Soon-to-be-marrieds: Would you like to start married life debt-free? And even have a few thousand bucks in the bank for good measure? Alas, in the real world, couples start accumulating joint IOUs with the ink barely dry on the marriage certificate. And ironically, the “culprit” is … your dream wedding! But help is on the way: By making some wedding components a DIY or make-your-own project, you can tie the knot – without getting tied up in debt:
Make your own wedding dress. Complicated, but not impossible. Got the sewing skills, determination and, preferably, a mom, sister, or friend with seamstress experience? You’re on!
· Try on some RTW gowns to see what silhouette looks good on you.
· Decide on what you want (the simpler, the better), then pick your pattern and fabric.
· Make a muslin mock-up of the dress for easy altering (with your seamstress friend’s help).
· Transfer all alterations on the paper pattern, and cut and mark your fabric.
· Sew, trim, and finish the dress.
· Practice each part of the dress-making process before actually doing it.
· Ask friends and family for feedback, using today’s social media tools.
· Give yourself ample time to avoid stress.
Make your own wedding bouquet. Why? It’s not rocket science. You save a bundle. You’re in control – of the type of flowers, the shape of the bouquet, the added flourishes. Here’s how:
· Choose flowers in season (they’re more affordable) and that complement your wedding colors.
· Select 2-4 flowers (with a sturdy stem) to serve as the “anchor” or base of your bouquet.
· Remove all thorns, leaves and extra petals from the stems.
· Trim the stems (under running water), but make sure they’re long enough to work with.
· Place the newly cut flowers in a bucket of cool water.
· Prep your work space and tools (shears, tapes, pins, ribbons).
· Wrap the stems of your anchor or foundation flowers with floral tape.
· Build the bouquet with more flowers, fillers, and greenery – continuously wrapping the stems.
· Accent the bouquet (with ribbons, etc), wrap in tissue paper, and refrigerate until the wedding.
Making your own wedding invites. Make a strong first impression without spending a lot. These tips can help you cut costs without sacrificing style.
· Save money by using a simple one-panel card (have guests RSVP via email).
· Organize your facts: your names, wedding date/time/location, directions to the venue, etc.
· Finalize your guest list to see how many invitations you need.
· Decide on your tone and write out the exact wording on the invitation.
· Choose your color, design, text font, and any add-ons (ribbons, glitter, etc). Go online for inspiration.
· Make several versions of your invitation until you find the version you like.
· Choose your paper (avoid the glossy ones) and print either at home or through a print shop.
· Buy the right size, shape, and color envelopes… and you’re ready to mail out your invites!
Make your own wedding cake. Seems overwhelming? It’s totally possible if you (or a friend) can bake, you’re organized, you don’t mind a messy kitchen, and you have the proper equipment.
· Start early – you need time to find a good recipe, get your equipment, practice your skills.
· Decide on the type of wedding cake – tiered cake? Elegant mini-cakes? Out-there macaroons?
· Choose a good recipe, preferably one that freezes well. Use only high-quality ingredients.
· Get the right equipment – from cake boards and icing spatulas, to frosting bags and wooden dowels.
· Master the steps of baking tiered cakes – from making the foundation to decorating them.
· Practice baking and assembly, icing, freezing, and thawing.
· Bake, ice, decorate, and assemble your wedding cake the day before the wedding.
Make your own wedding favors. They enhance your wedding reception decoration – and serve as thank you gesture and souvenir of your big day. All it takes – time, creativity, and craftsmanship. Here are easy-to-make/buy wedding favors:
· Pin badges with your wedding date – and your guests’ faces
· Scratch cards attached to each guest’s place names
· A cookie buffet table with decorative take-home bags
· Homemade jams in glass jars
· Personalized seed packets or sprung bulb or succulents in tea cups
· A charitable donation made in your guests’ names
· Coasters with the bride and groom’s pictures
Follow these DIY wedding tips so you can say “I Do” without saying “I Owe”!
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