When we planned our wedding earlier last year, I decided that if I didn’t at least try to craft some of the props and elements I’d be disappointed. It all worked out quite well although my husband did wonder exactly when I would finish the bunting and move on to the wedding dress. Especially when we got to a fortnight before the wedding and I was still surrounded by piles of triangular flags. If you’re thinking of doing something similar, here’s what I learned.
1. Know your budget
I initially spent about £60 on fabric which included some Liberty lawn but realised with some shock one Saturday afternoon that it was nowhere near enough. I spluttered that I was “just popping out” splurged another £100 at Beyond Fabrics, mostly on retro and vintage prints. That made about 100m metres of bunting, with a small amount of fabric to spare. It was probably cheaper than buying bunting before you factor in the time for cutting, ironing, sewing, assembling. Still, I’m glad I did it. It’s already been used for another wedding and is booked in for a couple more – it will be shared, used and treasured.
2. Save time where you can
I had enough fabric left over from my dress to make a matching bag, but then thought the shape turned out a little odd (you’d think I’d plan more, but, um, no). So I was faced with carrying something that I didn’t really like or spending more time embellishing it. Then I spotted a belt in H&M which had a huge red silk ribbon bow on it. Quick snip of the shears and some strong as nails glue, and I had the perfect accessory.
3. Enlist help
My brilliant friend Abi came shopping with me, and we trawled Soho for beautiful fabrics and looked at patterns. I chose Burda 7569 even though it didn’t look that promising from the envelope. Abi came over to help me do my measurements, to fit the muslin and then to stop me from eating my fists when I had to fit the concealed zip. Poor husband did try to help but understandably, hadn’t a clue what was going on. Without Abi I would have had to resort to a lot of safety pins. And screaming.
My brother and sister in law also decided to take it upon themselves to make us favours. They were adorable and I wouldn’t have had time or the crafty mojo to make anything as pretty as they did. Family FTW.
Because I was also on a diet ahead of the big day, I knew that I’d need to finish the wedding dress fittings reasonably near the actual day. This happened to coincide with us selling our flat and moving into a friend’s for a fortnight. I had always planned to pack the sewing machine to take, and had ‘booked’ Abi to help – I just forgot to explain the plan to husband. To his credit, he didn’t panic. Not visibly. It would have helped his blood pressure to know that I actually was working to a schedule, and also had a contingency dress if it all gone pear-shaped. Oops.
5. Make it personal
We thought that many of our friends would find it funny if we hashtagged our wedding, so this was our cake topper. It was rather larger than I expected (shown with cat for scale) so I sent a tracing of it to our baker extraordinaire friend with the message “I think we’re going to need a bigger cake”. Seriously, for the laughter it caused, and the fact it meant it was much easier to find all the tweeted photos afterwards, this was one of the best £5 I spent.
Our day all went to plan in the end, or if it didn’t we either didn’t know or didn’t care, but DIY Weddings are not for the faint hearted. I wasn’t working full time so it made sense to do as much as we could and it helped with the budget too. Next up – making your own wedding dress…