Part Three: Thrifting & Collecting
Now that we’ve covered wedding colors and favor ideas, it’s time to discuss five tips and tricks I’ve found that I hope will make your DIY wedding as budget friendly as possible:
1. Coordinated Mismatching
Coordinated mismatching entails that you take components that are different, and combine them in complementary ways. Instead of focusing on identical pieces, you’ll take objects that are purposefully mismatched, and then tie them together using elements of theme and color.
For example, instead of buying twenty matching vases for your wedding’s centerpieces, you could use a variety of different color coordinated items, and mix/match them to form different centerpieces that connect. This technique is not only unique, but can really inspire you to think outside the box. Best of all, you will have a much wider spectrum of materials to choose from, which will ultimately help you stay within your budget!
Your home is by far the least expensive place to find wedding materials. To give you an example, my fiancé and I own a large collection of canning jars. Some of them are even old bailing wire or vintage ball jars, which we plan to use as vases, drinking glasses, and candle holders. And although our jars are different shapes and sizes, we are adding elements to them that will pull the look together, such as color coordinated personalized tags and labels, twine, vintage doilies, and flowers (real and crocheted).
Thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales can be great budget-friendly resources for your wedding. In fact, my fiancé and I try to visit local thrift stores at least once per week. At first, we didn’t really know where to begin or what to buy, so we kept an open mind and used our wedding colors as inspiration. It took awhile, but over time, we noticed ourselves consistently collecting the following items:
• Second-hand linens.
• Vintage doilies.
• Wooden crates and boxes.
• Vintage ball jars.
• Cute glass bottles.
• Paper lanterns.
• Craft supplies, such as yarn or paper.
Our assortment of mugs will be used for holding utensils, and will also be used as centerpiece elements alongside our canning jars. Our thrifted wooden crates and boxes will carry our wedding favors, and will also serve as dessert stands on the dessert table.
We’ll be using all of our collected goods in different ways throughout our wedding, which will create themes to tie everything together for yet another example of coordinated mismatching.
I’ll be honest: I never used to think of myself as a creative person, but I knew that making my own decorations would be the most pocket friendly way to spruce up my wedding. Once I set my mind on becoming crafty, the rest fell right into place. I found numerous resources for DIY weddings online. Just type “DIY wedding” into a search engine, and you’ll find lists upon lists of blogs and websites dedicated to do-it-yourself wedding guides and inspiration.
As for tools, I think it’s best if you make use of what’s available to you rather than spending a bunch of money on something new and expensive. For instance, I own a sewing machine, so I’ve been sewing fabric and paper garlands using second-hand linens and scrapbook paper.
I also recently taught myself how to crochet, so I’ve been making lots of little Mary Go Rounds and crocheted flowers.
I occasionally need to visit craft stores for supplies, but most of my yarn, paper, and fabric come from thrift stores or generous friends. True, you’ll have to invest some time and money into crafting, but you’ll be rewarded by a wedding that is 100% your own.
If you find that you’re still running short on ideas, take a look inside your recycling bin for inspiration. For instance, the seed packets that my fiancé and I made for our wedding favors were made from old paper grocery bags and scrap paper.
We have also been collecting toilet paper rolls, empty food jars, and we’ve been saving and papering over empty coffee containers with butcher/scrapbook paper.
If you start saving your recycled goods early enough, you’ll never be short on material to help make your wedding beautiful.
A do-it-yourself wedding can be inexpensive and unique, but I’ve found that it’s really important to think outside the box. My fiancé and I are definitely taking advantage of everything that’s available to us, and tying everything together with our wedding colors and our thrifted collections. As an added touch, we’ll be using tags and labels in the style of Love on everything, including our dessert table, wedding favors, placecards, and centerpieces.
I can definitely say that our DIY wedding has been a lot of work in the making, but it has also been incredibly fun, less expensive (by far!) than a traditional wedding, and an expression of our personalities and values to the people we love.