DIY Wedding - any suggestions?

ViVix ViVix
So, my sister has informed me that she and her fiance want to be married in about 4 months, she wants me to help them plan, decorate, etc., and they are broke. In fact, she is thinking about doing an outdoor ceremony at my mother's house because neither of them attend church and don't have the $ to rent a hall. I've been sifting through the DIY wedding planning sites, but I'm overwhelmed to say the least. Any recommendations, my friends? Any sites that were particular helpful in your own DIY or crafty occasions? Any inexpensive ideas for the occasion (wedding favors, decor, etc.) Oh...and one more thing, any ideas for fall color themes that aren't too depressing?

P.S. I'd appreciate support on this. I know it's last minute, I know weddings take LOTS of money and planning generally, but if my only sister wants me to help her have a spectacular (and small) wedding, I just have to suck up my doubts and do it!
05/16/2012
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BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by ViVix
So, my sister has informed me that she and her fiance want to be married in about 4 months, she wants me to help them plan, decorate, etc., and they are broke. In fact, she is thinking about doing an outdoor ceremony at my mother's house because ... More
what do you do for a living? Is there any hobby you're particularly good at? (just go with me here, I have ideas, I just want to know what we're working with)

What about your sister? Her fiancee?
05/16/2012
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Offbeat Bride - link - they offer tons of real-world weddings that have gone DIY and they also have tutorials on some projects.

Does she have any idea what she wants in it? Is there a theme, what kind of decor, is the focus after the ceremony going to be food or music, etc?
05/16/2012
Nora29714 Nora29714
Pinterest is wonderful for DIY stuff.
05/16/2012
Beck Beck
We did a quickie wedding. I looked up online were you can elope in my area. Seriously cost us $63.00 and a tank of gas. We have decent wedding pics that cost $20 extra and it looks like we actually got married in a decent setting. We throw a reception and invited everyone who wanted to come. That was the best idea for us. We spent more money on the reception than the wedding and had fun. It was really awesome. Usually bed and breakfast places do wedding packages really cheap and allow the family there.
05/16/2012
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Okay, well... why I asked is because my ideas incorporate trading goods or services for cakes/photography.

If one of you does something or creates something, or works in a kind of service that could be traded, I would suggest this highly. I have traded crocheted hats to a friend for family photos. Stuff like that!

For food, in autumn, since pumpkins and apples are in season, you could center much of the menu around "harvest" foods. You could have a couple of roasted turkeys (still early enough that the prices aren't Turkey-day prices) and serve them with an apple-cranberry-pecan stuffing. You can have pumpkin pies and apple tortes as desserts. For drinks, the Midwest is rife with microbreweries, you can easily get a good price on harvest beer. Or, you can skip the drinking, although that tends to be an unpopular choice amongst most wedding guests. You can ask her bridesmaids and groomsmen to each purchase a case or two of beer, as the wedding gift. They spend $30-40 on beer and you/your sister/parents don't have to spend $300-400 on booze. You can easily go to Sam's Club and purchase several 1000 mL bottles of New Amsterdam vodka and mix it with an apple or pear or cranberry drink and make a tasty "harvest" cocktail.

For color schemes... you can do red and gold. This dress comes in a color called "apple" and since it will, likely, be chilly in the fall you can combine it with a gold wrap like this in "Sunbeam". You can also do oranges, greens, deeper yellows, and even brown can be very elegant when paired with nice accent colors.

For decor, you can get glass vases from a dollar store, get long sticks from the yard (or a local park with a lot of trees or a forest) and spray paint them whatever color you like. You can even get scrapbook paper and make your own hodgepodge to cover the vases. Fill the bottom with some sand and stick the sticks in artistically.

You can also scour the internet and local craft stores for clearance fabric to make table cloths with.

Aside from the food, you can easily get away with spending less than $300-400 for all this stuff. Food will likely cost you another $300+ easily. If you can get someone to trade/donate a cake and photography, you get away with a wedding for under $1000. You can search Goodwills in the nice parts of town for wedding dresses that might only need minor altering. OR... you can go to David's and get a dress for under $300 if you shop sale/clearance racks.
05/16/2012
Jaimes Jaimes
Outdoor weddings are amazing, because you can really make a simple area special and save boatloads of money. One cool idea I've talked to brides about, but never seen done is a mosaic of empty frames creating a background for the altar. Head to any goodwill or thrift store and pick up super ugly paintings that have big or nice frames. Gut the painting, and mount them on simple stakes, or hang them from trees. Your guests will have a ball getting behind them to take pictures. You can also use them to suspend pretty paper lamps, or some *thing* that is special to the couple.

I totally recommend checking out barbecues joints in the area that cater, or getting a few dads to bring over grills and have fun, and BYOB. Done right, it's fun for guests to bring community libations.

Also, check out feathers instead of flowers. You can order boatloads of peacock feathers for the fraction of the price of flowers.

Skip the whole DJ thing. Just create a wedding playlist on someone's iPod and find a stereo. Worked for us!

For a photographer, check out local colleges that offer photography programs. You can usually find a student who would love to do a wedding (the hardest one to get for new photographers is the first!) for a fraction of the price of established wedding photographers. Craigslist is another place to look, but be super picky about who you choose. If you get a student, you should also be able to ask them for things like a complete cd of all the photos, and copyright release, for a very reasonable price. They may not be able to give you albums or prints, but in this digital age, it's way cheaper to do it yourself.

Good luck, and have fun!!
05/16/2012
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Nora29714
Pinterest is wonderful for DIY stuff.
Some Pinterest ideas:

garland
bouquet
favors
favors
favors
favors ($1 store wine glasses)
05/16/2012
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
In addition. If you have to pick between paying for a photographer or a cake, pay for the photographer.

You can bake dozens of cupcakes and use food coloring to match the frosting to the decor. Get a stand and the cupcakes on the bottom or for the guests. You can use the top and bake a small round cake for the bride and groom. You can even buy pre-made fondant and cake decor to make it look like a really professional cake. (I suggest practicing with this before the wedding) You can get stuff for this at Walmart or Hobby Lobby or Michaels.
05/16/2012
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
this is fun... and a total distraction from what I SHOULD be doing!
05/16/2012
puppylove puppylove
Check out Wedding Bee it's a blog/forum community that is all wedding stuff, they have a pretty big DIY crowd there, and they are all really nice and helpful.
05/16/2012
hro789 hro789
Quote:
Originally posted by ViVix
So, my sister has informed me that she and her fiance want to be married in about 4 months, she wants me to help them plan, decorate, etc., and they are broke. In fact, she is thinking about doing an outdoor ceremony at my mother's house because ... More
take a look at the website called the knot.
05/16/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
what do you do for a living? Is there any hobby you're particularly good at? (just go with me here, I have ideas, I just want to know what we're working with)

What about your sister? Her fiancee?
I'm actually working in a grocery store right now and studying criminal justice. Lol! I think she felt confident asking me to plan because I've always done all the b-day parties down to homemaking the cakes. I also make a lot of the centerpieces for friends' baby showers and such. I can duplicate almost anything...I'm just not creative enough to form something spectacular on my own.
05/16/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
what do you do for a living? Is there any hobby you're particularly good at? (just go with me here, I have ideas, I just want to know what we're working with)

What about your sister? Her fiancee?
Oh...and to finish answering, my sister is a bank teller, and her fiance works with vehicles (though I'm not sure exactly what he does). She's very girly, he's a man's man.
05/16/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
Offbeat Bride - link - they offer tons of real-world weddings that have gone DIY and they also have tutorials on some projects.

