The 10 Commandments of DIY Wedding Decor

We can't turn on our computer these days without stumbling across a beautiful wedding DIY. Handcrafted touches go a long way to extend your wedding budget and personalize your big day, so it's not surprising that many brides are buying less and making more of their wedding decor — but before you break out the glue gun, there are a few DIY wedding decor rules we urge you to follow. Ignoring these rules has been known to lead to exhaustion, stress, bridal burnout, and regret. Make the wedding-planning process enjoyable by abiding by our 10 commandments of DIY wedding decor below.

Thou Shalt . . .

  1. Finalize the wedding theme before starting any DIY decor projects
  2. With so many beautiful images on blogs and Pinterest, it can be tempting to pull from many different color schemes and aesthetics, but you'll soon find yourself with a disjointed jumble of decor. Don't spend a dollar on DIY supplies until you've decided on your theme and edited your decor project list to match.

  3. Overestimate the amount of time a DIY decor project is going to take
  4. It's pretty much guaranteed that a project will take longer than expected to complete, not to mention you have to repeat that centerpiece DIY for each and every table. Pad your timeline to avoid unnecessary stress.

  5. Be realistic about your craft skill level
  6. You might be in love with the glossy images of a DIY decor project you saw on Pinterest, but those photos are not necessarily representative of how your version will turn out. Avoid a #PinterestFail by leaving the highly skilled projects to the pros.

  7. Only commit to doing as many DIY decor projects as can be reasonably completed before the wedding
  8. With the money-saving value many DIYs offer, it's tempting to want to DIY everything to extend your budget, but the fact is you don't have time to do it all — you still have that pesky job, social commitments, and wedding planning taking up your time. Pick and choose what to DIY and what to buy carefully. Your time is precious and needs to be budgeted like your money, and you can't afford to run out of either.

  9. Accept family and friends' offers to help
  10. There's nothing wrong with outsourcing DIY projects when aunt so-and-so or your former college roommate offers to help. In fact, doing so will make your friends and family feel more involved while giving you more time to focus on wedding prep.

  11. Not spend more money on the DIY than it would cost to buy the finished product
  12. While most DIYs help you save money, there are some that turn into huge cost-sucks. If you have to buy expensive equipment or supplies to complete a DIY, then it's time to weigh the cost against that of simply buying the finished product.

  13. Personalize it where it appropriate
  14. Don't be a slave to the instructions on the page. It's OK to change colors, add a monogram, skip the beading, and generally adjust DIYs to your taste. After all, one of the pros of DIY decor is that it's more personal than store-bought, so customize it!

  15. Not do any DIY decor project that requires wedding-day work or setup
  16. Draw the DIY line at any project that is going to require work, attention, or setup on the wedding day. You have enough to do on your wedding day (and hardly enough time to do it as is). Putting together boutonnieres is not where your attention should be.

  17. Know when to throw in the towel
  18. When a project just isn't working, cut your losses early and move on. You have too much wedding prep to do to waste time working on something that isn't going to turn out right.

  19. Accept imperfection
  20. Handmade items are going to have imperfections — or "character," as we like to call them. Don't dwell on them. Focus on what you love, and trust that your guests, who aren't going to be anywhere near as critical as you, won't notice. All they'll see is the love that went into crafting each piece.