The Pros and Cons of DIYing your wedding often depends on what your budget is.
Around the world the average cost of a wedding ranges from $90K AUS, £27K UK, $33K US, $30k CDN and on down. Deciding how much you want to spend on your wedding will determine how you want to plan it and how much you want to do yourself.
With so many options (Pinterest boards galore!), ‘must-haves’ and ‘want-to haves’ it doesn’t take long to see your budget numbers go up. But this isn’t a blog all about money though if you’re interested in finding out how to have a Debt-Free Wedding, read this.
This is about whether you want (or should) DIY your wedding or not. It’s also about understanding what is involved if you’re leaning towards wanting to do-it-yourself. Lots of brides do and it turns out wonderfully. Others not so well.
Where are you on all this talk of DIYing your wedding? After OD-ing on Pinterest, maybe you’re thinking ‘if it’s possible to do all those things myself and save a ton of money’, then it should be easy for us to DIY our wedding planning, too. Right?
Word of caution: lots of things that look easy on Pinterest aren’t quite as easy to execute as the pictures would have you believe.
Let’s look at what you can DIY:
- Wedding invitations,
- Reception table centerpieces,
- Guest favours,
- Ceremony and wedding decorations,
- Your flowers, bouquets, bouts….
The possibilities are endless of the details of your wedding that you can possibly do. The trick is that you shouldn’t take on more responsibility for your wedding than you have time to actually commit. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to DIY only some parts of your wedding.
Pros and Cons of DIYing your Wedding – the Pros:
# 1 – A DIY Wedding Helps Keep Costs Down
Most couples I’ve worked with haven’t had an endless supply of money or a no-limit budget. And I don’t imagine you do either. Therefore, you have to watch what you spend.
First find out what costs are fixed (i.e. not much wiggle room) like your venue, the menu, marriage license, and what things you do have some flexibility on like flowers, invitations, decor. Note: Check with your venue as sometimes they have restrictions on what you can bring in of your own.
Doing things yourself can be a huge money saver. Designing and printing your own invitations, buying flowers wholesale and arranging them yourself or decorations made by you and a few friends has the potential for some great savings.
Tip: Take a few minutes and compare the prices of things already made on a platform like Etsy with the materials you would need to make something similar on your own to see if it is worth it.
Or check out the many wedding buy and sell online groups to see if there are similar décor items on sale that would be comparable to what you are looking for.
***If you are needing some more information on what wedding costs to expect, check out my Blog: https://planitperfectly.com/blog/wedding-budget-costs/
# 2 – Adding that ‘Piece of you’ into your wedding
I think it’s safe to say that one of the best parts about doing things yourself is getting to put your ‘stamp’ on every detail. Maybe it’s designing those personalized invitations or creating centerpieces by you and your friends. Or bouquets with flowers from your gardens or playlists filled with your favourite songs.
All are details only you can bring to the wedding. Making your own chocolate dipped strawberries as favours gives the wedding an extra touch that makes each guest feel special.
If you want your wedding to be truly yours, then put your personal touch on it. This is probably one of the strongest pros for diy-ing your wedding that brides have. But before you get too excited, you might want to check out the cons side of this story.
# 3 – A Reason for a Party
There are always people around you that love to get together for a party and making wedding décor is one of those occasions. Invite your family, friends, neighbours with a talent for crafting to have a few glasses of wine and start a production line of crafts. They can bond together over cutting, pasting, preserving, tying favour bags while you laugh and share stories creating lasting memories. Take some pictures of the fun to add to your wedding story.
Word of Caution: Your bridesmaids know that there are certain things expected of them. But helping you make jam or stenciling 100’s of napkins maybe asking too much. It’s ok to ask your girls for help, but definitely don’t expect it.
Make sure to discuss the pros and cons of DIYing your wedding with your partner to see if you are on the same page. As well, understand what kind of input they are willing to give. What you thought might be doable could quickly become a pain or too much trouble. Read on….
