Considering a DIY wedding? You can do it! We planned our wedding in 7 months and were able to pull it off even though we planned from 300 miles away. I hope this area serves as some inspiration as you compile ideas of how to make the event your very own.
On a tight budget and with a love for crafting, a DIY wedding was the perfect option for us. It allowed us to have a fully customized wedding with many details that made it feel very special. What all did we DIY? More like, what didn’t we… We did it all: save the dates, invitations, favors, escort cards, menus, programs, table numbers, flowers, garter, veil, handmade flower in Aleah’s hair, napkins on the table, chair sashes, and burlap runners. One thing I wanted to make but didn’t have time for were the men’s pocket squares. I even painted a giant banner to hide a plaque above the fireplace, parasols to use on the beach, and signs with arrows to direct guests where to turn off the highway.
If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact us via email.
Our invitations were designed by me and printed on a laser printer. We purchased envelopes and pocket folders online, and used ribbon and green cardstock from Joann. The fonts were consistent for all items in the wedding.
As guests entered the church, they saw our initials hung by our wedding ribbon. I think it made it feel more inviting, and so simple with over-the-door wreath hooks to hold the wood letters painted with acrylic craft paint.
Our ceremony program included four pages – a cover page, an order of ceremony, a list of participants in the wedding, and a thank you note to our guests and families. We also included a folded tissue because I ALWAYS forget tissue when I attend weddings.
This photo shows one of the many parasols I hand painted. I bought a box of 12 parasols for $30 from Oriental Trading, and painted them with acrylic craft paints. I created stencils on my computer to make the job easier, then traced it onto the parasol with a pencil.
My mom made my veil from tulle bought from Joann with a coupon. It cost about $10 with all of the supplies, and I couldn’t see spending hundreds on a plain long veil I’d wear only for the ceremony. The garter cost about 50 cents with materials from Joann also. My handkerchief was “something old” – from my grandmother.
We had a ton of help the day before from our wedding party and other friends. My brother is shown here hanging fabric I bought in LA’s fabric district at $1 per yard. I wanted to “dress the room up” and diffuse the terrible boxed flourescent lights with semi-sheer fabric. I ended up with about 50 yards of extra unused fabric – and was able to turn a small profit when I resold it all on Criagslist.
My mom and future brother-in-law meticulously worked on flowers.
My wonderful bridesmaids (one coming from London for the weekend!) tied hand sewn chair sashes (and one of them even helped sew a stack of the sashes). The linen fabric for the chair sashes was bought in LA’s fabric district – this costing $1.50 per yard. By making them, I was able to resell them on Craigslist for a profit – and the bonus was I had fabric leftover to make a headboard.
To signify the bride and groom’s chairs, we placed hand painted paper mache hearts with our initials.
I ran out of time before the wedding, so a friend helped me finish wine charms, which served as seating guide on the tables. The escort cards were clipped to ribbons hanging over a doorway we didn’t want guests to use.
I painted some signs to hang on the bathrooms – men’s and women’s.
The table settings included mint julep cups (bought from eBay because it was the same price as renting them, and then we could resell them) filled with white hydrangeas. Each guest knew where to sit based on the wine charms on the glasses – which also allowed us to rent fewer glasses anticipating people would not set their glasses down and lose track of them. I sewed the napkins in our green color and in various prints. Burlap runners were made by my mom with fabric purchased on sale at Joann.
Table numbers each included a title or name of something important to us as a couple, and included the story.
A treat was placed on tables after dinner. We used a circle cutter from Michael’s and hand punched labels we printed with a photo, then stuck them on Hugs and Kisses. The photo is of us on our first trip together to Stinson Beach, where our wedding took place.
As a source of entertainment and as an ice breaker during our cocktail hour, we offered our guests tables with games. Uno, Liar’s Dice, and Yahtzee are our personal favorites, so we set them up and printed instructional cards to match our table numbers inside.
I painted a few banners: one to cover a plaque above the fireplace (which also served as a focal point of the room) and a two with arrows directing guests where to turn off of the highway.
Instead of a traditional guest book, we opted for a platter that we could display and use. Though not everyone signed it, we’re still happy we chose this option. We bought a platter and the pens from Michael’s for about $6.
We splurged on sparklers (about $100) and bought personalized matchbooks from The Knot for about $20. We printed sparkler tags and tied them on each sparkler to let guests know what time to light them.
Our cake was driven to our location by a generous friend and placed on our own cake pedestal. The cake company applied our wedding ribbon on the cake. My mom applied the hydrangea top.
Since our location was a bit of a drive for everyone, we thought CDs would be the perfect favor. The CD labels were found at the Dollartree of all places and I designed it to look like our dot theme. We made the sleeves ourselves and adorned them with the same square and ribbon emblem that was seen elsewhere in our wedding.
The end! What a fun weekend it was!
This is photo of DIY items from our wedding. We couldn’t add a few things (Hershey kisses with a photo sticker on the bottom, and we disposed of wine charms and escort cards and even table numbers) but this is a nice reminder of our wedding and the crafting that went into it.
Included (from top left to right): Save the Dates, Matchbooks for the sparklers at the end of the night, “Welcome to Stinson Beach” tags I added to handwritten notecards for welcome bags, a map of the key locations in Stinson Beach (wedding ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, and motels), Rehearsal Dinner invitations, burlap fabric behind the invitation was the fabric used as runners on our tables for the reception, invitation (using pocket folders and envelopes found online), CD favors (sleeves made ourselves and labels printed on labels bought at the Dollartree), sparkler tags, dinner menu, ceremony program.