Wedding– DIY or Leave to the Pros?

If you’re getting married on a budget you’ve probably considered doing quite a bit of DIYs, but you also want your day to be perfect and beautiful. Most people don’t want their wedding to look like they gave a five year old a hot glue gun and let them go crazy. So what should you DIY and what should you leave to the pros?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that I receive compensation or commission for clicks and sales. I personally test and review all products before sharing them with my readers. 11 Shades of Pink is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Our beautiful cake!


Leave this one to the pros. Making a fabulous and tasty cake, or hundreds of cupcakes, or both (like at my wedding) is a LOT of work. Luckily the wonderful people at WOW Cakes not only made our gorgeous cake and cupcakes, but also delivered them and set them up, beautifully arranged! A full meal also requires a lot of time and effort. At my wedding we did have some easy hor’s devours that we “DIY’d” (in that we cut up cheese and put them on toothpicks or trays). Another really good reason to leave the food to the pros is liability. It’s less likely people will get sick from your food if it’s provided by caterers, and even if they do then you’re not liable. The same can be said if you’re serving alcohol. A licensed bartender knows when to cut people off, and if they don’t and someone ruins your reception hall or gets into an accident then they are held liable, not you. If someone gets in an accident and you have just been serving alcohol without a bartender (which is actually also illegal in some states) then you can be held accountable… and that’s not something you want to have to deal with. I did, however, make our cake topper myself. It was simple but soo fun!












So this is one of those things that can go both ways, but I highly recommend getting a professional decorator to at least help you. A few months before my wedding I was incredibly stressed because I had a vision of what I wanted and absolutely NO idea of how to make it happen. We sat down with Tina (if you’re getting married in the Wichita, Kansas area I cannot recommend her highly enough) for a couple hours and talked about my vision, my mom’s vision, and how to make it happen. After visiting with her I felt so much more at peace! She did our wall decor and lighted tables, provided table cloths, and two beautiful floral arrangements for the front of the church that we then moved to our reception area as well. Even with all of the things we did ourselves, she made sure we knew what we needed and how to do it. She also stayed super late the night before and showed up early the day of to make sure everything was as it should be. Honestly, if you don’t live near Tina, get yourself a Tina. So worth it.

We did, however, do a great deal on our own. We made the centerpieces, other table decor, the ceiling, and pretty much all of the ceremony decor ourselves. As I said before, Tina definitely helped us figure out how to do these things and provided a lot of the materials to do them, but dang it if I didn’t do that arch myself and it looked awesome.

My bridal bouquet


Another question besides DIY or Pro that you should consider when it comes to flowers is fake flowers or real ones? So many people I’ve talked to say, “Oh, I’d rather spend extra money and have real flowers because they look so much nicer.” But honestly, that’s so not true. We used all fake flowers from Michaels for my wedding, they were way cheaper and gave us some options we wouldn’t have had otherwise (and my roses had glitter on the edges). Tina made the large arrangements, but My mom, cousin, and I DIYd all the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, as well as the aisle decor, which I sadly don’t have any pictures of. This is not for the faint of heart, though. Doing my bouquet was probably one of the most stressful parts of my wedding planning. But it turned out amazing and was exactly what I wanted, and  I can keep it for the rest of our lives as long as I take good care of it.

Hair and Makeup

For the love of all that is good, please hire a professional for both of these things, unless you are an excellent makeup artist. Even if you are great at hair I would still suggest getting this done by a professional, let yourself relax. I did my own makeup because I love makeup, and it’s definitely my “thing.” I’ve also found that whenever I let someone else do my makeup I’m always really disappointed. I did, however, have my girls do their own hair and makeup, though I had one of my bridesmaids sisters do their eye makeup. I wanted them to have a cohesive look, and she is very good at makeup and some of my girls weren’t certain about doing their own, so it was nice to have her!

You can also see the bridesmaid bouquets I made in this shot


Obviously most people can’t do their own photography (though I did see an article about a girl who did and it was nice and intimate, but it was an elopement and that wouldn’t work well for a regular wedding). But sometimes I see people who just ask a friend with a good camera to do it. It’s honestly so worth it to hire a real photographer. Our photographer, Jessica, made all of the pictures happen when they needed to, helped us pose, and actually helped to make the day go smoothly. Our pictures turned out amazing, and although photography is definitely one of the pricier things for your wedding it’s worth the investment.


This is one thing that I think it really depends on what you’re doing. We had a bit of a dance, but not excessive. I made a playlist and gave a friend the mic and had him make announcements and hit play and it was great for what we wanted. If, however, you are planning to have a dance that lasts a while it’s nice to have a professional DJ that can read the room and play the appropriate song to let people talk or to get them on the dance floor.


I DIYd all of our stationary. I used VistaPrint to create our Save the Dates, and we purchased blank invitations, programs, and thank you notes from Walmart and I designed them completely from scratch on Publisher. I was very pleased with how they turned out!

Altogether, I’d say our DIY to Pro ration was about 50-50. I’m glad we had professionals for the things we did, and I loved DIYing the things we did ourselves. It was a beautiful day and it really fulfilled my vision for a gorgeous winter wonderland!


If you enjoyed this post or have ideas or questions please leave a comment and share this post on your favorite social media platform! Then slide on down to my social media links and follow my profiles to stay up to date with my newest posts!

19 Replies to “Wedding– DIY or Leave to the Pros?”

  1. I definitely left most of it to the pros! But I did DIY our little signage for around the reception and frames for all of our photos!

  2. I think it totally depends on how big your wedding is too. For a large wedding I think you need a lot more professional help than for a small and intimate affair. I’m not engaged but I think my problem is that I already don’t want to do any of it myself hahaha. I just don’t think I’m very good at crafty projects and definitely not my own hair and makeup!!!

    1. We invited 350 ish people (only about 125 came because we have family all over the country so a lot of them couldn’t make the trip) which is considered a pretty big wedding (at least around here). It definitely depends on your budget and such too. We had a relatively small budget (considering the national average is as much as a full year at the private university I attended) and I’m a little type A and need to be able to control everything… so we diy’d a lot of stuff that could definitely be left to the professionals if you had the budget and let-going-ness that I don’t lol

  3. Personally, hire pros for as much as you can! For real.. wedding planning is so much and you can just opt for cheaper options and have the pros handle it all. The only things I (or I should say my mom) DIY’d for our wedding were: guest gifts, seat numbers, and save the dates. Other than that, we hired and my wedding was definitely on the cheaper side! A way to save money is to splurge on the top 1 or 2 things you MUST go big with. For me, it was photography and video. Ours were $10k total.

    1. Our wedding only ended up running us about $5k. I’m a little too type A to let professionals do everything. Plus, we had a whole year so there was more than plenty of time to get everything done.

  4. Such beautiful photos! I have no idea what I’ll be making/buying for my wedding yet. I still have a long way to go (gotta find a man first haha). I get so inspired by Pinterest though. I’ll be keeping this in mind for my future big day!

  5. I’m not very crafty so I didn’t DIY much of anything at my wedding but I think if I was I would have definitely done a little more DIY stuff because it seems fun.

  6. Gosh I totally agree that some stuff you should DIY for your wedding. Otherwise it’s SO expensive! However, I didn’t DIY too much because I knew the amount of time it would take. Like most decorations I bought on Etsy or just had our decorator make.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *