DIY… OR Leave it to the professionals?

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Let’s face the facts. There are definitely some aspects of your wedding that you want to feel personalized and hand crafted. While the idea to DIY your entire wedding may sound exciting and fun, it is actually a much larger and more time consuming task than you may think. Since I’m a big fan of making lists, let’s start there. Here’s a list of each part of your wedding day that you may want to cover yourself, some reasons DIY is will be amazing and some reasons to maybe invest in a professional. We’re also going to be sharing some $$ saving tips on some of the DIY pieces.

Catering + Beverages

Depending on how large and formal your wedding will be, catering may be something you have considered doing your self. Here are a few reasons to move forward or possibly bring that decision to a halt. For smaller {less than 50 people} weddings, this shouldn’t be too difficult a task to take on. Just make sure your menu includes simple dishes that family and friends can help you with if you run short on time. Stick to food that doesn’t have to be kept warm and make sure you either hire servers or serve the meal buffet style. So why not try to DIY!

For weddings over 50 people, this task may be a bit more of a challenge. I definitely suggest hiring a caterer for more than 50 people because it will eventually catch up with you and you’ll realize that this was a much more time consuming idea than you originally estimated. Hiring a caterer will save you a ton of time and headache. In the end, you’ll be so thankful you did, and when you taste everything, it will taste even better since you didn’t have to cook it. Leave this one to the pros!

Photography

Photography is one of those subjects that a lot of brides think that they can just place a few cameras on each table and around the room and call it a day. Let me tell you how thankful you’ll be when you get those elegant photos back from your photographer and how you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you didn’t just place disposable cameras on each table. While disposable cameras may be an inexpensive way out, a photographer will be well worth it in the end. If you can DIY a few other aspects of your special day, one thing I suggest spending a little extra on is definitely your photographer. Make sure you find someone with your style and taste and most importantly, make sure they fit in your budget. There are ton of great photographers out there (some even willing to travel far) and you’ll find the right one with just a little bit of research. Leave this one to the pros!

Music

Music is one of those wedding topics that I feel could go either way. It really depends on the vibe you’re going for and the type of wedding you plan on having. For a smaller more intimate feel, I don’t think there is anything wrong with hooking up a playlist and letting it run. You have great music {of your choice obviously}, you can adjust the volume to your liking, you have an intimate affair and your guests will love it. So, why not try to DIY!

For a larger wedding, it may be more ideal to do your research and find a great band or DJ, being the less expensive route {although some DJ’s are quite pricy}. You will find that you can still choose all your own songs and make sure to tell them if there are any specific songs or genres you do not want to be played. This will definitely be a more expensive route than plugging in your iPod, but if you do your research, you can find great deals. Once you find a band or DJ, but before you book with them, make sure to see if they have twitter, facebook or a website so you can look around and see if they are running any specials. Sometimes all it takes is a mention of “Oh, and I saw you were running a $150 off special on your website, do we get that special?” That’s all it takes sometimes. You’re welcome! 😉 To stay safe, leave this one to the pros!

Flowers

Flowers are a controversial topic. In some ways I feel that you should never take on this task because it can be daunting and you’ll regret every moment of it. In other ways, it’s one of the most relaxing and fun parts of your day. The flowers that I would suggest DIY would be your center piece flowers. And like most of the above reasons, I would only suggest doing this for a smaller wedding. When it comes to your bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, ceremony flowers and other floral decor, that’s something i’d say leave to the professionals. Flowers are so fragile and if you don’t time it right, you’ll be wishing you called your florist. To stay safe, leave this one to the pros!

Invitations

Ah, your engaged! Congratulations! Now get those bridal magazines, pin those beautiful dresses and start researching your STD’s! {Save the Dates, that is…!} Save the Dates and Invitations are one of the most exciting parts of your wedding. They are the first time that you really get to see the colors and theme of your wedding really come together. They will be that way for your guests too. Whether you decide to DIY your invitations or order from a professional, make sure you do your research. Find vendors in your area, ask to see samples, and make sure you determine what you will need. There are so many things that brides don’t think about when it comes to your invitations. If you’re a crafty person, this can be a fun project to take on yourself, just make sure you leave yourself enough time and order enough materials. For this reason, sometimes trusting in a professional for this is a safer idea. You will find that working with a professional invitation designer should be a seamless process. For this category, I would suggest leaving it to the pros on this one!

Decor

This is one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding and if you’re even the least bit crafty, this will be a cinch! I would definitely suggest that this is a DIY task and if you’re not a crafty person, check out Etsy and Pinterest for some great ideas or even items that you can purchase directly. Have fun with this one and DIY to your heart’s content!

Centerpieces

Centerpieces are definitely something that you can DIY as well! From candles, to table numbers to flowers {real or silk}, centerpieces should be fun and beautiful. If you need ideas, again, check out Etsy and Pinterest for some centerpieces that are elegant, charming, rustic, modern and everything in between!

Lighting

Lighting is one of those things that you can either DIY or leave to the pros! They sell beautiful lantern lights on a string at Michaels, Lowes, ACMoore and other stores as well as being sold online. If you’re having a massive wedding and want to leave this task to the pros, there are lighting specialists that would love to work with you. Some DJ’s provide lighting services as well, so that’s something to keep in mind and maybe you can find a package deal.

Planning + Coordinating

Planning your wedding can and will be one of the most challenging things you ever do. You will be busy 24 hours a day and when you’re body is not busy running around, your mind will be busy thinking about everything you still have to do. If you like a challenge, this is something you could probably pull off yourself. If you have some extra cash and would rather leave this daunting task up to the pros, check out WeddingWire.com for a wedding planner near you!

Favors

One of the most common wedding DIY’s are favors! Wedding favors give your guests a little personal touch of how much effort you really put into your special day and something that they will remember forever. If it’s something you’re not at all interested in doing yourself, you can find plenty of favor ideas and items, again on Etsy and Pinterest.

Hair + Makeup

Last but not least, your hair and makeup! One of the first things people will notice besides that beautiful smile when you walk down the isle. To me, this is one of the things that you should definitely invest in, but maybe that’s because if I could, I would have someone do my hair and makeup on a daily basis. Hands down, this was one of the things I am most thankful I took advantage of on my wedding day. My hair was still fully in tact the next morning when I woke up and I wore it that way all day. Your stylist will use products on your hair that you may not use everyday and they will make sure every hair stays exactly where it should. Definitely leave this one to the pros!

Makeup is one of those things that could go either way. If you want a different look than usual and you’re up for a change, have a makeup artist try something new out on you so that you can be all glammed up for your special day. A great {sort of} DIY option would be to have a friend do your makeup. Make sure you do trials of it before the big day, but that is a great way to  keep the change in your pocket and use it on another part of your special day.

I definitely suggest doing trials of both hair and makeup before the big day! You will be thankful you did!

Don’t miss our next blog post titled “Simplifying Seating Arrangements”

 

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