Sunday, November 2, 2008

Get that glue gun away from me!

With the stock market collapsing and so many people worried about losing their jobs, the wedding blogosphere is full of advice on how to trim wedding budgets. Econo Boy and I are both cautious about spending money, so I usually read these articles intently and think about how to incorporate the suggestions into our own wedding. Candle centerpieces instead of flowers? Great idea! Surf E-Bay for deals on tablecloths? Also a great idea! Forget the calla lilies and orchids and choose less expensive wildflower bouquets? Tell me more!

Candles are pretty! Image from

But there is one piece of advice that I don’t find particularly useful: save money through DIY projects. (DIY, for the uninitiated, stands for “Do It Yourself.”)

I am not a DIY believer. Even as a kid, I hated arts and crafts because my projects always turned out, well, crappy. I’m all thumbs when it comes to paint, clay, glue, and glitter. My projects never, ever looked like the perky illustrations in the how-to guide the teacher handed out. And since I’m a perfectionist, viewing the imperfect results of my efforts would reduce me to a stressed-out, unhappy mess. One of the great pleasures of adulthood is that no one makes me use a hot glue gun or an X-acto knife anymore.

So frankly, I would rather shave my head than devote several Saturdays to hand-painting an “Econo Boy and Bride in Exile” monogram on 150 hand-stitched wedding favor bags. (In fact, I’m mildly hostile to the entire concept of wedding favors, and I think wedding monograms are kind of weird, but that’s another post.) I’ll hand-write the addresses on my invitations and I’m perfectly willing to put my own candles in their candle holders for the table, but that’s it. If we can’t afford to pay someone else to do it, it ain’t happening at our wedding.

I’m not against DIY for everyone. I’ve encountered tons of blogs written by women who genuinely love handcrafting charming details for their weddings. If that’s you, go for it! (Also, if that’s you, I’m completely jealous of your talents.) Wedding planning should be something we enjoy at least a little bit, and if you have always been an arts-and-crafts goddess, it would be a crime not to indulge yourself in as many awesome DIY projects as you have time for.

But I feel like the “save money through DIY” advice is far more limited than Martha Stewart and Weddingbee would have us believe, because it really only works for people who don’t hate crafty projects. For some of us, the stress and frustration isn’t worth the savings.

Is anyone else annoyed by the constant call to “DIY”? What are some great money-saving tips that don’t involve sacrificing every evening and weekend before the wedding?

1 comment:

Sweet T said...

amen, sister. That's why you never saw DIY posts from me on WB... While I do have a few things I'm doing, none are from scratch and most are dealing with photos-- something I actually *do* like doing (photography, editing) and will feel good about. No amateur florist here!