Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The DIY Dilemma

Do-it-yourself projects allow couples to truly customize an item or aspect of their wedding, often for less money than if they purchased a pre-made product or hired a professional. And with Etsy, Project Wedding, and Once Wed there to provide products, ideas, and guidance for wedding projects, we’re not surprised to see more DIY projects appearing on our couple’s pre-wedding-planning plates.  

But, how do you know when DIY projects are reasonable? How do you know when forgoing creating something yourself and handing over cash is a better way to handle the situation and acquire what you want?

We like DIY projects, but do not love them. Too often, we see our couple’s best plans become troublesome problems when a project turns out to be more complicated, time consuming or expensive than planned. (“The best laid plans of brides and grooms…”) Since we never like seeing our couples stressed (for whatever reason), we are sometimes wary about encouraging couples to undertake DIY projects.

When a DIY project is bantered about, therefore, we often recommend considering:
  1. The type of project: What is it that you’re trying to create and what is its role in the wedding? Small items without much impact on you and your guest’s enjoying your wedding are usually suitable for DIY projects, but items that are a focal point, large component or main element to your wedding might not be DIY-preferred. If you’re likely to be disappointed or upset by a less-than-perfect outcome to your project, you might consider purchasing what you seek.
  2. The size of the project: this refers not only to the dimensions of the item you’ll be creating, but also the time it takes to create and the amount of supplies you need. Be realistic about whether your schedule allows you the time and energy it will take to find, purchase, and put together the project.
  3. Your capabilities and experience: everyone wishes they had the creative and technical expertise to create crafts, but many of us are quite lacking in that aspect. I once tried embroidery; my friend now has a beautiful embroidered bookmark that contains her initial affixed with a large amount of superglue.
  4. The number of helping hands available to you: few of our brides complete their DIY projects on their own. Bridesmaids, family members, and friends who are willing to help shorten the amount of time it takes to finish a project. However, remembering consideration #3, don’t overlook the actual talents of those offering individuals.
  5. Cost: yes, DIY projects can be less expensive, but that’s not a rule. Oftentimes, the cost of supplies and the time and energy you put into a project adds up to much higher than what you’ve allocated in your budget. Typically, the more items you need for a project or the rarer those items are, the higher the impact on your budget.

None of these considerations is intended to deter you from digging into a project up to your elbows (just remember, craft glue can be sticky!), but rather to ensure that you are fully aware and informed of what might lie ahead of you prior to your ordering supplies. Once again, we’ve got our eye on your budget!