Fact—weddings are expensive. Actually, make that very expensive, especially if you live in one of the big metropolitan areas in the country. By the time you're done paying all your suppliers and booking your dream honeymoon, you'd realise you have basically spent the down payment of your first house for flowers, food, and a fancy holiday.
No one can blame you for instead being prudent and wanting to save a few bucks to put towards something more meaningful. This is why a lot of brides opt to DIY certain decor elements of their wedding. With so many online tutorials showing you exactly how to arrange a beautiful bouquet or bake a delicious cake, it's only normal that you might think it would be a nice personal touch if you invest some time into handcrafting 100 wedding favors. What could go wrong, right? Well, it turns out, the answer is: it could all go very wrong.
To save you some major disappointment and time, we reached out to professional wedding planners and asked them to share with us some of the things you should never try to DIY at your wedding.
1. The Flowers
Think bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, and other bridal party flowers. Destination event producer Brit Bertino says there is nothing worse than having to carry wire, cutters and ribbon with you all day to try to fix or chase down the flowers that have fallen off of your bouquet. But that's not the only bloom-related disaster that could happen.
"Flowers have died before the centerpieces were even put together. Brides complained about going to the market and not finding their favourite flowers or desired colours just days before the wedding or during transportation their DIY projects took a tumble in mum's back seat," Bertino adds. "In the end, the time, energy and money spent creating your own wedding flowers, you could find a talented florist that could handle all of this for you."
2. Photo or video
Nowadays everyone owns a DSLR camera and can claim to be a good photographer. A friend or a relative who's taken up photography as a hobby may volunteer to be your wedding photographer at no cost.
"Months later, when the memories of your amazing day begin to fade, you will inevitably pull out the photos and video footage," says Chelsea LaFollette of Brilliant Event Planning. "Don't risk allowing a friend with a 'professional' camera and 'good eye' to be in charge of the only tangible memories you have. Hire professionals to make sure everything is captured in the best light and that none of those amazing speeches are missed!"
3. Baking Items for Welcome Gifts Bags
We know that Pinterest makes it look so easy and effortless but listen to what Sheila Camp Motley, owner of Sheila Camp Motley Event Design + Management "We have had this inspiration backfire on even the most baking savvy of brides. Although baking 200 of your grandmother's recipe cookies may seem heartfelt early on in the planning process, once the wedding week arrives your goal is to relax."
4. The Cake
Leave the cake to the pros if you want to avoid a major disaster.
"Don't get me wrong - we all love grandma's cake during the holidays and our birthdays, but adding several cake layers and fancy fondant will make for a nightmare if it's not done properly," warns Bertino. "The transportation of the cake in a refrigerated van will help keep the cake from melting and slipping. There are several components that are within the layers of the cake that keep it from becoming the leaning Tower of Pisa."
She suggests if grandma's recipe is important to you, just tell your baker. Most are open to helping you recreate your favourite cake recipe and they will even set up a tasting so you can make sure it's exactly what you want.
5. Day-of Stationery
Ceremony programs or escort cards are important elements of your wedding and leaving those to be completed on your wedding day just spells trouble.
"Too often, brides choose to cut costs by DIY-ing ceremony programs complete with multiple pages that need to be assembled, tied or magically created into a fan! All of these steps can create last-minute havoc," says Motley.
And of DIY-ing your escort cards, she adds: "Do not complicate the process by over-thinking your escort card. While you may have seen a photo of an origami sailboat that looks like a perfect fit, be realistic about creating 100 of those days before your wedding."
6. Hair and Makeup
Confession time—I did my own hair and makeup at my wedding and, now that I think about it, attempting to create an even cat eye in the last minute (I was already late for the ceremony) may have not been one of my best life choices. LaFollette probably would agree with me.
"Your big day may also be a bad hair or skin day. Hire an expert to make sure no matter what you wake up looking like, you will be perfect when you walk down the aisle," she rightfully suggests.
7. The Entertainment
Bertino is pretty straightforward when it saving money on your wedding entertainment: Just pass on your iPod playlist.
"When hiring a wedding DJ or a band, there is nothing better than having a great piece of entertainment especially if your family and friends love to party, dance and celebrate on the dance floor. A professional will keep the party going and read your crowd and get everyone involved. He/She won't miss a beat or any of the important formalities throughout the evening," she adds.