There are so many aspects of a wedding that can be done yourself, while still looking great and without getting stressed. Often times, you’ll enjoy making things for your wedding and take a certain sense of pride in giving your day that personal touch.
However, there are certain things about your day that should be handled by a professional. One reason is to keep your stress level down– in some situations, you won’t even save that much money by doing things yourself. Another reason is that some services require a certain level of expertise– you might think that some of these things are easier than they really are.
This list will take you through different wedding categories and how you can best utilize your own versus professional services for your big day.
Wedding DIY Do’s:
You do your makeup a certain way every day because that is the way that you like to look. I’ve always found that a makeup artist who doesn’t know me makes me look like a completely different person. It’s either way too dark or I just don’t like the colors on me. I’ve always been happier doing my own makeup-when I get it professionally done, I usually end up wiping it off and fixing it myself anyway.
Save the Dates
Save the dates are a really fun way to get creative and let your personality shine through. There are a ton of options that can be printed online very quickly and easily, including magnets, postcards, photos, etc. You can also feed cardstock through your own printer and design them your own way.
Gifts to your parents, each other, and wedding party should be personal. If you enjoy art, you might consider painting wine glasses or a picture frame with a nice photo in it. If you are beach people, you might fill a nice jar with sand and shells, etc. Think about what people appreciate about you and try to incorporate that into your gifts and favors. Favors can be as simple as buying bulk candies and scooping them into little sachet bags. If you are both really into music, you might want to make wedding mix cds to give out as favors. The sky is the limit!
In season flowers can be picked up from local farmers markets for very reasonable prices. You can make your own bouquets and centerpieces that will look beautiful! All you need is flowers, some greenery, florist tape and ribbon. While you hold the flowers together, someone else tapes them together. You may want to consider ordering boutonnieres or nixing them altogether because they’re a little more complicated, but there are a ton of step-by-step tutorials on the internet if you’re feeling ambitious. Centerpieces are especially fun to make because you can get creative with things like lemon wedges, sand, shells, sea glass and many other accents.
It is always nice to have a DJ or band to not only handle the music for your reception, but also to announce the various events. However, if you are on a tight budget, you could make a playlist on your iPod ahead of time (one that will last several hours) and ask an outgoing family friend to “em-cee” the events (announcing the wedding party, tossing the bouquet, cutting the cake, sending tables up to the buffet, etc). You can rent speakers and a microphone for less than $300 for the weekend, which is significantly less than a DJ or band would cost.
Videography is a service that many couples choose to forego altogether. Many people are more concerned with photography. Wedding videos can be expensive if you choose to have the footage edited. If you just want to see snippets of the entire day, you could ask a family member or friend who has a video camera to try to record the big parts of the day so you will have something look back on besides pictures.
Wedding DIY Don’ts
A lot of people who have been involved in the restaurant or catering business have a hard time handing the work off to someone else when they know they could do it themselves for half the price. This is your day-you should not be worried about the timing and temperature of food for 100+ people. It’s simply too big of a task to take on without sacrificing the precious time that will fly by on your wedding day.
Baking a birthday cake is simply not the same as the mastery involved in creating a wedding cake. The design itself is just one aspect of it. When baking a cake for a large number of people, there is a lot of structural work. Think of a wedding cake as a piece of construction- if the building is not put together properly, it will surely topple over or collapse. If you wouldn’t try to build your own house, don’t try to make your own wedding cake.
Printing your own invitations sounds like a great idea but it can be a nightmare of a headache. Things go wrong with formatting and you will become stressed out very quickly. You can easily find invitations (with response card, envelopes, etc) for less than $3 per invitation online. It’s worth the extra $2 per invite to have someone take care of it for you. This is one area that you should save yourself the hassle.
You might have several friends who enjoy photography as a hobby and are great at it. However, I would strongly consider their ability to shoot all types of settings before asking them to take your wedding pictures. These are pictures that you will want to look back on for the rest of your life. You want them to be perfect! Your friend might have an incredible talent for shooting nature and scenery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know how to capture a wedding. Just make sure you look at several portfolios and are happy with what you see.
Unless you are wearing your hair very simply (all down or just a bobby pin or something like that), you should really consider getting your hair professionally done. You don’t want to get frustrated if you aren’t able to get it the way you like and the last thing you want to do on your wedding day is become stressed out. It’s also a really nice relaxing way to be pampered on your big day.
Of course, if you are on a really tight budget, you can find ways to make these situations work on your own-but if it’s simply a matter of prioritizing where you spend your money, I recommend following the outline above. I’ve listed both the do’s and don’ts in order of what I think are most important. So, the top of the Do’s list are the easiest things to make DIY projects. The top of the Don’ts list are the things that I would say absolutely do not do yourself.
As you progress down the lists, it’s a judgment call. I hope this helps as you begin your wedding planning. It is a fun process that can be as laid back or stressful as you make it, so try to think about what you enjoy, what is most important to you and work around the rest. Enjoy your day!
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