For the budget-conscious couple, a do-it-yourself wedding is not only a way to save, but also a perfect opportunity to unleash your creativity.

 

We asked Genève McNally, principal planner at Vancouver’s DreamGroup Productions Inc., and Liz Bourguignon, wedding and events director at Bridal Solutions Impact Marketing & Event Solutions in Ottawa, for some tips on making your big day a DIY affair.

• Invitations: Art stores and dollar shops sell scrapbook paper, ribbons, stick-on rhinestones and other items you can use to make personalized invites. McNally suggests getting several friends together and making it a fun girls’ night activity. If you’re short on time, some graphic designers, such as Tammy Lyon of Uniquity Invitations, offer affordable PDF templates you can customize, download online and print at home.

 

• Centrepieces: McNally’s favourite DIY centrepiece look involves placing pillar candles of varying heights on a mirror, with gemstones and flower petals scattered around them. Another idea: Fill up glass vases with rocks, shells and ocean glass.

 

• Favours: “Try to do a favour that somehow is connected to you or important to you,” suggests Bourguignon. She recalls a Chinese wedding where the couple put personalized messages inside fortune cookies. For green-themed weddings, consider homegrown potted plants.

 

• Music: In lieu of a DJ, couples can use their own MP3 player and hook it up to a rented or borrowed speaker system, say McNally.


• Leave it to the pros: Unless you’re a florist, Bourguignon advises against making your own bouquets. Both experts agree that photography is another area where you should hire a professional.