Thursday, October 10, 2013

DIY Wedding Tips

"Doing more with less."  This, perhaps, is what became our guiding rule in the wedding preparations.  Argey and I often talk about how other couples spend so much for their wedding and how we should never do it for ours. We agreed never to do something that will only taint our special day with an unpleasant memory - like spending all our hard-earned savings for instance.

Hiring event organizers can save you from all the troubles.  Event organizers are everywhere today.  However, if you want your day to be even more memorable and personal, organizing it with your man, family, and friends can truly make a huge difference.  It even is a great opportunity for you and your families to bond and get to know each other better.

So, the DIY concept was basically born along with our aim to spend less, without jeopardizing prettiness of course. We wanted to make our wedding day very memorable, not only to us, but to all our guests as well.  We envisioned the day to be so fun-filled, colorful, cute, and picture-perfect - the perfect blend of an indelible memory.

Doing all the planning and organizing for your event entails a whole lot of time, patience and hardwork.  However, if you do it the right way, you will be able to avoid all the hassles and worries that it often goes with.  Here are some of the things that I learned and wish to share with you:

1. Think of a theme/concept.

How and where do you like to celebrate your special day? Your options can range from the traditional to the modern concepts to the crazily unique ones. Choose a theme that means something to both of you.  Your color motiff, venue, dress designs, decors, cake, and other details may then revolve around your chosen theme.  
DIY wedding shoes: hand-painted sneakers by my wonderful husband; DIY flower cones made of burlap cloth. 

Wedding favors for the VIPs are these melted glass bottles. The little bug cars are part of Argey's bug collection.

These DIY paper rosette balls were used in the church and as table centerpieces.

2. Set a budget.

Set a strict budget and make expenses in accordance with the budget set.  Be sure to include an amount for CONTINGENCY EXPENSES, because believe me, you can NEVER predict all your expenses.  Make a guest list early so you can make your budget for food accurate.  Also, NEVER assume someone will shoulder anything.  Prepare a budget that will cover all your possible expenses.  If someone volunteers to spend for something later on, great!  Then you get to save.

3. Never mention the 'W' word.

One VERY IMPORTANT thing that I also learned from all the wedding preparations is for one to NEVER mention the W word to suppliers.  If you do not personally know the florist, do not mention that the flowers you are buying is for your wedding day or you'll get charged a hefty amount.  This, however, is applicable only if you will do the flower arrangement yourself.  There are, of course, suppliers you can't hide the occasion from, but if you must, negotiate and come up with an amount first before mentioning the event. It's a matter of who gets to be sneaky first.

The only fresh flowers during our wedding are these pretty Baby's Breath flowers. They came in as sort of a bargain, really, because we purchased it in a large quantity, and the florist did not know it's for a wedding.

3. Start early. 

DIY weddings are strenuous and require a lot of time to prepare. Ours took three full months to prepare (that includes all the paperworks). When you start early, you can avoid all the stress that go with cramming.

4. Create a schedule.

Get organized. Plan ahead and create a schedule that you will then strictly follow.

Though both Argey and I are very busy with work, we make sure we are not delayed with the preparations by doubling our wedding tasks on the weekends.

This wedding planner and I had been inseparable for months. 

5. Enjoin family and friends.

Argey and I are super lucky to have supportive families and friends.  We are even extra lucky to be part of a creative circle of friends. Our families were tasked to do the paper rosette balls, burlap flower cones, doodles on the sneakers, accessories on my gown, fruit sticks, and a whole lot more. Our artsy friends, especially Jhet, helped make the boutonnieres, flower crowns, giant paper roses, and most of them painted their own shoes, too.  And then, of course, there are our lovely friends, who took photos and videos (prenup & wedding day).

Your DIY wedding will never be possible without everybody's help.  Imagine all the things you will have to handcraft, style, and design. Enjoining family and friends in your wedding preparation adventures is both fun and even more fulfilling. 

6.  If you plan to DIY your make-up, PRACTICE.

Whenever I get a few hours free on my weekends, I spend it trying on different looks for the day.  Instead of spending for one expensive make-up session, I decided to spend the amount instead in make-up products.  The amount for a session, honestly, went as quite a shock to me.  I did not expect that it would cost so much, considering how it only lasts for a few hours.  And, poof!  When you later wash off your face and hair, you wash off along with it the money you worked hard for.

