DIY weddings have become very popular over the last few years in response to the rising costs and also in thanks to the special knowledge-sharing power of Pinterest. As a recent budget bride myself and someone who considers herself rather crafty, going DIY was very appealing. However, I learned that maintaining sanity while working with my family and family-to-be leading up to the wedding day was just as important as how things looked. If you’re a bride-to-be, don’t forget to consider your own personal “Wedding Time Budget” in addition to your costs, which will keep you sane and give you room to focus on the unexpected. Here are some things to consider when doing your planning:

First, figure out what is really important to you as a couple. This will help you make decisions on where to invest and where to give a little or cut a few corners. My husband and I met while working in the music industry and when combined, our vinyl collection takes up an entire wall of our apartment. Needless to say, having music at the forefront of our special day was very important to us and we knew we were going to spend a good chunk of our budget with design details that give a nod to this passion. Would I have loved to DIY gold leaf on the wine glasses? Sure, but that would have been really time-consuming and wouldn’t have spoken to our personality in the same way.

When to DIY.  First, be honest with the artistic skills of you and your friends. Many of those gorgeous photos on Pinterest were created and shot by multiple professionals at the likes of Martha Stewart Living, so only take on projects that you know you can do and when you have plenty of time for a Plan B. DIY works really well for smaller projects of which you’d need only few. (And by ‘few’ I mean less than 20, not 200). Examples would be elements of your table centerpieces, frames for photos by your dessert table, or maybe a few signs around your venue on where the photo booth and bathrooms are. I wouldn’t recommend making 150 of any one single thing, no matter how simple it may seem. Projects like that go off the rails very easily and they’re hard to estimate how much time they’ll take.

When to rent.  Everyone wants their wedding to feel unique, hence, there isn’t much appeal in renting things that you know other brides have used before. However, for the elements that you’ll need a lot of (like dish ware or chair-backers) or something that you really will never, ever use any part of again (like awesome sequined table cloths), just rent them. If you’re worried your wedding will start to look like everyone else’s, play with different combinations and be sure you’re mixing your DIY or custom elements with whatever you’re renting. Remember: while it is a special day, it is only one day. Sanity for the twelve-ish months leading up to the wedding isn’t worth sacrificing trying to create every element yourself — or having a bunch of clutter after that you’ll never use again.

When to buy. There are obvious things like your wedding bands that you’ll wear and enjoy every day for years to come, but it’s important to ask yourself the following questions whenever you’re considering purchasing something to keep: What can you repurpose in your home (think of things like picture frames or patio lights) after the wedding? What are the few items that will last beyond just the one day that you can display as a memento? Is it something special that you want to memorialize on your wedding day that you really can’t find anywhere else? Those are the things that you’ll want to buy or order custom, ensuring that your wedding is as unique and expressive as you are as a couple.

To sum it all up: During the wedding planning madness, don’t forget to budget your time in addition to your money. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose sight on what’s most important: your soon-to-be spouse and your commitment to each other. You’re in the middle of a really special and exciting time. Congratulations!

(image via

Bneato Bar TimeAbout this blog: Time. We don’t want it to be your ultimate enemy. That’s why each Monday we write about ways to save it. It’s no fountain of youth, but we think we’re getting close.

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