The Backyard Bride: DIY The Home Wedding of Your Dreams

berks county bride

The Backyard Bride: DIY The Home Wedding of Your Dreams

According to Time, the cost of the average American wedding is in excess of $31,000, which is easily more than half the median household income in Berks County. Not everyone has the luxury of going all out and spending an entire year’s salary on a single day. Here are a few great ways to cut costs and still have the wedding of your dreams. Also included, what to leave to the professionals.

Favors

By making your own wedding favors, you’ll not only save money, but will have the opportunity to truly personalize keepsakes for your friends and family.

Flowers

It isn’t difficult to make stunning centerpieces, bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, and other flora-driven decor. And you can do it for about a quarter of the price as a professional flower shop. Start by choosing native flowers and adding accents found in your own backyard. A Practical Wedding explains that hardy varieties work best and offers additional DIY wedding flower tips here.

Signage

Like your party favors, your wedding signage can be customized to reflect your style and tastes. And, if you shop smart, you can find the perfect pieces at garage sales and flea markets in the months leading up to your nuptials. Ask a friend with exceptional penmanship or artistic abilities to help.

Décor

Your decor doesn’t have to be expensive to look like a million bucks. No matter where you host your event, you can make it look like an elegant affair by using a combination of lights, fabric, balloons, candles, and any other pieces you would like to incorporate in your design. You can hide chain-link fencing with tulle or burlap, decorate the dog house to match your wedding theme, and conceal any other unsightly elements of your venue with a little creativity – and possibly a hot glue gun.

Drinks

While it makes sense to hire a bartender for a large-scale event, you’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars by setting up your drinks in advance for a smaller affair. The Knot offers plenty of ideas on setting up your own Mason jar wedding bar, including cocktail recipes and stylish ways to display libations.

Food

One of the main benefits of hosting your wedding at home is that you have access to your own kitchen, stove, and fridge. Finger sandwiches, pulled pork, and even pizza are perfectly acceptable and fun ways to nibble following your nuptials.

While there are many things you can do on your own, there are a few areas where you should open up your purse strings:

Photography

Your big day is one that you want to remember and to share with any future offspring. Don’t forgo professional photos or videography or place that burden on your guests. There are plenty of other places to save money that won’t compromise your stroll down memory lane.

Structures

No backyard wedding would be complete without a gorgeous (and shaded) spot to say your vows. This is another area where you want to call in the pros. Nationally, most homeowners spend between $2,459 and $3,802 to install an arbor, trellis, or pergola. While you can certainly forgo this expense completely, there is no better time to have it done than just before your wedding. Consider it a gift to yourself.

Honeymoon Planning

Using a travel agent doesn’t actually cost any more than booking travel on your own, since the hotels, airlines, resorts offer a commission for bringing people to their facilities. You may even save money on your honeymoon by partnering with an experienced travel agent, who can clue you in on lesser-price options at your destination of choice.

Cake

Unless you have experience working with fondant and icing, the wedding cake is something you shouldn’t tackle. Check your local Sam’s Club or Costco for pricing on two- and three-tier wedding cakes, which often run $75 or less through these wholesalers compared to $300 or more at an independent bakery.

Your wedding day is the first day of the rest of your life as a couple. Don’t start out on your journey together in debt. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do a little work yourself, you can save thousands of dollars, which can be used to pay for the honeymoon or start a nest egg. But remember, there are certain things worth paying for so choose your DIY doings wisely.

For more inspiration, check out Buzzfeed’s list of fun (and money-saving) DIY ideas.