What You Should and Shouldn’t DIY For Your Wedding


Weddings are not only stressful, they cost A LOT. So, when planning the wedding of your dreams on a budget, why not DIY?


The sole idea behind DIY is to save money. In addition, it allows you to get creative. You have the ability to customize and add your own special touch to certain aspects of your big day. But, before you run off to grab your supplies for crafting, get those wedding priorities in order! You need to ask yourself, “What am I envisioning?” Do you want a luxurious wedding cake? Is hiring a band a MUST? Are dance lessons crucial? Do you need someone to help coordinate on the big day? Etc. Once you have those elements laid out, determine the MAX amount you’re willing to spend on the entire wedding itself and thereafter for each element. From here is where you decide what elements you want to DIY.


DIY is fun, but it also takes time. For example, the idea of piecing together bouquets for your wedding sounds amazing, however it might not be the best idea for you to be creating fresh bouquets on the day. You have to think smart when it comes to DIY and make sure you have the bandwidth to get the job done. That said, here’s a list of things you should and shouldn’t consider doing yourself when it comes to your wedding.


What should I DIY?


Centerpieces

Meredith Jane Photography

Centerpieces are a staple. And, what is amazing about centerpieces is that they have the potential to look just as good homemade! Are you hosting a backyard wedding? booked a venue without centerpieces? If so, DIY could be the way to go! There are so many artsy stores out there in which you can shop all things craft supplies. But, before you get into shopping, you’ll want to have a good idea as to what you’re solidifying. Pinterest is the go-to source for laying out exactly what you’re looking for from a design perspective. I suggest creating multiple boards, and include tutorials. Take a rustic-themed wedding for example, you could craft a real wood lantern and incorporate candles, flowers, garlands and fairy lights to make beautiful centerpieces. Honestly, florists can be pricey (not that I'm against a professional arrangement because that's totes not the case!), but if you’re the creative type and have extra time on your hands, or are just looking to save a few bucks, creating your own centerpieces just might be worth it! And, it will add that personal touch.


Invites + Programs


Meredith Jane Photography

Invitations and ceremony programs should be visually appealing, but that doesn't mean you have to get them created at the fanciest place in town for them to look as such. Nowadays, you can create wedding materials through design software and online tools for free of charge. If you are tech savvy, want to save money, and love the handmade touch, this job is for you! Some online tool recommendations are Canva, Apple Pages, and Adobe.


As there are pros to creating invite and programs yourself, there are also cons that I should note for a quick comparison.


  • Style & Design: Of course, ordering from a professional means you'll have more options when it comes to range of papers and printing styles.

  • Time Constraints: How much time do you have to get the job done?

  • Quality: It's simple, they are professionals. They do this all day, every day.

  • Budget: If you're on the fence about whether to DIY, be sure to check with the larger companies as they get significant discounts through bulk purchases which could lower the price overall.


Dancing


If you’re looking to eliminate expenses, this is certainly one. Regardless if you’re the worst dancer on the planet, dancing is all about what you make it to be. This is YOUR wedding, so dance the way YOU want. I see couples dish out oodles of funds on lessons before their big day, but you don’t have to. Instead of attending scheduled classes leading up to your wedding at a dance studio, you can dance from home. There are so many dancing tutorials that are easily accessible via online. From ballroom to salsa to hip hop, the options are endless. Go ahead and research tutorials, make a class schedule, make some cocktails and practice your dance moves with your hunny. What’s better than that?


