As much as we believe in not overspending if you cannot afford it, some things really are non-negotiable and worth splurging on. Armed with tips from our brides, here are some common mistakes that DIY brides frequently make.
#01 Not reading and researching enough
Why repeat mistakes that other brides have made? Besides searching for ideas from wedding websites and Pinterest, reading wedding guides and stories from other brides will help you anticipate and prepare for those easily overlooked items.
Vera: “I followed a wedding website’s complete what-to-do guide from day 1 of preparations right up to the day we tied the knot.”
#02 Underestimating how much time you’ll need
Be realistic about how much you can DIY, especially if you have a day job. Start early, begin with the main backdrop, and add more details when you have the time. Avoid leaving anything until the last week, just in case something else crops up.
Pearlynn: “Due to our work schedules, we planned the wedding in about 5-6 months. It was an intense and busy time, and I think having pre-marital counseling helped us to put the focus on marriage and our love, rather than on the wedding itself, and we learned how to set our priorities. We are also grateful and thankful for all the help and support that came from our family, friends and wedding vendors that made our wedding beautiful and special.”
Regine: “DIY projects are more difficult to do when you start multiplying by the number of tables. Engage decorators so that you don’t have to worry about execution and setting up on the day. Attending to the guests as bride and groom is already extremely tiring and overwhelming enough.”
#03 Hiring vendors because they are cheap
Hire the most affordable vendors based on the quality you want. Research potential vendors and make sure their portfolio is legit. Hiring the wrong vendor could end up costing you more.
Jasmine: “Do not hire vendors based on online portfolios only, as you must be sure that the service matches the quality of the product. We had to change our wedding planner three months before our wedding due to poor follow-up and nothing being done. It caused lots of stress, but as soon as we found another planner who was the right one, everything was brilliant and it became fun. Which is how it should be!”
#04 Not having a clear theme
For some brides, the biggest problem is how to combine all the ideas out there in your wedding. Have a very clear picture of what you want – organise your ideas in Pinterest, but also have a folder with a clear colour theme and look. Make sure everything looks good together, if they don’t, remove some items. The more elements you combine, the higher the chance that you’ll end up creating a mess.
Regine: “Being unconventional adults, we wanted a wedding that somewhat reflects us. But just like any other bride, I didn’t know where to begin. Excited as I was, I just had too many ideas and things I wanted to do for our wedding. That’s when I fell in love with Pinterest. I started pinning all sorts of interesting things that I wanted to do.”
#05 Doing it all by yourself
The greatest mistake a DIY bride can make is thinking that she will have the time to set up on the actual day. Hire a coordinator or get someone you trust to take over, preferably a month beforehand so that he/she has a clearer overview. Get family and friends to help out too!
Faith: “Start with a theme while planning. Try to DIY if you’re confident enough, otherwise find friends who are. Get a good wedding coordinator who will relieve you of unnecessary stress so you can enjoy your moment. Finally, appreciate those involved in making your big day happen.”
#06 No backup plan
As much as you should not over-worry, some things are better planned in advance, for example, a Plan B for outdoor weddings in case of rain, or extra tables and arrangements for unexpected guests.
Geraldine: “How amazing that everyone helped out during the wedding to set up the place. Don’t try to do everything on your own. Get friends and family to help out, and you’ll be amazed at how it brings people closer. Not everything will work out as planned on your wedding day. It rained on mine, but it was not the end of it. We had so much fun.”
#07 Thinking that you need to make everything
There might be items that you need to buy or maybe even rent – for example, a vintage car – to complete the look. You’ll be surprised at how something like that will make your décor look so much more awesome. Making a DIY wedding bouquet is harder than you think, and we’ve seen many fall apart on the actual day. If you really want to, put something together for your bridesmaids, but make sure you test it out with real flowers in advance. Personally, we would opt for a professional florist, especially for the bridal bouquet.
Wei Wei: “Some of the props are vintage finds sourced locally, and we DIY-ed so many things, including the invitations, banners and even my own makeup.”
#08 Over-thinking things
Decide what you want, compare prices, and buy as many things as possible from the same place. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s pastel pink or blush pink, as long as you like it. There’s no point in walking from shop to shop just to compare different pinks; it will only wear you out. Also, don’t lose sleep over whether to pick chocolate or vanilla cupcakes. Buy whatever you want, and we promise your guests won’t make a fuss.
Eliska: “Just take it easy. It may be overwhelming sometimes but try to enjoy every step of it. Remember to share everything with your other half as well. Make it a day you’ll always remember.”
Cheryll: “I was too detailed for my own good, researching the crap out of everything and narrowing down nothing. It was when Manfriend (her husband) was around that decisions really got made.”
#09 Printing your own things
As weddings fall under personal use, you technically won’t be sued for copyright infringement if you print something off the web, but do bear in mind that most of the time, the quality of the images are too low to be used as a gigantic backdrop. Also, consider laser printing or waterproof inkjet ink if you are doing DIY prints for your dessert table or for an outdoor wedding.
#10 Assuming DIY is always cheaper
This is not necessarily true. Get quotations for all the things you want and calculate your cost. Jars and building props are not exactly cheap, unless your husband-to-be is some kind of handyman.
Gizelle: “Even if you want to do some DIY for your wedding, you should still invest in an effective and experienced coordinator to help you through the process of planning. Your wedding day should be your day and should be as stress free as possible.”