D. I. Why? ~ The Pressure to Craft Your Own Wedding…

Hello lovelies! This morning, Intern Franky discussions the notion of DIY and crafting for your own wedding, something many of you love and throw yourselves like born crafters into, I know, but for others, it can all get a bit much.

By the way, you can view Franky's glorious, cinematic inspired wedding in full here.  You can also visit Franky's own blog here and read more features by Franky on Love My Dress here.

Over to you Franks…

♥     ♥     ♥


I sat hunched over the dining room table, jam jar in one hand and double-sided tape in the other. The tip of my tongue poked anxiously from the corner of my mouth, my face set in an expression of deep concentration as I attempted to line up the edges of slippery pink satin.

What was I doing? Well, I was sticking ribbon to a jam jar of course! As you do.  

Months earlier, I’d spent hours lining envelopes with paper doilies. I’d also been known to lose an entire evening to wrapping tiny hand-cut flags around grey and white striped paper straws. Stamping names on to paper luggage tags had become my favourite pastime and, at this point in the proceedings, I was still enthusiastic about the prospect of icing 50-odd cupcakes the day before the wedding.

Images taken from Franky's wedding that featured on Love My Dress here
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Eliza Claire

FrankyCarl-1332 copy FrankyCarl-1333 copy

I’m not a naturally crafty person. Creative, yes, but not crafty. I can’t sew, I can’t knit, the thought of decoupage fills me with horror, and my two children have more of an affinity with PVA glue than I ever will. Yet, here I was, happily crafting elements of our wedding day and making regular visits to Hobbycraft .

What had I become?

FrankyCarl-1020 copy

A cursory glance at just a handful of the wedding blogs out there on the World Wide Web would suggest I wasn’t alone in my sudden passion for wielding a craft knife. Google seems to groan under the weight of its findings if you type ‘DIY wedding’ into the search box. One couple’s nuptials are described as a ‘pretty, floral DIY affair’. There’s a ‘colourful, fun-filled DIY wedding’, ‘a DIY country wedding’ and even an ‘Upstate New York’ one too.

FrankyCarl-1118 copy

There are entire blogs dedicated to crafting your own invitations, countless tutorials for creating elaborate decorations, and downloadable templates for bunting, reception signs and homemade wedding favours. You can make pom poms, cake toppers, your future husband’s boutonnière, and even those cute little moustaches on sticks that everyone wants to play with in the photo booth. Of course, Love My Dress has played host to a plethora of delightful DIY projects too . The possibilities are endless.  

But why D.I.Y?

From the feature 'How To Create Your Own Wedding Day Heart Flower Wreath ~ A DIY Tutorial'…
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Jill Thorning-Jensen

Laura Coleman heart wreath0275 Laura Coleman heart wreath0275

Wedding related craft projects are often held up as being either ‘budget’ {that is to say cheap, a means by which a couple can save money} or ‘personal’. Sometimes they even manage to be both, at the same time.

I suppose some of the D.I.Y we undertook for our wedding saved us money. Our cake buffet, composed of homemade sweet treats baked by myself and various friends and family, was definitely cheaper than buying a professionally made cake that would have needed to feed around 140 people.  Surely there’s something very personal too about sitting down to eat a slice of something you know to have been baked by the bride herself.

From the feature 'Personalised Signature Stamp For Your Wedding Day ~ A DIY Tutorial'
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Deeds and Petunia

personalised signature stamp for your wedding day

However, some of our craft projects should probably be categorised as ‘unnecessary frippery’. Our guests didn’t really need little flags on their drinking straws. Wouldn’t the surest way to save money in real terms have been to go without? As someone not famed for my craftiness, how personal were these projects? Sure, they demonstrated time and effort and thought, but how big a part did they play in stamping our personality on the day?

From the feature 'How To Create Your Own Shabby Chic Style Wedding Invitations'
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011 Shabby Chic Bride

DIY shabby chic wedding invitations

When it comes to wedding D.I.Y, what you save in financial terms, you definitely lose in time. Projects can take hours, days, and even weeks to complete. A couple may find themselves cramming in brief snippets of crafting whenever they can, purely to get a task finished. For some it’s just not a viable option. The basics of planning a wedding can take up enough time as it is, without filling your evenings with glue guns and the like. Where does all this leave brides who can’t, or won’t, D.I.Y? Are they destined to have expensive, faceless, generic weddings? Surely not?!

From the feature 'How to Create Rustic Bunting {Burlap, Lace & Tweed} ~ A DIY Tutorial'
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Katy Lunsford


A close friend recently admitted she had given up and stopped reading wedding blogs as she had found herself feeling more and more pressured to produce a ton of D.I.Y details for her big day. Moreover, she resented the notion it was the best, or only, way to make the day personal.

By its very nature, D.I.Y  lends itself to details and, in my limited experience, it’s the little things that leave guests feeling cared for and gives a wedding that highly sought after personal touch. However, that’s not to say that a detail needs to be homemade. With so many small, artisan wedding businesses out there now, not to mention the wonder that is Etsy {www.etsy.com}, it’s no longer impossible to bring a little craft to your wedding without lifting so much as a prit stick yourself.

From the feature 'How To Create A Rustic Table Plan for £20 ~ A DIY Tutorial'…
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Katy Lunsford

DIY rustic table plan using burlap, hessian, jute and string and feathers...

Looking back on our wedding, I can’t deny I felt a smug glow wash over me whenever a guest acknowledged the work that must have gone into the craftier elements of our day. As we walked into the vast ballroom for our wedding breakfast I couldn’t help but smile at the view that greeted me. It felt good to know all those hours sat at the dining room table cutting and sticking and gluing had contributed to the beautiful vision I saw before me.

From the feature 'How To Make A Butterfly Gift/Favour Box'
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Katy Lunsford


It wasn’t all D.I.Y though, and I’d venture every bride is filled with joy when she finds the image of her wedding, carried in her head throughout many months of planning, has been translated into a reality, whether she made it all herself or not.

So readers, I’m curious, do you {or did you} feel under pressure to craft for your wedding? Can a wedding be made personal without such details? Do you believe the only way to save money or have a ‘budget’ wedding is to ‘Do It Yourself’?



You can view more discussion posts here, or why not dip into our collection of DIY and 'How To' features – they include a wonderful video tutorial on how to decorate your own shop-bought wedding cake. A team of Love My Dress contributors are currently working on a new series of DIY features for your viewing and crafting pleasure! Watch this space peeps, or sign up here to be notified when they go live.