February already?! I better get to blogging!
TIP #3 --
DIY (to a point)
WHY: Savings! Savings! Savings! The more money you save on the wedding the more money you have for the honeymoon! I am all about DIY projects BUT keep in mind that if you have TOO much DIY going on it is not worth the stress! I repeat, NOT WORTH IT! Sometimes it IS just better to pay for a service rather than have a headache. Know your personal strengths and weaknesses and how much you will or won't be able to personally take on.
There were 4 major areas that we did ourselves (me & my mom): Flowers, Programs, Headpiece and Invitations. I will discuss Flowers first. Ladies, if you've been looking for a florist you know that flowers are a pretty penny. They are beautiful and completely necessary for your big day however it is not necessary to spend a fortune. I did not do all of the flowers for my wedding, I only did the bridesmaid's bouquets. This was fun however I kept putting it off which was not wise on my part but in the end I'm glad I did it and it saved a lot of $moolah$. I got fake flowers from Hobby Lobby. They had the best selection and their flowers are very life-like. To make bridesmaid's bouquets I purchased fake yellow roses and a fake, green blossom, wire cutters, ribbon to wrap and pearly pins. I also bought a little basket for the flower girl and wrapped the same ribbon around the handle and put fake petals in her basket. In all I spent a little under $100 for flower girl and 6 bridesmaids. You just can't do that at a florist (unless family's in the biz). Also, a little side note here, I had a hard time finding a florist I liked. Mom & I met with a few and I just did not like the work that I saw and I did not like them. Thanks to our caterer & friend who told us about a florist out in Odenville who we went to meet with and I really liked her and I loved her work. I realize that this is a little bit of a drive but it was totally worth it! She knew exactly what I wanted and the arrangements for the church and my bouquet were absolutely perfect! I could not have been happier! Do not just settle for a florist, make sure you find who you like. Also, make sure they have RECENT photos of their work. If all of their photos are outdated it could be a tell-tale sign...
I am definitely for fake flowers to a point. They are great because you can re-use them for other occasions. My cousin got married in May 2007 and they used some fake flowers that were gorgeous that they let us use as well. What a blessing!
CAUTION: If doing flowers yourself it is best to use fake flowers so that you can have them done in advance because you will not want to do them at any point during your actual wedding weekend. Be careful when buying fake flowers! You do NOT want them to LOOK fake and especially not plastic-y. This is a tragedy that is not worth the saving of any amount of money! If you do not have an eye for this or do not have someone who can help it would be better for you to just pay a florist!
*Next DIY project was programs. This is another thing that I am super glad we did and caused no stress! I bought white and 3 different shades of blue cardstock paper and found a really neat bird stamp. Thankfully my dad is "tech-savvy" and found the same bird image online so he just put it in the layout on the computer and we just printed them from his office. Now, I did not include music (because we did not have any special music in our ceremony) or anything like that on our programs, it was basically just the wedding party listed. They were very simple yet perfect for our wedding but anyone can do these and make them look however you want! Big money saver here!
CAUTION: When doing programs yourself make sure you include all of your wedding party. We printed all of our programs and Mom suddenly realized we forgot to put the flower girl's name on there, sorry Mal!
*Thirdly, a fun DIY project for me was creating my headpiece! I knew from the beginning that I did not want to wear a veil so this was a great alternative! I found a sparkly, and by sparkly I don't mean glittery I mean crystal-y, headband and also bought a broach that was hand-crafted from some lady in the Galleria. I got some jewelry wire and attached the broach to the headband and viola! instant headpiece! I loved it! I was inspired to do this because when I was trying on my wedding dress they gave me a similar headpiece to try on that was $350 because it was made out of swarovsky crystals. It was gorgeous but too much money to spend on something I was just going to wear once. I knew I could do this myself. I also wore it to my bridal tea and it now sits on our dresser by a wedding photo and is beautiful!
*The last DIY project was invitations. This one was a doozy, to say the least. This is also another area where we saved a ton of $! I got the invitations at Michael's and they were on clearance so I spent about $40 for 200 invitations. They came complete with envelopes, RSVP cards and return envelopes. Now, the easy part was printing them at Dad's office. They looked great! The doozy part was addressing all of those envelopes! I will admit, Mom did most, if not all of that, but sealing the envelopes, putting on the stamps and addressing them was extremely time consuming! I wish we would have just paid someone to address them for us but in the end we did save!
*Another small, small task we did ourselves, that I just remembered, was the bubbles. Mom bought boxes of little bubbles and we put yellow and blue ribbon around them. Too easy!
**There were other tasks that Mom & I did not do but that were lovingly done by my aunts and friends! My aunt Nancy rolled and wrapped the silverware with adorable blue & yellow ribbon, the caterer (Tammy) put together a gorgeous flower arrangement for the food table, and my aunts, Nancy & Vickie, along with friend, Tammy, decorated the reception. They did the tables, lighting and all of the other special touches that went in to making it the most beautiful and wonderful day ever. Also, my sweet dad & brothers set up the tables, chairs, etc... It was all that I had dreamed of! I could never thank anyone enough!
Moral of the story: DIY but not too much. You don't want your wedding to look "home-made" or "crafty" and you certainly don't want to add any more stress to your life BUT DIY as much as possible to save! save! save!
Here are lots of pics for you to see the end products: