Final Preparations

The Basics of DIY Weddings

DIY weddings are all the rage, in part because they allow the couple to potentially save some cash while showing off their crafty skills. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be handling all the wedding details by making them yourself, there are elements of any wedding that can easily be made or crafted rather than bought from a vendor.

Whether your skills include sewing, baking, carpentry, or just an eye for design, there are a million DIY wedding ideas that could help you save money while adding a personal touch to your wedding. Nevertheless, getting started on DIY wedding ideas can seem a little daunting for the crafting novice. Here are some important basics you’ll need to get going on turning your big day into a DIY wedding extravaganza!

Do Your Research:

The key to all great DIY wedding crafts is beginning with a great idea for a project. If you know you’d like to add some DIY elements, but don’t know where to begin, there are great resources out there to browse. In addition to wedding and craft magazines, don’t overlook useful sites like etsy and pinterest. These can be a great source of DIY wedding ideas, no matter what style of wedding you’re planning.

Get Friendly With Craft Stores:

Your local craft store is likely to be the basis of a lot of DIY wedding projects, from favor stuffing to ribbon banners. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with one of the managers or clerks, to ask about the possibilities of special orders or bulk discounts. If you can’t find what you need at a store, don’t hesitate to search for great deals online! Online glassworks, fabric stores, and even florists may be a great source of savings- especially if you can disassociate your purchases from the dreaded “wedding” price raiser!

Prepare to Price Compare:

If you’re looking to save some dough by turning to DIY wedding ideas, be prepared to do some price checking. With bulk discounts and sales, it may actually sometimes be cheaper to get pre-fabricated items than to make them yourself. Price out the shopping list of your DIY items against pre-made versions, and don’t forget to factor in charges like shipping or tax. Of course, if you’re just looking to add a homemade, artistic touch, then craft away without fear!

Timing is Everything:

While it’s tempting to think of just how much money you’ll save by making 300 mini-jars of jam instead of buying expensive wedding favors, don’t make the mistake of forgetting the time factor. In the month before your wedding, you’re unlikely to have hundreds of free hours for DIY wedding crafts, so making everything from the chuppah to the bouquets might be out of the question.

If you can spread craft projects out between your wedding party and relatives, however, or just get all your bridesmaids over to help you stuff favors and hand-write place cards, you can probably handle quite a few small DIY wedding projects- or at least a couple of big ones!



 

Planning Your Wedding Rehearsal

For anyone who is a bit stressed about the running order of the ceremony, a rehearsal can really be a great way to set nerves at ease. This informal gathering usually occurs a day or two before the wedding, and includes the principle players- bridal party, officiant, and sometimes relatives. Traditionally, the rehearsal is followed by a meal or other simple event.


Coordinating the Time:

If possible, hold the rehearsal at the wedding site. Most venues will allow couples to book an hour or so of time in advance of the wedding. If, for some reason, the wedding venue is not available, set a time to meet at a someone’s home or even the hotel lobby to go over the order of events.

Let the Officiant Run the Show:

Generally, the officiant uses this time to guide the party through the running order of the ceremony. He/She can help you go through it, step by step. Be sure to ask any questions or request changes during this period rather than waiting until the wedding day to ask for a switch.

Details You Should Care About:

The groom and groomsmen should be clear on when they enter and where they stand. The bride should figure out the order that the bridesmaids enter, and determine how long she will wait before entering. If she is being given away, go through the aisle walk with the attendant, letting them know if they need to say or do anything as part of the ceremony.

 The Afterparty:

This is another great task to pass off to a reliable bridal party member. Parents of the groom traditionally host the rehearsal dinner, but this is not always possible or desirable. Having a simple meal out at a nice restaurant, or even a dinner and small party at a friend’s house is a nice, easy way to go. Just ask whoever is planning the rehearsal dinner to book reservations at least two weeks in advance to avoid any last-minute booking problems.

This event, above all else, should not be stressful. If it gets too crazy, skip the idea of a dinner and simple have a fast rehearsal at a time that everyone is available. Why go to the trouble of planning a party if its only going to cause extra stress before the main event? If it’s not going to be fun- don’t do it!

Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

These parties can be a great opportunity to kick back for some fun before the wedding. They can also, unfortunately, be the cause of some internal relationship strife. Consider these simple suggestions to make a night out pure fun, no guilt.


