When you first get engaged you're super excited to start planning your special day, but quite often don't have a clue where to start. How do we set a budget? What do things cost? Should we hire a wedding planner to do all the nitty-gritty or should we do it all ourself? The answers to these questions are different for each couple, but I wanted to write this blog to give you an idea of a lot of the things you can do yourself without too much hassle or cost!
Having worked at (and helped plan) lots of weddings I've seen so many amazing ideas and being a crafty creative person myself, this always sparks my imagination and makes me wish I could re-plan my own wedding! (Maybe I'll have a vow renewal in a few years if I can persuade the hubby!)
Below are 6 different ideas (plus some little extras at the end) of things you can do yourself for your own wedding. It's by no means exhaustive, but will hopefully get you started! If you want a more detailed Wedding Planning Guide and Checklist you can get one for free by signing up to my mailing list here.
Idea 1: Invitations
Invitations can often be either very costly to order from an external company or very time consuming if you're making them yourself. However, in the video below I show you a nice and easy way you can design your own invitations for free online and then order them to be printed at a fraction of the cost of ordering them from a wedding invitation company. This reduces your time and cost! Bonus!
Idea 2: Seating Plan
Although some of your well-thought-out and carefully planned decorations might go noticed by some guests, your seating plan is one thing all your guests will look at, so this is a chance to make it personal to you and get creative! The other bonus for this is you only need to make one, so it's not a job that's going to take weeks to do yourself.
No matter how creative you get, you want to make sure your table plan is easy for your guests to understand, as there will be a mad rush when everyone starts to look for where they’re seated. (It's the one thing guests love to do during the drinks reception!)
I will do a YouTube video of how to make some of these at a later date, but I just wanted to list a few different ideas for your seating chart that I have seen over the last few years.
Grab a mirror from a thrift store or charity shop and either print and stick your table plan on it, or write directly on the mirror with glass pens.
Design your table plan on a graphic design program like the one in the wedding invitations video above (Canva.com) and get it printed as a large poster print. Back it onto an easel or some plywood.
Pallets are a great, cost-effective way to do any displays at your wedding, either write directly on to it, back little squares of card onto it, or tie string across and use little pegs to peg names onto the lines.
Instead of writing their names, you could ask them all for a photo of themselves when you send out the invitations and they can have a bit of fun searching for their own faces on the seating chart!
Idea 3: Favours
Favours are a great way you can make your wedding personal to you as a couple and there are so many different amazing ideas out there! I have seen some fun themed favours and timeless elegant ones, but in this video, I show you how you can combine your wedding favours and place cards in one. Even if you're not a crafty person these simple ceramic tags and ideas are affordable and easy to create. Check out the video to see how:
Idea 4: Order of Service
Another simple thing you can save some pennies on is the orders of service! This is as simple as buying some nice paper, designing the order of service and printing it on your home printer.
Go ahead and use the invitations video above to learn how to use Canva, and you'll be able to design a lovely order of service, in keeping with your wedding theme and colours without needing a graphic designer! Remember, the order of service doesn't have to be in a booklet format, it could just be an A4 sheet of paper rolled into a scroll with a ribbon tied around it, or it could be printed onto card with a lollypop stick on the end so it doubles up as a fan etc.. I'll pop some photos down below to give you some inspiration:
Idea 5: Centrepieces
Surprisingly, you don't need to be a creative or 'crafty' person to make your own centrepieces. There are literally thousands of ideas out there for your tablescapes depending on what sort of look you're going for. The video below gives you some beautiful but very affordable looks that are easy to create even if you feel like you 'just don't do craft'. All the designs use things like: Jars (which you can get your friends to collect for free!), Garden greenery or flowers (which you can pick from your own garden or a friend's for FREE!) and then some simple additions like fairy lights, tea lights, candles or glasses.
One thing to note: make sure you check with your venue that they allow candles if you're hoping to go for one of those options!
In the video below I show you 6 ideas for cheap, 'non-crafting' centrepieces that look classy! Check it out.
Idea 6: Bouquet
One thing that many brides won't bother doing themselves is their bouquets as they don't realise they're quite simple to create! Hiring a florist is great as they're experienced professionals who know exactly what they're doing and can make sure the bouquets and buttonholes are delivered to your door on the day stress-free. But making your own bouquets is something that can massively reduce your wedding costs as florists can be a lot of money (and rightly so!)
I decided to create my own bouquet to show you just how fun and cost-effective it is to make your own even if you're not a florist! (obviously, I'm not a florist I'm a photographer so if I can do it, you can too!) I recommend that you get a friend or member of the bridal party to make these as it will save you from rushing to get them done a couple of days before your big day when you should be relaxing!
If you are making them yourself, make them 2 days before and then keep them in the fridge to help keep their freshness.
Watch the video below to see how I made mine:
There are so many other things you can 'do yourself' for your wedding and I will just list them below so you can scroll through and hopefully pick up some ideas.
A box of flip flops, if any of your guests are like me, they'll fall in love with some killer heels to wear to your special day and then never actually manage to wear them for the whole day as their feet just hurt too much, so instead of making them dance the evening away barefoot gift them with the option to slip on some comfy flip flops or slippers! Pop them in a box or basket with a sign saying "A little treat for your dancing feet" OR "If your feet get sore, grab a pair and dance some more." Or "Dancing shoes for tired feet so they don't miss a beat!"
A basket of blankets, no matter how much you dream of a hot outdoor wedding the reality of that in England can be slim, so this the perfect solution for the slightly more chilly summer evenings and definitely something your guests will appreciate! Pop a pile of blankets into a basket with a sign saying something like: "To have and to hold in case you get cold" OR "Cold hands, warm hearts." or simply just "Please help yourself in case you get cold." etc...
Confetti is a simple addition that a lot of people forget to add to their to-do list as guests are often expected to bring their own. In my opinion, one of the most fun photos at weddings is the confetti shot, and depending on your theme and colours it's a nice thing to get right! Whether you choose to punch out little paper hearts, get some dried petals, use bubbles, streamers or just plain ol' rice confetti is a simple and affordable addition that you can provide for you guests so that you get that fun photo! Pop your confetti in a paper cone or envelope and get the ushers to hand them out on the guests way out of the ceremony and you're all set!
As I said before, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the wedding bits you can do yourself, but hopefully, I've got you off to a good start! Keep an eye out for the upcoming wedding planning videos on youtube (you can subscribe here.):
DIY Wedding hacks and tips
Easy DIY Wedding signs
DIY Christmas Wedding favours
Most forgotten wedding details
DIY Wedding Cake
DIY Wedding Table plan
And don't forget to grab my free Wedding Planning Checklist by signing up to my newsletter!
Let me know in the comments below if there's any other wedding planning info you'd like me to cover on here and don't hesitate to pop me a message here if you're interested in having me capture your big day with my camera!
Always cheering you on.