The Dos and Don’ts of DIY

by Yasmine Rogers

Just like any good thing in life- the key is moderation and our old faithful, DIY, is as true to that philosophy as any. At Vintage Bride we feel it’s imperative to make sure you know exactly what you’re in for. Whilst fans of the DIY wedding (and all things handmade); some things, often the most important things, are best left to the professionals.  It’s with years of experience and lessons learned that we’ve devised this list of what could and what shouldn’t be tried at home.



Do It Yourself

The beautiful thing about DIY is it allows you to personalise your wedding and this is exactly what it should be used for. DIY takes time, dedication, patience and above all else, preparation; if you leave it til the last minute then you might very well be that bride who has enlisted the entire neighbourhood to sew those vintage buttons to those super cute favours you settled on last month. You need to consider quantity as well- if you have 100 to make rather than 50, be sure to leave plenty of time to appreciate the sheer number of buttons you might have to sew.


  • Invitations and save the dates

Tip: take into account your abilities. If calligraphy isn’t your thing then make sure your stationery doesn’t rely on it. Research the plethora of mediums and variations at your disposal otherwise you might end up having to do double (and therefore spend double) because your handwriting isn’t up to scratch.   If you want calligraphy or some other specialist touch, then earmark this project for the professionals.


  • Wedding favours

Tip: Keep in mind numbers and get started as early as possible. Also- if you have children attending your wedding- don’t forget to pull together a little DIY entertainment pack for them. A few colouring pencils, a colouring book, maybe some chalk and a chalk board or even a $2 skipping rope might be a God send.


  • Small decorative touches or a one off mural/centrepiece or backdrop

Tip: Don’t try and style the entire event. And don’t attempt specialty items like a 3m x2m chalkboard seating chart. But perhaps you want personalised ‘bride and groom’ chair signs or a truly unique wishing well made from sentimental items – then hop to it! Just remember you have to organise to transport the items to make sure they also make it to the wedding on time.



  • Basic jewellery and accessories

Tip: think suit pins, a floral halo or even one-of-a-kind heels personalised for this very day!


  • Lolly bar or the likes

Tip: A lolly bar is definitely doable especially when it comes to hire costs and possible breakages. However, the hard part is setting it up to photograph beautifully (and don’t underestimate the skill required to get this just right). Talk to your photographer, do a practice run and if you’ve enlisted the help of a stylist or coordinator then definitely lean on them for some assistance.

Call in the Professionals

With experts comes expertise, peace of mind and most importantly guarantee. Even if something doesn’t go to plan, and let’s face it – life has a sense of humour too, a professional is in the position to fix it and fast. They have years of experience, capable and competent resources and support, connections and a reputation of being a leading vendor in their field to maintain. So what should you absolutely not try yourself (unless you’ve done it many times before!)?



  • The dress

Tip: If you are having a custom dress made then you need to be realistic about timeframes. You also need to pick a designer with a flawless portfolio of both designs and recommendations from past clientele.


  • Hair and makeup

Tip: Unless you fully understand the mechanics of lighting and flash then we recommend leaving this one for the professionals.


  • Flowers

Tip: If flowers are a big part of your day then don’t take this one on yourself. Arranging and caring for flowers is as much a science as it is an art and transportation is a feat in itself.


  • Cake

Tip: Even if you are taking the cup cake or cake pop route- ask yourself how many will you have to make; will you be able to make them all look exactly the same; how will you transport it; who will help assemble it and whether you honestly think you’ll have the time? This will be one of the most photographed items alongside your dress and your groom and believe us when we tell you it is one of the hardest things to try and mask your amateur skill at.



  • Full event styling

Tip: This requires you to be in four places at once and that’s just not possible on your wedding day. Leave this one to those who do it all day, every day.


  • Photography and Videography

Tip: Research, ask questions, meet with many and take time to look at their portfolios and who exactly on their team shot what weddings. Understand exactly what their packages offer. Your guests are already going to be snap-happy with their smart phones and capture candid video – this can be fun to find at a later date but let’s not pin all our hopes on it.


PHOTOGRAPHY by Sarah Fountain

*This article was featured first in Vintage Bride magazine Issue 2