Wedding planning can be, scratch that, is daunting. Not only are there a zillion details that all of a sudden have to be planned out, but just as many options on ways to handle them. Let’s not forget how much budget ends up factoring in, and that’s something that’s not always taken into account on all those dreamy, limitless-budget-and-time wedding blogs.
The truth is, the wedding market is a free-for-all for big-ticket wedding vendors—vendors that tend to be well aware that the bride has probably never planned a wedding before. So how do you make it to the big day stress free and in style? By far, the ideal route to go is DIY and take matters into your own hands, which also means taking advantage of resources available online.
The challenge is, of course, narrowing down potential options and ideas found on the web, hence this easy go-to of suggestions for the DIY bride. As a DIY’r, don’t feel like you have to do everything up to and including baking your own wedding cake. The main thing to remember for a DIY wedding is that it doesn’t always mean taking on complicated and anxiety-inducing projects (like this), just some ingenuity to make the right details you want pop (along with a little help from family and friends).
Alright, brides—ready, set, breathe and take a look at our handy guide below.
Photo via Wedding Paper Divas
If custom-designed wedding stationary is not within your available resources or budget, take a look at downloadable templates and meet with your local copy/print shop for options on cost-effective, but quality card stock to use. Or, order a free wedding guide from a site like Wedding Paper Divas for advice and style ideas. Keep in mind that “wedding stationary” not only includes Save the Dates and invitations, but also “Day Of” paper, including items like programs, table numbers, placecards and menus.
Photo via JamaliGarden.com
Is there a wholesale flower mart near you? This could be a task fit for a brigade of bridesmaids to enlist, but find out what blooms and greenery will be seasonally available during your wedding for way less than floral shops will offer. Also, check out this how-to video by Blooms by the Box on putting together a flower arrangement. Place your flowers in colorful bottles, use a clear or metallic container, or add an accent like a ribbon.
Photo via Pitchfork
Wedding DJs are usually pretty cheesy, so that’s definitely one expense you can go without if you know someone that knows how to set up a killer Spotify playlist on a MP3 player with audiophile-level speakers.
Photo via Bluefly
ModCloth has a ton of options for low-cost and stylish wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses. Go to Luxedeluxe on Etsy for jewelry pieces and pick up a “something blue” garter at Lucy Bridal Boutique. Also, check out sites like YOOX and Bluefly for deals on designer shoes—you never know what will turn up on clearance in your size.
Photo via Green Wedding Shoes
If you have a kind friend, or two, that can moonlight as bartender, pick out a beverage of choice for a signature wedding cocktail with fun glassware or straws. Here’s a recipe for a Moscow Mule (another option I would suggest might be a French 75 or Gimlet). Just make sure and prepare drinks at-the-ready and in advance, to avoid a crowd waiting around at the bar.
Photo via Foryourparty.com
Yes, even though you did all the work and planning, it’s a nice gesture to thank your guests for coming to your wedding soiree with a party favor. A simple route might be favor boxes from Party City with some chocolate or candy. Or, get customized bags if ambitious—bake some cookies or other treats to go inside.
Photo via Sweet Lulu Shop
Wedding cake or cupcakes? Decisions, decisions. Sweet Lulu Shop has a dizzying array of candy-colored options from confetti to dinnerware to choose from, if you’re looking for eye-catching items like a jade cake stand.
Photo via Something Turquoise
Check out wedding blog Something Turquoise’s post on how to let guests know what hashtag to use to Instagram your wedding moments, and those DIY details you put so much effort into.
Photo via PaperLanternStore.com
Depending on whether your wedding is indoor or outdoor, winter or summer—this will have an effect on the best kind of lighting décor to use. Float votives in a bowl of water for a decorative touch. Surf the Paper Lantern Store online for a table centerpiece, or hang opaque white bulbs from Party Lights.
Photo via PurlSoho.com
If you really are the DIY type (or know someone who is generous with their time, ahem, mom), consider picking up some fabric from Purl Soho or Mood to class up your table settings. If simplicity is more your style, Luna Bazaar has table runners that won’t bust your budget. And, if these selections aren’t quite what you’re looking for, go to the guru of DIY herself—Martha Stewart Weddings has an all-encompassing 99 Top DIY Wedding Resources guide of online vendors to click through, some of which are included in this compilation.