“My US$3,000 budget wedding” #1: Do-it-yourself

Unless you’re too busy to even have weekends for yourself, there are a lot of things for your wedding that you can do on your own. A little patience, research and creativity can go a long way—especially when it comes to cost.

Whenever you hire a service provider, you don’t only pay for the product, but the cost of labor and creativity as well. My husband Marc and I run a small design firm, so we kind of know this for a fact. We don’t just factor in the hours worked on a project, but the value of the design as well. When you do things on your own, you only need to consider the cost of raw materials—you won’t need to pay for labor nor for design value, because you’d be the one doing it. Unless, of course, you need to “bribe” a creative cousin or nephew to do some “arts and crafts” for you. But still, it won’t cost as much as hiring a pro.

Realistically, you can’t do everything on your own. If you’re not an owner of a catering business, you’d definitely need to hire a caterer (you wouldn’t want to spend the night before your wedding cooking loads of food, do you?). Same with flowers. Hiring a florist would be logical if you don’t own a flower shop. But there are things that you can do ahead of time. Here are some ideas…

Wedding Planner. Marc and I have considered hiring a wedding planner, but eventually abandoned the idea. My work was home-based, so I pretty much have control over my schedule. I was able to find time to do the canvassing for suppliers and the actually planning on my own, with some help from kind friends and relatives. A wedding planner here in the Philippines can cost you more than Php10,000 (approximately US$200), which you could have added to upgrade your reception menu or get an incredibly nice cake. If the circumstances are right, you can do away with a wedding planner and lessen your expenses.

Invitations. If you’re planning your wedding in say, 10 months, you can actually do this on your own. Seeing all those fancy invitations can be pretty intimidating, but don’t let those embossed text and shiny boards fool you. Invitations valued at around Php80 a piece will probably only cost less than (or even more) than the amount in raw materials. Most of that amount is attributed to labor and creative value.

You just need to do a bit of research. If you’re not confident in your creative skills, there’s always the internet. Do a search of designs you like. Print it out. Then create your version.

If you like the “traditional” vellum, you can get uncut sheets straight from the factory. Veco Paper Corporation manufactures huge sheets of specialized papers for you to cut to your liking. If you’re not looking for fancy cutwork, you can always purchase the packed and pre-cut papers from a local bookstore—fold them up, stick the parchment with text, and put it in invitation envelopes you can buy in packs of 5’s or 10’s.

Going for the handmade look? Then go get yourself sheets of handmade papers. Bulaon Novelty in Tiendesitas and SM Megamall sells really pretty papers. Since you’re going to be buying in bulk, you can even haggle for a discount. That’s something you can’t just do when you’re dealing with an invitations supplier.

The photo on this series’ overview will show you how our invitation turned out (my sister, our household help, and I made those). I laid out the text in Photoshop, printed it on a regular bond paper, and had it photocopied on Parchment paper. Our guests never saw suspected it was made like that, and even marveled at how we were able to afford such “specialized” invitation.

If you prefer to have your invitation text embossed, no problem. Design it, print it out, and bring it to the long street full of invitation suppliers in Recto. They can do the cutting and embossing for you at about Php1,200 (approx. US$24) for 150 sheets of paper you provide. All you’ll have to do is to combine it with a specialized or handmade paper cover, add a little ribbon, stick some fake flowers, and there you have it: a seemingly expensive invitation for your guests to marvel at.

Souvenirs. The same principle in cost computation of souvenirs is basically the same as invitations: you pay more for labor and value.

A lot of the raw materials for souvenirs can be found in the streets of Divisoria. You can even find a supplier for personalized ribbons there. The challenge for you would be how to combine those raw materials, which can easily be remedied by searching the Net. Use Google or Yahoo. They’re here for a reason: search!

Wedding flowers, personalized wine, souvenirs

Personalized Items. Those were the things that probably made our wedding “special.” Everything just seemed to match. Marc and I went for a “modern Filipiniana” theme with a color motif of aqua blue and silver—we decorated things as mundane as our wine, table numbers, wedding programs/missallettes. Since we got the raw materials in Divisoria, we didn’t have to spend much.

The key in doing wedding stuff on your own are organization, patience, research, and creativity. You pay for labor and value if you can’t do it on your own, but if you can manage your time wisely, it shouldn’t be a problem. Besides, doing things on your own gives your wedding stuff a personal touch—trinklets made from your heart would be remembered and appreciated.

Posted in Budget weddings, Do-it-yourself, Planning, Pre-wedding, The US$3,000 wedding budget series

13 Comments

Missie :

Hi Gail :),
Thank you for your wonderfully insightful and highly entertaining blog! It’s given me lots of food for thought not only for my own but also for my best friend’s upcoming wedding. And btw, your dress looked great! Thanks again,
Missie

Gail :

Missie: No problem! Glad you like this blog 🙂

Ive had some requests for the updated designs on our site,
well im pleased to let everyone know the new range is now
available! Im particularly pleased with the Seduction Range!

Well i hope you like them and enjoy!

Thanks again for your support!

Lee Brooker
http://www.PeachCocktail.co.uk

Need an Event Specialist?

You may call/text 09162360990/92

website: http://www.one2oneevents.tk

tricia :

hi sis! do u have the contact numbers of people in recto who embossed invitations? i’m also doing the invitations but i want it embossed. hope u could help me.. thanks!

mac :

Great blog, truly inspirational! Gail, we’re in the same boat (budgeted wedding and carefully planning to make it appear more than its worth). 🙂 Just adding info to Tricia…Ask local printers in your area for embossed printing. It would be around P400-P1000 for 100 sets of a 2-3 pages of inserts with simple cutting (die-cutting would entail added cost).

mac :

Great blog, truly inspirational! Gail, we’re in the same boat (budgeted wedding and carefully planning to make it appear more than its worth). 🙂 Just adding info to Tricia…Ask local printers in your area for embossed printing. It would be around P400-P1000 for 100 sets of 2-3 pages of inserts with simple cutting (die-cutting would entail added cost).

tricia :

thanks so much mac… really appreciate it! 🙂

Tin :

Hi! I would like to know if you have the contact info of Acropolis Clubhouse? Kakatuwa naman itong website mo, full of ideas, very helpful. Thanks in advance! God bless.

[…] “My US$3000 budget wedding” #1: Do-it-yourself – Unless you’re too busy to even have weekends for yourself, there are a lot of things for your wedding that you can do on your own. A little patience, research and creativity can go a long way—especially when it comes to cost. … […]

Hi Gail,

If $3,000.00 is DIY, paano yung mga brides and grooms na hindi kaya I’m helping out a friend who has less than Php100,000 budget. I’m talking of people who only make Php7,000 per month cannot afford to spend a whole lot of money on a grand wedding. I think that because of these lean times, people have to start thinking of starting traditions such as smaller/more intimate weddings. Kasi dito sa US 60 people is a big crowd already.

Gail :

@Tina: I think doable naman yun, lalo na less than 60 people lang bisita. You can do most stuff DIY (anybody can do DIY, you can get ideas online, your friends can help out to make it easier), and your friend can ask nalang her entourage to purchase / use their own gowns as long as pare-pareho lang ng color / shade para kahit papano maganda naman.

For food, if you can’t get a caterer who can fit within the budget, you can always just pick a “theme” that can make the reception less formal and your friend can serve food she usually serves in casual parties.

You’d be surprised that sometimes budget weddings are more fun than those where couples spend thousands of dollars. 🙂

Hi Gail,
Yes, I found a great caterer who can fit the budget already… mulit-awarded pa nga. As for guests it’s 100 people. It’s been trimmed down to the bones kung baga. It’s great when people are willing to help out pero sobrang dami ang relatives who has less.

Ay oo can you recommend food choices pala. I am not really familiar with the traditional food choices for weddings. For me kasi, soup, 2 main entre’s and dessert is enough. It’s traditional in the Philippines to have plenty main dishes. Dito 2 main dishes like beef and chicken with steamed veggies is enough.

Leave a Reply