Brides Up North

Hold The Sticky Back Plastic! Dabbling In A DIY Do…

February 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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The three letters D-I-Y usually conjure up images of laborious and mind-numbing tasks sent to try our patience.  I know – as do my followers over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – as I’m in the middle of a huge home and office move whilst almost nine months pregnant. Eep!  But in world of weddings (which is almost always more stylish than the world of pregnancy!) a bit of do it yourself can be creative, inspirational and unique.

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I’m off to sand down some floorboards, so I’ll leave you in the safe – and still manicured – hands of our regular guest blogger and editor of Mosaic Brides, Rachel Parry.  Over to her, and I make no apologies for the epic Blue Peter nostalgia… I have a feeling I’ll be up to the eyeballs in sticky back plastic in a few year’s time…

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Images via welovebluepeter.blogspot.co.uk

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Rachel says:  It’s a desire for more personal affairs that has brought with it a surge in DIY elements being incorporated into weddings, meaning brides and grooms are taking a more hands-on approach. And it’s not just couples rolling up their sleeves; they’re also calling upon their family and friends to do the same.

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Usually the main reason for featuring DIY touches is to enable the bride and groom to inject their styling concepts and personalities into the big day. But the benefits don’t stop there. Asking family and friends to get involved and contribute towards the wedding day is a great way to make those closest feel an important part of the proceedings. And better still, DIY projects can help trim down the budget.

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Vintage style weddings in particular feature an abundance of home-made efforts and bring about a resurgence of wartime attitudes that if we all pull together we can get things done.

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Images via welovebluepeter.blogspot.co.uk

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For those choosing to take the DIY wedding route, planning and delegation are key. Tempting as it is, brides shouldn’t take on all projects themselves, but instead hand out some jobs to the groom as well as family and friends. Planning how long each DIY project will take and setting a deadline for its completion is a good way to ensure jobs aren’t rushed last minute. It’s also important to only ask people to do tasks you know they will feel comfortable with – your Nan might have made the perfect My Little Pony cake for your fifth birthday, but making a three tiered wedding cake complete with hundreds of handcrafted iced flowers is something else. Also remember to make projects fun and light hearted rather than a chore – invite your bridesmaids round for a cuppa and a catch up while you make bunting (perhaps saving the wine to toast its completion so the standard of what’s being produced doesn’t slip)…

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Images via welovebluepeter.blogspot.co.uk

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Here are some ways in which DIY elements can be incorporated into your wedding (none of which require Handy Andy and a sheet of MDF)…

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Stationery

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Save the date cards, invitations, order of service, menus, name places, table plans the list goes on. If you are creative or you have a friend/family member in the design industry you could make your own stationery for that extra personal touch. This gives you the opportunity to make both the design and wording totally unique. Remember stationery is the taster of the wedding you give to your guests and first impressions are everything. A personal invite will make the event all the more memorable.

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Décor

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DIY décor has become incredibly popular in weddings, particularly those that centre on vintage and village fete style themes. The possibilities are endless and it’s a great opportunity to really let the creative juices flow. Cute homemade bunting and elegant paper pom poms or paper chains can look stunning hung around the venue whilst old books, vintage crockery and antique glassware can be used to decorate tables.

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Trawling car boot sales and antique shops can lead to other great décor finds such as vintage table cloths, cake stands, frames, mirrors and even antique typewriters. Other quirky ideas include using jam jars as vases, candle holders, or even rustic style glasses. Vintage birdcages make striking centrepieces while old suit cases are ideal for collecting cards or displaying quirky table plans. Signage, pin wheels and confetti cones are also popular DIY projects.

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Favours

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Homemade preserves like jam, chutney or marmalade make attractive favours as do treats like cookies, cupcakes, chocolates or fudge. For a longer lasting DIY favour why not give guests a mixed CD of music from your wedding that will bring back memories of the day for years to come. Alternatively you could just choose to make the presentation box/bag in which to place favours such as sweets, charity pins, or miniature spirits.

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Cake/ Sweet Tables

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There is a growing trend in weddings for cake/dessert tables which can be a joint effort from guests. The Great British Bake Off has brought out the Mary Berry in all of us so challenge your guests to get baking a range of cakes and/or desserts which you can then display on the day before serving up as pudding.

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Sweet/candy buffets are also proving popular and can be easily put together by displaying colourful or retro sweets in traditional glass jars and attractive dishes.

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Images via welovebluepeter.blogspot.co.uk

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Don’t Touch!

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While there are plenty of areas to exercise creative talents when organising a wedding, it goes without saying that some things should be left to the experts. Unless you have a professional florist or dress maker in your family or close friendship group, don’t stress yourself out with DIY projects in these areas. Also don’t DIY when it comes to photography and/or videography. You might have an uncle with a brand new Nikon that he’s just dying to test out but these are your real memories of the day and you only have one shot at getting them right. I advise investing the money you save through DIY projects into these important areas (or perhaps splurge it on a fantastic pair of wedding shoes – just don’t tell the groom)!

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  – Images © via welovebluepeter.blogspot.co.uk

Rachel Parry is a regular guest writer for Brides Up North

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime