I did it! DIY Flowers and Decor

Anniversary Photo Shoot Recap: Changing thoughts on Wedding DIY

Note: I do not have Anniversary pictures to post on the blog yet, but when I do…yipppeeeee!!!!!

wrapping DIY cookie favors
My Bridesmaid wraps cookie favors two days before the wedding
Image from Hindsight Bride's Flickr Photostream

DIY-ing a wedding is sorta like childbirth (I'm assuming.) It's a lot of pain and hard work, but once you see the beautiful results of your labor, it seems all worth it. At least that's how I felt after our May 2009 wedding.

Well, I had a recent opportunity to re-create a mini version of my DIY wedding. It was for our anniversary photo shoot. Something to redeem and heal the heartbreak of ruined wedding photos.  I am now here to tell you that Uber DIY it was a total pain in the ass, and carrys with it big trade offs.

If you're new to the blog, you should know that our wedding pictures didn't turn out well. Check out the full story on my guest post at Lotus Blossom Photography. The ruined wedding pictures have upset me all year. So for our first anniversary, I decided to hire a professional photography studio to do an anniversary photo shoot, featuring some of the DIY elements we incorporated into our wedding.

I spend all week baking cookies and cakes, constructing additional pinwheels, parsing through glass and tableware to use, testing and arranging DIY flower centerpieces, and attending various and sundry hair and beauty appointments.

On the day of the shoot, it was just coming on 5 P.M. at the NC Arboretum and Derek and Galen from Two Ring Studios had arrived promptly. Hindsight Groom and I were still setting up. 

As I was putting the finishing touches on the last of three tables, I half jokingly told Galen that I was totally over DIY weddings. "Really?" he asked "I thought the Hindsight Bride was all about DIY." I chuckled. I am all about DIY; I have just learned the hard way that trying to DIY everything is really really hard, even for small weddings. It's stressful, and time-consuming, and has lots of trade-offs.

stressed out bride
Image from Fashion in Motion

So here's a break down of my week:

Still no mani-pedi: I committed to getting my hair and makeup done. I regretted not having a professional do my hair and makeup for our wedding. This time around I was hoping to have perfect hair, nails, and face. However, I ended up running out of time, and had to forego the manicure and pedicure. The reasons? 1) I was strapped for time as I went into DIY wedding preparation mode. Instead of getting a manicure, I was baking cookies and cakes. 2) no manicure will survive the cake baking, flower arranging, decor creating extravaganza of a DIY wedding (or anniversary shoot, as it were.)

Pre-event stress I was so amped up at the hair salon, my hair stylist started rubbing my shoulders and recommended I drink a big glass of wine. I remember this type of OMG-I-have-so-much-to-do-and-so-little-time-to-do-it-in mode last year the week before the wedding. Instead of relaxing and enjoying myself, my mind was churning over my enormous DIY to-do list.

No quality time for family and friends: This week brought back a flood of pre-wedding preparation memories. In hindsight, I realize I just didn't have time for any down time: no spa day, or tea with the Mom's, or relaxing with my bridal party. In fact, as soon as my bridal party arrived from out of town, I put them to work assembling DIY cookie favors while I baked a four-tier wedding cake. If you want to pamper yourself and enjoy your time with family and friends, scale back on the DIY projects.

My Hindsight Advice: The more DIY-ing you do, the more trade-off you will face. If you are dreaming of a more traditional or classic wedding, with traditional pre-wedding experiences such as beauty treatments, choose a couple of DIY projects that mean the most to you and leave the rest to the pros. Are you a graphic designer? Do your own invitations. An avid gardener and florist? Do your own centerpieces. A master in the kitchen? Make your own food favors or wedding cake. Moderately crafty (like myself)? Choose a few decor elements to DIY and customize.