DIY is not a term that is traditionally associated with weddings but the credit crunch has meant that thrifty brides are getting crafty. From invitations to flowers, brides on a budget can save hundreds of euro by doing it themselves. When I first started researching wedding invitations, I quickly discovered that while the hand-painted, embossed cards were pretty, they were also way out of my budget,
Wedding invitations usually cost from around €400 upwards, depending on how many you need and how detailed they are.
After looking around at prices, I decided to try and make our invitations myself. At first this seemed a bit daunting and time consuming but when I realised I would save hundreds of euro, I figured it would be worth it.
While doing a little research on the internet, I discovered there are many ways of making your own invitations. They can be as simple or as bling as you want. Due to time constraints, I oped to keep ours simple. I downloaded some fancy clip art from the internet and bought some hand-made paper and envelopes from Daintree on Camden Street in Dublin. My printer at home wasn’t really up to the task so I got the final design printed in Reads on Nassau Street. The total came to €140 but the sense of pride I got from making my own invitations, just the way I wanted them was priceless.
Daintree www.daintree.ie is a one-stop-shop for DIY invitations. They have everything from beautiful paper and envelopes to paper cutters and glue. They also offer a printing service. Not only will making your own invitations save you money but as all their paper is recycled, you will be doing your bit to save the planet. For beautiful ribbon A Rubanesque (01-6729243) in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin (phone 01-6729243) have a huge range of beautiful ribbon in every colour imaginable.
The website www.diywedding.ie is another useful stop for creating your own invitation works of art. The site offers 40 different invitation kits that come with a set of instructions and a template that can be used through Microsoft Word. The invitations can also be customised by adding embellishments such as pressed flowers or ribbons. Each invitation works out at abut €1 including the envelope.
All wedding stationary including save the date cards, menus and mass booklets can be made at home with a home PC, a bit of creativity and a couple of free evenings. A bit of imagination and some colourful ribbon will brighten up any plain piece of paper or card.
The internet is great for inspiration. There are hundreds of websites and blogs, mostly American based, which offer loads of ideas. Martha Stewart is the queen of craft and her website offers tips as well and templates and clip art to help brides get creative and inject a dose of their own personality into their wedding. http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/
Wedding stationary is not the only element of the wedding that you can do yourself. If you put your mind to it there are endless possibilities. Wedding favours, place settings and even flowers can be done at home and save hundreds of euro.
My mathematical skills have never been the best and when it came to doing up a wedding budget, I forgot to include the flowers. So I got a shock when I was quoted €500 for just a couple of bouquets and some button holes. On my DIY buzz, I decided I could do them myself for less. I’d heard about the flower market in Smithfield, Dublin so I got up early one morning to go and investigate. Part of the fruit and vegetable market, the flower market has an amazing range of flowers and plants. The stalls are open early in the morning and new deliveries arrive a couple of times a week.
It’s best to order at least a week in advance to ensure they have the flowers you want. My total bill came to €136 for enough flowers to make three bouquets, six button holes and eight arrangements. I spent another €20 on ribbon and florist tape and pins.
Mums and Aunts with flower arranging experience come in handy if you decide to do your own flowers but there are also lots of tutorials on the internet that are easy to follow. The Knot website is another one-stop-shop for all things crafty and has tutorials on making bridal bouquets and buttonholes.