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?
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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.
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!
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!
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