On Not Crafting for My Wedding (Even Though the Internet Really, Really Wants Me To)


This week, we wanted to explore what Maddie called (to quote Batman), “It’s not who you are but what you do that defines you.” One of the things we want to talk about is how weddings and identities can intermingle. Sometimes you’re bringing yourself to the wedding, sometimes the wedding is trying to assign some sort of new identity to you, and sometimes you decide “F*ck it, it’s just my wedding. It does not have to define me.” Today Danielle is here with a post about planning I could have written back in my planning days (actually, I guess I kind of did), about (God-bless) the Lazy Girl Wedding. Because all kinds of weddings are ok, as long as it’s your wedding (crafty, not-crafty, unique, totally-not-unique-damn-it, whatever).On Not Crafting for My Wedding (Even Though the Internet Really, Really Wants Me To) | A Practical WeddingI made a pact with myself—as many readers of this site probably do—to avoid consulting the internet for advice about my wedding (APW aside, obviously!). I am not crafty, not even a little bit, and I knew that if I went down the road of Pinterest, wedding blogs, DIY wedding idea sites, etc., I would feel somehow inadequate, as someone who considers herself a, shall we say, non-non-traditional bride.

What’s with the double negative action? What it feels like, out there in the interwebs, is that there are basically two kinds of weddings:

  1. The weddings that go all-out Wedding Industrial Complex, with big spending and lots of adherence to tradition (no judgment); and
  2. Super-crafty, artsy, DIY-type weddings, where, out of concerns about cost and consumption—or, often, out of a desire to have the most unique wedding ever—the betrothed spend hours upon hours thinking, theme-creating, making, crafting, tweaking, etc. (Again, no judgment. Just mild jealousy, maybe.)

My fiancée and I don’t really fall into either camp. As previously mentioned, I have no skills in the arts and crafts arena. We are not having the kind of rustic, farmhouse-y wedding that lends itself well to cute homemade decor; our wedding is in a Swedish modern venue. And, overall, I am not really a DIY kind of person. From the get-go, we knew that we cared about only four things: people, food, alcohol, and photography. We booked a museum space where everything, decoration-wise, is pretty much ready to go because we did not want to have to throw a big party and figure out how to decorate it.

Knowing all of this, with less than three weeks to go before the big day, I slipped up. Things on the planning front were running smoothly and on-target, and I began to have the creeping sense that I was slacking, that there would be nothing we had made at this wedding, and oh my god all of our friends had cool homemade things at their weddings; what have I been doing all this time?

So I stepped, gingerly at first, into the crafty wedding ideas pond. Maybe some paper pom-poms or something, I thought. They looked so funky-cool in the wedding-photo slideshows I kept stumbling upon. Those seem easy; I could rally some friends to help, I assured myself.

Three hours and 60-some Firefox bookmarks later, I was in too deep. Sure, I flagged photos of some sensible, doable projects—table numbers made from small notebooks, a few pretty paper garlands—but I also latched onto many photos of outdoorsy barn weddings where the to-be-weds have to haul in everything, and so they take the time to make it adorable.

Months earlier, we had thoughtfully planned to avoid this fate for ourselves. Yet here I was, 19 days before the wedding, bookmarking photos of elaborate hand-painted umbrellas; handcrafted table runners, doilies, and napkins; colorful homemade pinwheels. Pinwheels!

Panic escalating, I hopped over to paper-supply websites to price out some of these projects (I mean, pinwheels, people). I added Paper Source to the day’s list of errands. I got in the car.

I think that, in some part, I wanted the sense of pride that comes from making things. But I also thought, well, since we’re not having the kind of wedding where we buy everything, we must be having the kind of wedding where we make things!

Like… pinwheels? What, exactly, were my guests going to do with these pinwheels? What?

Luckily, I stopped to meet with a dear friend before I hit the paper store. Upon hearing my frenzied plans and seeing the alarming number of my bookmarked “ideas,” she talked some sense into me. “Danielle,” she gently yet firmly reminded me, “you do not need pinwheels. You do not need any of this. This is not who you are.”

All those months of reading A Practical Wedding came rushing back—no joke. I remembered that we can have whatever kind of wedding we want, and that just because I’m not panicking in these final pre-wedding weeks doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. It probably means I’m doing something right.

And knowing that I won’t glance around the room at the end of our wedding night and see sloppy homemade pinwheels abandoned on tables and tossed into trash cans? That feels pretty right too.

Photo by: LeahAndMark.com (APW Sponsors)

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  • http://www.madeinmorningside.blogspot.com Ashleigh

    This is awesome thank you!! All other wedding blogs that I read are just jam packed full of crafts and DIY etc etc which look awesome and I would love to do. But when you dig a bit deeper you find they don’t save money and the person a getting married is graphic designer or interior decorator. Little old engineer me can’t compete with the creativity. I freak out and then I calm down and realise that most of my friends don’t read wedding blogs and won’t expect anymore than us getting married, some food and some booze.

    It’s difficult for me to understand why I want to craft so much – is it the blogs, is it some wierd competition, is it that I’ll enjoy it, is it to appear thrifty?xox

    • Kestrel

      Aw, come on. Engineers are totally creative!

      It’s just that our creativity doesn’t necessarily produce something that’s aesthetically pleasing ;)

      I’d like to see some art majors figure out how to fit this that and the other thing into the surprisingly small small tube while adhering to the laws of physics and making sure it can be manufactured! Damn stupid tube.

      (Sorry, one of my pet peeves. Engineers are creative too!)

      • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

        As a non-engineer, I’m a little bit in awe of the sort of creativity that people in your profession have. You have to create things that not only work and are effective, but have some pretty narrow parameters to work within sometimes.

        • http://becomingbrown.wordpress.com Jennifer Lyn

          Absolutely. My husband is an engineer and the problem solving arena involved in his work is SO creative. It’s way beyond me.

      • http://www.piecesofanna.com/ Anna

        Agreed. I’m an engineer and I crafted decorations for our wedding (our of budgetary concerns). Engineering and creativity are definitely not mutually exclusive!

    • Claire

      Some of the most creative people I know are engineers! My friend who took our wedding photos and has his own photography side business? His day job is as an engineer. And my husband, an engineer who prototypes medical devices as his day job, made my wedding ring himself. It was an incredible experience watch him design the setting (a titanium tension set), and then program and machine his concept into reality. Now that ring not only symbolizes our vows, but also the hours upon hours of time that he spent crafting this unique gift with his own two hands.

      • http://www.twitter.com/babyinabar Shotgun Shirley

        Awesome! I come from a family of engineers (and am one too) and my brother-in-law created his and my sister’s wedding rings himself. And they’re beautiful.

        Let’s all keep off the Engineers-Aren’t-Creative bandwagon, please! Or really, the Any-Given-Professionals-Aren’t-Creative bandwagon. Just because I’m analytical doesn’t mean I’m not creative too, dagnabbit.

        This is only making me grumpy I think b/c I was recently contrasted with a “creative type” whom I’m working with… as if he is the only one bringing any creativity to the table. Ha!

    • Alexandra

      Eh, engineers may be creative, but that doesn’t mean that they’re quite in the same league as artists of interior decorators, who make a living on how creative and aesthetic they are. And obviously, not all engineers are creative or un-creative too.

      My fiance and I are both computer programmers. The creativity between us is rather lacking…

      • Anne

        It also doesn’t mean they can’t be in the same league as artists or interior decorators or that artists and interior decorators are by default creative.

        • Class of 1980

          I think each person in this world is born with a different bundle of abilities. Some engineers aren’t visually creative, but are creative in their fields. And some are renaissance people who have more than one ability.

          Bill Gates said he wished he had Steve Jobs’ taste.

        • Alexandra

          Of course not. I’m sure there are plenty of visually creative engineers. But I’m seeing a whole bunch of people going “Oh no, engineers are SO creative!!” And I don’t want the OP to look at this and go “Oh god, I’m doing it wrong because my creativity doesn’t translate into making things look gorgeous!”

          My point is, in the end, it’s an interior designer’s job to be able to look at a room (or wedding venue) and make it look like it should be in a magazine. That’s not an engineer’s job, their creativity is more in the “How do I fit this square peg into this round hole?” It doesn’t directly translate to knowing what colours look good together or how to set up a room to look inviting and cozy. I think saying “I’m an engineer and feel that I can’t compete with these weddings thrown by interior designers” is a completely logical, reasonable statement.

          • Kestrel

            Ah yes, that’s the “not aesthetically pleasing” part (although to be honest, a good portion of my job currently is figuring out how to do the engineering to make it look nice. Pipe bending is my current nemesis)

            Basically, I just wish people would widen their definition of creativity. If you take it from the base word, “create”, tons of people are creative, whether it’s creating art, music, the next electronic toy, a chair that helps your butt not hurt. We’re all creative when we’re solving problems – whether that be of the aesthetic kind or of the square-peg-in-round-hole kind.

          • Alexandra

            I’m all for a wider description! I remember thinking in school about how writing code is more creative than people give credit for. Perhaps creative was just the wrong word in this situation.

          • Ambi

            I’ve chosen to stay out of this particular debate, but KESTRAL, your words really rang true for me. I am “creative” in many areas of my life, in the sense that I love to craft and paint and do a bit of sculpting and ceramics . . . but I’m also extremely creative when I write a legal brief. In fact, I’ve talked about that as a strength in a job interview before (spoiler alert: I got the job!), and I think other people in my field would absolutely recognize what I mean by that. I think it may be same way for so many professions – outsiders who don’t really know what goes into your work may not see or understand your creativity, but a colleague will usually recognize when you’ve come up with something special. I’m pretty sure that just about any person in any profession utilizes creativity – just in different ways. Whether it is a nurse coming up with a new way to get a child to take his medicine or an accountant figuring out how to maximize a new tax deduction or a realtor creatively describing a house in a way that matches up with the prospective buyer she is talking to . . . in my experience, anyone who cares about their job is usually pretty creative in doing it.

    • http://www.madeinmorningside.blogspot.com Ashleigh

      Oh wow – whoops didn’t mean to offend a whole load of engineers. Just meant that “little old me” feels overwhelmed by the pretty in some of weddings I see! xox

      • http://havearrived.wordpress.com becca

        just wanted to add that one of my best friends, who is a civil engineer– all her engineering friends made a photo booth for her and her husband’s wedding. it was awesome!

        :)

  • Margaret M.

    Good job! What you did is not easy.

    I LOVE making things by hand, whether it’s knitting, quilting, gardening, or cooking. I kinda hate calling it “being crafty” because to me, it is “being expressive.” Or “being creative.” It is an essential and necessary human drive. It is art. I don’t think it’s pretentious to think of these things as art, because it’s how my grandmother and her mother expressed themselves creatively. I am carrying on in that tradition, working in the same media they did, but bringing my own sensibility to it. I love that.

    However, before my wedding, I definitely channeled a lot of anxiety into foolish Jo-Ann fabric trips. I like to make things, but I think there’s a difference between digging deep and trying to make something beautiful, and trying to keep up with the Joneses and crafting as a way to smother anxiety.

    • Kestrel

      I’m also a ‘crafty’ person and I’m worried that I’ll take on too much! (note that I’m not even engaged yet, and already worrying about it!) Ever sense I was little, my mom would take me to JoAnns and Michaels and I did cross stitch, watercolor, paint-by-number, basic woodwork, crocheting, knitting, origami, wood burning, quilting, making clothes, basket weaving, etc. I was the kind of child that would get bored easily so my mother tried hard to keep me entertained and I made more than my fair share of Popsicle stick ‘art’ and sock monkeys. (And before you ask, I’m 22, but evidently was stuck in the 70s with my crafting! I blame my mother.)

      I’m only good at knitting, but that’s beside the point!

      I think for me it will be a ‘keeping up with the jones’ type deal as well as a ‘but I’ll never be able to justify it ever again!’ deal too. Still, some crafting really keeps me sane, I just have to make sure I don’t overdo it, particularly because I’m a student (soon to be grad student) and therefore will be having a quite frugal wedding.

      • Margaret M.

        Well, it helps to identify the thought that is driving your behavior. “I’ll never get a chance to do it again” is patently untrue! Your wedding is not your last shot at making things, or throwing a really awesome party (thankfully).

        • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

          Especially if you have friends or family getting married in the future who would like some crafty help. It seems an awful lot less stressful to be doing the crafting for someone else’s wedding. (Uh, provided they’re being fairly sane and reasonable, of course.)

    • Jashshea

      “I don’t think it’s pretentious to think of these things as art…”

      Related to one of last week’s posts – I think it’s pretentious to NOT call it art. “It” being any type of creative endeavor.

      I’m a teeny bit creative, but not craft-capable. If I made a bunch of stuff for the wedding (tears, hours, dollars), it would look like I made a bunch of stuff for the wedding (chaos) and I would dislike it.

    • Louise

      YES. To all of this. First, I also hate calling it “crafts” because it does not sound as serious as it is to me. Second, I did SO well at being intentional and reasonable with my crafting plans for the wedding (before I was engaged, I planned on making my dress… that lasted about 2 weeks of actual wedding planning before I bought one)… until about 2 weeks ago, when I needed to make all the things. Now, with 10 days to go, I’m realizing how insane that was and scaling back… says the girl who spent yesterday dyeing silk in the kitchen to make flower corsages… crafting is ALWAYS how I deal with anxiety/stress, so of course, when I’m trying to coordinate all these people, I’m turning to my drug of choice…

  • Senorita

    Thanks to stupid med school schedules, my wedding is a long 1.4 years away. We have all the big things set at this point, so finding a creative outlet in all the little details is the only thing stopping me from going stir-crazy waiting to marry this handsome man.

    • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

      That sounds like a brilliant reason to be doing crafty wedding things. Energy focused on sanity is always a good thing. And, with 1.4 years you’ve actually got some time on your hands to get a crafty project or two completed!

  • http://minnesota-chic.com PA

    I laughed out loud when I read, “Things on the planning front were running smoothly and on-target, and I began to have the creeping sense that I was slacking.” I am feeling just the same way! We are closing in on the day, and things are going so smoothly, with so little in the way of details planned on my part, that I am flailing just for the sake of Doing Something because I am afraid I am somehow Doing It Wrong.

    Keep on keeping on with your non-non-traditional wedding self! We are cheering from the sidelines!

    • http://www.3upadventures.com Beth

      Yup. I’m totally having, “Wait…don’t I need more cute decorations? I’m totally a wedding slacker” moments these days. (The good news is I don’t want to expend much more energy on the wedding…I’m ready to get married and move on…)

    • Claire

      Oh, I remember that feeling the week before our wedding! I took a few days off before the wedding, but instead of doing wedding stuff we just spent that time hanging out with my siblings and nieces who had traveled internationally. My mom and in-laws and girlfriends kept calling to see how the last-minute preparations were going and I would answer from the beach or from the apple orchard with the sound of eight kids in the background. They kept asking me if everything was all done, and I kept saying, “Yeah, I think so” and then feeling like maybe I was slacking and forgetting something important that I should be frantically doing. We literally had no details to work on, so I ended up baking a few cakes the day before the wedding, just so I could feel productive.

      You are most definitely NOT Doing It Wrong!

  • http://twitter.com/itsradishtime Taylor

    Ahhhh yes! non-non traditional bride. I’m stealing that.

    It is interesting though- this image of non-traditional weddings, Danielle’s type #2, seems that it is becoming traditional now itself. We’re having this traditional country club reception and a plated dinner with pretty much nothing to speak of as far as “details” beyond a few centerpieces. And people are asking “Wait..you’re NOT doing a photo booth or a thumbprint tree or a candy buffet or…? But you’re so crafty!”

    “All the things”that keep being created to differentiate your wedding from “tradition” just keep being folded in to tradition, necessitating MORE things to “set you apart.”
    I do not like it.

    And then, why all the pressure to have your wedding “set you apart” anyway?

    • meg

      “All the things”that keep being created to differentiate your wedding from “tradition” just keep being folded in to tradition, necessitating MORE things to “set you apart.” I do not like it.

      Yes. This. I’m going to revisit this later in the week, in fact.

      • Class of 1980

        A to the MEN!!!

    • Claire

      True dat.

      There are just so many things that are so very pretty and creative and cute, but also totally not necessary to “be unique” or, my favorite, to be “so us”. What does that mean anyway? The way I figure it, you and your betrothed show up as yourselves to be married. That is enough to make your wedding “you”. Presumably, your guests already know you and like you. They do not need pretty things to tell them something nice about who you are and why your wedding is special.

  • http://www.myhonestanswer.com/ my honest answer

    Ha ha! I made my own wedding cake, and seeing it all cut up and disassembled at the end of the night was bittersweet (sweet because we got to cut it! and people enjoyed it!), but bitter because, wow, that took me hours! And now it’s in pieces!

    So I totally get what you mean about the pinwheels in the trash at the end of the night. If you’re not doing something for THE LOVE of it, don’t bother. Because it does all get discarded, and the memories of making it (and, briefly, using it) are what remain. If they’re not going to be good memories, what’s the point?

  • Jenni

    THANK YOU for this post. I think the super-crafty, DIY weddings make me more anxious than the WIC ones. It’s easy to say “well I don’t have the kind of money to spend on golden swans and Cinderella’s chariot”. But when I see these beautiful projects on Pinterest or some of the other wedding blogs, even knowing that I am NOT a crafty or creative person, I start thinking, “maybe if I just tried hard enough, I could create a wedding like that …”

    Thanks for the inspiration to stick to your guns and know what kind of wedding is right for you! (And to APW for showcasing weddings that live between WIC and DIY.)

  • http://theroadto92912.blogspot.com Molly

    Thank you for this post! I am not really a crafty person, and I don’t have room in our one-bedroom apartment to store countless projects. Plus, we’re more throw-money-at-the-problem people than do-it-yourself people.

    • megan

      ugh same, and not in a we’re-so-rich way (obv we aren’t). But sometimes it’s way better to throw money at a professional to solve a problem than to spend money buying the supplies, fucking the project up, and THEN throwing money at a pro.

    • Alexandra

      Yeah, we got a wedding planner for exactly this reason. I thought to myself that “Well, we aren’t very decisive. We’re terrible at planning events. Neither of us is exceptionally creative.” And I looked at my fiance and went “We need a wedding planner.” And he thought about it and how he reacts when buying something he doesn’t know much about. And then we got a wedding planner.

  • http://metamorphocity.com/ Sarah

    I can’t “exactly” this post enough! While I really haven’t begun any solid planning in earnest yet, I’ve already been struggling with the thought that I’m probably more of an in-between bride myself. It’s odd, because I actually love throwing themed parties, and am the first one to say, “I’ll just make them!” when we can’t find, say, the raven silhouettes or cinnamon heart macarons that I insisted were necessary for the Edgar Allen Poe-themed Valentines party we’ve decided to throw.
    BUT, while I’m completely charmed by all of the DIY projects the internet has to offer, I just can’t find it in me to get crafty with this particular celebration. However, I can so clearly picture myself going through what you’ve described at the last minute and arriving at my wedding just covered in glitter glue and bits of tissue paper, wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth, triumphantly holding up some demented-looking papier mache tragedy as I march down the aisle.
    Ahem.
    I’m thinking it might be best to just choose one very simple DIY project early on so that I can feel like I’ve added a personal touch, and then focus on that when that moment of crazy arrives.

    • Jashshea

      Please invite me to your next valentine’s party.

      • http://metamorphocity.com/ Sarah

        Ha! An APW-themed Valentine’s it is! I’d be happy to have you.

    • Ambi

      Sarah, I can’t “exactly” this enough! I am the person who LOVES to dream up fun theme parties (bridal showers, baby showers, holiday parties, etc.) and pours hours of time and work into everything from the invitations to the menu to decor . . . and yet, I am soooo not interested in doing that for my wedding. I don’t know why. It really confuses me. But when I think about trying to settle on an overall design scheme and choose between the myriad of options for unique high-style decorations, I just get overwhelmed. I’m crafty – I could make some killer pinwheels or pom poms. But I am not so confident in being able to envision the entire design and pull off something cohesive and tasteful . . .

      But last night I was browsing photographers’ websites and came upon a wedding at one of our favorite local restaurants, and I fell in love with it because it was so simple and straightforward. No crafty personal touches. No tissue pom poms hanging from the ceiling or thoughtful creative centerpieces or hand-made favors or quirky photobooth. This wedding was just the restaurant, as it usually decorated, but with a small simple flower arrangement on each table, and with chairs (the regular restaurant chairs, no tulle or ribbon or fancy covers) set up on the restaurant’s deck where the couple said their vows. There wasn’t a theme (that I could tell), there weren’t colors – it was just a beautiful restaurant to begin with, and they let it be. And it was gorgeous, and it looked like a really fun wedding. Last night I went to sleep really happy and content thinking about the fact that I could have a beautiful wedding, with fabulous photos, without doing ANY of that crafty DIY designy stuff that you see on all the blogs. I may choose to do some of it, but no longer feel like I NEED to do it. This couple’s wedding that I found on the internet – these strangers that I don’t even know – have given me so much peace about my own wedding.

      • http://www.bridesanstulle.com Sharon

        I’m also a moderately crafty lover of paper goods and themed parties who was very resistant to wedding crafting on a large scale. My moment of clarity came when I realized there’s a HUGE difference between making a card for a friend or making decorations for a small party and replicating a DIY invite or escort card for 200 PEOPLE. The former is fun and relaxing. The latter? My personal path to insanity.

  • Emily

    I totally know what you mean! I am not necessarily “crafty.” There were a lot of things I kept wanting to make, and then realized that it was not THAT much more expensive to just buy it and have it look more professional with no effort (this is why Etsy is awesome). What I did end up making was a lot of paper stuff, since I’m good at photoshop. Everything I made required little more crafting than pressing “print.” However, I had crafty bridesmaids who were constantly asking me to let them help. Everyone gave the gift of their time in some way, and made things based on what they were good at. This was awesome, because when I looked around my reception, I didn’t feel a sense of pride because of what I had made, but because of what we all had made (and some of that simply included arranging stuff that had been bought to look pretty).

  • Jashshea

    Um. So I’m reading this, nodding and hallelujah’ing. I’m not anti-craft, but I’m just not good at it. My head writes checks that my hands can’t cash. I gnash teeth, cry, throw things when I craft. But there’s something about a wedding that makes me forget myself. Over and over again.

    Does anyone want to guess what the 4 other tabs I have open in Chrome are? DIY recipe book – Etsy. Custom Binder DIY. Printable recipe booklets. And Pinterest. Somebody stop me.

    • Claire

      “My head writes checks that my hands can’t cash”…love this description.

      • Christina

        Whats funnier is that I read your list of tabs and I was like OOOOOOOOOH DIY recipe book I have to try that!! Like right now. Because with my wedding 45 days away I am going to be spending so much time experimenting in my kitchen. Ha. I just googled it anyway. I’m hopeless.

        But the good news is I like to craft and sometimes my stuff turns out halfway decent. Still, I think I fit into the not-not-traditional mix of these 2 not really anyone categories– because I have a job that takes up, you know, most of my time, and leaves me with less time and energy to craft. I am debating on whether to give up on the paper pom project that to me sounds like fun but maybe won’t be fun when I try to squeeze it all into one day and am folding paper until 2 am.

        Oh wait that doesn’t make me unique or not traditional right? I mean I know I’m not the only person with a job who has more ideas for projects than she does time to complete them. Working brides are becoming more the norm these days aren’t we?

        So in short I don’t think there are many people who do fit perfectly into category 1 or 2– there are a bunch of us out there who are trying to figure out the right mix of both that works for us, our schedules, talents, and budgets.

        • Jashshea

          This post, as the APW saying goes, comes at the perfect time. Instead of driving myself insane, I emailed my super-duper creative/talented/craft-loving friend and said “OMG CRAFT BOOK RECIPES 30 COPIES HELP” and she said “send me what you need me to do.” Bless her.

          Side note: I’m pretty sure I googled that exact phrase.

          Side note 2: Make the recipe book after the wedding. You’ll still make recipes (assuming, of course, that you already make recipes).

  • Daynya

    Yes!! I am pretty crafty myself, but I swore I would not take on too much during planning. Planning itself is stressful, so I didn’t want to magnify that. However, I found a few little projects to keep my hands occupied, and I use them as a wedding meditation. I clear the table, and get to work, and tune out everything else. It is peaceful, and meaningful. I like having a few things that are fun for me to do, and anything that feels like it’s too much? No thanks! This is wonderful, thank you for sharing!

  • Lee G.

    Loved this post. Particularily the wake up call from your friend. I think that’s been what’s been keeping me sane over all this wedding planning hullaballoo.

    Best advice recently given from an amazing friend of mine when I said I want everyone to have fun: “Don’t worry about anyone else. You just have fun.”

    Exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.

  • SarahToo

    I just want to reassure any of you brides-to-be who are stressing about decor (especially d-i-y decor)…if you keep it simple it can still look nice and most of your guests probably won’t even notice what’s “missing” (eg home-made doilies, bunting, etc). We went the d-i-t (do it together) route and had lots of help from friends and family, plus we tried to keep it relatively simple. We had four things for decoration: christmas lights that we strung up around the perimeter of the room, home-grown flowers (displayed in mason jars from my mother-in-law’s personal stash), a colourful and crazy patchwork of table cloths and cloth napkins that we borrowed from friends, and a giant quilt that one of our friends unexpectedly brought and hung up at the back of the room for us. Each of those details was taken care of by a different team, and while each was lovely and added to the ambiance, I’m pretty sure we could have done without one or two (or all) of them and it still would have been fine. We had friends and family, laughter, hanging-out time, drinks, food, love, and fun. No chair covers, runners, bunting, fancy place cards, or any of that other decorative stuff. If you love the stylish decorations (and have the time and/or budget for it) go for it, if not…don’t worry, I’m sure your wedding will be fabulous without it. Plus you can feel good about being thrifty AND environmentally conscious if you generate less disposable stuff (how many beautifully hand-crafted decorations end up stored in a box or chucked in the trash afterwards?).

  • Class of 1980

    Some perspective …

    Crafting can be a beautiful thing, but no one in my generation who married in their twenties or thirties did it. If they did, it was some limited thing like tying up Jordan Almonds or rice or birdseed in tulle. Well, I remember one ambitious bride put rice inside long-stemmed silk flowers. ;)

    And this was back when weddings were simpler AND people worked fewer hours! Theoretically, we would have had more time for crafting, but it didn’t happen.

    Weddings back then didn’t have a million “DETAILS”, which needed to be carefully photographed.

    I think the crafting movement started out as an honest thing that some couples wanted to do. When it turned into an expectation, we lost the plot. You have to remember, it’s nothing more than a trend, and like all trends, you can embrace it or not.

    • meg

      The history chapter in my book is ALL ABOUT THIS. I mean, most of you know that, but it was pretty damn interesting to research.

      • Class of 1980

        Yes, you did. Thank God, because it was sorely needed perspective.

  • KB

    I know so many APW-ers who have logged on and commented, “You don’t know how much I needed this post today.” This is my “Oh my God, I’m about to cry with relief at my desk” moment on reading: “Sometimes you’re bringing yourself to the wedding, sometimes the wedding is trying to assign some sort of new identity to you.” I am totally a non-non-traditional bride and this whole process is about to drive me crazy because I just went wedding dress shopping AGAIN yesterday and it turned into the type of wedding debacle where you start second-guessing EVERYTHING about the wedding – like, is this dress really ME? Is the reception venue REALLY want we want? What do our favors say about ME/US? This all came to a head this morning with me crying – quite literally – on my bewildered fiance and making him very late for work. I feel kind of better now that I’ve used his dress shirt as a hanky, but I really just want to get to the point where I can say “*&$% it” to all of the WIC insanity. However, I also can’t reconcile myself to the fact that that means I’ll have to stop caring about it being pretty, unique, etc. It’s like that saying about being afraid to care about something because then you have to care about everything. It’s frustrating.

    • Class of 1980

      The way you make it pretty and unique without crafting, is to give ideas to your vendors for the basic services you are paying them for. Maybe you have some cool ideas for your flowers, cake, music or ceremony for instance.

      Also, there is an endless supply of ready-made decorations available.

      Like here: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/

      You can also shop inexpensive stores for “objects of art” to mix in.

      Simply focusing on the basics, like food/drink and a good location goes a long way toward making your guests happy and the day memorable.

    • meg

      Being happy makes you pretty, and the fact that the two of you are marrying each other, which presumably has never been done before, makes you unique. (NOTE: If the two of you have, in fact, previously married each other and are doing it again, that is also unique ;)

  • Claire

    I LOVE this post so hard! Thank you so much for sharing this perspective…it’s so important and way underrepresented on the wedding interwebs.

    I’m pathologically averse to optional work (read: lazy) and am also completely uninterested in crafting. When we first got engaged, I spent way too much time following all the pretty wedding blogs and that only served to reinforce what I already suspected: I lacked the motivation, patience, interest, creativity and DIY skills that seemed to be a prerequisite for pulling together a nice wedding. Even the indie wedding blogosphere had me feeling anxious & insecure, like any wedding I could plan would just be sorta lame and totally not measure up to everything I was seeing out there.

    That’s when APW and my Lazy Girl Hero (TM), Maddie, saved the day and showed me a wedding could be easy and cheap and also knock your socks off. So I gave myself permission to sorta half-ass plan our wedding and it turned out awesome. For us.

    • Class of 1980

      Claire,

      The VERY LAST THING your generation is, is lazy!!!

      Most of you are in school far longer than most of my generation. And then you are hurled straight into careers with long hours and lots of pressure. Later on, you’re given about five minutes to deliver a baby in between appointments. ;)

      Now you’re expected to craft your weddings too? Y’all are going to drop dead of exhaustion!

      • meg

        Interesting. This is true. Less lazy, more tired.

        • Class of 1980

          Well, the worst part is that you are doing more, but feeling less good about yourselves. We did less, and felt better about ourselves.

          What is up with that?

          • http://threlkelded.net Emily

            I don’t know what is up with that, but please come live with me and remind me of this every five minutes. :)

          • http://becomingbrown.wordpress.com Jennifer Lyn

            THANK YOU. Something I really needed to hear today. I wonder why that is — so many expectations are bestowed on us in this generation and yet we really are doing our best. We should take our cues from the wiser voices around us.

          • Class of 1980

            Consider this …

            In 1978, actress Dyan Cannon appeared in “Revenge of the Pink Panther”. Her character was a secretary. She had a line in the movie where she said she types 90 words a minute or something like that. She says this with obvious pride, puffing her chest out.

            In 1992, actress Michelle Pfeiffer appeared in “Batman Returns”. Her character was a secretary also, but she was portrayed as downtrodden, abused and frustrated. She had a line in the movie where she weakly protests that she’s an administrative assistant when someone calls her a “secretary”. She takes all that inferiority and anger and channels it into Cat Woman.

            I remember asking myself what the hell happened in 14 years that the same job was downgraded to the extent that it had become literally shameful.

            The demands of the business world and the bar for success is higher and higher, but personal pride and satisfaction is harder to come by.

            I find this amazing.

          • KEA1

            I fear that some of that comes from people seeking validation in whatever area, not finding it, and then artificially creating it by criticizing other people’s choices or abilities. Sadly, women are as guilty of this as men. Ladies, we have to do better!

      • Jashshea

        <3

        Thank you. I feel amazingly lazy compared to former generations – I have this image of my grandmother feeding 7 children, cleaning house, never taking a moment for herself, working long days on her feet doing all of this, etc. And while that's what her life was like, it's not like I spend 9 hours a day sitting at my desk getting massages and pedis (cough cough internet commenting). And I don't leave my job at the office – it's there when I'm at home, at the doctor's office, or when I'm on domestic vacations. It's not the SAME as g'ma, but it's not nothing and I think we all need to remember that.

        • Class of 1980

          You really are working just as hard, and often harder. It’s harder because you have less down time and flexibility.

          Those grandmothers with seven children may have had a lot of work, but they usually had flexibility to make it more bearable.

          Also, if they were working at home, they didn’t have bosses or performance reviews. ;)

          • Jashshea

            And she had a few minions :) The older ones were expected to pitch in from a very young age. Silly child labor laws keeping me from having my own minions.

          • Class of 1980

            I’ve always wanted minions. ;)

        • Ambi

          JASHSHEA, I have felt that way too, until my boyfriend’s grandmother set me straight. :)

          One day, while at her house, the hem on my skirt came apart, and I said in passing that I felt so guilty for taking it to a seamstress to be fixed, when my mother and grandmother and most of the other women I know can all sew so well and I had just never taken the time to learn. She looked me in the eye and said, very sternly, “Not everybody gets a degree, not everybody can be lawyer – so why in the world do you think that everybody needs to know how to sew? Don’t feel bad about that for a second.” And now I don’t. I realized then that I can’t really compare myself to previous generations.

          • JASHSHEA

            Excellent advice!

          • Class of 1980

            At her age, she was able to put your accomplishments into perspective considering what was the norm in her own generation.

            Many of the readers here are in careers that used to only be held by men who were the sole support of families.

            Nothing to sneeze at!!!!

            BTW, those men usually didn’t know how to sew, yet their self-esteem was intact.

      • Claire

        You know, you’re right. At that point in my life I had my master’s degree, was working 50 hours a week, commuting eight hours a week, and trying to settle in with a new baby and a toddler. No one in their right mind could call me lazy.

        And yet, I just did. Because I felt like I was being lazy when I looked at All The Pretty Things I could have done for a wedding, and just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Eh, I’ll pass”. I could have gone all out, but instead decided to do just barely enough to get by. Whether it’s because of societal expectations or my own overachieving personality, that felt like slacking.

        A huge part of what I learned from wedding planning was that it’s totally okay to tone down my expectations (of myself, of other people, of what the day will look/feel like). And just let go of what I expected and love what I actually got. Release the “shoulds” in order to embrace the reality. Come to think of it, that right there is a life lesson, not just a wedding planning lesson.

        • Class of 1980

          For crying out loud … you are SUPER WOMAN.

        • http://becomingbrown.wordpress.com Jennifer Lyn

          Goodness! This puts it in perspective.

          I mean, right before I got married I was working 50 hours a week, commuting something like an hour and a half a day, doing triathlon training (run an hour in the morning and then lift weights before work, bike two hours after work or swim two hours, sometimes swim with the swim team both before AND after work on a given day), and trying to fit in an hour with my Fiancé after all that. No wonder I feel lazy now!

          I’m still trying to find something to do in the Atlanta area, and my husband doesn’t want to go back to that particular lifestyle so I have to find something moderately part time. That makes me feel fulfilled? Tall order!

          And for the record, I agree that you are Super Woman. Wow!

  • efletch

    I had a similar moment to yours about pinwheels with cute paper straws. You know the ones that just look so adorable in a glass of lemonade. I was pricing out 100 purple and yellow striped paper straws before I remembered that we are serving beer and wine at our wedding. Are people going to be sipping wine or beer from a cute paper straw? Probably not. Sometimes I get caught up in how cool someone else’s wedding ideas look, that I forget how cool my wedding is going to be. Weddings are unique because of the people not because of the decor!

  • Mara

    I just ordered mini pinwheels on Etsy yesterday FOR THE SAME REASONS. (We are not crafty, and it seemed like we needed to do something more than what we’d already planned.) D’oh! They’ll be fine, but neither my fiancé nor I really wanted wedding favors. It just seemed like something we were supposed to do. The WIC strikes again.

  • Anon

    Thank you for this post!

    We are planning an out of state wedding and also picked our venue in part because it won’t need much futzing with vendors or decorating. It’s a year away but I’ve still been getting OCD on the blogs etc looking for ideas, both to save money (no $50 floral centerpieces thanks..) AND I think to channel the desire to put love and my own touch into the day. I keep trying to remind myself that there are lots of ways to put love into the day, that do not involve thousands of origami flowers that I’d have to ship out of state. Thanks for hitting on the important points.. AND showing us how it can pay off to plan ahead and be realistic about what projects you take on, or don’t!!!

    • SarahToo

      I agree and can vouch for the sanity-saving choice of picking a venue that looks pretty good with a minimum of decorating and fussing around… small details like pretty window frames, a sprung wooden floor, or nice natural light at the time you’re going to hold your ceremony can make an ordinary space lovely and even downright luminescent without having to spend big $ and hours of your time. Anon’s reminder that it’s about “putting love into the day” is a good one. And most of our friends and family will recognize that love and care, whatever it ends up looking like!

      • Claire

        I second the plug for picking a venue that doesn’t require lots (or any) decorating. Sometimes a nice (not necessarily expensive) venue can be your easy button to a good-looking space. We had our ceremony in a glass room overlooking the Mississippi river and I decided the view counted as the decorations.

        • Class of 1980

          Can’t beat a nature view.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        And I will third the pick-a-nice-venue strategy.

        The venue was the only thing we’ve argued about, almost the only thing we’ve argued about inside or outside of wedding planning, but the only thing we’ve argued about inside of wedding planning, certainly. And it was an awful fist-pounding, yelling argument.

        “Good architecture” was important to my future husband, and I just couldn’t understand the concept. My family doesn’t spend extra for “pretty.” But he found a Julia Morgan-esque venue, that’s well-maintained and interesting and pretty. They had photos of bunches of decorating schemes involving special cushions and tablecloths and streamers, but we’ll stick with plain white linens and small floral centerpieces.

        • Class of 1980

          I get where your husband was coming from. There are people who get literally depressed by utilitarian places with no beauty. I’m one of them.

          There were two artists in my family, so I think it’s in my genes. ;)

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Thanks. Eventually, we understood that I couldn’t understand. I absolutely could not tell “good” modern architecture from “bad,” so I was showing him venues that I liked (inexpensive, easy to reserve, right size, good location), and he shot down one after the other with a glance. My feelings got hurt, but we realized (after the fight) that rather than putting me in the impossible position of guessing what he’d like, he had to research venues.

          • Ambi

            ELISABETHJOANNE, I completely feel your pain! Not in terms of wedding planning (yet), but just in everyday life my guy and I have this problem, and we have instituted a kind of house rule where one person can’t just veto a suggestion without giving some sort of alternative suggestion. I got this idea from a friend who was at her wit’s end regarding choosing a baby name with her husband – he vetoed everything but never suggested any names of his own. She made a Top 5 list and posted it on the fridge. He was allowed to cross any name off the list, but he had to replace it with a new suggestion. They went back and forth this way until they agreed on a name, and now they use it for things like date night activities and movie selections and so forth – basically, they recognized that just saying “no” over and over without suggesting alternatives can kind of kill the spirit of the person making suggestions. So, my guy and I also try to make sure that, if we say no, we offer some other suggestion. It doesn’t always work, but it helps. So when I suggest that we go do a cooking class this weekend, and my guy immediately says “no!,” he also has to think for a minute and suggest something else (which, as it turns out, may be “I want to lay on the couch all day and watch football” . . . .). But at least it gets the lines of communication open and puts the burden on both parties to make suggestions.

    • Ambi

      Picking a venue that doesn’t require much in terms of decorating – Please keep a really open mind about what you venue actually “needs” versus what you may think it needs solely based on the WIC or wedding blogs. As I mentioned above, I fell in love with a wedding on a local photographer’s website last night because it was held at a favorite restaurant of mine, and they didn’t really do anything to wedding-ify they space. Before seeing that, I probably never would have walked into that restaurant and thought, “oh, this would be great for a wedding.” And if I had, I would have immediately flashed to all those mental pictures I have of weddings overflowing with pretty decorations. But this wedding was gorgeous, and they left the (fairly plain, unassuming) restaurant decor alone. There were paintings hanging on the walls and nice lighting, but it was nowhere near the wedding look you see on blogs – and yet, even without any wedding decorations, it looked great. So, I guess all I’m saying is that, while I probably would have lumped that space firmly into the “it needs decorations” category, it really didn’t need anything. And, quite honestly, I have a sneaking suspicion that all those pinwheels, pom poms, bunting, and mustache props are going to date the photos of our weddings just like powder blue tuxedos with ruffled shirts dated our parents’ weddings . . .

      • One More Sara

        When I was looking for our venue, I tried to focus more on what they could do for us than what the space looked like (long distance planner here, needed all-inclusive venue). My mom and sister were pretty surprised at some of the places I was looking at, because the decor was a bit dated. I told them at the end of the day, the reception venue is just a room. The most important people in our life will fill it and that will make it special. They took about 30 seconds to think about it and agreed. (For those interested, our reception is in a generic hotel ballroom. I felt a little guilty about not finding a more unique venue… for about 5 minutes. Then I listened to my own advice and felt better :) )

  • http://threlkelded.net Emily

    I think pinwheels is the new shorthand for unhealthy crafting madness. Which, by the way, happens to me every day on Pinterest for reasons that have nothing to do with weddings.

  • Dena

    Thank you so much for posting this!! I feel the same way, even though my fiance is a graphic designer (he doesn’t see the point in spending endless hours and dollars on stuff people will probably not even notice).

    I have told multiple people I hope they aren’t disappointed in our wedding, because of the lack of DIY/crafty details.

    You know how most people that got married before Pinterest are sad, well, I wish I would have gotten married before Pinterest, because now I just feel inadequate and totally not creative… On the flip side, I feel we will have an even more unique wedding because ours will be simple, modern, and of course us, while, lots of others are doing barn/crafty and hopefully they are being themselves, they’re just more on trend! I told the ladies where I got my dress that no one will be able to tell we got married in 2012 because of the differences. Oh well, I know our wedding will reflect our personalities, and it’s the wedding we wanted.

  • http://penn.typepad.com Leah

    I am only minorly crafty, so I went a similar route to you. We picked a lovely venue that needed minimal decor. And, surprise, the lady who owns the venue loves to decorate, so she already owned tons of stuff! I think I had to buy candles and some burlap. I had all sorts of pins and ideas. But, as time slipped by, I decided to let go of everything but one craft. And this was a craft I’ve been doing some childhood, and it is super simple for me (tin can luminaries) and essentially free.

    It’s okay not to personalize everything at your wedding. And it’s okay to let someone else doing the personalizing. Perhaps the coolest touch were our little place cards. I printed out something super basic (again, easy because I have made lots of stuff in MS publisher for years), so that’s not the key part. My FIL made us little wood place card holders for every person in the joint. He loved it, as he got to flex his creative muscles, and it felt good to have something personal without me needing to make it.

  • http://www.piecesofanna.com/ Anna

    Good for you for coming to this conclusion. I wish I had come to that same conclusion before our wedding, but that did not happen.

    Due to our budget, I decided to craft our centerpieces. They weren’t anything big or flashy or elaborate, but it took me a really long time to make them because I was trying to plan a wedding and work two jobs at the same time. The only reason I even bothered making the centerpieces is that I was under the impression that even though no one cares or remembers the centerpieces, they would notice if the centerpieces were not there.

    Well. Judging by the fact that no one said anything about any centerpieces, and looking at the photos of our tables all set up, I realized that everything would have looked totally fine without those damn centerpieces and probably no one would have noticed their absence. By the end of dinner, those centerpieces were off the table and replaced by stands with cupcakes anyway – turns out our guests were more interested in dessert than centerpieces. :)

    So yes, all that crafting is optional. And no one will notice anyway.

  • Claire

    Danielle, I’m right there with you on the trip to Paper Source to pick up last minute, maybe-my-wedding-needs-this-random-art-project crafting supplies. In my case, it was card stock to make little name tents for our homemade cakes and pies. And menus for our drinks. Oh, and maybe we should make one of those cool photo line things with pictures of us throughout our lives! Unfortunately, I did not have a wise friend to make me step away from the paper store. I did buy the materials to make those pretty details. Then I put them in my trunk and went kite boarding instead. The wind was perfect and nobody mentioned missing the photo line.

  • Laura

    I agree with everyone, thank you for this post! It’s a little less than two weeks before I get married, and even though I’m not a crafty person, I keep having this nagging feeling that we need to do something more. Thankfully our venue doesn’t need much decorating, and we’re trying to keep things as simple as possible, but there’s still “the voice.” My friends have been very well-intentioned, giving me ideas of things they’ve seen in other weddings (homemade chex mix favors for the guests, using local microbrews as table names instead of numbers, pretty flower arrangements hanging from the chairs along the aisle…). These things are so lovely and simple enough that I start thinking I should do them…but then my brain starts to buzz with the number of other things we still have to do (create the seating chart, update our spreadsheets, pick all of our music for the reception since we don’t have a DJ) that my head nearly explodes thinking about doing one more thing. I bought a few crafty things from Etsy (a bulletin board for our seating chart, wishes cards to use instead of a guest book, and a few gifts for our attendants and ushers), but I’m trying REALLY hard to fight the last-minute urges to be more creative!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I think we need to add a stage to wedding planning: “Umm. I’m bored.”

    I got to this stage a couple weeks ago. Most of the vendors were booked. The invitations had been ordered but weren’t ready. Work was calm. I decided I was bored and wanted to do favors. At first, my future husband said, “Why do you want to do that? / Are you sure?” We had watched a bridezillas marathon in which the days right before the wedding were invariably filled with late nights crafting favors and yelling about it. I explained that all I wanted to do was buy a bunch of used books that weekend and tie ribbons around them. He was willing to go along, but we couldn’t find the right books at the right price.

    And the next week, there was a problem with the invitations order and both sets of parents stopped being cooperative in planning.

    So, if when we add the “I’m bored” stage to wedding planning, we can note this advice: “Ignore it. Wait a week or 2, and some unhappy issue will come up, and you will be sadly not-bored.”

  • http://www.superfantastic.blogs.com Superfantastic

    I’m afraid I’ll have the last minute panic about not having crafted as well. And will forget that I have no skill or patience for crafting. We’re getting married on the beach, so we decided we didn’t need ceremony decorations at all. I’m “making” our reception centerpieces, which involved buying glass cylinders and candles, collecting sand and shells from the beach (we live in Florida) and putting those things together. Lazy and cheap. I’m thinking that if I save making the photo slideshow for our rehearsal dinner until the last month, that will make me feel busy and useful enough. I’m much better with iDVD than paper and ribbon.

  • BP

    I am an artist and between my demanding work schedule and small amount of free time I had to plan my wedding with my husband, I made nothing personal for almost nine months. Nothing for the wedding, nothing for myself, nothing. Planning a wedding was emotionally exhausting for me (and we did have a coordinator!) and there were definite moments when I felt inadequate for not having a million projects in the works for the wedding. I realize now that I focused way more on spending time with my husband — every weekend we did some wedding-related tasks and planning, then all our errands and then a bike ride, a walk, maybe a movie or a play, we cooked together, cleaned together, relaxed together….it was fantastic. The more time you can spend with your betrothed, the better. It’s such a special time! We were on such a higher level together when it came time for the ceremony. I felt utterly transformed. If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing. It IS the feeling that remains, not the way things look — although I thought everything looked just beautiful and full of love. Do what feels right for you, and remember why you’re getting married in the first place: because you want to spend the rest of your life with your partner, who is right in front of you.

  • Amy

    In my early 20s, I was helping my mother with decor ideas for a (non-wedding) reception sort of event that required decorating a small ballroom and about 20 tables. The honoree had chosen the theme and we had most of the decor lined up. I stopped by about two weeks before to see if Mom needed any help with the final details and was informed that she had changed her mind about the centerpieces (small arrangements of flowers with a music box at each table) and was now planning to make 20 papier mache’ piano sculptures. Once she heard it out loud, we both burst out laughing and now whenever someone in the family has a MAKE ALL THE THINGS breakdown, someone will say “why don’t we just papier mache’ some pianos instead?”.

    I agree with the post upthread about the “I’m bored” phase. It seems like there is a lull about 2 or 3 weeks before an event where you can slip into this wild eyed phase of wanting to suddenly do a thousand DIY projects. I’m glad to know I’m not the only victim of this!

  • ferrous

    I guess others have noticed the diy/”individual” trend:

    http://www.theonion.com/video/horrible-couple-really-wants-wedding-to-reflect-th,28925/

    FWIW, I have no problems with mason jars, I’m a big crafter myself. Still, funny.

  • Rebecca

    This is why I’m glad all our options (and the expected norm where we’re getting married) are all-inclusive event venues that take care of the decorations, table setting, catering, and often help with the lighting, DJ, and managing the whole event too. There’s plenty to do still, with the guest list, seating arrangements, invitations, etc., but I’m happy to let the professionals manage the party itself.

    I don’t get why people think their wedding should be “unique” in the sense of decor or crafty details, or whatever. Weddings are all pretty much the same as one another (really—you’re not the first one to get married, and won’t be the last) no matter what details you end up with. And THAT’S OK.

    What makes a wedding special and unique is that these are YOUR people, celebrating as you officially join two family trees, and begin your own branch of it together.

    No flower choices or party favors can manufacture that wedding magic we’re all looking for. The feeling cannot be crafted into existence. It comes from that unique mix of people from all the times and places of your lives, together at one moment in celebration and love.

    Also, it’s gonna be a great party. :)

  • Lauren

    I hit a point with my wedding planning that I wanted to throw everything out of my car window while driving down the freeway. I wanted to be a “good DIY bride” and make everything, but I had to get real. Do I know anything about making 100+ cupcakes? No, I’ve only made 12 at a time. Can I really cater my own 80 guest wedding? The biggest group of people I’ve cooked for was 7 people. Guess what, I know how to use a sewing machine, but I can’t handstitch! My printer gets a paper jam everytime I try to print my fancy invitations on my fancy cardstock I just bought! OMG my invitation designer was right…my invitations for my fall wedding look “too springy!” I just spilled fabric glue EVERYWHERE!!!!

    I spent so much money trying to craft things I had no business crafting. I think DIY is great if you enjoy it and know how to do it. There are a few decorations that I am still making myself, but I made the best decision for me and left some stuff to the professionals. I am totally okay with that.

  • Sharon

    Swedish modern? I’d have just hit up IKEA for some small tchochkes and be done with it. :)

    My intended and I haven’t even gotten to the proposal yet, and he gets nervous when I start talking about what I want in a wedding. I don’t know how he feels about my not wanting favors, and that I’d rather do what a friend of mine did and have a fruit and cheese plate at each table rather than a centerpiece. I don’t want a shower (we’ve been living together for 3 years already, what could we possibly need other than cash for home improvements?) or bachelorette party either.

    Heck, I’m not in a cut flower mood either – though I love flowers. If you could dig up a few clumps of what I’ve got growing in my wildflower bed, or put out a bunch of live plants that I (and guests, if they so desire) could take home and stick in the ground afterwards, I’d be happy.

  • MDBethann

    Except for the part about going to Pintrest and looking at crafty projects to try in the last 19 days, this was us to a T. I too felt like I wasn’t “anti-WIC” enough at times because I wasn’t DIYing stuff. But neither of us are crafty, period. The closest I got to it was printing out escort cards for the flower favors and sticking them in the flower pots. I was surprisingly creative (for me) in coming up with something different, inexpensive, and green (all of our guests got potted flowers – triple duty as escort cards, favors, and center pieces!!). I did get a little “crafty” for the kids table – bought plain white art paper and bunches of crayons for them to use to color during the reception. I ended up with some neat drawings that I treasure. I also gave them maracas as favors, since we got married on Cinco de Mayo. Tying ribbons on them was as DIY as I got. And the lack of stress was great!

    Kudos to those who can do it, but that is so not me.

  • http://www.polkadotorchid.com/ Michelle

    Thank you for this post. You were definitely right to pass up on the last minute DIY. I ended up doing all of my own flowers for my wedding. (I had a relative who volunteered her sister for it. And of course, she backed out less than a week before the wedding.) I consider myself pretty good at floral arrangement, and everything turned out nicely. However, getting up at 6am to go to the local flower wholesaler and then staying up til midnight arranging flowers the night before the big day wasn’t exactly how I’d envisioned spending my time.

    DIY can be rewarding, but it can also take a lot of time and energy. Sometimes simplicity is best. (I love the idea of booking a museum, btw.)

  • DC

    Thank you for this! I have a BFA and an MFA and I’m *still* not a remotely “crafty” person! We’re in the early stages of planning but I’m the one reading the wedding blogs and worrying about not caring enough about elaborate crafting projects and making things “pretty.” It really is just as bad as the mainstream wedding propaganda. We had to have a whole discussion on fun DIY vs. tedious and unpleasant DIY and what we were willing/able to do without freaking out (we are 2 high-anxiety people planning an out-of-state intimate wedding on a budget…yeesh!).

  • Anna

    Three hours and 60-some Firefox bookmarks later, I was in too deep

    HAHAHA! Just add 10 hours, and 30 more bookmarks to that sentence, and I could have written it. And what do I have to show for it? Some janky-ass tissue paper balls that would be better served as cat toys. The more I plan, the more I am learning to let go. Or at least try to. And remember that good lighting hides all, including a lack of pinterest-inspired craft bombs.

    Thank you, thank you, for reminding me of all of this.