To DIY or not to DIY?
Hi, my name is Sarah and I’ve been making wedding stationery for 16 years. Terri invited me to write for her blog this month and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it, and at the same time hopefully pass on some helpful advice to anyone thinking of making their own wedding stationery.
Making your own stationery for your wedding day can be very rewarding, but on the other hand can be disastrous for some. So, if you’re creative and want to add that DIY element to your wedding, there are some questions you need to ask yourself first:
Do I have the time to commit to this?
When you are juggling your normal routine of work, family and friends, and have the added pressure of cake tasting, dress fittings and bridal preparation then suddenly you can start feeling overstretched. And, it’s not just the invitations to consider, it’s the other stationery you require for the actual day, like a table plan and place settings. Will you be making these too? Unless you are able to delegate and get friends and family to help it can take a considerable amount of your time.
Is it a cheaper option?
Not necessarily! I use certain suppliers because I know the quality of their products is always consistent and they are reliable with regards to stock, so this is reflected in the price. When costing materials take envelopes and adhesives into consideration and allow for waste. Even after 16 years I can still make mistakes so if it is your first time there is no doubt you will have some too. Think about any equipment you might require and please don’t forget with many stationers you do also pay for their many years of experience.
Is it worth the stress?
Organising a wedding can be stressful, especially if you are planning on doing it yourself and without the help of a planner. As you get closer to your wedding day things speed up. Numbers will need to be confirmed and people will be looking to you for all the finer details. If you’ve opted to do all your own stationery for the day then this will need to be done too and suddenly you only have 6 weeks or less to make it all if you’ve not prepared early.
Using a stationer does take all this stress and pressure away from you so when you’ve done your calculations ask yourself if the small saving you might make by doing it yourself is worth it.
Sarah can produce beautiful guest books to match your stationery
If you’ve read through my advice and are still determined to go ahead and make the stationery yourself then here are my top tips…….
Plan in advance
Wedding invitations are typically sent out between 6 – 12 weeks before your big day. If you’re getting married in the summer, during the holidays, or even abroad, it’s always a good idea to give your guests as much notice as possible. Bearing that in mind I would also give yourself at least 8 weeks to make them. If you leave yourself short of time you will rush, possibly making mistakes and ultimately putting yourself under more pressure. Take the time to browse your local craft shops for materials, to experiment with any ideas you have, and once you have decided what your invitation will look like make sure you time yourself making one so you know roughly how long it will take you to do all of them.
Keep your design simple so it’s easy to make and duplicate
Very often I have a vision but when it comes to making it sometimes it just doesn’t work, I may not have the skill, the tools, or it is just so time consuming it’s not practical. You can make a very simple invitation just by using some printer friendly card, a lovely font and some self adhesive gems, mount it onto some coloured or fancy card and you have yourself a very simple but elegant and timeless invitation. Look out for easy to use embellishments, as well as gems you can buy self adhesive pearls, ribbons, ribbon bows and flowers.
Keep your design simple so it’s easy to make and duplicate
Before you go running off to your favourite craft shop and stock up on materials make sure you feel confident about your design and how achieve it. I love Pinterest for ideas but it’s not just about pretty pictures you can also find many step by step DIY tutorials for all levels of craftiness and YouTube videos are fantastic for sharing tips, shortcuts, and advice. Don’t forget practice make perfect!
Find free insert templates and printables on the internet
You will be amazed at the many free designs which are available for you to print off in the comfort of your own home, many of these can be found on wedding bloggers’ pages, and as long as you use them for your own personal use they won’t cost you a penny. As well as invitation designs you can also find invitation templates with various wordings and layouts. Just be sure you choose the correct card and paper to print on, there are some very pretty papers and pearlescent cards out there, but not all are printable and some may be too thick to go through your printer.
If you need help make sure you ask for it
Enlist the help of friends and family. I’m sure they would love to contribute to your wedding day in such a personal way and they may have more ideas to bring to the table so don’t feel you have to do everything yourself. You can also join online forums for help and advice, or visit your local craft shop too where they are experienced in most crafts.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Choosing to have someone make your stationery does not make it less personal. I find most brides have an idea of what they would like but would prefer someone else uses their experience to bring their ideas together. If that’s you or you would like to have an informal chat then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
“Paper Memories products are exceptional. The designs are stunning and completely unique, and her hard working and professional attitude shines through with every order……”
Thank you so much to Sarah for such great advice. You can get in touch with her here:
Alternatively you can find her on Facebook or telephone her on
07580 402 807.