Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sarah-Leigh's Top Tips for a DIY Wedding

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Our very own co-founder Sarah-Leigh (@sarahleighw) is due to tie the knot in just a matter of weeks and here she shares her top tips for a DIY wedding. After spending months rummaging at boot sales and antique fairs or glued to eBay hunting for her perfect finishing touches, Sarah’s become a bit of a pro at spotting bargains and the perfect raw ingredients to create something beautiful. 

Today we talk haggling and patience, while over the coming weeks Sarah will share some great DIYs and a few valuable tips for creating fab wedding looks on a budget. 

Finding the perfect venue – get to know the team. 

My fiancĂ© Ryan and I decided pretty early on that we wanted our wedding to be a unique representation of us – our style, our ideas and our own effort to achieve it. Hotel packages and all their rules and regulations just weren’t for us and while many can be beautiful, we were after a little freedom.

If I could impart one bit of advice on venue hunting it would be to get to know the owners or team who will help you achieve your big day. These people will be entrusted with every detail and most importantly every hard-earned penny so it’s imperative they ‘get’ what you’re aiming for, especially in DIY matters and most basically, its important that you like them!

We have been so fortunate in this area – we found our beautiful venue by chance and the owners quickly became a huge part of our day. Their invaluable advice, soothing words at times of stressful details and awesome creative ideas have helped shape what we hope will be a uniquely beautiful day in just a few month’s time. Being a private venue, their flexibility and willingness to let us try a few things out has made planning completely enjoyable.

(Sarah & Ryan are getting married at Hill Place)

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Set a budget for decorations and finishing touches 

Though boot sales and second hand shops are by far the cheapest way of kitting out your wedding, all the 50ps and £2s do add up. Set a budget up front on how much you want to spend of this kind of stuff and stick to it. I’ve kept a tally all the way through and set myself a monthly ‘rummaging’ budget!

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Hunt down your perfect finishing touches

From car boot sales to antique fairs, charity shops and of course HBBS, I’ve spent many weekends over the last year hunting for anything from tea cups and saucers to old keys, brooches and milk urns… Two things are very important when searching for your own finishing touches – be patient and keep hunting for the right thing – you can always come back to the first thing you saw – and haggle.

It also helps to have a vague theme at least (ours is the 1930s) and try and stick to it. I could have paid over the odds for things I wasn't too keen on because I felt time was running out or I was busy with other things, but patience pays off and you’ll be happier with your finds if they truly hit the nail on the head.

My top haunts for pre-loved items in Hampshire & nearby are:
Bursledon Car Boot Sale 
Ardingly Antiques Fair 
Shirley High Street’s charity shops
Winchester High Street’s charity shops
Molly’s Den 
Lymington High Street for quirky independent home and gift shops
Ebay
Etsy

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Get heaps of inspiration online 

For great DIY ideas you can’t beat Pinterest, wedding blogs and YouTube. Team HBBS taught ourselves how to make poms poms with a handy video and I’ve recently decided on our male guest’s favours thanks to everyone’s favourite ‘Pinning’ site (we plan to stick bespoke stickers from Moo with our names and wedding date on supermarket bought cigars).

Don’t be scared to have a go at things yourself, with a little time and patience you can achieve some fab decorative ideas easily. I was stunned at how simple poms poms are (see the DIY here) and I’m really not that crafty!!

My favourite sources of online inspiration for DIY weddings are:
Pinterest (search ‘DIY wedding’)
Green Wedding Shoes 
Ruffled 
PS I Made This
Martha Stewart Weddings

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