Julia from Elizabeth Rose Events gives us some tips.
So, you’ve spent months trawling the internet for ideas, spent a small fortune on bridal magazines and you’ve seen those spectacular photo shoots which make the bride look like she fell out of bed looking incredible and the hay bails just magically fell into place for the country-garden wedding. You now know exactly what you want from your big day and are ready to work out how to get it. Many couples begin booking suppliers left, right and centre but for an increasing number of couples, having what they want means DIY!
When you decide that you are going to take parts of your wedding and do-it-yourself it’s because of budget restrictions or because you want the “personal” look, you take out your “to-do” list and ask what can I do? Well the answer to that is everything! Apart from the officiating, there is nothing you cannot DIY. The real question that you need to ask is SHOULD I DIY?! Should Nan make the cake? Should I learn to sow and make my own dress? Should I arrange the centrepieces myself? Only you know the answer to these questions but I know, whilst I can make fabulous bouquets, the thought of getting the glue gun out and spending hours making perfect invitations (that will never be as good in reality as they are in my head) fills me with dread!
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t DIY, I design and make alternative bridal bouquets for a living and I sell DIY kits through the business. I know making something yourself can give it that little bit of something extra special and it can mean a lot more to you but before you choose to DIY ask yourselves these questions;
- Can you learn how to do this properly? I have been asked to take the photographs at two family weddings purely because I always have a fairly decent camera in my hand. This doesn’t mean that the photo’s are anywhere near a professional standard. Remember your suppliers will have undergone extensive training to do what they do and/or they will have years of experience. Not only does this mean they will have had many of successes but they will have had lots of failures! They will also put a lot of work in behind the scenes that you might not even know about to get their product perfect. So ask yourself, do you have the patience to get it wrong, maybe many times, before you get it right?
- Do you have the time to do it? I cannot count the number of brides who have told me that they will set up their venue the morning of the wedding with their friends but this hardly ever goes according to plan. Do you know how long chair covers take to put on or how long it takes to put place names out? Well let me tell you it takes a very long time; hours, sometimes even days and it’s while it’s all glamorous when it’s done it’s hard, manual work! Do you need this additional pressure the morning of or in the run up to your wedding? When are you going to relax and enjoy it or even just get ready?! Remember, you might only deal with one person when you book a company but rest assured, they will turn up with a small army of experienced people to actually get the work done!
- Will the reality be as good as the vision? Now I make no secret of the fact that while I love working with buttons and brooches, fresh flowers bring me out in a cold sweat. I know if I tried something seemingly simple like putting wild flowers in jam jars I would get no-where near that perfect picture I found on Pintrest and that’s fine, I know my limits, fresh flowers will only come near me beautifully arranged by someone else but do you know yours? When you consider DIYing your wedding you MUST be realistic, to put it bluntly not everyone is good at everything!!
- Can your budget handle it? DIYing can save you a lot of money but DO NOT under-estimate how much something costs to make! Research is key to getting this right. You also need to budget for it going wrong! There’s an old expression; “If you think hiring a professional is expensive try hiring an amateur”. These are probably the wisest words you will ever read! I know doing it yourself doesn’t just come down to budget but if that is the reason you are DIYing then you have to ask yourself, can you afford to pay for it twice?
- Can you talk honestly to the people who will want to get involved? If you don’t plan on doing it yourself but someone close to you wants to help please remember, good intentions can cause a lot of stress! Even if your Mum is Vera Wang, if you don’t like the way she does something you have to be able to tell her. Being honest and open from the start will mean less worry for you and might mean that your helper changes their approach and makes you something perfect. I know this can be a hard thing to do but honesty really is the best policy. This also applies when dealing with suppliers, don’t worry about offending them, they’ll have heard it all before!
If you’ve asked all the questions and you are still excited about doing a bit of DIY then CONGRATULATIONS, you are a DIY bride!!! However, if you’re now sat rocking in the corner of the room from the stress of it all remember; you are supposed to be enjoying this and there is plenty of help out there. A good supplier will be able to work with your ideas and budget, they might be able to rectify any mistakes you have already made, they may even be able to build on your product and make it better than you ever imagined.
Weddings are amazing and as the bride you should enjoy every minute of the planning and big day, nothing, absolutely nothing is worth ruining that so whichever way you choose to go, DIY or not, love it, do it your way, surround yourself with helpful people and have fun!!!
Elizabeth Rose Events provides brides with bespoke alternative bridal bouquets.
While specialising in Brooch and Button Bouquets they also create wonderful custom-made shell and organza pieces. Everything your bridal party needs from a full bridal and bridesmaid’s bouquets to buttonholes and corsages can be provided.
For more information contact Julia on 07818 640631 or by email.