In most cases, they are incredibly time-consuming, not all that inexpensive, and emphasize the importance of the decor looking good over any other aspect of the wedding. But there are so many other amazing things to focus on like your ceremony, vows, and making awesomely fun, once-in-a-lifetime memories with your guests.
I see a lot of DIY weddings. And I will tell you, very rarely is there a wedding were every decorative detail is Pinterest worthy.
So what do I see? Well when it comes to decor, I see a lot of DIY projects that look like baskets of flowers below that lined the aisle at my own wedding. My philosophy at the time was that babies breath, plus baskets, meant a small time investment and no skill required. Flowers - done.
But even though this sign and the rest of the decor around it isn't necessarily the stuff that Pinterest dreams are made of, I'm incredibly proud of it.
That lantern was a gift to us from my husband Rick's sister -- the sweetest, most kind sister-in-law in the world. That grass braid tied around the top of the lantern had been there for months before our wedding from a great day Rick and I spent on an outdoor adventure together (and it felt silly to remove it just because it didn't "fit in").
I love that the vase in the background is one my favorites from our home, and the flowers were put in it by my aunts, who helped us set up. I still love those little birch straws from the Paper Source that were a splurge at $10 (we had some left over from the wedding, and we now use them for Bloody Mary's). And I even love that my handwriting -- imperfect as it was -- is all over that sign.
Each piece that decor was ours. Each piece of it was real.
What I see are the really impressive projects and super-polished pieces of decor being touted as easy, affordable, and DIY. It's these pictures that skew our expectations about what real homegrown and heartfelt weddings look like. And, whether on purpose or not, they trick us into focusing our time and energy on what things look like rather than what they feel. like.
Don't get me wrong - I love pretty things. I admire beautiful decor. I love the look and smell of lush flowers. And I still find myself in girlish awe of a beautiful wedding dress. But these really shine at a wedding when they come from a place of joy and excitement, and not a place of keeping up with the Pinterest Joneses.
Many of the couples I work with do have beautiful weddings, and part of is because they tend to put some thought into what their wedding going to look like. But every single one of them puts just as much -- if not more -- thought into making themselves and their guests feel relaxed, comfortable, and at ease on their wedding day. This way everyone can feel the incredible amount of joy and happiness that permeates a wedding day.
What makes their weddings truly beautiful is the sense of love, community, connectedness that only a couple (and not a centerpiece) can bring to a wedding. And this is only possible when we stop focusing on how things look, and shift to focusing on the things that really matter.
So I ask you, will the real DIY weddings please stand up? If you're a real couple, on a real budget, having a real DIY wedding -- all that realness, no matter what it looks like, is something to be incredibly proud of.