Pom poms. Painted mason jars. Quirky cut-outs. For a certain bride these handcrafted items are the perfect totems to represent their special day.
But if you don't have a clue how to hold a glue gun, what's a gal to do? Thankfully there are easy and affordable ways to hack a DIY-style reception, giving couples without a Martha Stewart gene a personalized aesthetic minus the stress.
DIY queen and Target wedding expert Brit Morin, who crafted everything from the bouquets to the paper lanterns at her own wedding, acknowledges that the pressure on modern day brides to instantly become crafty is omnipresent on blogs and social media these days.
"It’s called the “Pinterest effect” and it’s definitely a reality," Morin told ABC News. "I do feel like women feel pressure to have at least a couple stories about how they designed or created the decor ideas at their wedding. But in my opinion, DIY shouldn’t be stressful or costly. It doesn’t have to start from scratch, either."
Morin, whose company Brit + Co. comes up with cool DIY ideas on a regular basis, recommends taking standard items and adding minor tweaks to make them your own.
"Decor like inexpensive string lights can become custom to you with attached cutouts or fringed garland surrounding them," she said.
Morin also suggests looking to items that you may have registered for or already have at home for use as decorations.
"If you registered for $15 Room Essentials string lights from your Target wedding registry to deck out your backyard, use them as a part of your wedding décor, too!" she said. "They’re simple, affordable and add a lot to the ambiance of your wedding. Hang them overhead from one side of your venue to the other, or hang a few strands down the wall to act as a backdrop for your dessert table."
The same thought applies to votives, vases, mirrors and other decorative accessories from your registry, she said.
If want to roll up your sleeves and dive into some DIY but are less confident about your creative skills, another option is Darby Smart. This new online company prepackages kits for craft projects that range from jewelry-making to building agate napkin rings to hand-stamping linens with a customized design.
Founder Nicole Farb, a former Goldman banker, wanted to add "personal flair" to her wedding but was ultimately disappointed with how her projects turned out each time.
Instead she now identifies cool ideas on Pinterest, then partners with the designers to package their ideas into fool-proof project kits. Everything you need arrives in one delivery and is all but guaranteed to look great.
When all else fails, or you are too overwhelmed with other responsibilities to cut stacks of tissue paper, relegate DIY projects to the very end of your reception for the most lasting impression.
"It’s all the small details that really add up to give your wedding a DIY feel, but again, these can all be small projects involving minimal work," added Morin. "Try potting mini succulents for guests to take home, or packaging some homemade treats for your guests that you baked. These are personal touches that go a long way at the end of the party."