifts and invitations. For the record, I have not actually done or plan to do some of these things myself; I recruited my artsy friends and family. This is not cheating. This is practical and brilliant.
We decided on the centerpieces early on. The plan was to create wreaths out of grapevines, which grow free and in massive quantities on Tom’s parent's property; then decorate them with artificial flowers purchased on sale and out of season. The wreaths will go around a vase filled with water and floating candles.
My soon to be Mother-in-Law has been collecting the grapevines and this weekend I went over to her house to help make some of the wreaths. At first, I was hopeless at it; my fingers and my brain were not cooperating and my vines just wouldn’t stay twisted. But eventually I got the hang of it and in one afternoon we cranked out about half of what we needed.
I took one home and weaved in some of the flowers to get an idea of the final product:
Not bad eh? I think I might look for some blue to serve as an accent color. I am pretty pleased with our first DIY project. I really wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it but as usual patience and perseverance paid off. I think they will look very nice at the wedding. I can even give them away as keepsake to the really special people.
It’s easy to get carried away with DIY, so here are a few tips that I am learning/accepting along the way: Remember that you don’t want it to end up costing you more then it would to buy something outright. Purchase items at a discount early on, or borrow items from other people to keep the cost low. Keep in mind that what something costs is not just the price but also what it cost you emotionally. Don’t take on a huge project alone. Asking for help might be hard but it will save you sanity. Plus doing things with other people is a lot more fun than DIY.