DIY Guilt


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

When Aimee sent me the Save The Date cards that she and her fiance had come up with, she sent them with a little apology, a apology I think all DIY couples are way too familiar with. She said “We went the uber-casual/simple/inexpensive route with a postcard we made from a photo, here are our silly Save The Dates.” And then I opened this awesomeness:DIY Guilt | A Practical WeddingNot only do they look cool, but they took the picture at the cafe table where they met, and they photoshopped their kitty into the card, and it fits their personalities since they love both books and coffee shops (us too!). These are some of the coolest and most personal Save The Dates I’ve seen.

I think couples going the DIY route tend to have some guilt going on. We’re under so much pressure to spend SO much money on so many different things, that when we do things on our own, we are afraid they are not going to be good enough. I hear a lot of people saying “We hope it’s not tacky” and “We hope it doesn’t look homemade.” So I just want to say this. You can spend a small fortune to pay someone to hand design save the dates and invitations for you that reflect who you are as a couple, but they may never be as cool or as personal as a Save The Date like this one, made by the couple.

So lets reclaim our own weddings! Forget saying we are having a DIY wedding. When people ask, you can just say that you are not having a professional wedding. Because really, when you think about it, there is nothing more old fashioned and traditional then doing your wedding yourself.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04349394209890946701 Dubbs

    This one impressed me – meaningful, original, fresh. If I was Aimee I’d wear it around my neck showing it off.

    I have to say though, I am a victim of DIY guilt once in awhile. Like you said, it’s not easy under all the pressure. Good thing people who know me know that I try to DIY everything anyway, and they expect no less at my wedding.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16358209654239607887 Kate

    What a thoughtful and creative SD! And what a pertinent post…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05848732458363426796 Betsy

    i love this!

    often, DIY is the “practical” way to go, especially if you have the desire/talent/time and want to save the dough. thanks for posting this!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209533406055486161 Rachel

    That is greatness!! Very creative!

    I will say though, I don’t know how to operate, nor do I have access to photoshop. I’m not a graphic designer. I’m creative, but sometimes it’s hard to bring what’s in my head into reality…That being said, we did hire somebody to come up with the design for our invitations as well as a monogram. I found her online, and she’s inexpensive. We are going to print them out ourselves. Our Save the Dates are being designed by our photographer (it was included in her price), but we are using our monogram on them as well as a photo of us.
    I don’t think it’s necessarily bad if you CAN’T create all this by yourself – if you DO have to hire somebody. You can still make it personal I think, depending on who you hire and how you go about designing it.

    But I would have loved to take credit for that Save the Date… it’s awesome!

  • http://theselittlemoments.wordpress.com Molly

    It’s so true — I’ve been working very hard to make my wedding scream “us” in unique and DIY ways, but there is often that thought of “is it good enough?” Thank you for putting it in perspective.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11428554394228794484 Jennifer

    I second Riley. My DIY guilt comes from being unable to produce everything I want to produce. I can’t use scissors to save my life, but I *think* I have some great ideas. I give kudos to those who can truley DIY. Me? I am relient on others to help me DIY.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06206689296805893265 east side bride

    This rocks! I’m personally not a fan anything that feels too “professional” (ie. “corporate”)

    I feel the bridal pain of wanting to DIY but not having the skills. FH is the photographer/photoshop/web master of the house and I’m starting to feel like a nag because there’s so much I want to do that I can’t do myself.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17999264774530749624 rebekah

    No guilt necessary! Save the Dates don’t need to be as elaborate as an invite! Love it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12337506449974498011 Rebecca

    Yes! Go DIY. Love the postcard and the spirit of your post!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04398467793017008387 Elizabeth

    Those are awesome.
    And thanks for not calling them STDs. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    I’ll post more on DIY, and not being able to do everything yourself soon. I use DIY loosely… sometimes that just means letting people volunteer to help you.

    And Aimee told me that they don’t have design experience, they just figured it out, with help. Lets hear it for asking for help!

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    These are lovely. I don’t have diy guilt so much as frustration (aright, fury if I’m honest). I actually feel quite proud of my diy projects and I wish everyone else did. Ok, they’re not the most professional and they’re not the most sleek but they are personal and that’s the most important thing to me.

  • Aimee

    It’s so funny to see our Save the Date on a blog! Thanks, Meg.

    We had a lot of fun making these. We really, really didn’t know what we were doing (like Meg said, no design experience!), but we fumbled around until we had something that made us smile and seemed “right”. And it helped that Minh loved playing with photoshop!

    Thanks for the great comments, guys! And thanks, Meg for this fabulous blog!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16924511554130447743 Minh

    Hey Meg, thanks for the post–I’m glad you liked our Save the Dates!

    A quick tip to any DIYers who are planning on using an image of a newspaper in your picture: READ THE PAPER FIRST. I had to reach deep into my bag of photoshop tricks to get rid of:

    “Preparing for Lean Times: The Looming Recession”

    “Euthanizing Horses”

    and worst of all, “Ryan Seacrest”.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01105755263373802813 invisiblyrose

    my goodness. i just found your blog today and i’m so glad i did. i just finished my handmade photoshopped save the dates and you just killed all my fears that it looks homemade. thanks very much and i love your blog!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16254710588659586501 Michelle

    Thanks–great post!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10648725099262152263 AmyJean {Relentless Bride}

    What an awesome DIY STD! I really love how creative and personal it is… it inspires me to DIY something as well!

  • Evelyn

    I know that this is an old post and I’m a little slow on the uptake of wedding blogs, but Oh My Word. Thank you so much for posting this. If nothing else, it is glorious to hear someone reassure you that your DIY decisions aren’t something to feel guilty about. I myself have caught myself feeling a little like I’m somehow duping our guests my doing so much of our wedding independently, but it just works best for us. No more guilt any longer! I’m going to be proud to help along our self-proclaimed Practical Wedding =)

  • Julianna

    As with the previous comment, I know this is a much older post but I just wanted to say I love that save the date! and to ask – what about anti-DIY guilt? I do lots of scrapbooking, cardmaking, and papercrafts (my fiance proposed by making me a scrapbook, actually) and everyone has been asking me/assuming that I'll make my own invites. But what if I don't want to deal with the hassle or stress? I know from experience that DIY doesn't always mean less expensive, either!

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