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  • Jasmine Bailey

What should you DIY at your wedding?

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

In trying to save costs for your wedding, you and your hubby may consider the DIY route. This can be a a great option but also a disastrous one, so let me try break it down a bit to help you make the best possible decision.



Should I DIY my wedding flowers?

There are a few factors to consider when you want to DIY your flowers for your wedding.


Full DIY


PROs:

  • Saves Money

  • Choose specific flowers you love

  • Get exactly what you would like

CONs:

  • Time consuming

  • Increased travel trying to transport the flowers

  • Stress

  • Lack of cold room for storage

  • Only Actionable a few days before wedding

To do a full DIY of your wedding flowers you will definitely save the costs of a florist. You will have to go to local wholesale flower stores and shop around. The benefit here is that you are able to choose the exact flowers you love and pick and choose if you want to reduce the cost further. If you are able to achieve the floral arrangement you are looking for, you will then also get exactly what you wanted which is great!


The challenges you will face are that the floral arrangements can only be done a few days before the wedding meaning that your vital few days to sort out last minute details will be spent sorting out flowers. This in itself could cause stress. Further to this, if it is your first attempt at flower arranging, you should probably consider doing a trial in the months before your wedding. This will take away valuable planning time and you will need to purchase the trial flowers, although not as many, so this will be an additional cost. In fairness this cost will probably still be a more affordable option.

Then lets talk about flower storage. They will need to be stored in a cold room prior to the wedding. Florists have this option available, but most people don’t and you certainly don’t want your flowers looking wilted and sad on your special day.


Finally there is transportation. If you do not have vehicles large enough to transport the flowers you will find yourself driving back and fourth from the venue, probably the day before, which again is not ideal for a bride who should be tying up loose ends, wearing a face mask and drinking a cocktail, trying to keep calm before her big day.


Half and Half


PROs:

  • Saves money

  • Frees up some time

  • Reduces stress

  • Gives you control over some flower choice

CONs:

  • Time consuming

  • Increased travel trying to transport the flowers

  • Stress

  • Lack of cold room for storage

  • Only Actionable a few days before wedding

This method would be to request a florist does some floral items while you do the others. This could be split that you do the table décor and the florist does bouquets, boutonnieres etc. This is a good way of saving a bit of money with a slight reduction in the stress and challenges of going the full DIY route.


The problem is the challenges will still be there. So you will still be spending time on trials, finding flowers, face a lack of cold storage options and be worrying about transport the day before your wedding.



My Vote:

No.

I wouldn’t do it. Although I have heard of many Brides who did and would do it again. If you really need to save in this area ask your florist to lower their price by using more affordable flowers. This is normally fairly easy for them to do and you will still get the look you want on a more reasonable budget. That is what I did and personally found it to help work within the budget and still save me the stress of dealing with something so vital in the days right before the wedding.

Something else I did that you can try is using dry centerpieces. My husband and I hand made our centerpieces with pinecones, sprayed them and picked up the sticks at a local farm. As our location was farmstyle this worked really well. This also meant that the only flowers we needed were bouquets. We even opted for metal boutonnieres which not only makes for a great keepsake, but again saved us big in the flower department.


Should I DIY my wedding décor


PROs:

  • Can be done months before

  • Time to research Lower pricing

  • Get the exact look you want

  • Budget control

CONs:

  • Storage

  • Transport

  • Set Up

  • Time consuming


This DIY option is much easier because everything can be planned months before the wedding, giving you enough time to change your mind if you are not happy with the look. You may be able to find candle holders etc online for a lower rate than rental, although this is not always the case, and if you are planning well in advance of your wedding date you will be able to wait for the items to arrive. You will also be able to achieve the exact look you are hoping for and control your budget by opting for more affordable choices.


A few challenges you will face include where you are going to store the décor in the upcoming months. If you are in a smaller apartment, you will have your spare rooms and lounge taken over by boxes of décor.


You will also have to figure out how you are going to transport the décor to the venue, this can probably be done early in the week before the wedding so that’s a benefit, but you will still find yourself driving back and fourth if you don’t have large enough cars. Another thing is the set up, you will be hauling in the team to worry about setting up the venue and this can only be done once the tables and chairs are set out.

I do have good news though! If you are using a rental company, which you likely will because not all items are worth buying (think wedding arches, large vases, easels for seating charts etc), you may be able to ask them to transport and set up. That’s what I did and it saved me both transport costs and time. I just briefed the décor hire company of how to set the items up and there was no additional cost.

Finally a challenge will be the time consuming element of the DIY approach. This really only works well when you are planning well in advance. Otherwise you may find yourself tied down with décor that isn’t sorted with no time to worry about the other things.


My Vote:

Yes.

I did a HUGE amount of décor DIY for my wedding and because my husband and I were planning our wedding 18 months in advance, we had ample time to research ideas, techniques and do some trial and error before we were happy. The benefit is all our DIY was complete 3 months before the wedding so my months coming up to the wedding were stress free (as much as they could be) and gave me the time to deal with the challenges that came up unexpectedly. I also saved a small fortune which allowed me to splurge on my dress, the food and other things that were important to us.





Should I DIY the food at my wedding?


