More and more couples are choosing to create something unique and handmade items in to there big day from chalkboards to edible wedding favours the ideas are endless! Crafty blogger and Creative Classes GuestMomtaz Begum-Hossain gives us her advice on what she has learnt from having her own DIY wedding! Before you start putting your Pinterest research to the test take note from her expert advice and let it inspire you, your partner and your friends to get alternative!
1. Your first challenge as a married couple – compromise
“I’m a self-confessed crafty queen. The Man is creative, but when we got engaged I assumed that when we planned our wedding together, I’d get the final say. My own crafting style is colourful, shimmery and usually blinged up with sequins, gemstones and glitter – in fact I’m such a fan of the sparkly stuff I’ve written a book called 101+ Things To Do With Glitter. So when it came to making our wedding invitations I imagined making 100 cards covered in shimmer. But that’s when the surprise hit me. He said I could do whatever I wanted – any theme, any colours, anything at all…but just no glitter at the wedding.
Whaaaaaat? I’m a glitter queen, it’s my trademark, I’ve written a book about the stuff, it had to be there! That’s when I realised you can’t have everything the way you want it. Marriage is about compromise and so is planning your Big Day, so before you go off on a crazy craft route of handmaking everything, check it’s what you both want, and if need be, make a few adjustments. As it turned out we ended up filming our own DIY Save The Date video instead of making cards (his idea) and he ended up making the main invitations using a photo of us and whipping up a design on his laptop.
2. Never craft alone
You are not a machine – you can’t make everything yourself. Engage your friends, bridesmaids and family in the process. Hold a crafternoon, supply the nibbles and ask everyone to help out with the making. You might be able to give specific tasks to specific people too. My sister made my bouquet by using up my broken jewellery. It’s something I didn’t have time to do, and although she’d never done anything like it before, she loved the process of learning how to do it and the result was amazing. It was of course too dangerous to throw so she made me one with real flowers too.
3. You still need to budget
Having a handmade wedding does not equate with having a cheaper wedding. If you’re not careful you might spend far more than intended. And I should know. I always go overboard when I’m shopping for craft materials. Craft shops are like sweet shops to children: once you step inside you want everything, but I can tell you now – you don’t need it. Set yourself a budget and when you’re in a craft shop, ensure you have a list. Write down what you’re going to make and what you need for it. A popular craft for weddings is making tissue paper pom-poms. One way is to buy a kit but if you bought lots of kits you’d be spending loads, so instead you could buy a couple of kits and then purchase some packs of tissue paper, cut them to size and carry on your makefest.
4. Not everything needs to be handmade
My vision was to make everything – even my own dress. I mean how hard could it be to sew a basic frock and then customise it with frilly bits and sequins? Maybe if I’d had a year and it’s all I had to do, but I work full-time and all this wedding planning business was an ‘extra’ I needed to find time for. The fact of the matter is, you can’t make everything, and that’s not a bad thing.
I started by making a list of all the things that could be handmade, from the button holes and ring cushion…to the rings themselves (and that part we did do)…but the dress, I got a tailor to make my dream dress instead.
Handmade doesn’t mean making everything from scratch either. I’m a big fan of customising where you buy something and personalise it – it’s quicker but still has a ‘handmade’ touch.
5. Encourage guests to unleash their creativity
I was already living with The Man when we got married so we didn’t need any house stuff – plus we have such distinct tastes, the last thing we wanted was a generic toaster or ordinary mugs from a high street wedding list, so we told our guests not to buy us anything, but if they wanted to gift us something, to make it.
The majority of our friends are not crafters, makers or designers but they weren’t put off by the challenge. When we returned from honeymoon we were overwhelmed by the efforts – we ended up with over six cushions, lots of framed pictures ad painted ceramics and surprise items like a table (my father in law went on a woodworking course especially to make us some furniture) and my favourite of all; a ‘Where Next?’ board where a friend of mine bought a map of the world and gave us some pens and stickers to draw on our travels – it was so simple but so creative.
Allowing our guests to get crafty meant they appreciated our handmade efforts more too and it also allowed the theme to run throughout the event. You can also add in handmade touches to the day itself, I’ve always liked the idea of having a large canvas with a pot of paints where guests can doodle on a message or draw something, to create a unique piece of artwork.”
Images: Alexandre Pichon
See more crafty ideas from Momtaz to inspire you in her DIY Creative Class at The National Wedding Show; in London on Sunday 25th September & take away your own handmade signposts to use in your big day!
See the latest video from Momtaz Begum-Hossain here!