How to Decide Which DIY Projects to Tackle (and Which to Avoid)

Read these tips before committing to a do-it-yourself wedding.

There are a number of factors that should be considered. Debbie Geller of Geller Events shares tips for helping to minimize your stress while crafting DIY projects.

Photo: Ahava Studios

For the right person, a DIY wedding can be amazing. Not only can a do-it-yourself attitude aid your spending limit, it also gives the “DIYer” an elevated level of ownership and pride in the finished product. Imagine looking back on the details of your big day knowing that you created them yourself! In taking on DIY projects, however, there are a number of factors that should be considered. Planning a wedding can be stressful, so it’s important to make plans to help minimize that stress.

The following are a few tips on how to have a successful DIY wedding experience:

DO it yourself only if you can do it in advance.

Have you dreamed of adorning your tables with hand-painted vases filled with origami flowers? Great! Those are items that can be made months in advance, and put away until the big day. If you can take on a project and have it completed at least four weeks in advance of your wedding day, the time spent on it won’t take away from the things that must be done at the last minute, like the joy of assigning seating.

DO it yourself only after you’ve done a test run.

Before committing to a project, buy the materials for just one and try it out. Reading about a project and executing it can be very different. Make sure that the time and effort put forward is worth the end result before you decide that’s that what you want to do in bulk.

DO it yourself only if the numbers make sense – or if they don’t, at least know that.

Once you know that it’s possible to create what you want and do it well, price it. Oftentimes, you can get bulk discounts – so make sure you know your quantities and buy everything at the same time. Compare your cost to that of buying the same item either from a retail source or from a vendor on Etsy before you decide to move forward. Make sure the savings are worth it.

fall wedding reception outdoors by geller events

Photo by Samuel Lippke Studios; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden; Planning by Geller Events; From Real Wedding: Tuscany Meets Rustic California" Outdoor Wedding Under the Stars

DO it yourself… but not entirely by yourself.

Invite your bridal party, family, or friends to crafting nights and make an evening of it. For the cost of a few pizzas, you can have help – and memories that will last a lifetime.

DON’T do it yourself if the items are perishable.

Executing your own flower design or baking your own cake must be done at the last minute – and will be taking place when the pressure is really on. Not only will it take time away from being with family and out-of-town guests, as well as taking care of last minute details, it will inhibit your ability to pamper yourself in order to be rested for the big day.

DON’T do it yourself if you’re overextending on either time or talent.

We’re not all Martha Stewart. In fact, even Martha has a team of experts who help her execute each project. Keep it simple if you are an inexperienced DIYer. You may also want to select smaller DIY projects such as designing a photo-booth backdrop or making your own table numbers, rather than taking on the big items. It’s still an opportunity to give it your own personal stamp, without giving yourself a headache.