Anyone that has had to plan their wedding will tell you that they were shocked by the ridiculous amount of money they had to spend for their big day. From  the wedding gown and reception venue, to the wedding photographer and cost of wedding rings, we get it: wedding planning is no fun when you’re broke. With all the stress, you’re probably more excited to get the day behind you than for the wedding itself.

This article by the BBC notes that more millennials want a DIY wedding – not surprising, considering the costs of the most basic necessities for your big day. 

According to South African wedding planners Weddings by Tasha, Outlandish Events and The Aleit Group, the average amount their clients spend on their wedding day ranges between R150,000 and R650,000. And that’s excluding honeymoons.

*Takes a deep breath and cries internally*


With careful planning, a cost-effective DIY wedding is entirely doable. From flower bucket arrangements and a photobooth tent to a ribbon canopy, this couple went full on Pinterest DIY and their wedding day seemed like something straight out of a fairytale.

The bride, Vihal Mehta, told WedMeGood that she “always wanted a simple DIY wedding and refused to pay a bomb for anything extravagant.” The key point was to try new things and ensure they achieved a big effect with minimal DIY-ing. The big effect was DEFINITELY achieved.

Read more: Skip the engagement party and five other tips to help you cut wedding costs

Apart from not breaking the bank, it's also a chance for you to rope in and spend valuable time with your loved ones until the buildup of the wedding. Here are seven of the best options for your DIY wedding.

1. Origami backdrop

This South African bride asked her mother and mother-in-law to help her create 600 white paper origami birds. These paper-projects are so inexpensive and looks gorgeous on display. Find origami ideas here and a simple DIY tutorial here.

2. Paper flowers

Use these to bring colour to a dull stairway, use them for a beautiful backdrop, or add one huge flower for a hint of elegance to your guest’s seats.

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3. Photobooth

What’s a wedding celebration without capturing the beautiful moments to make them eternal?

Opt for a manageable wooden pallet photobooth (DIY tutorial here):

Or decorate a chalkboard with whimsical flowers:

Another great option is a sparkly photobooth incorporating spools of colourful ribbon, streamers or lace and burlap:

4. Wedding signs

Create a colourful chalkboard sign showing off the day's activities, use it to welcome and direct guests to the venue or to simply add instructions like posting photos of the celebration to social media.

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5. Punch up plain chairs

Skip the chair covers and adorn chairs with ribbon, tulle or strands of lace instead.  

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6. Simple centrepieces

No need for over-the-top centrepieces that will cost you a fortune. Start collecting your sweetcorn and baked beans tins and create exquisite flower centrepieces.

Or get crafty with a few mason jars, string, ribbon and some lace.

Turn trash into treasure and use your Mrs Ball's bottles to create these pretty painted vases.

7. Wedding favours

Ah, the wedding favours. They are a thoughtful way for you to thank your guests for sharing the celebration with you, but they are certainly an additional expense and it's perfectly fine to skip them if your budget won't allow for it. However, there are ways to be economical about them.

Read more: How to have a big wedding on a small budget

If you have family members that are known for their delicious homemade treats, ask them if they're willing to bake a big batch that can be easily packaged. Sure, edible favours won't last forever, but they will be appreciated by your guests. 

Who doesn't love popcorn? Be cheesy and add a tag that says "thanks for poppin' by".

Or go for gummy chews.

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Want something different but still practical? Try handmade soaps. They're easy to make and can be personalised by colour, scent and packaging. Here are a few simple homemade recipes.

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If you want to offer guests something that is both useful and imperishable, try your hand at some artsy rope coasters.

Did you attempt any DIY décor ideas for your weddding? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.