Bouquets

Meredith Jane Photography

Florals are a must in my opinion, but you don’t have to break the bank to achieve the perfect look and feel. You have the option to create your own wedding bouquets, so don’t dismiss florals as a luxury should you not have the budget. However, before diving into the process, make sure you understand how long it takes the night before or morning to prepare them. The first step in creating your own bouquets is doing your research. What types of flowers do you want? What do you want the finished bouquet to look like? This is what Pinterest is for! Once you know what it is you’re on the hunt for, you can find a few websites which allow you to order flowers in bulk. Or, head over to the nearby supermarket and see what they can do for you. For example, a client of mine had 200+ people at her backyard wedding which meant A LOT of flowers. Although she ordered bouquets through a florist, she wanted to order tons of baby breath in bulk to display throughout the reception. I was able to get this from the in town market! At most weddings, bouquets are either forgotten at the ceremony or don’t last long. Some brides see this as a waste and therefore refuse to spend the money on them. If you’re worried about your wedding bouquets lasting, you’ll want to make sure you store them in a cool and shady place so they keep fresh. With their being so many DIY options, more and more brides have been exploring the idea. For example, I’ve seen brides crafting not just fresh florals, but artificial as well. Similar to fresh flowers, you can purchase artificial ones in bulk. The plus about artificial is that you don’t have to worry about them going bad and it saves you time as you can prep them ahead of the game. The last thing you want to be doing is crafting last minute. All in all, do what’s best for you.


What shouldn’t I DIY?


Wedding Cake


Speciality cakes can be complicated. Yes, baking is a fun activity to partake in, but unless you have baking and decorating skills, outsource this task. And, do you have the patience to do this on your own? Ultimately you should go with what works best for you, but this one can indeed be tricky. You don’t just have to think about the baking process, but the set-up as well. It’s crucial that speciality cakes be transported properly as one small bump in the road can allow it to potentially topple over. And, you need the right materials to set it up for display once you arrive. It could be more of a project than an enjoyment. All in all, I suggest leaving this one up to the professionals.


Photos


Meredith Jane Photography

Once you have a solidified date, you’ll be in the position to start thinking about photography. I highly suggest hiring a professional. You’re going to want better quality photos as a result of the wedding. Plus they'll be serving as memorandum, maybe even hung up on the walls in your house. If you decide to DIY, it’s never guaranteed the photos will look good as chances are, you don’t have the appropriate photography equipment to shoot. Plus, you don’t want to take away from your bridal party, family or even other guests' time at the wedding by instructing them to take photos. It isn’t their job to document your big day.




Planning/Coordinating


Let’s be serious, planning a wedding can be crazy stressful and time-consuming. But, it doesn't have to be. Trust me, I get it. Your wedding is an event of a lifetime and it’s so important to have someone there facilitating while you enjoy your perfect day. Why is having a planner important?

  • Take endless tasks off your shoulders and allow for a more relaxed experience leading up to your wedding

  • Even though they might be a significant part of your budget, a good planner can save you money in the long run

  • Should things get messy on the big day, the responsibility will fall on someone such as your maid of honor, your mom, friends, or another vendor not equip to do the job

  • YOU and your wedding vision is their main priority


Kelsey Converse Photography

Your wedding day should be one to remember and it's much easier to be in the moment when you aren’t worried about the logistics behind the scenes. You deserve a smooth day, so don’t overlook this. And, remember, you can find a wedding planner that works within your budget!


Food


I'd say food is best left up to the caterer. A caterer will not only have exquisite options to choose from, but will know what is best served at weddings. They'll be able to assist with food allergies and any specific orders as their menus are already tailored to include options centered around these allergies and orders. I know, easy breezy right? A caterer will also be familiar with timeline, taste pairing and how to prep for large groups. This isn't their first rodeo! Food is one of the most important elements when it comes to hosting a wedding or any event for that matter. Therefore, dismissing a caterer might lead to unsatisfied guests should things go wrong. Food is the one of the details that’s truly what makes a wedding unique. It's meant to be an experience, one that brings guests together through good food and even better conversations.


In closing, when deciding whether or not to DIY something for your wedding, consider the trade-off between your time and how much money you will actually save. DIY can, of course, save you money, but it could take up a lot of your time. Also, you need to ask yourself if the stress is worth it (because you know that's a factor to think about here)? Know your limits. If you in your heart of hearts think the task is simple enough and should take up bare minimum time, get to it. It's all up to you and what you're open to handle.


I'd love to hear what you're thinking for your wedding! Are DIY'ing? If yes, what?


As a planner myself, I can guide you here. Are you newly engaged or in the midst of planning?

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