5 Guidelines Every Bride Should Follow (that many forget)
If you've deemed yourself a "DIY Bride," my guess is that you're taking on the challenge because (aside from saving money) you want your guests to feel the love, to feel you and your partner's unique spirit come through in the details, and because you enjoy the creation process. You want a "homemade" wedding...so you say. What you probably really want is a completely professional-looking wedding that you personally created, and for your guests to know you did it yourself, but not because they can see the hot glue strings.
It's no secret: you are capable of a whole heck of a lot when you put our mind to it, but before you go grabbing your tool box, glue sticks and sewing machine promise yourself that you'll stick to these five basic (but important) guidelines so your homemade wedding isn't lacking in professionalism.
1. Decide what is important to you and your partner. Pick three things that you value the most. Then let your partner do the same and try to agree on one that overlaps. Maybe you care about the dress and the concept of having a whimsical beach wedding. Your groom, on the other hand, wants really great food and a band and you both agree your mutual priority is sticking to your budget. Knowing your priorities ahead of time will help you make decisions moving forward. Proper decision making keeps you away from clutter and chaos, and from overspending.
2. Pick a theme. Themes can be vague or very concrete as long as you (or you and your designer) personally know what it is before you begin hunting for decor. An example of this would be vintage. Anything non-vintage we'd avoid incorporating unless we found a vintage counterpart for that item. As you progress through the planning process, ask yourself "does this play in to my theme or take me down another path." Your guests won't necessarily leave being able to state the theme, but they will leave feeling everything came together in a distinct, uniform way. (Ex. "Vintage romance with an Owl motif" ; "Love is an Adventure"; "Birds of a feather"; "Beatles 'Here Comes the Sun'")
3. Pick a color palate and stick with it. Hopefully your color palate matches your theme (e.g. theme of "Beatles Here Comes the Sun" goes with a color palate of yellow, black and white.) If your color palate is black, white and pink, do not add elements of lime green at the last minute and then a few days later decide to throw in some blue for good measure. It will complicate your look and feel, and guests will feel something is off even if they can't pinpoint their discomfort. Color palates can be as few as three colors and as many as five or six within similar tones. (Ex - black, white and red; Evergreen green, champagne, white and silver; teal blue, sage green, white, off white and brown.) Obviously there are some exceptions (you're throwing a rainbow themed party) but for the most part this is a super important element to creating your overall look.
4. Don't try to put everything you love in one spot. There's nothing wrong with loving a lot of things, but many brides make the mistake of using every idea they see. Ask yourself does it fit my theme?, is it in the category of 3-5 things that are very important to us?, does it match my colors? Ok then, it can advance. This is particularly important for that moment when you decide to get crafty. Opt for quality over quantity and stick with projects that you know you can create well. If a test run finds you amongst a major Pinterest fail, go back to the drawing board. If the project is fitting into your "i must do this to meet my budget, theme and "top priorities list" and it isn't coming out right, call on an expert to help. Remember, RTTO offers DIY project execution assistance.
5. Remember that the venue space is the starting palate. Don't fight the palate. When you walk into your venue, look around for a minute. Then close your eyes and ask yourself what three colors and one word come to mind. Those are how you should proceed with the look and feel of the wedding. Uth oh, you have your heart set on a certain theme/color scheme but the affordable venue you found has colors that don't match. My suggestion is you reconsider the space, or you reconsider the theme... unless your space can be altered. Is your floor red for a wedding that you wanted coral to be the main color scheme? That will not work unless you can cover the floor (which is indeed a possibility) or change the location of the venue or, perhaps, simply reconsider your colors. Are you at a park? The colors you see when you close your eyes will probably be blues, greens, whites, creams and browns. Black would be too harsh as a main color in this space. Are you in Vegas? Pastel tones aren't likely going to work, but jewel metallics will! So would red and black. DO NOT try to fight the natural palate. It will unconsciously create discomfort amongst your guests and, moreover, this is where the breakdown happens between professional and homemade.
In an ideal scenario you choose your location around your theme OR you choose your theme and colors after you've settled on a location so:
- set your budget, pick a theme, pick your colors then go find a venue that fits your vision OR
- set your budget, pick your location, then pick your colors to match your location and a theme that fits within this or provides you with direction within your palate (green, gold and silver colors in an estate so you decide on "Great Gatsby" as your direction)
Most importantly, don't try to please everyone and enjoy every moment of the process.