Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why DIY is not for everyone

I’m sure a lot of you have visited the tons inspiration blogs that are taking over the blog world. They are all filled with awesome DIY ideas, but I do want to point out that being a DIY bride may not be worth it for some.

Yes, Martha Stewart and other savvy brides may encourage and inspire you to DIY flowers, invitations, and all your stationary, but it certainly is not for everyone. You may think, "Well.. When am I ever going to get the chance to craft and do projects like these? " Or maybe you want to save money or make the day more personal with the little details, but let me be honest with you all; I don’t recommend DIY projects for those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands and for brides who aren’t too talented at being crafty (sorry for being so blunt). You may imagine DIY projects to be fairly easy, especially with the tutorials, but sometimes after you buy all the materials and start putting things together, you quickly realize it is not as easy as you thought it would be. It might even lead to being dissapointed and discouraged by the end results. Yes, you might be saving a few bucks here and there but don't forget to calculate the time and effort you have to put in.

By no means am I writing this entry to discourage the savvy brides out there to DIY, because there are a lot of brides that blow me away by their talent and ideas. However, if you are not much of a crafty person I would definitely think twice before you run to Michaels or to the Flower Mart. Reality is doing a DIY wedding/projects is very time consuming for the bride. People/vendors are called professionals for a reason- they have the skill, knowledge and artistic ability. Plainly put, they know what they are doing; I mean that is what we are paying them for right? We might be dealing with the same materials and flowers that the professionals are using but the results can be quite different.

For example, (a true story!) one of my clients called me frustrated and disappointed a couple weeks ago about her invitations. Her friend had offered to help design the invites and at that time the bride was thinking it couldn’t be too hard to print out the invites on her own once the design was completed. Unfortunately, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. She went to two different Paper Source locations to get the right color paper and when she finally got to Kinko’s to print out the invites the printer kept jamming because the paper was too thick. After many attempts to print out the invites my bride had no choice but to go back to Paper Source to purchase a thinner paper. Who knew printing invites could give you such a headache and we didn’t even get to the part about cutting the invites correctly, taping the papers together, getting all the addresses from your guests, and sending out the invites on TIME! Whew!

I can totally understand and relate with her because I too get overly excited with just the thought of trying new things. Oftentimes I have to filter all the thoughts and ideas that go through my mind because there are just too many projects I’d like to try. :) Here’s a great example, when I was 6 months pregnant, I had this idea of gifting a handmade crocheted baby blanket to my son. I wanted to somehow ‘bond’ with my unborn child and I thought this project would be perfect. However, I would have never thought of doing it if I knew how time consuming it would be! I guess that's the whole point of crocheting? Taking it one day at a time and not getting antsy about the end results? Unfortunately, I realized that's not me. I need to see the results within 2-3 days! Anyways, so I spent $50 on just the yarn. A couple days later I realized that I didn’t get enough yarn, so I had to go out and buy another $20 worth of yarn from Michaels. After 3 days of attempting to crochet and $70 later, I got impatient, and handed the unfinished blanket over to my mom. Haha! Do I use the blanket now? Not really. Lesson I learned: Go to Target and buy a $15 fleece blanket that is super warm, soft and won’t shrink!

With that said, here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering to DIY some things for your wedding:

1) Am I savvy? Do I like to put together crafty things?

2) Is this project doable? Can I finish it in time before the wedding?

3) Do I have family and friends who can help me? Always have a back-up plan but never take them for granted. (PLEASE take some time to read this entry I wrote a while back)

4) Who is going to help me transfer and set it up? I HIGHLY recommend that you hire at least a “Day of Coordinator” even if you are trying to save money.

With that said, I have seen beautiful interpretations of weddings on a budget. You can find so much inspirations by really breaking down the parts and looking at each element as a potential project. So for those that LIKE to get their hands a little dirty, I encourage you to think outside the box and go all out with your creativity!


Mels said...

Hi Ester,
We opened a large handmade paper store in Pasadena, in 1995. (letterpress, too). We stocked about 2000 different handmade papers. Soon, all our customers were DIY brides. The horrors (and triumphs) we witnessed!
It took a few years, but we developed mistake proof DIY invitation kits. We supply everything, the templates, the tools, video instructions.

We love that people put their love into it -- and want to help make sure the process is pain and stress free!


Helen said...

I just wanted to express how much I agree with this article. There are times and places for DIY, but often the money you save doesn't even come close to justifying the headaches you *will* endure.

We're seeing a trend towards DIY invitations, but couples have no idea just how much work it is and how awful they can turn out.

My recommendation is to outsource your invites. Period. It's cost effective, and most stationers will help you through the entire process which is much better than going it alone.

Kristin @ Petal and Thorn said...

Well said, thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

i'm getting married this year and i completely agree with your blog!!!