Today we’re talking about something near and dear to my heart. DIY! I love to jump into a project or two a month, and really find a great satisfaction on creating something on my own (with the help of a Pinterest tutorial or two of course). There’s something about the sense of accomplishment from taking a few random supplies and making something beautiful out of it. I understand the allure of it all, really, I do! Not to mention, I can also definitely appreciate the money saving aspect. I am a big saver myself and anything that might save me considerable amounts of money, I am definitely all in.
I preface with this because what I am about to tell you may shock some of those that know me well, but in truth, I’ve had to do a lot of thinking on it to come to the conclusion I’m sharing with you today. Weddings should not be “DIY”. I know, me: the money saving, coupon wielding, thrift shop bargain hunter is encouraging brides and grooms alike to spend more money. What’s up with that?!
Well, friends, as much as I love a good sale, I also love quality events and I don’t care if you’re as crafty as Martha Stewart, weddings take a lot of time! Coming from someone who really does love to do it herself, there is just not enough time to create everything you need to in the span of time you have for set up on your wedding day. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 things you should NEVER DIY for your wedding.
Photography: Jumping right in, photography is my very biggest “no-no”. After months (and sometimes years) of planning your perfect wedding, executing your vision from dreams from your childhood to right now in this moment – your cousin offers you a family discount for your wedding photos. Now, no offense to your cousin, but unless she is licensed, insured, and running a successful photography business, I really take issue with hiring her on to photograph the best day of your life. You’ve spent a ton of money getting everything right, and at the end of it all – all you have are the photos of this day. Not to mention, if your cousin is busy running around gathering guest shots and detail shots, she really isn’t going to have the time to spend making memories with you. As much as I love saving money, please take my advice and hire a talented professional to capture your wedding.
Catering: Catering makes number 2 on my list because of all of the preparation and time it takes to pull this off. As much as I love a family affair, between cooking and preparing wedding quality food for over 100-200 guests, you and/or your close friends and family will not have a moment alone to blink much less enjoy the wedding! Just think about how much of a production it is to put on or host Thanksgiving dinner and multiply it by about 12. I beg of you, please, please hire a professional to cater your wedding. If you are set on having a friend or family provide food for your special occasion, consider having them provide something for the rehearsal dinner, or perhaps a small baked treat for your favors to pass out day of. This still includes them in your day without taking them away from it and allows them to immerse themselves in the celebration, not just the kitchen!
Entertainment: Be very wary about providing DIY entertainment. Think back to the weddings and events you have attended. Now think about what you remember. Is it the attire? The timeline of events? If you’re like me (and most guests I’ve spoken with), what you most remember most about the event you are recalling is how much fun you had! Usually, this connection has to do with the MC and DJ/band that created a fun atmosphere and allowed you to let loose! Now imagine that friendly neighbor you have that offered to use his speakers and headset to play music during your reception. This just doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it. When considering entertainment for your wedding, not only are you hiring a music provider, you are hiring a professional to help guide the evening and care for your guests. From the first dance to the champagne toast, you will need someone with experience to understand the ins and outs. You want to be sure your entertainment provider has the talent to get people out of their seats and on to the dance floor! If you are considering hiring a friend or family member to provide entertainment, just do a quick Youtube search on why this is a very bad idea.
Florals: As I’ve mentioned before, my grandparents raised orchids when I was growing up and because of that I’ve got a pretty good handle on my knowledge of them. There were quite a few times where my grandmother would put together an arrangement or two, and I’d be a fraud if I said I’d never utilized her talents for my events. That being said, these events were small in comparison to a wedding sized celebration and doing your own florals would be very hard indeed. The main concern with this is that florals are real, living things! Therefore, they require water and/or proper handling to last through an event 6-8 hours long. You need to know what florals to use that will last and what flowers wilt after being cut within a small amount of time. In order to properly create your wedding centerpieces, bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, alter pieces, and everything in between….well, I think you get my point. Florists have a great wealth of knowledge in how to not only provide your wedding with the proper florals to achieve the right look, they also provide the expertise and creativity needed to pull off some really extraordinary design work. If you are trying to work florals into your budget and are having trouble, instead of trying to DIY your way to success, consider swapping out some more expensive flower options for a less pricey yet still beautiful design. Your florists are wonderful at knowing these options and are usually more than happy to work within your budget to achieve the look you are going for.
Set Up/Event Staff: THIS. This is so, so important, and something I am always preaching to my clients. Please – do not enlist yourself or other family and friends to set up your event. Dependent on what venue you choose, there should be plenty of event staff from the venue manager to the banquet manager to provide the proper orchestration of your event. They will set up the basics like tables and chairs, linens, table settings, and the like. If you are in need of more detailed set up, this is where my staff and I are able to assist. Please do not ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to set up your details in between hair and makeup. This is stressful and unnecessary! Many times over, I hear stories of moms, dads, cousins, uncles, nieces and nephews scrambling to set up the couple’s vision while she is walking down the aisle. Not only are they missing part of your important life milestone, they are probably wondering why they decided to get into this mess in the first place! By ensuring you have hired professional help on the biggest day of your life, you are ensuring your event will look exactly as you’ve planned it. After all, we work hand in hand right up to the day of your wedding to ensure your vision is executed just right. Don’t try to do it yourself! Entrusting in someone who is skilled and knowledgeable can make all of the difference in how the day plays out, and can impact your stress levels in a big way.
Honestly, I could write a whole other blog on this topic and may in the future! There are plenty of options to personalize your wedding (in fact, I talk about this in my last blog) but these five items are something that should not be compromised. If you and your spouse are trying to stay within budget and need help finding ways to cut costs without compromising the quality of your event, I’d be happy to help. As I mentioned before, I love saving money and finding my clients easy solutions to cut costs but keep the integrity of their event. I look forward to speaking with you soon!