This year we celebrate 5 years of marriage but it only seems like yesterday…
I of course remember fondly the day and the special memories created but i also still remember the feeling of being completely out of control of what to tackle first when i started planning. We only had a short engagement of only 6 months and with my Norwegian heritage, we choose to have our big day in Norway with family and friends, which only added to the long list of “to do’s”. Of course I wanted to create all my own stationery and bake my own wedding cake, not only for the cost saving but because its our day and I wanted to.
Today as I look through our wedding album I realise how special it was to us as a couple and how fortunate i was to be able to do so much myself, so in this post I share this experience with all those brides to be as reassurance its possible to have a DIY wedding (even if your not a designer like me) to have all you want and come out of it semi-sane, happy and proud of what you have created…
As a self confessed Pintrest addict its hard not to get overwhelmed by all the beautiful things you ‘could’ design or make for your big day. As a graphic designer I have the luxury (which i often forgot) that i have the software, skills and experience to use these ideas to create my own designs and makes, but this is not something most brides have at their disposal or the budget to splash out on. But craft shops are so brilliant now with provided so much more as basics so you can customise to your requirements, so check out what plain items you could use as a template as this will help massively. If Pintrest isn’t your thing, make a scrap book, theres no rules just stick in everything you like so you have it all in one place and if you find your self overwhelmed or lost have a flick through it to refocus.
When I designed for my wedding I tried to untangle the desires and wishes i had from what was physical possible but also what i could make myself on a low budget, as there is still often a print cost and of course card and ribbon can be expensive when you have x80 invites to make as well as all the other things like table plan, name places, welcome cards, social media posters, Mr& Mrs quizes, kids activities books, order of services and of course the pimp your procecco sign..
Im completely guilty of still making maybe too much for the day and pushing myself to the edge with not only time but organising for everything to be transported to Norway. I made my own heels as couldn’t justify the $600 dollars for the ones id seen, over 1000 beads later i had a bespoke pair for £60 instead! I made my own cake and was decorating cupcakes the morning of my wedding much to the annoyance of my hairdresser, i added so much detail and i wouldn’t change a thing if i could do it all again, but my words of advice to you is be realistic, be honest with your self if you didn’t have it would the day be any different, i can honestly say that if i had none of what i did, i still married the man of my dreams in a beautiful location with my loved ones around me and this was the most important thing, the rest was a bonus, don’t over do it put your wish list in order of importance so you start with the things you really want.
Id strongly recommend set your self deadlines, make a tick list so you can physically see things being done and remember it is only you who knows what you have planned to make and who knows what its meant to look like, so shhhh don’t tell anyone if it doesn’t quite go to plan or isn’t quite the right shade of blue no one will know. Don’t be so hard on your self, even us designers will say its hard and no one until your in the middle of doing it realises how long it takes and how repetitive it is doing the process over an over. Also remember you have people around you who will help, bridemaids, family friends, call the favours in, ask for help and get anyone you know who has a specific skill to gift you their skills, got an aunt who can make cakes, get on that phone, got a uncle who works at a printers, tap him up for a family discount honestly its one of those times when its ok to ask for support, after all getting married is about family…
We often find our selves loving everything but nothing goes together, this is where i use my graphic designers brain to try pin point the elements I like and then reshape it into my own personalise bespoke design. As much as there are standard formats, sizes and layouts, every design is made unique with its content and styling so no two designs ever finish up at the same point. Ive created some helpful things to think about even before (if you choose to) speak with a designer or online company, maybe there helpful in collecting you many many clippings and pintrest boards.
Read my post about the process i use to help brides with wedding stationery
With a fantastic local photographer, i could put my camera down for the day and just enjoy making memories and let her capture our day, for me pictures represent the memories of the day and can not be exactly repeated and when the cakes are eaten, the guests have left the party, all that remains are the photographs, so for me these were a very important part of our day. Make sure you know what is most important to you and try not to compare with others, as this is your day, make it what you want and you’ll truly be happy and proud of what you have achieved.
I was so proud of what i could achieve but without the people around me who supported and helped out it wouldn’t have all bee possible so dont go it alone, youll surprise yourself how much can be done. Imagine my delight to be asked if our story could be featured on a Norwegian wedding blog under the title DIY wedding and to be described as an inspiration for other brides was so lovely and seeing our photos displayed only ignites the passion i have more for helping other brides create there perfect day, weather you have a modern reception or a small outdoors event.
Since my own wedding i have now started designing a range of helpful wedding designs for your big day which will help add that little extra touches but with a personal touch. All my work is bespoke and covers all the usual items from Invitations to Table plans but i also wanted to create some extras which are maybe slightly more generic but can be personalised…
- Fingerprint tree
- Gift tags (for favours)
- Instagram signs/ posters – Social Media Mini Posters
- MR&MRS quiz cards
- Newly wed advice Cards
i also started adding some of these to my Etsy shop so that you can tick off maybe some of the more unusually items which are not so readerly available.
- Wedding Cards for bride, groom, bridesmaid
- Small Wedding Stationery Items