When it comes down to it, the only thing that really matters is that you’re marrying someone you love, and you want to tell the world that you’e going to be together forever. Everything else is just fluff and glitter. You could get married in just jeans and a tee-shirt if you wanted, who am I to judge? You’d probably pull it off too!
What I’m talking about is those weddings that are supposed to be individual or quirky that end up just looking like you’ve scrimped or your theme was simply a bad idea. The thing is, if you have a budget and you know your limits, you can make a low cost wedding look a million dollars, over-stretch your budget, or your creativity, and it’s going to look like a million dollars that’s already been spent.
If you happen to have a creative mind, you’ll rock the wedding like Rumplestiltskin, spinning straw into gold. You might be the sort of person who looks for inspiration on Pinterest but won’t end up spending a penny because you can create everything yourself. If, given a hot glue gun, a few metres of organza and some sequins and you could turn the most unwelcoming of venues into a fairytale location then a DIY wedding is going to be the best way for you to go, and you will no doubt enjoy the experience of creating your homemade wedding from scratch.
Unfortunately, having creativity isn’t something that you can really fake. You’ll know if you’re what my mum would have called “cack-handed”. Ever since childhood you’ve found that things just won’t hang together for you. You’re not the sort of person who used to take things apart just to see how they worked, and successfully put them back together again. Since you never had that sort of luck, these days you usually prefer to leave that side of things to other people. Not because you’re spoiled, but only because you simply don’t have the knack.
Go easy on yourself. Often the reason why something that you’ve put a lot of effort into won’t quite work isn’t that it was a bad idea. You might have great ideas, it’s simply that translating those ideas into objects that lets you down. There’s only one cure for it: Practice.
If you’re determined to get the most for your money out of your wedding decorations, flowers, stationary and table settings, then you re going to have to work on it. People are creating innovative, handmade weddings all time, and whats great is that many of those creatives want to show you how they got the look. Finding step by step guides on websites like Youtube and Instructables means that you can follow along with projects to achieve your own creations. And who could blame you? Taking a look at the prices vendors and retailers charge for anything wedding related is likely to give you a wobbly moment. Buying the raw materials and spending a few evenings a week perfecting your handicrafts will save you a fortune. You can turn these crafty sessions into social occasions too, spending a bit of extra time with your mum, your aunts and your future mum-in-law. Setting about a task with a common goal really gives you something to bond over.
Here are some really simple things that you can do for your own wedding that cost next to nothing to do at home. A big thanks to Orla James for contributing these ideas.
There’s a lot more paper craft than you might initally think in most weddings. There are invites, gift lists, place settings, seat reservations and orders of service for the ceremony and thank you cards. Professional wedding stationers can charge several hundred pounds even for a small wedding. You can download templates and do it yourself for free or go to a printers and get a great product for just a few pounds.
Bouquets and Buttonholes
Flowers cost a fortune for any occasion, so why not make your own? Crafting flowers out of paper, silk, even shells, sequins and fabric is easy to do and will give you a permanent reminder of your day. You could buy fresh flowers from a local garden centre, which will be much cheaper than using a flower shop or anyone who specialises in occasions.
Signs and Chalkboards
An increasingly popular wedding addition is the use of signs. They’re not only used to give information about seating and a schedule for the day, but also to share mottos and quotes that mean the most to you. Buy cheap framed prints from a charity shop and paint over them with blackboard paint for a boho look and do taste a favour while you’re at it.
Photobooths are all the rage this season and look set to become a permanent fixture on the wedding party scene. But there’s no need to hire one! Instead, make a fake Polaroid frame that you can hang from the ceiling and stand behind it. With a digital camera on a tripod you can use the timer or a remote control you’ll have a lot more fun for free.