As a general rule . . . no. I would not recommend DIY projects and here’s why:
The amount of stress put on brides today to throw “the perfect wedding” is enough to make you want to pull all your hair out. Now add the stress of having to assemble 200+ favors or 14 different centerpieces. And it doesn’t stop there. ALL that stuff has to get to the venue. Who’s going to bring it? The logistics can be difficult and ultimately it might be worth it to pay someone else to do it and save the headache.
Rarely do you actually save on costs. DIY project materials may seem cheaper in the beginning, but often couples forget about the materials needed to assemble projects as well. For example, it may be cheaper to make your own cake stand . . . but only if you already have a saw, a drill, glue, etc. And sure, you could use those materials again . . . but will you?
Sometimes, it’s very obvious you did DIY projects. Now this is not always true; I myself have made some pretty convincing decor . . . but I also paid for high quality materials that didn’t come cheap. The best DIY projects I have seen are usually a product of a couple wanting something very personal or personalized, something they just can’t find out in the world. So they make it. But the DIY projects to save on cost usually are very obvious.
But JaneMarie, I want to DIY at my wedding!
Alright, alright. If you’re not going to avoid DIY projects, here are some tips:
Buy quality materials. Spend the few extra bucks on the silk flowers or the mason jars or the Swarovski crystals. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.
Make things you would want to keep at your own house. Sometimes couples just throw projects together because they’ll only use it for a few hours on their wedding day, so there may be a lack of incentive to do a really nice job. Now, I’m not saying you have to keep all 27 mason jar bouquets you made, but maybe a few around the house or your office for some decor and as a fond reminder of your wonderful day! Seeing these items being used long term will often make you slow down and really take your time to get them right.
Know your limits. If you’ve never operated a saw . . . maybe decor for your wedding isn’t the time to start. Pick DIY projects that are within your scope and artistic abilities, that way you won’t have trial and error on such an important day.
Practice. Often the materials can be costly, so you don’t want to just “wing it” with expensive stuff and risk having to buy another piece (further adding to the cost) to do it over. For example, if you plan on writing out your seating chart on your grandmama’s antique mirror with a sharpie . . . maybe start with writing on a cheap little mirror from Michael’s first to make sure you’ll achieve the look you want.
PLAN AHEAD. Please, I beg of you. DO NOT wait to start getting all these things together and assembling them the week of the wedding. You will be miserable and will not get to enjoy the anticipation of your upcoming nuptials! So do yourself, your family, your fiancee, and your wedding planner a favor and plan ahead!