Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

April 2024

Wedding DIY: What to Tackle Yourself and What to Leave to the Pros

Have you enthusiastically Pinned a hundred and one wedding DIY projects to your board? Think again!

When planning your wedding, you might feel tempted to take on various projects to personalise your big day and save money, especially if you’re naturally creative and crafty. However, before you make a beeline for the craft store, it’s crucial to grasp some essential dos and don’ts of DIY weddings. You need to know that DIY projects might not always lead to savings in your wedding budget, and the wrong wedding DIY projects might lead to a lot of regret and time wasted.

While you can prepare a lot of wedding elements beforehand, you’ll be too busy on the wedding day itself to dedicate the time needed to set up and style your wedding. If you have very talented family and friends who offer their services, by all means accept, but you shouldn’t make assumptions that your family, friends, and wedding party will be willing to take on big responsibilities like styling your wedding arch, arranging all the flowers, or being the live band. Plus, there’s all the tearing down after the wedding is over and everyone is tired from the celebrations. After all, they’re there to celebrate with you, not work. Ask for help from your loved ones, but make it clear that any contribution is optional.

Here’s a guide to help you decide what to DIY and what not to DIY for your wedding.

Hui Ming and Zi Han’s Elegant Wedding at Capella Singapore with Ethereal Blue and Sweet Pastel Blooms by Thomas Tan Photography

What NOT to DIY

Knowing when to roll up your sleeves or when to call in the professionals can be crucial. Core details and specialised services such as professional photography and large-scale catering should be left to the professionals. You shouldn’t DIY something that’s essential for your wedding to run successfully.

1. Photography

Why not? Your wedding photos are one of the few keepsakes that will last beyond the big day. Professional photographers know how to capture light, angles, and work with people to get great images. Your secondary school friend who owns a DSLR and has been posting photos of nature? He isn’t a professional wedding photographer who is experienced with capturing all the important moments of a fast-paced wedding and shouldn’t be asked to tap in.

2. Catering and Baking

Why not? You may enjoy throwing a fancy dinner party for 10 of your closest friends at home, but preparing food for a large group is a massive undertaking that can be very stressful and complicated. Plus, you definitely won’t have the time to cook on your wedding day. Catering for your wedding is also too big a task to foist on your loved ones. 

If you’re thinking of baking your own wedding cake, think again. While you may be the go-to girl for birthday cakes at home parties, creating a three-tier wedding cake, transporting it safely to the venue, and ensuring it doesn’t melt before the event, is best left to professionals.

3. Wedding Attire

Why not? You may own a sewing machine and love making outfits for your dog, but a wedding ball gown and suit is a whole other ball game. Leave your wedding finery to a professional boutique and tailor, and DIY only small and meaningful elements such as a lace garter, a bow tie, a headband for your flower girl, or that suit for your dog. 



4. Hair and Makeup

Why not? You may be amazing at putting your face on, but a wedding makeup professionals knows how to make your bridal makeup last all day and night, and they understand how makeup shows up in photos.

Cherylene and Mark’s Technicolour Disco-Dino Wedding at The Alkaff Mansion by Rolling Pie Pictures

What to DIY

DIY wedding elements can add a lot of personality and fun to a wedding, as long as you take on the right projects. Choose to DIY small but impactful elements of your wedding to infuse personality and meaning. Stick to a few projects for minimal risk, and don’t underestimate how busy you’ll be when you get into the thick of wedding preparations!

1. Wedding Favours

Why DIY? Personalised wedding favors are a lovely way to thank guests. Homemade items like baked goods, candles, or handmade soaps can be cost-effective and heartfelt. Choose a project that can be made in bulk well ahead of the wedding day to avoid last-minute stress, and bribe friends and family to help out with a pizza party.

2. Guest Book

Why DIY? You can get creative with your wedding guest book, which will become a meaningful keepsake in your new nest. Get guests to sign a globe or a Jenga set, paint a collaborative art piece, or add their thumbprints to a canvas. The possibilities for commemorating your wedding guests are endless!

3. Guest Amenities

Why DIY? DIY wedding guest amenities like handwritten place cards, thoughtful welcome bags, or little notes will be appreciated by your loved ones. Personal touches like these are great places to focus your wedding DIY efforts on, as they will add a lot of significance to your celebration with your loved ones.

Grace and Nik’s Modern Oriental Tea Ceremony and Ethereal White Wedding at The Apurva Kempinski Bali by Iluminen

Should You DIY Your Wedding Styling and Decor?

Whether you should DIY your wedding decor is a very big question. While it’s relatively safe to DIY some decor elements such as arranging cute props around your wedding reception table or crafting a simple backdrop for your photo booth, it’s best to leave the major decor elements to professional stylists and florists. You don’t want the flowers wilting or falling off the wedding arch in the middle of the vow exchange!

DIY-ing small, personal touches can add a lot of personality and meaning into your wedding. If you’re a graphic designer, for example, you might love adding your stamp onto the wedding stationery or signage. Great at embroidery? You might handcraft a meaningful embroidery hoop with your wedding portrait to display at your wedding, and hang in your home after. Small DIY styling touches like these are a great way to personalise your wedding without big risks.

What About DIY Wedding Invitations?

With Canva and wedding websites making designing so easy these days, you’re probably tempted to same some money by DIY-ing your wedding invitations and stationery. If you’re creative and well-versed in design software, go for it! But have someone proofread your work to catch any typos, and don’t forget that you’ll need a reputable printer to print your artwork in plenty of time. As your wedding invitations set the tone for your celebrations–being the first thing your guests receive–you

Khye Theng and Tony’s Romantic and Timeless Wedding with Pops of Blue at Villa Plenilunio Bali by MomentsbyJeremy

Does Wedding DIY Save Money?

While you may be tempted to do everything yourself in a bid to save some big bucks, wedding DIY doesn’t necessarily equate savings. The cost of craft materials, the time spent in trial and error, the supplies wasted from failed projects–all these things can cause wedding DIY to end up being way less economical than investing in a professional from the start.

Plus, you’re a time-strapped wedding planning couple with a lot on your plate, juggling work with vendor visits with keeping the romance alive. Wedding DIY takes a huge amount of time, and you don’t want to tie yourselves down every night gluing 300 wedding favours.
When planning what to DIY for your wedding, focus on small projects that infuse personality and meaning into your wedding, instead of trying to save money on professional services.

DIY projects can add personal touches to your wedding and help you stay within budget, but knowing your limits is key to avoiding unnecessary stress. Choose DIY projects that are manageable and enjoyable for you. For aspects of your wedding where perfection is paramount, investing in professional help is well worth the cost. By balancing DIY projects with professional services, you can achieve a wedding that is both personalised and professionally executed, ensuring your day is enjoyable and memorable.


Credits: Feature image from Lena and Yonglong’s Vibrant and Colourful Wedding at Artemis Grill & Sky Bar by Oddly Familiar Photography

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Wedding DIY: What to Tackle Yourself and What to Leave to the Pros