Before we launch into the do’s and don’ts of a DIY wedding, we’re giving a disclaimer: the level of do-it-yourself you choose for your wedding is going to determine how much DIY affects your wedding planning. We’ve seen brides produce everything from start to finish, from the save-the-dates to the centerpieces to designing thank you cards. Every couple is different, and there’s no right or wrong to wedding planning. We’ve seen wedding ceremonies and receptions that fit a busy couple to a T completely planned by the event or wedding planner. There are certainly benefits to this arrangement, as we wrote about in a recent blog post. Then there’s the opposite couple: they are at the epicenter of every wedding planning decision, creating as many details of their wedding day as possible.
So what’s the “right” way for your wedding? How much do-it-yourself wedding planning fits you as a couple? These tips can help you make your decision:
Do expect that a DIY wedding is going to take A LOT of time. It’s true. No matter how simple the pictures look, the process to get to that point is going to take time, and a lot of time. If you’re having a big wedding, multiply your production process times the amount of items you need. For example, if it takes 30 minutes to make 10 favors for your wedding, it’s going to take 1200 minutes to make 400 favors.
Don’t get in over your head. Let’s face it: we’re not all crafty. Know your skills. We can’t all produce beautiful cakes, or are detail-oriented enough to glue together the perfect centerpiece. If you’ve never worked on a computer, don’t assume you can create professional wedding invitations. There’s a reason they are called professionals.
Do know how much you can do. There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. Know how many wedding details you can take on, and schedule accordingly. Remember: there’s no shame in hiring vendors to tackle those details that you can’t.
Don’t procrastinate. The days leading up to your wedding are busy, so don’t wait until the last minute to tackle your DIY wedding projects. It won’t work. Get as much done ahead of time, so you can tackle all the last minute details and items that (God forbid!) don’t go as planned right before your wedding.
Do communicate with others. A wedding is an event that is based on efficient coordination. Even if you are producing everything for your wedding, make sure you are communicating with your wedding venue, family and friends to ensure that all the pieces fit together.
Don’t assume that DIY is always cheaper. Number one mistake of any do-it-yourselfer: making the assumption that if you make everything for your wedding the cost is less. While this might be the truth 6 out of 10 times, do your homework. Sometimes it is cheaper to ask a professional to print 1,000 invitations, simply because they have the equipment and supplies. Don’t forget to factor in time, too, when you calculate the cost. If you have to take a day off to produce centerpieces, for example, then the cost of losing income should be tallied in as well.
Do practice. Don’t look at pictures and assume that your cake is going to turn out perfect. Don’t assume that those centerpieces are going to turn out on the first try. Practice before your big day to ensure that what you think is going to happen actually happens.
Have any questions? Choose a wedding venue with experienced event planners. Event planners are coordinators, and can do as much or as little as you want. They are invaluable for coordinating the details on the day of your wedding, and pulling together all your DIY wedding projects into a beautiful affair. They can also give you advice based on what they’ve seen work at other weddings, and can recommend vendors for the wedding projects you don’t want to do yourself. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day—and neither is your wedding.