Today's bride should put more weight on practicality than short-lived luxury.  Today's bride is independent, creative, resourceful.  So, think of the things that you will definitely need help with and the things that you can do or learn to do yourself, but, of course, NEVER jeopardize beauty and quality.

In addition, practice hair and make-up sessions can be a great inclusion in your bridal shower activities, too!

The girls and I prepping for our post-nup shoot.
7. Create a checklist and meet with your committees.

Create committees with your trusted friends and family members to ensure every detail is taken care of.  Luckily for us, we have a group of young, active brothers and sisters - the Pylonites - to always help us.  We requested them to help us in the venue set-up and in ushering our guests.  A few days before the wedding, Argey and I met with them, discussed with them their tasks, and gave them a check-list to guide them of the things that they need to do.

8. Have every moment captured.

You only get married once (that's the case where I live, at least), so be sure you have everything documented and captured beautifully.  Not to be biased towards hubby's career, but I personally believe that photography and videography is what every couple should invest in.  Wedding days become a total blur to every couple.  Believe me, everything was all a blur; but, good videographers and photographers can capture all the important moments and can turn them into a lifetime memory.  Give your pretty dresses, beautiful decors, and lovely guests justice by making sure they are captured wonderfully.

Wedding photographers and videographers are everywhere these days, so be sure you hire only the best.  Ask people you trust who they recommend or check the artists' portfolio to know whether their style suits your taste.  Meeting with them is also necessary to discuss your preferences, their packages, and shoot schedules.  A meeting with them also breaks the ice and eliminates all the awkwardness that photo and video shoots often come with.

Here are the names I would always be proud to recommend, go check them out!

   - EdXPhotography
   - Hermz Larong
   - Archivus
   - Tatsuo Productions
   - Fusion Films

The husband is also a wedding/events photographer - Argey Designs & Photography.

The Gang: (from left) Chamberlain of Tatsuo Productions, Tita Hermz of Hermz Larong Photography, Ivan of Fusion Films, Eisen of Tatsuo Productions, Troy and Edward of EdXPhotography

9. Get some peace and quiet together the night before your big day.

Ah, your last night as single souls!  Now, that deserves good food, a quiet evening, relaxing massage, and a stress-relieving hot bath; and Argey and I made sure we get all that.  We have worked our asses off for eight freaking weeks in a row, so we think it would be just right to culminate the preparations (and to prepare ourselves for our big day) with some quality time together.

The night before is very crucial to your special day.  If you do not get enough sleep, you may end up groggy and moody on the day.  You may also want a good, heartfelt talk with your man before you officially seal your marriage bond.  Talk about how you envision your marriage to be like and assure each other that you will both work to keep each other happy and fulfilled.   

10. Carpe diem!

Enjoy! It is one of the most important days in your life as a couple.  I think one thing that couples often fail to do is to let things be and just try to enjoy all the imperfections.  Leave everything now to your suppliers, your committees, your ushers & usherettes, and, of course, to God.  

Argey and I both agreed to welcome errors and imperfections openly.

- The saxophonist only played halfway through the bridal walk!  Smile and get the guests' attention, instead.
- Grandma didn't wear the dress you bought for her!  She looks good in what she's wearing, anyway.
- Keeya got so nervous, she forgot her prayer! Uh, I love her nonetheless.
- It's getting darker and the program's still long! Just quickly scratch the other parts.
- Uh-oh, the wind's too strong for the flying lanterns! Light them, have pictures taken, put off the light, move on.

There is no such thing as a perfect event, only organizers and guests open to the imperfections.  If you try to correct everything, you only ruin them more.  Your disappointment over the errors will also be documented and reflected in your photos and videos.  Now, you wouldn't want that.  Enjoy your day and your guests will mirror that.  

No matter what the concept you decide for your wedding, what matters most is making it a lasting memory. Add touches of your personalities and interests into your theme to make it even more personal.  You do not need to please anybody.  It's your day; do whatever pleases you.  Most importantly, you do not need to spend so much. After all, it is not about how many guests you have, it's about who among these guests really matter to you.  It's not about how expensive your clothes are, it's the presence of the ones wearing it that's priceless.

So, how do you want your wedding day to be like?


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