London based wedding planner Andri of Always Andri Wedding Design is back with more of her Expert Wedding Planning Tips and today she's discussing DIY weddings.

DIY is hugely popular in the world of weddings right now but what if, you're not naturally crafty or you just don't have the time, money (yes, DIY isn't always the budget option), or patience?

Andri shares a few home truths about DIY weddings as well as some top tips on the best ways to incorporate DIY projects into your big day.

photo by Simply Jessie Photography via Bridal Musings

Are You A DIY Bride?

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the idea of trying out your crafty hand as you plan to DIY lots of elements of your wedding. You’ve seen it in magazines and on blogs, on Pinterest and perhaps have even watched your friends craft their way down the aisle, but before you decide to take the plunge and dedicate hours (if not days and weeks) of your life to these tasks, make sure you ask yourself: why do you want to DIY?

Save Money

If this is your only reason for doing it yourself, then be selective about what you decide to do. First and foremost, do things that will actually save money, as not everything does. Research how much will it cost to make something versus buying it (perhaps from an independent seller on Etsy), hiring it, or getting someone else to make it for you. You might think you’re saving money but in the end find that it will be more cost effective to go direct to a retailer – particularly one who is a specialist.

You also need to consider that DIY takes time, often more time than you anticipate. Ask yourself how much your time is worth? In those spare moments between work/family/friends/wedding planning, do you really want to be knuckling down to that hair brain scheme you decided to DIY?

If something involves a lot of components or materials that you need to buy and if you’re going to need to make a mock up or do a trial run, you’ll soon find that costs start to add up. Factor in the time you’re spending on this project as well and you might soon find that you’re running at a loss on this apparently money-saving task.

Generally, I would say that if you choose to DIY simple ideas then you’ll find that you have a huge sense of achievement and can save money, but complicated endeavours will most probably lead to additional cost and stress, as well as minimised time.

photo by Simply Jessie Photography via Bridal Musings

Time Constraints

Before you even start making a moodboard or take a trip to Hobbycraft, I beg of you to work out whether you actually have time to make it. Make a list of all the things you think you’d like to craft for your wedding and then take a look at how much time each element will take. Can you actually fit them all in before the wedding? Be realistic, overestimate the time it will take and look seriously at the time you have available to work on it. Choose only those you think you can fit in and do well.

Planning a wedding will keep you busy enough and it can be pretty time consuming, but if you’re committed and are prepared to give up your free time then go for it. Maybe you could dedicate an evening each week to your DIY project, ask your bridal party to come round and ply them with food and drink to get them to help you. Don’t be afraid to get all hands on deck!

Personal Enjoyment

Amidst the stress of planning a wedding, it can be nice to have time to sit down and quietly get creative. There’s something almost therapeutic about the way you take your mind off all your other stresses whilst you concentrate on the one task at hand – a bit of jewellery making in front of the TV, creating invites with your fiancé or bottling homemade preserves for favours might be the perfect escape from the madness of everyday life and wedding planning.

For you, having DIY elements at your wedding may not be just about saving money; you may love being creative or have always wanted to learn how to do something. Your wedding could be the perfect opportunity to hone a new skill in flower arranging or moulding sugar paste flowers for your wedding cake, for example.

Do ask friends and family if they have any hidden talents that they might like to utilise to help DIY something for your wedding. Harness their expertise as they may be able to show you how to do it or you could spend some time together on the project. You’ll find that getting others involved will make the whole experience more enjoyable, as not only does it take the pressure off you, but they feel honoured to be more involved and you can have a fun night in doing making parties.

If, however, you’re not very creative and have decided to take on a handful of DIY projects because you feel it’s the done thing, I can almost guarantee you will not enjoy it and it will only add to the stresses of planning the wedding.

photo by Simply Jessie Photography via Bridal Musings

Top Tips For DIY Weddings

If you do decide to go ahead and DIY:

– Plan ahead and make sure you have time to make everything you need whilst simultaneously planning the rest of your wedding.

– Be selective about what you DIY, choose your projects wisely and play to your strengths.

– Research how to do your project(s) – there are lots of online tutorials, books and blogs.

– Do trial runs and mock-ups first as it could save time and money in the long run.

– Mix and match DIY items with professional services; for example, you could get a friend to design your stationery but then get it professionally printed before you add decorative touches and pack it all together with your own finishing flourish.

– Research free printables online for DIY stationery.

– Don’t leave too much to do close to your actual wedding day, where possible do it in advance so that you’re not tying ribbon around favour bags on the morning of your wedding.

DIY should be fun, something to look back on and remember fondly. These simple touches can often be the most meaningful to your guests, but don’t forget that no one is expecting you to make your whole wedding! You should only undertake DIY projects if you’ll actually enjoy it, otherwise it’s pointless. There’s a reason that there is a professional industry who do these things all the time and that’s to save you from doing it!

Wise words as always from Andri.

Let us know if you have any DIY dilemmas or wedding planning questions – we're happy to help!

If you've missed any of the Wedding Experts Planning Tips series be sure to take a peek – there is a wealth of helpful information from some of the UK's top wedding suppliers.