Couples today have longer engagements than their parents and grandparents did, and sometimes the time between saying “Yes” and saying “I do” can feel like an eternity. With the cost of weddings skyrocketing, more and more couples not only need lots of time to plan a wedding, they also need creative ways to cut the budget. One of the easiest ways to save money on the big day is to DIY certain elements. And a major bonus of doing wedding projects yourself? You can personalize them to a T.
Even though many couples may wait more than a year to finally get married, anxious brides (and grooms) oftentimes want to start planning as soon as the ring is on her finger. Unfortunately, until you’re just a few months out, there’s not a lot you can do, especially if you’re doing things yourself. Flowers, centerpieces, and especially food and cake have to wait. However, if the itch to craft for your big day won’t go away, there are a few projects you can begin months and months in advance. Here are a few ideas:
Want to repurpose an old bird cage or decorate a mailbox to give the boring, old card box a new spin? Get creative with it! The card box is an oft-forgotten wedding detail, but it’s one that can show off your personality or wedding theme just as well as a centerpiece can.
Gifts for the Bridal Party
If you want to say thank you in a highly personalized way, you can craft gifts for your bridal party. For the ladies, put together a spa basket with favorite nail polishes, spa masks, and homemade facial scrubs. For the men, put together a “bar in a jar” with favorite liquors, or, if you’re particularly handy, you can make a wooden beer caddy.
One of the easiest things to DIY right away for a wedding is the guestbook. This sentimental keepsake can be personalized easily. Pull together a scrapbook of photos of your guest list and have them sign with their photo; you can also paint wooden letters of your initials for guests to sign. No matter how you do your guestbook, don't forget to leave room for all the well wishes!
After you get engaged, it’s hard not to shout out love to the world. As soon as you establish a date and location for the wedding, you can get started on designing save-the-dates. For a simple way to DIY these early announcements, use Photoshop or an online template; there are plenty out there.
Though the place cards may have to wait until you’ve finalized you’re guest list and numbers, you can craft table numbers straight away. Raid your parents’ homes for photos of you and your fiancé at every age (1-year-old for table one, 2-year-old for table two, and so on) or break out the glitter and go crazy on some wooden numbers. Table numbers are (usually) small and easy to store, so this is a DIY you can get out of the way early on.
Additional Reporting By Lauren Gordon