Making your own wedding decorations can be a great way to save money, be more sustainable, and add more personal touches to your big day.
When it comes to things like bunting, signs, and table centerpieces, there’s no reason why you and/or your loved ones can’t put in a little extra elbow grease and make it at home.
That’s why we’ve asked the experts to offer their tips on wedding decorations you can DIY beforehand.
But first, a warning – don’t be overly ambitious with your DIY attempts and remember to delegate where you can.
If you decide you want to DIY your wedding decorations, make sure you do your research, and it’s a good idea to leave enough time and supplies for a practice run or two where possible.
Helen Stephenson, owner of Kedleston Country House tells Metro.co.uk: ‘We’ve hosted lots of DIY weddings which have been done amazingly well and sadly some not so well.’
She adds: ‘Couples underestimate the cost and the time in which it takes to create, especially on the morning of the wedding when the bride should be enjoying getting ready and spending that special time with her maids/family, not running around like a headless chicken tackling the to-do list.
Many couples have admitted to me afterwards that paying an expert would have saved so much unnecessary stress. And I would recommend to any couple to get as much help as possible to ensure you are able to enjoy not just the planning process, but also the day itself.’
How to make DIY wedding decorations
For anyone who, with these caveats in mind, still wants to make some decorations in advance, Shilpa Reddy, of Shilpa Reddy Flower Design, agrees that delegating is important.
She tells us: ‘Get friends and family involved that are creative.
Colorful bunting is very popular and can look great draped around a venue.
Making your own guest boards or message trees for your guests to leave best wishes are a great way to get creative and keep costs low.
‘Decorated jam jars with LED lights, tea lights or fresh flowers is another cost-effective decoration you can use for table centers.’
Jess Martin, expert party planner at Ginger Ray, says you can make a fun event of it, explaining: ‘Book in an evening with friends and family to get everyone involved in making the decorations for your wedding. Not only is it a great excuse to see your loved ones, but it gives everyone the opportunity to feel a part of your special day.
Whether it be painting signs, creating photo banners, making flower garlands, or creating table decorations, with a few snacks and fizz, it’s the perfect pre-wedding event.
‘Provide your guests with all of the equipment they’ll need, and you could even book an expert florist or artist to give a tutorial on how to make the decorations.’
She adds that you can also enlist your loved ones to donate things that could be useful, saying: ‘For example, ask if anyone has any glass bottles or jam jars lying around, which are perfect for creating table centerpieces, or ask people to send old photos of you and your fiancé to create photo garlands.
‘You can save a lot of money, time and effort by asking people for help, and people will love to get involved!’
Even if your nearest and dearest aren’t the craftiest, Jess says they can still get involved with stencilling signs and place cards.
Zoe Warren, interior design expert from PriceYourJob, says chair decor is another thing you can DIY, explaining: ‘There are various ways to decorate your chair, although one of the easiest ways to make your own chair decor is by designing your own chair covers. using tulle.
The first step involves choosing a tulle color, with ivory and white being the preferred options for a wedding.
You then need to make sure that you have sufficient material by counting how many guests you are inviting. To figure out how much material you need, you should multiply the number of chairs by three.
Once you have the right amount of material, you should wrap the tulle around the chair, starting at the front and working it around the back of the chair to form a bow.
You can adjust and tighten the bow making sure it is secure and even. Once it is in the right position, you should fan out the tulle and add some small flower decorations for a better aesthetic.’
For those looking for a more sustainable wedding, Jess says: ‘Where possible, choose plastic-free items and think about how people might be able to reuse them too.
‘For example, use wooden slices to create personalized table settings by writing names on top – which people can then takeaway and use as coasters in their own home.’
What should you not try to DIY for your wedding?
When it comes to things you shouldn’t try to scrimp on, Shilpa says getting your bouquet from a professional is a better idea than DIYing it, explaining: ‘It’ll be an important feature in all the wedding photos and in the “getting ready” pictures too.
‘You’ll want your bouquet constructed in a way to ensure it lasts, especially during summer heat!’
Helen agrees that DIYing flowers are a risk, saying: ‘Many of our couples have opted to create their own floral arrangements and bouquets etc without any previous experience or knowledge which sadly has shown – dead bouquets on a wedding day is not a good look!
Definitely leave the cake to the professionals. We’ve seen several heartbreaking disasters including cakes collapsing because again, the right equipment hasn’t been used, or the wrong ingredients have been used at the wrong time of year.’
If you really feel confident in your floral abilities, we previously put together some tips on growing your own wedding bouquet with the help of flower and plant store J Parker’s.
Meanwhile, Zoe says that wedding arches and lanterns are also best left to the pros, telling us: ‘If you are planning an outdoor wedding, then an arch is an essential decor piece.
‘While it is possible to make it yourself, it might be best to hire a professional to ensure it stays upright and will also prevent any accidents.’
‘Another more difficult element of decor is lanterns,’ she adds, ‘which can be difficult to install, as you will need to use a ladder to hang them, which is not the best idea the day before your wedding.
You may also require approval from the venue to hang lanterns, so they may only allow a professional to do it.
‘By hiring an expert, you will prevent any damage to the venue and yourself.’
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