So you've done the hard part. You snagged a life partner worth sticking around for the rest of your life. Congratulations! Unfortunately, as you've no doubt discovered by now, planning a wedding is just about as easy as herding cats, and it's infinitely more expensive. The good news is that DIY wedding hacks can help you save some cash, which you can turn around and spend on your honeymoon. (Come on. When is the next time you'll be a newlywed on vacation for weeks at a time?) The even better news is that DIY wedding planning has never been more fashionable than at this very moment, when Pinterest and nuptial blogs abound online, so plenty of ideas are just a few clicks away.
Even if you were one of those kids who spent their days dreaming of a future wedding, getting hitched comes with a huge amount of planning. On top of buying The Dress (if you're into that), you have to send out invitations, create a gift registry, keep your wedding party from getting at each other's throats, and somehow come up with an Instagram-worthy decoration scheme. Needless to say, the costs can add up quickly if you buy everything on your own.
That's where DIY tutorials come in. If you're looking to make your ceremony cheaper and more personal, check out the 11 wedding hacks below.
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1. Flameless Candle Centerpieces
Nothing puts a damper on festivities like having to extinguish a fiery inferno ignited by a candle that burned too long. Create centerpieces using flameless candles, like the one featured above, so you don't have to worry about your reception fizzling out. Two Twenty One has a tutorial for an easy wine cork and candle centerpiece here.
2. Veil Weights
Fact: Veils are timeless yet still fashionable. Also fact: The slightest breeze will blow the fabric straight into your face and ruin an otherwise lovely shot. You can avoid this by making your own veil weights, which clip to the edges of your veil to hold it in place. Check out Happily Ever After Etc.'s tutorial here.
3. Paper Lanterns
Line the sides of your aisle with paper lanterns, so you're lit by a soft glow and able to see where you're going on the way to the altar. Design Sponge has a DIY paper lantern tutorial here.
4. Scuff Your Soles
If you're wearing new shoes for the wedding, add traction to the soles so you don't slip and fall on the dance floor (or any floor, for that matter). The easiest way is by scrubbing the bottoms with sandpaper to make the surface rougher, but you can find a list of DIY hacks here.
Or you can just wear comfy shoes in the first place, because nobody's going to see them under your dress anyway.
5. Print Your Own Thank You Cards
Wedding planning isn't over when the ceremony is done; you and your new partner still have to write a veritable mountain of thank you cards to the guests. Make your lives a little easier by printing out your own thank you cards online. There are plenty of lists online, but you can find a cute tandem bicycle card at the Sweetest Occasion.
6. Bridesmaid Shirts
Make personalized shirts for each of your bridesmaids by adding their initials (or whatever you want the shirt to say) to the back or breast pocket. All you need is iron-on letters, which you can find at virtually any craft store, and a blank shirt. In fact, you can find the decal pictured above on Etsy.
7. Personalized Robe
Similarly, you can make your own personalized bridal robe for the big day with nothing but a patch and a clothing iron. Something Turquoise has a super useful tutorial here. (Or you can just buy the robe pictured above.)
8. Photo Booth Station
You already know everyone is going to be Instagramming up a storm, so give them some props to play with. Create your own photo booth station with this tutorial from A Practical Wedding.
9. Chalkboard Wedding Signs
You'd be surprised how much signage is required at a wedding: relationship timelines, directions to the reception area, and so on. The Knot has a list of unique wedding sign tutorials here.
10. Glitter Table Numbers
Guests have to figure out where they're sitting somehow, so you might as well make things cute. Head to Sweetgrass Social for a tutorial on making your own glittery table numbers.
11. Entertainment Center For Kids
Whether or not you have kids of your own, there will probably be pint-sized guests hanging out at your wedding, and you don't want them throwing tantrums because they're bored. Provide some entertainment for them if you can: Line a table with butcher paper and crayons, or print out coloring books for them to enjoy.
Weddings are hellaciously expensive, but with a little time and practice, you can save money and add a personal touch with DIY projects.