The Do-Re-Me of Crafty Wedding Planning
As Maria would say “let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start”, before you take on the task of crafting any part of your wedding here are some points, one bride to another, for you to consider:
DO think about how much time it is going to take up.
Time can be a precious thing, especially in a relationship and even with ‘normal’ wedding planning you are certain to feel it slipping by. When you are choosing to make elements of your day, you will need to ensure you make time to craft comfortably ahead of the big day.
E.g. A place name take 3 minutes to make, if you have 80 guests that means you will need 4 hours (240 minutes) total time.
REmember to be realistic
Managing your expectations will lead to a happier planning process, as hard as we try a hand crafted item will always look handmade (and so it should, people should see that you’ve done the work); if you want a professional print and finish, perhaps, a 100% crafted option isn’t for you.
TIP: I aim to have enough resources for 10-20% more than I think I will need, this allows for my mistakes and any changes that might occur.
MEet with others
Crafting shouldn’t always be undertaken individually, get your friends and family together, give them clear instructions (even a demo), and share the experience.
Try to be patient with them, they will always do their best.
TIP: Don’t open the wine until after you have finished making those delicate bows on your favours.
FAr from being a ‘cheap’ option
Ok, it can be a way to reduce costs but it all depends on what you want to do and where you shop.
If you want to simply design and print an invite, then your costs will be the paper and ink & perhaps a paper cutter.
If however you want to do an ornate invitation, accompanied by a host of extras (RSVP card, additional info etc); all on handmade petal paper, then you could be spending more on handmade than on a predesigned item from a professional or stationary company especially if you need 100+.
If you really want to handcraft, do your research: look in shops, then hunt on the internet for a better price or different manufacturer. Don’t forget all the ‘extras’: good glue, cutting knives & mat etc
TIP: Hobbycraft will not be the cheapest way to get crafting, unless you are the queen of sales!
SOrt Your Priorities
Think about the things you would like to be handmade then divide your wedding to do list into 4 groups (with my examples):
- The 1 or 2 items you are certain you want to craft
- Save-the-Date, Invites, Order of Service,
- Those you would prefer to be homemade
- Table plan, place settings, my hair accessories,
- Things it would be nice if they could be DIY
- My shawl, the cake, guest book
- What you will leave to the professionals
- My dress, the food, the photographer
Start with the top list and work your way down, have backup options for items you might not manage to finish.
Because you would like something crafted, doesn’t mean you have to do it – delegate to friends.
You don’t have to fully craft an item to make it personal. Choose a company online who will send you the (personalised) elements for invitation for you to hand finish. Or, sticking with invites, you could create your dream design and send it to a local print shop who can refine, print and prep your stationary.
If you still think that crafting is for you, go through your diary and set deadlines.
Here is an example of my schedule for my invites.
End July: Invite design and printing finished
Mid-August: Finish cutting
End August: Construct decorative details
Mid-September: Assemble invites,
End-September: Send invites
TIP: Always have some time between completion and use, in case something comes up.
Stages of the Crafting process:
- Research and first draft.
- Make a mock up & tweak design
- Research & source materials
- Get each element ready first and then assemble
- Create – keep safe & clean
Remember to take you time, enjoy the process and make sure you take some down time and escape from wedding planning.
And that brings us back to ‘DO, oh, oh’
And I would like to leave you with some tips to add a personal flourish to your crafts:
(Photo: fonts – optional) Fonts: you can download hundreds of free fontst, search for a style that fits with your theme or a calligraphy font, I like Font Space
Personalised stamps: as well as some wonderful options on Not On the High Street, you can get almost anything turned into a rubber stamp. I used Craft Stamps Online to have the word ‘Invitation’ and the picture of our church created for our invites.