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What to & What Not to DIY for Your Wedding

Brandywine Manor House Seven Twenty Photography

More than ever, 2014 is the year of the DIY bride. Going DIY usually saves the bride and groom some money, allows them to be more creative, and ensures that their vision is accurately portrayed. We’ve seen more and more weddings of this type over the years, and as a Coordinator, I’ve been given the opportunity to assist in the set-up of many DIY weddings. After set-up is over and each space is ready, being able to look around and see the hard work that the bride and groom, family and friends have put into its creation makes everything more personal.

Many of our brides and grooms, myself included, enjoy the DIY process. Finding ideas and making them your own, while sometimes difficult and time-consuming, is not just about the finished product, but the experience. With wedding magazines, bridal shows, and Pinterest, it’s easy to overwhelm yourself with options. Because of that, we think it’s important that each bride and groom think clearly about how much they’re taking on when they choose to go the DIY route. I am the least creative bride on the planet, and with all the DIY things I wanted to do, I was more than a little stressed out. Each couple should carefully pick and choose what they want to tackle on their own while leaving the rest to the pros. There are some things that are easy and mostly stress-free DIY projects, while we’d recommend thinking twice on some others. Take a look through our suggestions below.


What to DIY

Centerpieces & Table Decor | Going DIY for your tables gives you the opportunity to go above and beyond in implementing your vision. It’s not a matter of looking at what one vendor has to offer; your options are limitless. You can choose to have a single item or any number of decorative items on the tables. If you’re on a tight budget, consider having a single floral centerpiece and adding different shapes and objects around it for the perfect look.

Favors | Favors are one of the easiest things to do yourself. And because they’re easy to DIY, this is one wedding item that you can check off your never-ending to-do list far before stresses get high. Favors can be usable and personal, and there are any number of ways to create cute, creative favors that match your personalities. Some of the most popular DIY favor choices are food-themed – which assures they’ll be used! Bottles of homemade honey or jam, s’mores, or candy bars are all popular DIY items that can be pre-made with plenty of time to spare.

Invitations & Save the Dates | The cost of invitations is astronomical, and sadly, your guests likely won’t remember them. This is one of the many reasons why we recommend DIYing your invitations and save-the-dates. With a multitude of free or inexpensive printables and fonts online, all you have to do is buy the paper and ink, and you’re all set – likely for a quarter of the price.

Brandywine Manor House Mike Landis Photography

Mike Landis Photography

What to Think Twice About

Food | Your guests may not remember every detail about your wedding; in fact, many of the details that you agonize over will pass right over their heads. The meal, however, is one thing that the guests will remember about your wedding. Food is not only memorable, but easy to botch when making it for 100+ guests. If you haven’t made a meal for a large amount of guests before, it may be best to leave this to the pros. If you do choose to take on some food yourself, consider sticking with the appetizers or desserts, and have plenty of helpers on hand for both the prep and day of.

Photography | If you have a friend or family member that is great with a camera, this can be the perfect way to get beautiful photos for a fraction of the price. But if the person isn’t a professional or hasn’t had much training, this can result in wishing you’d done things differently after the fact. Photos are what you’ll use to look back at your wedding day years later; consider hiring a professional. If you do choose to have a friend or family member take your photos, regardless of their skill level, consider asking them to scout the venue in advance.

Decor Set-Up | While we absolutely recommend creating your own centerpieces and decor, we do not recommend setting it up yourself. Even if your ceremony is later in the day, you’ll have plenty to do before the ceremony without worrying about set-up. Planning to do the set-up is unrealistic and in the end will be more headache than it’s worth. Whether it’s friends, relatives, or a Day of Coordinator, don’t count on yourself for the set-up. If you’d like to save some money, consider meeting with friends prior to the wedding to explain your vision and leaving the day of set-up to them.


DIY is all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a wonderful way to ensure that your vision turns into reality while possibly also saving some money. Regardless of your theme, style, and budget, there are limitless ways to make your wedding your own. If you choose to go DIY, consider some of the suggestions above. It’s ultimately up to you and your groom what you decide to take on versus leave to the pros. No matter what you choose, enjoy the experience – you only get to do this once!

If you’d like more information on having your wedding or event at Brandywine Manor House, call or email us today at or 610.942.2200.