Time has an odd way of going by faster than anyone realizes, especially when you're engaged. That's why, once you get the wedding's most important elements nailed down—namely, the date, the ceremony and reception venues, and a theme or color palette—you should start working on any DIY projects you're interested in. You won't feel rushed and you'll be able to enjoy doing the projects more. Is six months ahead too early to make the ring pillow or welcome sign? Not at all. The key is to pick items like these that can have a long shelf life.
Ask your married friends about their own DIY projects—did they get them all done? You may hear a few yeses but you'll likely hear many more "No, I ran out of time!" responses. Doing most projects early on will also help you stay organized and on top of all the other big-day details you'll have to think about. Here are DIY projects that can—no, make that should—be done months ahead of the wedding.
If you're doing something that needs precision, such as embroidering the ring pillow, you'll want to give yourself plenty of time since this is the type of item that can easily become a family heirloom. If you're teaching yourself a new skill, you should pad in even more time to complete the project.
Flower Girl Basket
Instead of a last-minute fresh flower treatment, decorate a basket with faux flowers, ribbons, and tulle and fill it with paper or silk petals. If you know you want the real thing on the big day, DIY the flower girl's basket ahead of time and ask your florist to add fresh petals shortly before the ceremony.
Classics like "Welcome" with the bride's and groom's first names underneath or "Wedding This Way" with an arrow can be written on wood, heavyweight card stock, or another hearty surface. If you have great handwriting, creating wedding signage can be the perfect DIY project to take care of early on in the planning process.
Depending on what the favor is, most can be done way ahead, and you'll have enough time to schedule the DIYing when your bridesmaids or moms can help.
The Welcome Bags
Get your wedding welcome bags ready with the local attractions brochures, transportation options, and a list of your favorite restaurants; add any perishable goodies closer to the wedding.
Anything that involves fresh flowers or live plants will have to wait until a few days before the wedding but others, especially paper decorations, can be done early.
Once you've figured out the guest list, you'll know whether you need six tables or ten. No need to know who's sitting where just yet—you'll figure that out much closer to the wedding.
If you've picked your bridal party, you can start writing their mini bios to include in the program. Take an afternoon to pick readings, songs, and any other personalized elements—doing this when there's no time crunch will help you make more thoughtful choices.
Family Photo Displays
It may take a while to gather family photos, especially if you're borrowing some from relatives. Start looking for inexpensive frames to put them in early, as this process can take a while.