Credit: photography @red_berry_photography
The Perfect DIY Wedding Venue
Wedding planning is no easy feat after all, wedding planners exist for a reason! But just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Many brides are ditching the more traditional wedding routes and embracing DIY ethics to create weddings better suited to their own personal style, taste and budget, with an entire industry of independent wedding vendors emerging to make DIY weddings easier and even more unforgettable.
We’ve been blown away by some of the DIY wedding’s we’ve seen on the NSW South Coast and have come up with a helpful guide for anyone considering a DIY wedding of their own in this beautiful part of the world.
Figure out your budget
What’s your wedding budget? Sitting down to talk about your budget may not be the most romantic thing in the world, but figuring out how much money you have to spend is a super important step to take before you even start thinking about the kind of wedding you want. DIY weddings are typically more affordable than traditional weddings, but that doesn’t mean the costs can’t add up fast if you don’t stick to your limits. Step by step with a plan you will get there!
Choose a DIY-friendly wedding venue
Not all wedding venues support DIY practices. Some may only use in-house caterers, work with preferred suppliers or have a standard layout that doesn’t leave much room for alteration. Here on the NSW South Coast, our venue Seacliff House is a fully do-it-yourself venue, offering couples complete creative control with full flexibility to create a bespoke wedding that’s perfectly suited to their individual style. With room for up to 150 guests, Seacliff House can provide a full list of suppliers from the local area who can offer expert local advice and assist with the planning of a DIY wedding.
The Co-operative in Gerringong is another favourite DIY venue in the area that’s perfect for before and after parties, offering function rooms with a bump-in arrangement that gives couples full creative control.
Pick your wedding theme
Now that you’ve got your venue, it’s time to make another hard decision – what is the theme for your wedding? DIY weddings typically seem to take the route of boho chic or a vintage / rustic wedding vintage, but the whole point of doing-it-yourself is that you have complete freedom to create any kind of wedding you want. Check out our Instagram for inspiration.
Figure out just how DIY you’re willing to get
The concept of do-it-yourself can mean different things to different people. Some may consider a DIY wedding one where they don’t hire a wedding planner, but still hire professionals to take care of all aspects of the wedding like flower arranging and wedding invitations. For others, DIY might mean physically making, buying and preparing decorations, layouts and food with your own hands.
It will help to make a list of the projects you can take on yourself, and the ones you need to hire someone else to do. For example, you might want to hire wedding furniture but create bunting, sign posts and place cards yourself, or hire a caterer to do the food but take drinks into your own hands. Do you really need a seating planner? Or can you do that with a little family and friend help? Just how deep into the DIY zone you decide to go will have a big impact on your stress levels, timeline and budget, so make sure not to bite off more than you can chew and give yourself enough time to complete any DIY projects you set for yourself.
Enlist the help of friends and family
You might not realise just how much work goes into planning a wedding until you decide to take on the responsibility for yourself. This is where that helpful bridal party comes in. Ask your maid of honour, bridesmaids, sister or mum to help you with the planning process, either delegating them tasks or organising to work together as a team. When the big day rolls around create a job list for your designated helpers, so they know exactly what’s needed from them and when. If things need setting up on the day, assign some tasks to the groomsmen, as they’ll have much more time on their hands than the bridesmaids.
As the golden rule of DIY weddings, make sure anyone you ask for help is a reliable and trustworthy person who will make the planning process easier instead of more stressful.
Book your chosen wedding vendors
Even if you’ve chosen to go full DIY, it’s likely there are still some professional wedding vendors you’ll need to hire (like a celebrant, at the bare minimum). As the DIY wedding trend continues to boom, incredible vendors have popped up on the NSW South Coast, giving couples some amazing options when it comes to picking reliable professionals who are fully supportive of the DIY format.
Check out our Friends page for a full list of vendors on the South Coast – we’ve got caterers, portable bars, mobile coffee vans, stylists, florists, photographers, musicians and just about every other service you need to pull off a DIY wedding with shining colours. Our favourite vendors are all from the South Coast area, so they can provide expert local advice and know exactly what it takes to do a DIY wedding the right way.