Confessions of a DIY Bride

The Do It Yourself movement has become more popular than ever these last few years. With the popularity of Pinterest and You tube videos, any brave soul could simply search how to fix a washing machine or bake a German chocolate cake from scratch. But would you try and DIY for your own wedding? Meet Barbara our July 25th, 2015 bride. When we first met Barbara it was via the internet (hooray for technology!) as she planned for her Southport Wedding from Wisconsin! Barbara explained to us that she had most of her wedding covered but was looking for a few finishing touches that we could provide with our vintage rentals. As the planning process continued Baraba also asked us to help provide styling services as she needed our help to put out all the beautiful DIY projects she had created over the year. Here's what her facebook status looked like 2 weeks before the wedding

 And let us be the first ones to say Wow, did this girl BLOW US AWAY. She not only was super organized and a great communicator but her DIY projects were awesome and looked like something that an experienced professional would create. Read the interview below for an extensive rundown of her projects as well as tips!

When and where was your wedding? Southport, NC - July 25th, 2015 

How long were you engaged and have to plan for the wedding? We got engaged May 4th, 2014. So we had more than a year to plan. To be honest though, we had been dating for almost 7 years by then, so in my secret not-so-secret Pinterest board I had already selected what my favorite projects were.. for whenever the date actually came :)

About how many DIY projects would you say you completed? The whole wedding was very DIY so it's hard to count all individual projects!

Can you give us a brief run-down of them?

1. I started with our own wedding website which I created myself through the site I am not a super tech-savvy but this web is very easy to create pages so once I got the hang out it I started making more and more pages! Since I'm Spanish I wanted everyone to understand so we made our website bilingual, and everyone seemed to love it! 

2. Then I also did the invitations and save the dates. To save money I made the formatting myself and got it printed double-sided, so we sent both at the same time. I made cute envelopes with brown cardboard paper and added the invite+save the date, and tied it with a ribbon. I also made little business cards with information to our wedding website. Lastly, I hand-wrote each single envelope using cute calligraphy. I loved that part!

 3. For my bridesmaids I bought them little gifts which I wanted to put inside a cute "bridesmaids bag" but they were so expensive that I ended up buying cardboard boxes and I painted them with our wedding colors, I put their names on it and attached a big ribbon around it. super cute!

 4. For the actual wedding date my husband and I bought unfinished cornhole boards and we designed and painted them (one had the US map with a heart in NC; the other was the Spain map with a heart in my city (Valencia).

 5. My mom and I made each table's centerpieces. We used birdcages and arranged them with Hobby Lobby flowers and greenery. It looked actually way cuter than I pictured at first! And to display the table numbers I bought cheap card holders, and I painted them all in gold... In some stores you can pay $10/each. Mine only cost $1.5/each!!

 6. I also designed our Menus (in spanish and in english!) using a sample from; and I made our wedding programs using one of Microsoft templates.

7. We made our PVC photo booth. My husband bought PVC pipes and with the help of my dad they made the frame. I had bought fabric with our wedding colors, and cut them in strings and my mom and I put it all together the day before the wedding. It was another easy project that looked better than expected!

 8. Wedding signs. I made all of those. I made the photobooth props, signs saying where the wedding guestbook was, and just decorative signs for the wedding. I bought several chalkboards and I wrote by hand every single sign using calligraphy I had seen online. I never knew how much I loved calligraphy until then!

 9. Another thing I made was our wedding guestbook. We had a photobooth/wedding guestbook station. People took two instant photos of themselves, they took one for them and put it inside a cardholder (that I also had made myself!) and the other photo they had to add it to our guestbook. It was a blank notebook and using paper riffle and co.'s cards I made a cover, and in the first page I wrote a nice note to our guests and made a frame for the first instant photo --one of my husband and I on our wedding day which we had taken earlier that day! 

10. My mom made the pillow for our rings.

 11. Another special DIY project I made was the seating chart display. My husband cut wooden boards and put them together as a frame; I made little tags with all our guests names on one side and their table number on the other side. We hang them with strings, and with my dad's help and hotglue we decorated the boards with faux flowers and greenery.  

12. We made pompoms using tissue paper and had them hung from the trees where we got married!

 13. For the cocktail hour, my husband had prepared the drinks, my dad had cooked some of the food (Spanish omelettes!) and my mom and my bridesmaids helped me prepare cute little 'tapas' (chorizo on bread and tomato, proscuitto wrapped on cantaloupe...) They also put together s'mores for everyone. I had bought tag cards and a stamp saying "Thank you" and a bird picture, I had stamped each card and my bridesmaids put together the crackers with the smores, and tied each bag with the tag. With their help this was done in less than 30 minutes! -- They're awesome!

 14. We used mason jars for the cocktail hour drinks. I bought color-themed straws and straw flags and I wrote in each one of them cute little messages (yay! / They did! / Fiesta / etc.)

 15. Lastly, another thing we saved money on was a wedding cake. We did not have one specific wedding cake, but had 3 cakes and cookies and lemon bars! Instead of buying a cake, my husband's family prepared their favorite family desserts! It was very meaningful!

 What was the easiest/simplest of the DIY projects? Hmmm most of them were easy, but just time consuming! I think the one that surprised us all on how quick it was done was the photo booth. It took less than 5 minutes to put them together and over 10 minutes to tie the strings of fabric! It was done so fast that I wish we had done it before for other events!!

What was the hardest/most challenging of the DIY projects? I would say the wedding program was A LOT of work. First because it was hard to set my mind to one specific formatting and what I wanted to say in it, but once I thought I had it all done and took it to the printer there were several errors with the printing formatting, so I had to take the project back home and do it again, and send it again to them.. I made this process around 4 times, at the end I was just ready to have it, no matter how it looked!  

 Why did you choose to be a DIY bride? I love DIY, I always have. I have done many projects for my house and realized it not only was fun but also affordable! The wedding industry can get REALLY expensive, and I just felt terrible paying for things that I knew I could do myself. And since we had a long engagement, there was plenty of time to get things done!

 What did you decide needed to be left to others to help complete?  Why? I am not good at cutting wood, or putting it together. I needed someone strong to do that because I did not want it to fall down during the ceremony or reception, so I let my dad work on that! Things that needed to be finished the day before the wedding (like preparing the cocktail hour food and drinks) I ended up asking my girls to help because I felt like I could not do it alone. I think I did everything else myself with my moms help during the last month!

 If you could do anything over or differently what would it be? I think I would have added some more decorations for the reception hall. I was afraid it would look overwhelming but the room was pretty big and I definitely could have added some more colorful things! Coming up with ideas for your wedding can be a lot of fun, but it can also stress you out! I had to do a lot of the stuff alone because all my bridesmaids live in different states (and country!). I think, if I could go back I would try to arrange a "girl's weekend" with my girlfriends, I'd invite them over to my house for a fun girls weekend filled with DIY projects while sipping wine! Having them help me the day before the wedding made me realize how much quicker I would have finished all projects had I had more help from the beginning! 

 Any advice for other aspirational DIY brides out there? Be realistic on your expectations! Pinterest can be an amazing website for resources but it can get very overwhelming. Pick a theme, look around for inspiration and then choose those projects that you want the most on your wedding day. Sometimes DIY could get more expensive than buying it done in craft stores or other websites. Surf around and decide what is more convenient for you, for your lifestyle (are you a super busy woman? do you have a lot of free time?)  and for your budget! And lastly, don't forget your wedding day is all about YOU and YOUR GROOM, don't worry about decorations! People are there to see you marry your best friend and share that special day with you two. Everything else will be secondary, so don't worry about the details and just enjoy the day because it passes by way too fast!