Tips and trends for your Northern Rivers DIY wedding

ONE of the big choices to make early on in your wedding planning is whether or not you would like to go DIY.

The great thing about this choice, however, is that you can change it many times in your planning and it will still be okay.

In fact it's common for couples to go full DIY and half way through decide to cut back, as the director of Frank and Joy, Maria Birch explained.

"As it dawns on them all the aspects they have to consider ... they do start to get a little overwhelmed," she said.

Frank and Joy is a Byron Bay planning, style and hire company.

Ms Birch advised some aspects were always better left to professionals.

"We never recommend couples do their own flowers ... they require a certain skillset," Ms Birch said.

"It's more the little bits and pieces, such as the menus and the place cards."

She said DIY couples often opted for the vintage and rustic look, with a mixture of symmetrical and mismatched items.

"What's popular at the moment would be raw wood tables, and the style of food that's popular at the moment is a shared plate kind of meal, also known as a feasting," Ms Birch said.

"Bentwood chairs are a perennial favourite, and something trending at the moment is the oak crossback chair, which is a beautiful French-style crossback chair.

"Charcoal linen is also popular, and rose gold cutlery."

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To get started on planning Ms Birch recommended couples "really understand what their style of reception and menu requires".

"For example, I talk to a lot of people who have opted for the shared platter, but they aren't aware they need a wider table for that kind of meal," she said.

"Get your furniture sorted out, then start adding the decorations."

Ms Birch said a successful DIY wedding came down to planning well in advance.

"If you and the girls are just going to tie some name cards on chairs the day before the wedding, that's fine," she said.

"But you don't want to be doing any more than that.

"Your DIY styling items are the fun part, and they need to be well-sourced and at your house two months before the event."

She also said couples should organise their furniture hire at least eight months in advance - or a year in advance if hosting a peak-season wedding.

Che Devlin, owner of Byron Bay Weddings and Fig Tree Catering, recommended couples begin their planning with a conversation with each other, their close friends and parents about what they want.

"Think about and talk about what you want," he said.

"You don't need to conform with what other people expect of you."

"The next step is to find a venue that fits in with that."

Top tools for a DIY couple

  • Pinterest website or app: This tool has perhaps become the favourite for event planning. Users can sign up for free and explore endless ideas on just about anything, including themes, colour combinations, hairstyles, fashions, centrepieces, flowers and more. To sign up, visit the Pinterest website or download the app at the App Store or Google Play on your smartphone.
  • Wedding blogs: There are many blogs out there dedicated to helping bride and grooms plan their wedding. Simply do a Google search for "Australian wedding blogs". One good place to start is Polka Dot Bride.
  • Op shops or secondhand shops: If you live near your wedding venue this is a great way to buy items for a vintage, mismatched look. It may require some patience to get everything you're after, however. Particularly when you need enough stuff for usually 60-150 people.
  • Wedding magazines: Visit your local newsagent and they will have a lot of magazines to choose from to help you plan your wedding. This is a great way to get inspiration because you can cut out ideas you like and stick them into a planning book. It really gets the creativity flowing!
  • Wedding planning websites and online tools: Easy Weddings and similar websites offer everything you need to plan the big day and the honeymoon to follow. Easy Weddings has a useful Seating Planner for the reception, a wedding website creator, gift registry tools, guest list and to-do list tools and lists of suppliers.
  • Professional advice: Talk to caterers, venues' wedding coordinators, stylists, hire companies or wedding planners. After all, they are professionals for a reason and they can help you ask the right questions and make sense of it all.
  • Your friends or family: If you know anyone close to you who has gotten married recently, ask them about their suppliers. The costs, the quality of their service, their flexibility.

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