Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I've had a few conversations with people recently about "overly engineered" weddings. The best way to sum these up are weddings where somebody "thought of everything". Where their logo is on everything from the matchbooks to the napkins. Where every single item is finely tuned to the color palette. Where it is clear that the couple did nothing for the past 12 months but plan their wedding. (I swear, I have hobbies, although that might not be obvious.)
I talked earlier about going overboard with our tree theme. But what about just going overboard with the DIY crafty-goodness?
Yes, I love craft projects. Yes, as I talked about before, I am shameless in my desire to impress people with my mad skills. But I don't want people to look at our wedding and think, "jeez, Ellie is pathetic. How desperate was she to get married that she needed to craft the wedding within an inch of her life?"
So I think it's time to take a step back. To ease up on the BIC kool-aid. To never go near the Martha Stewart website. To sit back down with my list of DIY projects and consider what is achievable and what is simply a ridiculous undertaking for us. (My wedding is not your wedding. Do whatever makes you happy.)
  • semi-DIY invites (meaning buying these pocketfolds and getting 5x7 invites printed and then putting them in the pocketfolds.)
  • bouquets/flowers
  • programs/place cards/menus (if we think menus are necessary)
  • veil & hair accessories
  • awesome wooden signs
  • Thank You notes
  • Centerpieces
  • Table runners
  • OOT bags/boxes
Not Acheivable:
  • Handmade favors.
  • Escort cards made of individually cut leaves that will be tied to a tree branch that match the programs and the menus
  • Handmade napkins.
  • Fully handmade invitations (or custom handmade pocketfolds)
  • Handmade dress
  • Envelope liners (these got bumped to the "hell no" list when I attempted them for christmas cards and gave up after about 5 seconds).
  • A candy buffet (yes, this is acheivable for some people, but the amount of effort it would take to set-up and take down would simply be enormous.)
  • Potted plant favors (from personal experience, these appear to be more trouble than they are worth.)
  • Making our own overlays.
  • Monogrammed matchbooks. There are 3 smokers coming to our wedding. And they own their own lighters.
The thing that I think will help us the most though, is to not go overboard on our color palette, and to use all four colors for projects. Weddings in which everything matches kind of disturb me because it seems unnatural. It seems to me that the best thing to do is focus on projects I enjoy (sewing, stamping) and details that people will notice, find useful, or remember (signs to the bathroom = important; progams = important) or that save us a lot of money (bouquets, invites) and scrap the projects that would only matter to me (envelope liners, tree escort cards.)

How much DIY are you doing and how much "screw that" are you doing? Did you also make a To DIY list?


  1. Haha I will have to agree with your choice to put envelope liners on the "hell no" list. I love the look of them, but I think they cause more trouble than they're worth.

    And I really, really like the idea of dividing wedding ideas into achievable and non-achievable lists. I've never thought of it that way, but it definitely makes sense. I love, love, love DIY and I think it's a really important part of any wedding where the bride/groom/family are gifted with talents but I definitely go overboard with it too.

  2. I hate to admit, I am definitely one of those "spent 12 months" and put thought into every single thing and all the colors and graphics and such will be sort of matchy matchy. :) But hopefully in a good way. However, I am definitely NOT a DIY kind of person. I am taking on a few DIY things but they are mostly things that my sister or myself designed in Photoshop or Illustrator incorporating our colors and graphics from the invites and then printing them up to assemble...stuff like our photo frame table numbers, favor tags, and some signs for around the event.

    I applaud you for your self-realization of what's attainable and for your craftiness in all that you are doing! I'm a bit jealous :)

  3. can i first say that i don't think anyone could possible think of you as pathetic. I think it's awesome that you enjoy crafting so much and have found a way to work it into your wedding. i';m so hyper critical that nothing i ever did would turn out good enough. I willtry to incorporate some DIY but you're right you have seperate and then divide and concur. Got to tell you i love the idea of the leaves tied to a tree , hand cutting them is totally out of the question of course, but if you knew someone who had a cricut or personal cutting machine the actual cutting would probably not take very long at all. I did 100 3 inch leaves in a little over an hour for our thankful tree centerpiece for thanksgiving dinner and it was a hit. Either way your ideas DIY and otherwise are inspiring.