Communicate:

Obviously, a good fiance doesn’t want to do anything to upset his or her intended. If one of you really has a problem with some of the more tawdry aspects of pre-wedding parties, it needs to be stated honestly and early, and then passed on to whomever is planning the party. The last thing either of you need is a big fight right before the big day.

Wedding Day Buffer:

It is generally not a good idea to have a bachelor/bachelorette party the day before the wedding, especially if drinking or late-night partying is on the menu. Give yourself a good buffer between the wedding day and the party- anytime between two days to a month before the main event. This will give you time to detox, and not get in the way of any last minute activities.

Alternative Bachelorette Parties:

If clubbing and drinking aren’t really your scene, there’s lots of fun alternative options. Avoid the hangover by scheduling a health and wellness day with friends, including fun activities like a outdoor yoga class, hike through a regional park, and lunch. Or go for some vintage Hollywood glamor and get dressed to the nines to go see a romance film, then follow with swanky martinis. Go to a paint-your-own pottery place and make a cool set of dishes or mugs together, or do something daring, like a rock climbing or trapeze class.

Alternative Bachelor Parties:

Strippers and beer bongs aren’t for everyone, so look for an alternative activity that’s fun for the whole group if it’s not your scene. Consider a poker night at home with whiskey and cigars, or hitting a local game together to tailgate in the parking lot. If you’re all aching for some manly thrills, consider an afternoon paintball game- or, for the virtually-inclined, a good old night of video games and cheap pizza. Rent a boat for a day and cruise a local river or lake, or saddle up all your friends for some daredevil lessons in motorcycling, surfing, or microbrewing.

Co-Parties:

If you and your intended share a lot of friends, there’s no reason the party can’t include both sides. Consider a weekend away to a fun place, like Las Vegas, where the group can meet for some activities and go their separate ways for others. Or plan a camping trip to a nearby location with all your friends, and enjoy all some retro-fun of roasting marshmallows, telling ghost-stories, and night swimming.


Beauty Services For Your Wedding

How to look your best for your big day is a personal decision, and we at Decidebride believe that you are the best authority on what looks great for your hair, complexion, and overall look. Nevertheless, we hope we can help you organize hair and makeup plans to ensure a stress free, easy wedding day preparation.

Book Early:

Try to make makeup and hair appointments 2-4 weeks before the wedding, so you can choose the time you want without fear of availability issues. Remember to give yourself a nice padding of time in case you decide to make a last minute change or go for a more elaborate look.


Send Photos:

You are likely to get better results if you find a photograph of the hairstyle you want that you can send to the hairdresser ahead of time. That way, you and he or she can discuss how long it will take, if there are any variations you want, and how your type of hair will translate into the desired look. A photo helps give a more concrete image of what you want than a simple verbal description, and can eliminate miscommunication.

Hair Color:

If you plan to get your hair colored for the wedding, consider having it dyed at least a week ahead of time. That gives you plenty of time to alter the shade if it doesn’t turn out the way you want. Try to avoid getting your hair dyed the day of the wedding, unless it’s a standard color that you use regularly.

Manicure:

In addition to getting your hair dyed or cut early, try to schedule nail services the day before the wedding. A professional manicure can last for several days, and getting it out of the way early will give you more breathing room on your wedding day.

Makeup:

If you’re getting married outdoors, and plan to have the reception outside, try to find a facial sunscreen that looks natural under makeup, as strong sunscreens can often give you a grey pall. Try to use makeup products you are familiar with, in order to avoid the potential for an allergic reaction to a new product.

yes, please!

 Spa Treatments:

If you plan to get a relaxing massage, spray tan, or any other body services before the wedding, be sure to inform your esthetician about any existing allergies you may have to cosmetic ingredients. The last thing you want on your wedding day is a bad rash, so make sure to ask about potential allergens like parabens, lavender, or nut oils. Barring that concern, a few hours at the spa the day before the wedding can be a fantastic way to relax and get some alone time.

 If you plan to have a fairly casual hairstyle, don’t let the beauty salon know it’s for a wedding! Some salons will charge a huge markup for wedding services, even if they are basic styles. Check their website or price list to see if they charge a “bride bump” before disclosing that you’re getting married.