DIY Brides Spotlight Interview - Meg & Chris
All photographs ©SoHi Photography
Our next DIY bride, Meg, had one thing on her side which can be very helpful when planning a DIY wedding. Time! Having a year and a half to plan she was able to do nearly everything herself. She pulled it off with the ease of a professional planner and meanwhile learned new skills serious skills like soldering wire. Talk about resourceful! Read on to see how she made it all happen at her 85 guest wedding...
How long before your wedding did you start planning and when did you start working on your DIY projects?
I started planning the day I got engaged because I was just so excited! That was about 1 1/2 years before my wedding. When we set our date, family wanted it to be sooner, but I knew I wanted at least a year to plan and make everything perfect. I started working on projects that very month. Things like the scrapbook page display, the movie ticket display, and the photo display could be done so far in advance, especially since they took so much time. Also in the early months, I made detailed plans of other things that I would DIY, and this way I would have months to adjust them if I ever got a new idea or found something in a magazine. This is how I reached perfection! With time.
For things that you didn't do yourself, how did you decide which things to leave to the professionals?
The catering was something that I barely touched. It would have been so complicated to get the right licensing for my venue if I had wanted to DIY, plus the extreme last minute necessities of the catering would have driven me crazy, even if a family member was handling it. The flowers is another big last minute thing, and so I was close to using a professional, but I later entrusted my husband's mother to do it herself, and she did a fabulous job without me having to worry at all.
What kind of a "crafty" background do you have?
I have always loved crafts since I was little, and I constantly have some project or another going on. Almost all of my projects simply go like this: I picture in my head something I want to buy in a store, like some wall art or furniture or clothing, but then I can't find it anywhere! So I learn how to make it and do it.
Did you learn any new skills for your DIY wedding projects?
I learned a ton because it was pretty much all stuff I had no experience in. But probably the most I learned about was painting the shoes. I wasted a $7 pair of shoes by experimenting with painting them. After some trials and research, I ended up buying some shoe paint online that worked so well, that I painted my bridal purse as well!
In hindsight, are there things you would have done more of, less of, or changed?
NOPE. I am so incredibly happy with the way everything turned out. I wouldn't have done any less because then it wouldn't have turned out so exactly like it was in my head. And I wouldn't have done more, because I just can't think of anything more I could have done! :)
Did you ever feel stressed by your DIY projects or feel like you took too much on?
I never felt this way because I always worked on things well before I was running out of time. This is why I started working on the wedding a year and a half before the day! It was my favorite hobby for the entire engagement period.
Did any of your projects not go as planned?
The centerpieces ended up going a little differently than planned. They were copper birdcages (each one unique) with silk flowers. My original plan was to go SUPER cheap and make the birdcages myself out of hanger wire. I designed lots of different cute cages, bought a soldering iron, and spent lots of time cutting and bending the hanger wire into shapes. But they wouldn't solder (I guess because they are steel or something?), and everything else I tried to keep them together and standing wouldn't work. In the end, I used one that I had made, and ten that I had bought at the flea market or eBay or Walmart! I'm glad I had to buy them because they were more diverse that way. Then I still spray painted them all copper and decorated each with silk flowers and a table number.
Do you think any of your DIY wedding projects saved you money?
OMG....probably close to $5,000 all together or maybe even up to $10,000, especially because of the stationary, the centerpieces, and the bridesmaid dresses. I don't think I could have bought the elegance and attention to detail that I wanted unless paying quite a bit.
Did your guests notice your DIY, personalized details?
I didn't get comments from my guests really...But my husband did announce that I had made everything during his thank you speech.
Now that your wedding is over (congrats!) what is next for you? Any other crafty stuff on the horizon?
Good question, because wedding DIY was a huge part of my life for so long! I will see what crafty things come up, but it is probably going to be a lot of home improvement type things. I want to start designing more furniture for our home, and what's perfect is my husband wants to get into woodworking! I would really like to get into landscaping and gardening too. We bought our house a little less than a year before the wedding, and so I never really focused on it too much until now!
Thanks so much Meg! (and hey, your guests probably didn't notice you did things yourself because it all looked SO professional!)
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