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DIY Wedding Ideas on a Budget

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Simple Wedding Ideas for Your Budget

Working with a tight budget? Love doing things yourself? Feeling crafty? Do you and the word ‘organized’ show up in the dictionary together?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider a DIY wedding.

To clarify for the control freaks out there, a DIY wedding doesn’t mean killing yourself and doing everything. It means selectively performing tasks and creating items that you otherwise would hire a professional service to complete. Ideally, the wedding items you select will leverage existing skills and talents.

And you will have time to relax before your wedding.

Just like any other project, you will want to look for inspiration, weigh in on the options, put together a timeline, determine Plan B, stick to your schedule, and finish on time or sooner.

If anything derails, you bring out and implement your backup plan.

And most importantly, as a DIYer, you won’t sabotage your day.

After all, you owe it to your spouse after the time and monetary investment of your wedding to be fully present. Think enjoyment, not personal persecution. For all of our sakes, try not to be that “girl with sticky hair from the glue gun and a half-hemmed dress.”

That said, here are a few targeted areas where you might find inspiration to satisfy your DIY nature.

Bridal Accessories and Wearables

A bride shows off the garter hidden underneath her bridal dress.

If your talents involve a needle and thread, consider making one of your many bridal accessories to give a personal touch during the wedding. Make your own garter, ring bearer’s pillow, sashes and more.

Look to Pinterest for easy-to-follow patterns and guides. As you get started, don’t be shy about asking the blog source of your inspiration for tips if you get stuck. Finally, when you’re done with the project, give credit on your social media posts to the pattern originator as a thank you for a finishing touch.

Not into sewing? Craft your wedding by getting out the hot glue gun and glam up your shoes with stones, create hair accessories, jewelry, or even a gift card box.

Whatever you choose to do, be selective. While your wedding date seems distant, you may find your time whittling away with other duties. Set milestones and deadlines to ensure you won’t fall behind and put together a Plan B if you find your timeline getting away from you.

Food and DIY Wedding Favors

A hand-crafted cake made by a bride who graduated from culinary school.

Generally speaking, unless you’re trained and exceptionally experienced in the culinary arts, experts recommend against making your own food for your wedding. Considering the number of activities on your plate for a wedding (literally), you need to focus on the events of the day rather than stressing yourself out. Remember to delegate and offload items so you can fully participate and enjoy your wedding and reception.

There are exceptions, however, to the rule. One of my more talented brides, a graduate of culinary school, leveraged her training and made her own cake the days prior to her wedding. Rather than preparing the meal, however, she enlisted the help of her favorite Indian restaurant for an amazing buffet.

Another Colorado bride from the Midwest decided that grilling the food for the reception made her day complete. She asked someone to start the grill during the couple’s photos. This way she looked picture-perfect and could later relax during the backyard reception and tend to her guests.

On a smaller scale, consider DIY party favors that you can prepare. A simple gauzy bag filled with your favorite mints or a custom candy may be just the perfect touch to decorate the table and serve as a reminder to your guests when they leave. Not sure what to make? Check out this blog post of 15 Quick and Easy DIY Party Favors from HGTV for ideas.

Decorations and Room Accessories

DIY room decorations include string lights, gauzy fabric, flowers, monograms, and green wreaths.

Little touches go a long way with decor. Consider adding simple greenery like wreaths to bring a natural element to a room. Netting and draping fabric soften areas and give the room a romantic tone. Incorporating your bridal or engagement photos on tables, candles, flower petals, and monograms tie your look together and make a personal statement.

Think about repurposing items from the wedding ceremony at the reception. Use flowers in vases along the bridal aisle and move those after the ceremony to the tables for a consistent and eco-friendly solution. Place yours and various attendant’s bouquets in vases at the head table to dress up the area. This will also keep your water-thirsty flowers happy and safe during the reception.

DIY Wedding Photo Booth Props

The mother and father of the bride pose using the props in a DIY photo booth.

Looking to keep your guests entertained?

Consider a DIY wedding cell-phone photo booth with props you create or purchase. Gather up jeweled and be-dazzled clothing from your closet, glamorous and silly accessories, and a large photo frame or two for guests to use. Look for a range of items consistent with your wedding theme.

Once you gather your props, save everything in a box until the big day. Unpack and organize items on a large accessible table. Place all of the props with sticks (think mustaches, funky eyeglasses, etc) in a large, weighted, plastic vase with a ribbon that matches your colors. Ask one of your good friends or attendants to periodically check on everything and make sure things look neat.

Stuck on what to include? Here are a few must-have items:

Photo Booth Prop Idea List

  • Fans
  • Cowboy hats
  • Berets
  • Straw hats
  • Crowns
  • Tiaras
  • Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Scuba glasses
  • Wigs
  • Beards
  • Long gloves
  • Feather boas
  • Magic wands
  • Masks
  • Microphone
  • Champagne glasses
  • Strings of beads
  • Lips on sticks
  • Mustaches on sticks
  • Bowties on sticks
  • Flowers
  • Large photo frames

Turn to outfit your photo booth into a fun project with your attendants. Visit your local craft store and have a contest to see who comes up with the most or best props in 10 minutes of shopping. Be sure to remove any duplicates.

A DIY quilting project.

“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.”

– Napoleon Hill

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