Bride on a Budget - The Kiwi DIY Bride


It’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? “Kiwi DIY” and “Bride” ain’t got nothing on the “American DIY Bride”. We fall in love with an item on Etsy and then have our dreams dashed by the horrendous shipping costs, or the most perfect tutorial online is courtesy of items from Home Depot – it’s time to put a stop to that right here and now and embrace our Kiwi ingenuity.

Being a DIY Bride in New Zealand doesn’t have to be hard, it simply calls for a little more creativity and organisation. Some would think we made things harder on ourselves by not utilising a wedding planner for our out of town wedding, yet we broke the boundaries, and I want to show you how too.

Once you have the big things out of the way, it’s time to start thinking of a theme. Hopefully you will have a rough idea of what this is going to shape up like given you’ve already booked your venue, and let’s be honest - you’ve been hanging out for years to make your wedding Pinterest board public! If not, you can check mine out here.


Be creatively organised

Making your own stationery is one of the quickest ways to save money when it comes to your big day. I invested in a monthly subscription of Adobe Photoshop to make Save the Date cards myself, and produced our invites with a huge helping hand from my Sister in Law Lucy, from Magill Designs. If you don’t have a Photoshop expert at hand, YouTube is the best virtual teacher. We used this subscription to make name cards, seat reservation signs, programmes, menus, photo boards, our Tinder sign, Thank You cards – it was truly open season!

If you have time on your side, you could make paper folds and envelopes yourself, but do remember time = money - we purchased these instead. Take the hassle out of shopping online and support NZ made like we did by purchasing off the team at PINC Ltd. Remember to keep it simple, and you won’t have any issues at all.

If saving the trees rings true to you, create a website for your guests and have everything in one central place - your guests will never lose a map again! I couldn’t even begin to count how many free or affordable options are available online, but if I had to pick my favourite so far, Bliss and Bone would be it.


I’m gonna pop some tags, only got 20 dollars in my pocket

Thrift shopping is such a fun way to uncover relics and items for your wedding. From rustic, to chic, to glamorous there are so many unique pieces just waiting to be dug up. Don’t discount items just because they look tired or have a few imperfections - would a coat of paint or some floral decoration bring it back to life? If you are ready to go exploring, Ferry Road/Woolston area have some of the best shops around. Dig around your Grandparents homes too, you never know what they’re hiding! I found a tonne of bargains on Trademe, and saved searches so I was first to jump on bargain “Buy Now” auctions.


When in doubt, add flowers

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely know how to appreciate a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but for the budget conscious bride, doing it yourself can save you a bit of cash to put towards other things, like the dress you went waaay over budget on! You can put your bouquets together yourself, or even with your Bridesmaids the night before the Wedding. We are so spoilt in Christchurch that floristry evenings and events are popping up left right and center, so attending something like that could prove invaluable. Head along to your local florist to purchase in season blooms and pair them with the likes of lace, ribbon, hessian, or small family heirlooms and voila! You’re an amateur florist - But do proceed with caution, it is also an area where you can easily bite off more than you can chew time wise. Make a point of chatting to a florist first, and have the conversation about budget. They will always look to accommodate you, and you might be pleasantly surprised at the options they can offer.


Happiness is homemade

Have you considered making your own wedding favours? Homemade treats or preserves, scented candles, little succulents – the list is endless. We opted to have a dessert bar for supper, so popped paper bags on the table for guests to take away something to munch on. Feeling charitable? You can have your wedding and give back by donating the estimated cost of the favours to your favourite charity. It’s a great way to give back and a really special way of acknowledging a cause that’s close to home.


All in all, anything goes when it comes to DIY. With time on your side, you can afford to chop and change things to better suit your theme and make your day uniquely special. My key piece of advice? Accept all the help you can get, and enjoy the biggest party you will ever hold!


Until next,

With love, Lucy_4 Grey.png