Post # 1
Wedding websites are jumping on the do-it-yourself (DIY) bandwagon by producing checklists, timelines, and creating step-by-step instructions for building favors, creating invitations, preparing floral arrangements, and more. These tools may make sense for some situations, especially when it comes preparing favors, but often the checklists lack important details and make me wonder: is DIY always a practical choice?
It is estimated that planning for the average wedding takes 240 hours – 6 full work weeks! The DIY sites forget to tell you how to manage those 240 hours, how to allocate your resources appropriately, and how to effectively navigate the various issues that inevitably arise throughout the process. DIY checklists are often missing many other elements you must consider for the big day. I’ve seen a bride who used a DIY planning checklist realize the night before her wedding that someone had to be at the reception site, during the ceremony, to deal with the catering company. Her DIY checklist just said “set up the reception” but failed to mention picking the person (who would miss the ceremony) to work with the reception vendors. Personally, I think spending money on a planner is essential to a successful event. They are trained to prepare, analyze, and question each aspect of your event. Planners will obtain discounts that should then be passed on to you and they provide the much needed relief (and support) on your big day to ensure the various parts function correctly.
Another issue is flowers. Many companies are promoting DIY flowers as a way to reduce costs, but I disagree. First, you don’t really know where the flowers are coming from. With a reputable florist, the flowers and their origination can be accounted for. Wholesale florists are selling weddings-in-a-box, complete with bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres, and centerpieces and, while this sounds great, you’re going to have to put all of the pieces together when the box arrives. By the time you buy your thorn strippers, gloves, wire, ribbon, lace, floral decorations and greenery, I dare say you’d have spent more than having just gone to a local florist. Oh, and don’t forget that DIY flowers don’t arrive until 2 or 3 days before the event and you then have to store them in buckets of water and in a cool, dry place to ensure they survive until your event. The cost of supplies, the hassle of adding even more hours preparing floral arrangements, and the issue with storing them is far greater than working with a local florist who is an expert in floral care, ensuring beautiful and lasting flowers for your special day. Fear of wilted flowers is something I’d prefer not to deal with – ever!
Post # 3
DIY is not always about cost. While you can save money on some projects, a lot of the reason to DIY is because you want a certain look that you can’t acheive without making it yourself.
In addition, as far as flowers go, it really depends on if you do your research, and what kind of flowers you use. Some are more easy to work with, over others.
Post # 4
I agree with above – DIY is about aesthetics, attainability, and price. I found it was NOT worth my time or effort to DIY my invitations (and pretty uch everything else), but it was for my seating cards. For me, it came down to time, and there was stuff Id rather pay for bc I dont have the time nor patience to do it all. Flowers are tricky. I looked into that, in the end, the cost was not that much more efficient once I took into consideration 20 vases for the 20 tables, prep, assembly, transportation, etc. Id asses it on a project by project basis
Post # 5
In my opinion, DIY requires a lot of time, planning & editing. You know your strengths… I definitely wouldn’t ever suggest that someone takes on a major undertaking like flowers if they have no experience or practice in it. I think its a lot harder to pull off than it looks.
In my case, I’m not paying a florist to do my wedding flowers, but I am getting a family friend florist to do it for me. This way their labor is my gift & I am only responsible to pay for the cost of the flowers!
DIY can be costly, but sometimes you just have this idea in your head about how you want something & the only option is DIY. I made my own invites after seeing an inspiration online… there was no place to buy these invitations, so I had to make them myself. It’s probably cost me 3 times as much to make these invitations than had I just bought some online– but to me the cost was worth it!
It’s all about your vision for the day…
Post # 6
I agree that DIY is not necessarily about saving money but achieving the look that you want. I had a vision for my save-the-dates and could not find exactly what I wanted so I got my invitation layer printed and did the rest myself. Was it time consuming? You betcha. However, I have kids so its not like me and teh fiance do much on the weekdays anyway. Its basically home, cook dinner, eat, send the kids off for their showers, then a little tv before bed. So, it was a fun project for me to work on for an hour at a time during our tv time. Just last night I finished our tissue packets. 🙂 I haven’t broken down the cost of those yet, but I’m sure it is not the cheapest project I’ll do.
For me, the diy items I am doing is not to save moeny but rather to get the look I want.
Post # 7
I also agree with some of what you said above. I am not going to lie – DIY is HARD. It takes planning organization and patients and knowing when to call a professional. But it is also about stretching your budget. The invites that I fell in love with would cost me nearly $1600 just for INVITES. Even with investing in a few pieces of equipment (which I hope to sell when I am done) I am saving about $400 which is allowing me to get the look I want on my invites and have an open bar longer. So I think it is give and take with DIY.
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House
I think some of my DIY projects have saved me money (like the veil), but on other projects I was more concerned about infusing “us” into our wedding day. I want a wedding that is unique and that people remember. I suppose that this can be done through DIY or increased costs or a really good budget bride, but with DIY it just seems more personal. A lot of times it is more time than it’s worth, but, for me, it’s worth the effort.
Post # 9
It may not always be practical, but for a bride on a budget, there aren’t many other options. I would have loved to have a wedding planner, and I would have loved to have my invitations made for me instead of making them myself, but I simply couldn’t afford to.
Post # 10
I agree with Lexatron…it would have been nice to have a wedding planner, but that wasn’t in my budget–plus I am pretty crafty. DIY was a combination of budget and having a wedding that is very much a reflection of FI and I. Plus, we have friends who’ve helped us out. We DIY’d our invitations, favors, fan programs, center pieces, decorations, flowers, and some of the bridesmaid gifts. And yes, it took a ton of work (it helped that FI is on summer vacation from work), but if a couple schedules out what they need to do and plans in advance it could be well worth it, it was to us AND we saved a ton of money.
Post # 11
Honestly, I was so happy to have our vision executed through our lens. Sure, DIY is hard and I was tired by the time the wedding rolled around… but now looking at our images, I’m completely thrilled when I can say, “I made that, and that, and that, and that.”
No planner and no regrets here!
Post # 12
Sounds like to me that an event planner in the Denver area is trying to push the DIY to sway brides in an effort to get business. Mr. Planner isn’t promoting the business exactly but is doing so in a sly way I think. This is just based on reading other posts/comments. 🙁
Post # 13
I’ve asked Mr. Planner not to promote his business or industry, but he keeps doing it. I’ll block his account for now.
Mr. Planner, if you’d like to be re-instated and you’re willing not to self-promote, feel free to private message me.
Post # 14
I am doing DIY to save money, and to get what I want. My budget for everything is 3k! I did get 4k in free stuff, so technically in the end of everything its a 7k wedding, but still! So I’m spending i think maybe 70 on my amazing diy pocket invites since I can’t find hot pink and lime green invites anywhere, not to mention ones that I will actually like! And my centerpieces are branches (that i got from the open space next to my house for free!!) with stuff (not exactly sure what yet, hence why its’ stuff for now) hanging off of them. There’s really not much that’s not DIY, and my “side job” is being an assistant wedding planner (I will not be self-promoting!!! I promise!), so I think it’d be dumb if I paid someone else to do it! But for other people DIY can’t always work! My main job is being a stay at home mom, so I’ve got naptime to do stuff, and then they go to bed at like 830, so there’s time after that. For someone who works a 9-5 job I could understand not having time though.
Post # 15
Thanks Mr.Bee. I am a bride who may not think DIY is always practical, but guess what, I WANT TO DIY! I have the time and the knowledge to do it myself and I really don’t care if people think I am wasting my time and energy on something that may not be their version of “perfect”.
DIY isn’t about money or time, it is about your personal tastes and wants. And I REALLY like to craft. My wedding is the perfect place to show off my style and skills. Besides, how else will I get EXACTLY what I want without fighting with people about it. I am doing what I love for my day.
Post # 16
I think all the responses to Mr. Planner are really valid. I was a total DIY bride – tackled nearly everything but knew that having someone there day-of was a necessity to ensure each element I carefully created was placed just as I planned.
I ended up outsourcing our invitations, because as a designer I couldn’t really design anything that I could be 100% not-critical about. We also ended up hiring an event design that was resposible for making sure the day looked as perfect as I had planned.
For brides going the DIY route, it’s all about personal expression, just be sure you aren’t asking your friends or family to sacrifice the hours leading up to the big day installing and sweating for you. It’s your party and everyone should be entitled to enjoy the day.