For as long as I can remember, I’ve always imagined my wedding to be a project that I’ll build from scratch. In this day and age, where there are many vendors providing all kinds of wedding services, I still feel I wouldn’t do myself and the BTB any justice if we just get someone else to create our vision. I know it won’t be easy, in fact I know it’ll be super tedious, but if the BTB and I can survive 7 years of being together, what’s one year of working hard to build the wedding of our dreams? Bear in mind that DIY isn’t for everybody, but you’re so much cooler in my books if you do it too. 🙂
1. It allows us to express our creative and unique style
Anyone who really knows me knows that I’m quite the handyman. I’m guilty of always saying “I can do that” when we see something that looks do-able but costs a bomb. I just like to be crafty and handy, plain and simple. Throughout the years, the BTB has developed quite a liking for handcrafted stuff too, perhaps due to the numerous handmade gifts that I made for her. Therefore, it just makes sense that our wedding contains handmade elements as well to reflect our unique tastes.
2. We want to save money
There’s a false belief that DIY can be a cheaper option. While it may be true that you pay less for stuff that you do yourself, it is also prudent to consider non-monetary costs involved such as labour, transportation, and time. Include all these miscellaneous items in your calculations and you might get a rude shock. Don’t be disheartened though. If, like us, you have the luxury of time and make plans early, it is still possible to save some money. Spend a lot of time doing research, make realistic goals, and always keep a track of your expenditure to avoid spending more than you should.
3. Retain as much control as we possibly can
Perhaps one of the reasons why I personally don’t even consider vendors that do all-in-one packages is because it leaves little room for customised ideas. Often, we’re left at the mercy of the vendor, and we can just hope that they’ll deliver what they’d promised. Of course, choosing this option can eliminate the stress of finding separate vendors, and that’s great if you’re all for that. Personally, I have a strong vision of what our wedding should look and feel like, and putting a little bit of effort (and a lot of stress) into making this a reality should be all worth it. Eventually.
4. Convince our parents it’ll all work out
It is often said that a wedding is as much a vision of a couple’s parents as it is theirs, if not more. While it may be our wedding, we’re aware that our parents have a say as well. Of course, the key to avoid a family meltdown leading up to the wedding is to compromise. However, to get to that point is a long, winding road. When I first suggested the idea of a pared down wedding with mostly DIY elements, my parents were not on board at all. Granted, my dad was a very creative and crafty man back in the day (that’s perhaps where I get the creative gene from), but we don’t necessarily have the same ideas. For my elder brother’s wedding, he made the bunga rampai, directional signs, and even a bunga mangga out of a tiki lamp. It’s just a matter of tapping this nerve and reminding him with conviction that if he could do all that, I can too. During the months I was not employed, I did a few DIY projects that helped convince them I definitely can do this.
5. Build a community around the wedding
Building on the last point, getting closed ones involved can benefit you in the long run of your DIY journey. Sometimes all parents want is to be involved in your wedding, so give them the opportunity to contribute. It’ll make the entire event not only meaningful to you, but to them as well. Plus, there must be someone amongst your friends and family that has a certain skill that you may lack and be a lifeline in times of need. For instance, who knew that the BTB’s brother-in-law can sew like a badass on the sewing machine? While we were struggling sewing pouches for my bunga rampai, he stepped in and finished the last batch in lightning speed.