Now this one is tricky but can definitely be pulled off.


Full food DIY


PROs:

  • Saves you money

  • Allows you to serve something unique and special

CONs:

  • Only Actionable a few days before wedding

  • Stress

  • Storage

  • Transportation

  • Time consuming


This option would work best for a smaller wedding. The benefit is that you could save money on the cost of food which is often one of the biggest single costs at a wedding and you can serve something unique and special to you and your family.


The challenges here are that you and your family will be spending time cooking large amounts of food the day before the wedding, and unless you have access to mass catering facilities, doing this at home will be nearly impossible. You will also have to store it somewhere overnight and so que industrial walk in refrigeration and finally there is transport to the wedding. Again if you are not equipped this is going to be a lot of back and fouth.


There is also the option of buying from local grocery stores who do catering platters. By with this you are again worrying bout transportation right before your wedding.


Half food DIY


PROs:

  • Saves you money

  • Allows you to serve something unique and special

CONs:

  • Only Actionable a few days before wedding

  • Stress

  • Storage

  • Transportation

This option would be to hire out the main dining at your wedding but DIY the canapes. This option is more manageable and will save you some money. You could either make them yourself or have a local grocery store do an events platter for you. Many brides have done this and would do it again.

With this however there are will some of the concerns such as worrying about storage and transportation, all of which can really only be done the day before and the day of.


My Vote:

No.

While there are plenty of brides who have done this and it has worked really well, you certainly need a good support structure to make this go to plan. I would lean toward the option of doing the canapes but still, for me personally I wouldn’t venture into DIY catering. I found comfort knowing the food was being handled by professionals and was naturally a huge hit with guests.




Should I DIY my wedding makeup and hair?


PROs:

  • Saves you money

  • You get the exact look you want

CONs:

  • Who does the bridesmaids and family

  • Store-bought makeup is often not as long lasting

  • Practice is needed to get a professional look

When you DIY your makeup and hair for your wedding you will certainly save money. And if you are really good at doing your own hair and makeup, you will probably be really satisfied with your look.


The challenge comes in with your bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom and any other special ladies. Especially for your bridesmaids, you will want a consistent look. And if you’re the one doing their makeup and hair, that means working your butt off on the day of you wedding. A solution would be to have bride squad trails before the wedding to make sure everyone understands the look that you are going for and in this case you could likely end up really satisfied with the end result. It could actually end up being really fun!


The main issues you would face is often store bought products aren’t as durable or long-lasting and this face is going to have to last from 10am to midnight through laughing, crying, hugging and ‘sparkling’! Another thing is hair and makeup does require some serious talent to pull off a professional look. If you are not well practiced you could end up being disappointed with the look and you will be looking at the photos of that hair and makeup for the rest of your life.


My Vote:

Yes.

As someone who does a full face of makeup daily I can imagine being really happy with bridal makeup which I had done myself. I even had people suggest I don’t worry about hiring hair and makeup suppliers. I was however worried that my light daily use makeup wouldn’t hold up against a full wedding day. I also wanted curls and my hair is the type that if you simply wave a straightener around in the room, my hair will fall straight, so I needed a Pros help there. As my bridesmaids had different styles of dress (same fabric, made all around the world by different seamstresses. Yes, this is the modern Brides dilemma) I wanted their hair and makeup to be consistent. The price to have this done for myself, my bridesmaids and the two moms was really not that high is the grand scheme and for me it was a nice gift to cover for the important ladies at my wedding. It was also a time to relax and trust me, there’s not much of that when you are a bride. I do think that this is an area where if your budget was tight, you could probably get away with it.





Should I DIY my wedding DJ?


PROs:

  • Save Money

CONs:

  • Source sound equipment suitable for a wedding and large venue

  • Increased MC role


So this is one that I am seeing more and more of, and I don’t mean standing there hitting the DJ decks in your dress! A number of brides are turning to Spoitfy for their epic wedding playlist and dancing the night away to their favorite tunes.


Now this one will likely save you some cash and many brides have done this and would do it again. Some challenges with this are that your MC will need to step up a notch. A DJ will often make announcements such as the bride and groom entry, garter and bouquet toss, first dance etc. Another thing is equipment, extension cords and a microphone are a few things that you will now need to supply that would otherwise be handled by the DJ. I you are going to be going this route you should ideally also do a trial as indoor speakers may not have the capacity to fill the room with necessary sound and often seasoned DJs have worked in venues before and know how to anticipate the typical issues that occur at that location.

My Vote:

No.

For me sound is a really important part of a wedding and its good to have a professional taking care of it. Having said that many brides have opted to have a Spotify DJ and they have really been satisfied with the result.


At the end of the day, having a professional handle the various aspects of your wedding day can certainly help take the pressure off. Each area requires its own specialization and trying to do it yourself without the opportunity to do a few trails and the correct support structure can end up causing you more stress and difficulty. There are however benefits to giving some DIY a try, specifically in regard to saving some money. Ultimately you have to make the decision of what is important to you in relation to your budget and work from there.


If you are looking for some ideas to save money during your wedding planning, check out my article Tips to save money when planning your wedding


xoxo

Jasmine