Does she have any idea what she wants in it? Is there a theme, what kind of decor, is the focus after the ceremony ... More
I am not even joking when I tell you that I asked her what colors she wanted, and she asked me, "What colors do I like?" I think she wants a nice wedding, but she doesn't know what exactly she wants due to the fact that they move into a new home in a month, want to try for a baby shortly after the wedding, and she's still got a semester of school left. P.S. I'm also in love with the Offbeat Bride site already. Thank you!
05/16/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by Beck
We did a quickie wedding. I looked up online were you can elope in my area. Seriously cost us $63.00 and a tank of gas. We have decent wedding pics that cost $20 extra and it looks like we actually got married in a decent setting. We throw a ... More
I have whole-heartedly suggested that they elope due to the fact that they just put a deposit down on a house, but my sister is the world's biggest diva. lol. Caviar on a ramen noodles budget.
05/16/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
Okay, well... why I asked is because my ideas incorporate trading goods or services for cakes/photography.

If one of you does something or creates something, or works in a kind of service that could be traded, I would suggest this highly. I ... More
Oh my stars! Not sure where my head was, but I didn't even think about the dollar store. Some really great ideas, and I appreciate them so much!
05/16/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
Outdoor weddings are amazing, because you can really make a simple area special and save boatloads of money. One cool idea I've talked to brides about, but never seen done is a mosaic of empty frames creating a background for the altar. Head to ... More
And I forgot all about the music! It's a good thing I have my Eden friends! I hadn't even thought about a school for the photography, though I did think of it for hair and makeup. Thank you!
05/16/2012
ViVix ViVix
Thank you to everyone for all the help. I am so happy to see some great and inexpensive ideas. Now, another question...is there a good link to a wedding checklist? You know, I think we might have some party/wedding planners on here based off of these suggestions.
05/16/2012
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by ViVix
Thank you to everyone for all the help. I am so happy to see some great and inexpensive ideas. Now, another question...is there a good link to a wedding checklist? You know, I think we might have some party/wedding planners on here based off of these ... More
looks decent and yanno... FREE
05/16/2012
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by ViVix
And I forgot all about the music! It's a good thing I have my Eden friends! I hadn't even thought about a school for the photography, though I did think of it for hair and makeup. Thank you!
You might even be able to convince a student to do it for free and just give you a DVD of the photos, while giving them full freedom to use the ceremony pictures for their portfolio.
05/16/2012
Kissy Kissy
Quote:
Originally posted by Nora29714
Pinterest is wonderful for DIY stuff.
Absolutely! I am amazed by the inspirations from Pinterest!!!!
05/17/2012
Jaimes Jaimes
But my one serious recommendation, unless you have a friend or family member that is a good semi- or pro photographer, hire someone. I'd recommend setting up a simple interview and portfolio review, so you can see if you actually like spending time around the person IN person.

You may also want ask them, especially if you hire a student, if they can offer engagement photos for a small additional price, so that the couple gets a chance to work with them before the wedding. It makes a WORLD of difference if everyone at least feels like they know each other by the time the big day rolls around. The photographer can figure out how to talk to and work with the couple without the craziness of a wedding, and that will really make the wedding photos run smoother and come out better. Also, and the bride and groom won't feel like they have a total stranger following them everywhere they go (and I can't stress that EVERYWHERE enough) all day long.

I totally think you could find someone if you post an ad to craigslist or at a college that outlines the date, the details of the wedding, (outdoors, indoors, formal, casual, number of guests expected, and length of time photographer will be needed), and your budget. Mention you'd like a full disk with copyright release, and would like to discuss an engagement shoot for a small price. People will jump out of the woodwork to send you their bids.

Just be patient, and picky, without jumping the shark to bridezilla. There are alot of budget photographers out there that know they are going to find enough business because of their pricing, and they will decline to work with someone if they think it is going to be super difficult. I'm one of those types of wedding photographers, and I learned that lesson the hard way.

Okay, I need to stop geeking out about weddings. I love them.
05/17/2012
ViVix ViVix
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
But my one serious recommendation, unless you have a friend or family member that is a good semi- or pro photographer, hire someone. I'd recommend setting up a simple interview and portfolio review, so you can see if you actually like spending ... More
Not even a month into planning, and I HATE weddings. lol. Good advice though! Thank you!
05/30/2012
Total posts: 24
Unique posters: 9