Banning overwhelm instalment two – DIY (magic or madness?)

Photography credits: Ladder by Abby Jiu Photography via Style Me Pretty, Rose in bottle by Tori and Sal

Over the past few years, there has been such a proliferation in the amount of blogs, magazines, websites and books which deal with/promote/espouse crafty, unique, DIY weddings. There are lots of different reasons why people invest a lot of time in ‘doing it yourself’, but I think the main ones are being able to express yourself creatively and add an individual touch to your day, save money and/or you genuinely enjoy crafting and making things yourself.

Now, I LOVE me a crafty wedding! I adore all the lovely, visual, creative jazz you have license to create for – luxe centre pieces, individualised invites, twinkly lights and personalised detailing. That makes sense, I do have a blog which is mainly about weddings after all, and I love dreaming up creative projects and crafting. In saying that, I am known for over extending myself, perfectionism and working a little too hard. In other words, being a little bit nutty!

As well as wedding day beauty, I want to promote and value non-wankery (if there is such a word?), realness and sanity on A Cast of Two. It concerns me at times that weddings can be so competitive, as in, who is able to express the most creativity or echo their personal style in every little detail of the day.

Check out this vid as an example of some of the cringe factor that weddings can bring out in people!

In fact, I know that it is becoming more and more common for people these days to strive to create a wedding that is ‘blog worthy’, so it gets picked up and featured. I think it is more important to aim for a beautiful balance, designing a day which takes place in beautiful surroundings and makes you feel super lovely, but focuses on the things that really matter – your loved ones, the food and bev, music and most importantly, ensuring that you are your partner have an amazingly special day which just tickles you pink, without the headaches.

I know that a major trap excitable brides fall in to (and oh god can I see this happening to me!) is that they set out with the grand intention of having a crafty, indie wedding but realise that everyday life can get in the way of creating 200 origami cranes, 100 personalised favours, detailed bunting and sourcing gorgeous vintage finds for the guest book table. I could go on, yes I could! It is so easy to end up stressed and overwhelmed, rather than basking in the exciting glow of planning such a special event which already has so many different components to take into consideration.

Or, maybe the thought of a moustache on a stick makes you cringe, or you are just not the kind of couple who want to bop around holding up signs with something cute written on them, and that is ok too, despite what Pinterest is telling you!

Here are my thoughts on how to inject some thoughtful, creative crafting and DIY into your wedding, without losing the hair you want to be so luscious and plentiful on your big day!

Keep your crafting and DIY reflective of who you are as a couple. Just because something is fashionable in the wedding world doesn’t mean you have to have that as a feature in your wedding. Go with what you love and are naturally drawn to, and this will keep you feeling connected to the day and what it is really about – a celebration of your love and impending marriage.

Set a budget for the parts of your wedding that you choose to do yourself. If you don’t, it will easily spiral out of control once the craft store pixies lures you into their magical cave.

Don’t be a masochist or control freak! Get your friends involved and have a craft day – put on some snacks and drinkies and go nuts.

If crafting doesn’t come naturally to you, think of some ways you can add a creative touch without actually physically making anything. You can use paper lanterns, beautifully coloured glass bottles, arrangements of pretty things on trays, scatter delightful and unique items on a table top and so on and so on and so on.

If limited time is a factor, focus on creating large, eye catching pieces such rather than worrying about smaller details. This is where a beautiful, dramatic ceremony backdrop, effective suspended floral or lighting, cool collages, a sweet photo booth area and larger scale table settings come into it, as just some of the many ideas you can conjure up.

Photo credit: Laura Kaufmann via 52 Flea

Use the venue space you have chosen wisely. If there is an arch way, hang prettiness from it, or if there is an unsightly corner or area, cover it with lanterns, balloons or textile goodness.

I could go on for a long time, but for the sake of the word count in this post, my last words of wisdom are that unless you are a makeup artist, don’t DIY your makeup! You will have so much more fun relaxing while someone else does it for you, and will hopefully be able to get in a cheeky little glass of something bubbly and nerve calmy while it is happening.

Photo Credit: Steven Michael Photo via 100 Layer Cake

I will leave you with some links to some seriously awesome DIY tutorials, plucked from the plethora of online DIY ideas you can find with the click of your mouse. Go and craft to your heart’s content, but remember, a calm bride to be is nicest for everyone involved (especially the groom!).

A stunning ceremony backdrop

Make your own beautiful flower crown…and another lovely option for you here

Beautiful feather boutonnieres

A mecca of DIY wedding craft ideas from the goddesses at A Practical Wedding

Photo credit: Top EE Photography via Ruffled Blog, bottom via A Beautiful Mess


Guest books with a twist

A lovely colleague of mine was chatting to me yesterday about how she wants something different to the standard guest book for her wedding, and how overwhelmed she is with it all. The little light switched on in my brain – ooh I know of some amazing ideas, and so I thought I would get some of my faves together. The best type of project!


There is a great article on polaroid guest books over at Emmaline Bride

A tree or branch with note cards

Wall decor

** this is my favourite as there is a lot of scope for creativity. You could use squares of special fabric (sari or kimono fabric would be amazing and it is easy to find off cuts which would be ideal), or cut out designs in any shape you want – colourful, bold flowers, pretty pastel geometric shapes…


Jenga or puzzle pieces

Same idea as the wall decor above – you could create silhouettes of your bride/groom and you and have guests write on them in pretty metallic pen & hang them on a board or wall. After, you can display them in your home or in a book or album. So elegant!


This is a great idea as you can have it at the back of your wedding album, keeping all of the awesome memories together. You can match the envelopes to your colour scheme, if you have one, otherwise go with your favourite colours.


Ask guests to type out messages on pretty coloured paper and then roll it into a scroll for display in your home. Not for perfectionists!!

Aaaah somebody stop me! There are so many cool ideas. Other options which I couldn’t find photos for are rolled up notes in a bottle (you could even incorporate this into your table centrepieces, so guests can doodle after eating (or if there is a particularly boring speech!). Then they can roll them up with pretty string or seal it with a sticker and pop it in a sweet little jar or bowl.

If you are going on honeymoon straight away, guests could fill in post cards, complete with stamps, and a friend could send them to you, so when you get back your mail box is bulging with love and beautiful memories of your wedding day. You could also have a sentimental piece of clothing signed as well – even your veil if you are planning on taking it off during the reception!

As with anything you are thinking about for your wedding, you have a lot of rein to go creatively crazy and craft to your hearts content, but there are lots of beautiful and more traditional options too.

This Martha Stewart Weddings photo gallery has lots of beautiful options which are easy and practical to pull together.

Don’t forget to think about an attractive area to set up your guest book…but that’s for another post.

Photography credits: polaroids via Emmaline Bride, branch via My DIY Wedding, wall decor via Design Sponge, silhouette via The Nester, Jenga via Oh Lovely Day (photos by Jennifer Roper), puzzle via Etsy, envelopes via Martha Stewart Weddings, typewriter via Martha Stewart Weddings