Pros and Cons of DIYing your Wedding – the Cons:
Is it possible to have a DIY wedding, save money, come out sane and enjoy the wedding planning process? We just looked at some possibilities of how that might work. Now it’s time to have a look at the other side – the cons or the Down side.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is this:
# 1 – What is your Time worth?
DIY-ing isn’t expensive (unless you mess up some expensive piece of material and have to buy more) but it does cost in the form of your time. How much time to you really have in the grand scheme of things to take on these projects – a little, some or bunches? Designing invitations, researching flower prices, searching for the perfect mason jars will take hours — there’s just no getting around that. Check out this article – Avoid Wasting Time and Money when Planning a DIY Wedding to give you some insight into the phrase ‘Time is Money’. The font is a little hard to read but the information is good.
Even for the bride who loves crafting, it still requires a commitment of time. You not only want to add your personal touch but you have all the other ‘to-do’s’ with your wedding planning. If you‘re the bride who wants to save money but not that crafty, it can become a hassle. You’ll probably see it as just one more thing to do on the To-Do list instead of having fun planning. You need to understand that details take time. Is your time for a DIY Wedding worth it to you?
#2 – Trusting Others to Get the job done
It’s obvious that you can’t do your DIY Wedding all yourself, single-handedly. So that means you’re going to have to ask for help from friends and family members rather than hired vendors. Be aware that these people are volunteering their time to help you and though they mean well, they may not have the same commitment to getting it done as you do. They have a life too and that will come first.
Loved ones often ask if they can help, but they don’t always understand just how much work you really need done. Be explicit in what you want them to do so they know how much is expected of them. More than once I have been told by couples that they have lots of people coming to help decorate or set up tables. Guess what? Only 2 show up because they either forgot, the kids got sick, car broke down – you get the drift. A 2-hour job becomes a 6 hour one.
Friendships and working relationships can become strained during this time, so tread lightly when using your loved ones to help. Consider some help by reading this earlier blog – The 9 Things DIY Weddings Can’t Do for You.
#3 – The Persistent Procrastination
Taking on all of the details of a DIY Wedding yourself can lead to stress no matter how much you love being in control or how organized you think you are. Often when we are overwhelmed or feeling like we are free-falling and losing control, we tend to put off doing things thinking we are giving ourselves a breather.
It might seem easier to put things off until the last minute. But you need to remember that wedding details take lots of time and lots of effort. You can only tie so many ribbons or write so many place cards before your hands start to give out! Pushing your to-do list’s limits might mean some things can’t get done in time. I don’t think you want that to happen.
# 4 – A DIY Wedding Bride’s last words – ‘It looked easier than this’
Why is it that Pinterest and wedding magazines make cute favours and decorations look like a 5-year-old could do it? But in reality, when it’s finished, it does look like a 5-year-old made it. Ribbons never tie up like they are supposed to; you have more glitter on you than on the jars. You get the idea. If you are going to tackle some DIY touches, make sure you fully understand what is required. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can do it. Be honest and realistic with yourself. And the other thought is – what are you going to do with it all after the wedding?
Remember that planning a wedding should be one of the best times of your life as you get ready to marry the person you love. Seriously consider the pros and cons of DIYing your wedding before you make any final decisions. DIY can have a place in your wedding but make sure you think very carefully where that will be.
The reason I am so passionate about wedding planning is because I discovered years ago that I love to make life easier for brides by sharing my know-how with them so they can be less stressed. Helping ‘savvy’ brides plan their awesome wedding allows me to do what I love and see their dreams come true.
There are 2 ways you can work with me:
# 1 – Wedding Basics package – a starter package for the DIY Bride who wants to get her planning in order and done right.
# 2 – Wedding ‘SOS’ package – I’ll work with you to flush out your dreams and develop a plan that will be easy for you to follow and put in place.
Click below to learn more about each and book your spot:
I’d love to hear about your upcoming wedding and whether you are planning any DIY touches. Please comment below with your plans/ideas and share with other brides.