Everyone wants to save a bit of money on their wedding and DIY projects are a great way to do just that. However, there are certain things that you should simply leave to the professionals. I have heard the horror stories and seen them play out right in front of me – I’m here to help you have the best wedding possible and make sure your memories are full of joy rather than regret.
Here is my list of DIY DON’Ts…
This cannot be stressed enough. Far too many couples have hired (or been offered a freebie) a cousin or friend to take some casual photos at their wedding in an effort to save costs, only to be disappointed later on. You may think that quality photos won’t matter to you but they do make a big difference, especially considering your photographer takes hundreds of photos in order to select a handful of beautiful shots that are then also processed. Everyone wants to look back at flattering photos of themselves on their big day and even if you’re convinced that a friend or family member will do an excellent job, it will never quite be what a seasoned wedding photographer can produce. As an Officiant I work closely with photographers to make sure we get the very best shots for you. I can always tell if a photographer is a pro and cares about their business, or if the photographer is a ‘Friendor’ who is doing photos for you rather than giving you a gift. I actually had a Friendor photographer tell me they just didn’t care about the shots I was trying to coordinate with them – THEY DID NOT CARE! Let that sink in.
Yes, it may sound easy enough to buy a few boxes of cake mix and whip something up at home but if it’s not a cake that you would be proud to present to family and friends and have in your photos, it’s best to leave the baking to the professionals. Plus, this would just be one extra thing that you would need to do right before your wedding when you should be relaxing. Don’t spend the night before your wedding crying because the cake isn’t turning out like the one you saw on Pinterest. Trust me…hire a pro – they know exactly what size you need and will have your cake made and ready the day before your wedding so you don’t need to have that stress on your shoulders.
I know it sounds so easy to order cheap flowers from a box store and pick them up the day before your wedding. An evening with the girls assembling bouquets and centrepieces sounds like a great way to bond over your wedding. Until you realize none of you has a clue what you are doing, you didn’t order enough flowers, and you are scrambling to find a florist who is willing to stay up all night putting your flowers together. Said florist will also charge you the top rate making your flowers end up costing you more than if you had just hired the florist in the first place. I have seen bouquets falling apart as the bride walks up the aisle because they weren’t assembled to be carried and last a full day of being handled through photos and the ceremony. Professional florists know exactly how many flowers you will need, can source the best quality and price, and will assemble them to last the entire day.
Your hair and makeup
Unless you have an in-depth knowledge of makeup and hairstyles and could be mistaken for a pro, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to assist you. Wedding makeup artists and hair stylists know how to make your hair and makeup last the entire day, which is something you definitely want. Plus, this is your wedding day and you should be pampered and taken care of not stressed and crying because your hair doesn’t look the way you dreamed it would. Pros also know how long it takes and can schedule your time perfectly so you get to your ceremony on time, not risking losing your Officiant to their next wedding.
Catering for a wedding is far more stressful and time-consuming than you can imagine and even if you had to rope in friends and family members, it could still end up causing you more stress than saving money is worth. Professional caterers know exactly what goes into preparing food for large groups of people and how to store and transport the food safely too. They also know exactly how much food to prepare and bring for all of your guests! Yes I have been to weddings where the food ran out before all the guests were fed because the couple didn’t know how much to make, and serve!
It may sound simple enough to just put all of your music on an iPod and play it through a hired speaker but there’s something so useful about having a professional DJ or musician assist you with your music for the day, especially when it comes to your first dance and the father-daughter dance. I did a wedding where the father was in charge of the music, streaming a Youtube video from his phone in his pocket. As he and the bride got about half way to the ceremony site the music cut out and he left her standing there while he ran to the sound system to restart the video, including the ad, while the bride stood there all alone. Probably the most awkward experience of her life. Once everyone was at the altar and we were ready to start the song was still playing and had about 3 minutes left so I had to ask the bride’s father if he would run back to the sound system and fade out the music rather than us all standing there feeling weird for the longest 3 minutes of anyone’s life. Please…don’t have key wedding participants doing these types of jobs. Oh and a professional DJ won’t be getting drunk either.
When deciding on your wedding DIY projects, really think about everything that goes into successfully completing that specific task before you decide to take it on yourself. Professionals offer their services for a reason – to take the stress off of you and your friends/family and they know what they are doing. They understand timing, don’t get stressed because they do this every week, and can read the crowd to know what they need.
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