Raise your hand if you’ve ever maybe-kinda-sorta gotten too ambitious with a Pinterest project and it might have ended up looking more like an episode of Nailed It than you were hoping. Anyone? Yeah, us either.
The last place you want to “nail it” is your wedding day. DIY-ing various elements of your wedding is a great way to save money and stay on budget, as well as flex your creative side.
If you’re planning your wedding and have a crafty itch, read on to find some practical do-it-yourself projects and things you should probably leave to the professionals.
Your Wedding Stationery
Save the dates, invitations, programs, place cards, menus, seating plans—all of it! If you have access to a computer and a design program—either a paid service like Photoshop, or a free template service like Canva—you’ve got an easy, affordable way to create any kind of stationery for your wedding day. Creating a personalized set of stationery will be a unique added touch!
Rather than design and buy a monogrammed something that will sit in your friends’ and family’s junk drawers (you know we’ve all got one), offer a more sentimental favor for when your guests leave. Things like seed packets, small plants or homemade jam you and your new spouse made are functional and, more importantly, incredibly personal to you and your wedding. Making your wedding favors is a fun project for you, your fiancé and your wedding party, and your guests will appreciate the care and thought put into it!
Looking for an alternative to throwing rice or birdseed at your wedding? Opt for confetti poppers instead! They are a safe, low-cost option that offer a fun pop of color as you’re leaving your venue. Find confetti in your wedding colors, watch a few online tutorials and grab your fiancé—making your wedding confetti poppers is an easy, cost-effective project you can knock out months in advance and forget about until your big day.
Even if you aren’t a flower expert, you can learn how to create beautiful bouquets and centerpieces through a few internet videos and a little practice. Making your bridal bouquet can be as simple as picking up a few bunches of flowers from your local farmers’ market or grocery store or even picking wildflowers for something a little more rustic.
These days, a “fancy camera” (read: anything with a detachable lens) is not hard to come by in your family or friend group. It seems like everyone you know has a DSLR, and everyone thinks they’re a photographer…but you should probably still opt for a professional photographer instead.
A professional photographer will probably take a big chunk of your budget, but will also be able to get every shot you want, move quickly to get those unexpected, candid moments, and, possibly most importantly, will not be in the way of you enjoying your day.
Can you bake your wedding cake yourself? Sure! Do you want the pressure of baking and decorating enough cake for your entire guest list in the days leading up to your wedding? Probably not.
Wedding cakes are expensive, but with good reason: a professional baker bakes for a living, and you do not. They are better equipped to bake cakes for 100+ people, are better prepared for a mishap and aren’t worried about other wedding details, so they can be 100% focused on making your cake perfect.
You, your family and your future in-laws are all great cooks, but how many of you have—successfully—cooked dinner for 100+ people? Unless you are having a small, casual backyard or beach wedding with your closest family and friends, it is a safer bet to have your food catered. Ensuring everything is cooked properly and on time, as well as set up at the venue is a huge undertaking that you don’t want your family or bridal party worrying about.
Your Hair & Makeup
Unless your cousin Tina is a professional makeup artist, we recommend not doing your hair and makeup yourself or having a family member or friend do it. Professional makeup artists understand the intricacies of photography makeup while also making sure you still look like yourself. And if you choose to be a June bride, your makeup and hair artists will make sure your makeup and your ‘do stay for the whole day no matter the humidity.
Music streaming services have made all of our lives better, and we have been able to move away from things like iPods (and CDs for all of our Millennials out there). You can easily set up a laptop and a few speakers and have a playlist set for the evening. But live entertainment, be it a band or a DJ, can re-energize your crowd when they’re partied-out and take requests. You also don’t have to worry about a live act glitching or buffering mid-event. 8
Your Wedding Day is Your Wedding Day
Like any rule, there are always exceptions. If you’re having a small backyard wedding with only your closest family and friends, queuing up a playlist and sitting down to a homemade meal makes sense and will be very personal. If you are up for a challenge, you can choose more things to DIY for your wedding day, and if you are not quite Martha Stewart, you can opt to hire professionals for more pieces of your wedding.