Honing Your Craft


When we left the frazzled bride-to-be, she was looking for a corkscrew and a quiet place to bang her head against the wall. But with all the major bases now covered, the wedding planning has slowed down a bit. Now it’s time to go looking for trouble—I want to get creative and make something. Yes, I have a glue gun and I know how to use it. 
I like doing crafts and I would be disappointed if I didn’t create something for my wedding. It’s a way to make the day more personal and special—and get exactly what you want. A do-it-yourself project can also save money. It can be a very satisfying experience all around, actually.
In the past, I was always the nutty bridesmaid who volunteered to make the bridal shower favors. We need 30 color-coordinated potpourri sachets in two weeks? I’m your girl. Cute centerpieces for the tables? I’m on it.
I must have had no life back then because now I’m wondering where I’m going to find the time to make anything. Fortunately, I’ve learned a few things over the years, having survived more than a few Christmas gift-making frenzies and marathon scavenger hunts for essential but elusive craft supplies.
Asking the following questions can help you decide if getting crafty is worth the effort:
What do you want to make? In theory, you can make all kinds of things for the wedding, including the invitations, place cards, bridal party gifts, centerpieces, decorations, favors, and the wedding album. Craft stores, bridal magazines, and the Internet are awash in ideas. 
But the feasibility of the chosen project is often another story. Pace yourself by starting with one or two ideas and figuring out exactly what you need to execute them terms of materials, budget, workspace, and potential therapy.
Can you do it yourself? Be honest—do you have the expertise and patience to pull it off? Gluing a few components together is not exactly brain surgery, but it can be frustrating if the finished item doesn’t look like what you envisioned. Never done calligraphy before? This may not be the time to start.
Give yourself time and extra materials to practice until you get it right. Enlist a creative friend to help or—even better—do it for you. In other words, know your limitations.
Do you want to do it yourself? Can I design and make unique, personalized favors for my guests? Absolutely. Do I want to make 100 of them? Absolutely not. Consider how many weekends and/or weeknights you are willing and able to devote to your chosen project; how cranky you will be for the duration of the project; and whether you can round up people to help who won’t form their own union. 
Can the project be turned into a fun bonding experience with your bridesmaids, mother, or fiancé? If just reading that sentence makes you laugh out loud, then be prepared to rely on your own energy and creativity. The bottom line is, do something creative because you really want to, not because you feel obligated.
And, perhaps most importantly, do you have time to do it yourself? Do you have the aforementioned weekends and/or weeknights to plan, shop for, and assemble your project? Will the people who swore they would help come through? Do you need more pressure right now? Be realistic about what you can pull off in the time you have. Rush jobs rarely turn out well.
Making something special for your wedding day should be fun—in a demented, compulsive way that only true craft lovers can appreciate—but fun nonetheless. If a project or even the prospect of a project isn’t giving you a warm, fuzzy feeling, it might be time to put the glue gun down.


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