I’ve since read quite a few articles on DIY weddings and pinned projects to my Pinterest wedding board. As fun and beautiful DIY weddings look I agree they are not for the faint of heart. If you don’t like getting your hands (or house) messy or you just aren’t as good at making things like this talented bride, DIY probably is NOT the way to go. And they don’t necessarily save money if any sometimes. My sister sent me this blog in which this girl tried to spend only 10,000 on a wedding for 100 people. As soon as she bought a $300 Gocco machine I knew she wasn’t going to make her goal.

For example, I decided to go with silk flowers for the bouquets because I want to keep my bouquet after the wedding without drying it (Dried flowers are really bad Feng Shui!) I’ve always been terrible at flower arranging so this was a risky move for me. I looked up a bunch of YouTube videos on bouquets.

I bought high-quality silk flowers because I wanted them to look super realistic. As a result, they weren’t cheap. I even had to throw out some of them (wasting $60) because they weren’t up to my or Tamon’s standard. In the end the bouquets came out quite nice (I’ve only finished the boutonnieres and bridesmaid’s). But considering that a professional bridesmaid bouquet costs $100 and a boutonniere $10 I saved enough to make it worth the effort.

I’ve learned that DIY involves a lot of experimentation and you won’t always get it right on the first few tries. In fact, the time you spend on DIY projects is not necessarily commensurate with the cost savings. When it comes down to cents, sometimes paying someone else to do something is either equal in cost or actually cheaper.

To use the cliche, DIY is a labor of love. And it’s a way I’ve made my wedding really meaningful. My dad is an entrepreneur and really raised us on the concept of DIY. I’ve seen him create crates and pallets out of discarded construction materials. My dad never let me throw anything away. The botched painting I did of my sister in which her face looked like Dorian Gray? He picked it out of the trash. True to his spirit of salvage and reuse, I turned that painting into a chalkboard sign for my wedding.

Thanks, Dad. Your training prepares me for this wedding.

I decided to make chiffon and tissue paper garlands for the ceremony (we’re having a very small one in Tamon’s mom’s backyard). Over the years I’ve been  amassed a hoarders’ worthy pile of fabric and tissue paper. Making garlands for the wedding was a perfect way to clean out my craft supplies. I made 75 flowers in two weeks using this tutorial. Tamon was very bemused. But after stringing them on fishing line the flowers only made about six or so garlands. Instead of buying more tissue paper, I found a cheap party supply shop through Aliexpress (China’s version of eBay) and bought 30 more flowers for $18.  There is only so much manual labor I can do for the wedding.


The tissue pom poms from Aliexpress were nice. But I didn’t mind making the DIY ones. Since I had tulle, chiffon, tissue and rhinestones to work with I customized the pieces. Some of the flowers are white with a blush center, others gold with frilly tulle. I cut the chiffon into petals and singed the edges over a candle to make them curl. Then I embellished them with pearls and rhinestones.

photo (5)

Then Kathy and Mithi (also a bridesmaid) came over and helped me string them up onto fishing line. This is the last time I will ever make them work with a hot glue gun. Because I’m a klutz, I dropped a really hot glue-y piece of fabric on Kathy’s hand. It burned her so bad that it raised blisters. This was right after she and Mithi dubbed themselves the bride slaves because I was making them do manual labor. Thinking this name hilarious, I was going to make T-shirts but then I Googled bride slaves and realized it referred to female trafficking (so sad). But I’m still very appreciative of my lovely bridesmaids’ handiwork. They glued all 75 flowers  with me and decorated them with blush felt, shiny sateen and feathers. I like the way they look — much better than fresh flowers that die after one day of use (I’ve always thought that was super wasteful). My dad would be proud.

I’m a lucky bride-to-be.

Sorry about burning your hand again, Kathy.



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