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DIY Wedding Planning: The Dream vs. Reality

You’re engaged! Have you used the word fiancé enough? Let’s be honest, probably not! I must say, congratulations, you have finally found your best friend, and the one you get to bug the rest of your life. I hope they know what they are in for! (Just kidding, I’m sure you’re amazing.)

Now onto the fun stuff (or the sounds fun stuff at least). Planning! Do you get as excited as me when you hear that word? Lists, shopping, organizing, budgeting and of course CAKE tasting! What could be so bad about that? Looking to do the good old DIY way of things? I don’t blame you, but before you get too ahead of yourself just read over these pointers. They matter, and they will help you stress less!

I’m so excited for you, and congratulations!

Looking for that Pinterest Wedding?

Let me guess, you’ve pinned the most perfect pictures for your big day? Well honey, I hate to break the news to you, but your big day isn’t going to look as perfect as those fabulous photographs. THAT’S WHAT YOU HAVE PROFESSIONALS FOR! Trust me, your big day is still going to be stunning, but it's not like that board you’ve been creating all this time.

Also, remember this: life doesn’t exist behind filters! All of that editing comes after the moment is captured!

Let’s Have a Big BASH!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been planning this day for a long while. Isn’t it a fun idea to have a giant wedding with lots of people that dance, party and celebrate your big day? I mean what’s bad about having a big bash of 250 (maybe more) people? Well it’s great except that’s a ton of people to keep up with in one day. Besides do you actually have a close relationship with 250 people? Nothing against big families, but I know that I would be lucky to pass 150.

Remember this though, with the more people you have, the more expense that comes along with it. A big bash can be a lot of fun but don’t let that fun make you forget that it can also be expensive!

Budget Conscience?

Money is one of those factors (both in life and in planning) that just SUCKS! It’s okay to be honest about it, it’s not fun. But what’s worse? OVERSPENDING. I don’t want to see you stuck in an over-spending situation all because you didn’t think of something. And do you want to have a meltdown three weeks before the wedding because you know this last check is just a ton of money? NO. So save yourself the headache and over budget!

You heard me, just OVER budget. Sometimes this idea sounds crazy, but take it from me, weddings aren’t cheap, and when you get sidetracked by the custom-made cake topper with special, personalized details and the fancy bowties for the dogs you will thank me! Another thing; find ways to save yourself. At first, the idea of buying all of the décor can be enticing, especially when the price tag looks friendly, but what happens when the wedding ends? Where does all of that stuff go? Maybe you should consider RENTING! Yes, décor and lights and pretty much anything you are needing can be rented. The cool thing about renting too is that it all gets delivered and picked up for you!

Photographs and Video?

I must say that I am a bit of a bias on this topic, but that’s because I have a very large love for memories. No point in time is the same as it was a minute prior. So, my advice to you? SPEND the money and get both a professional photographer and videographer. Get a well-rounded memory of your day! Let’s be honest, this moment doesn’t just keep coming around, it only happens (once) in your life! Don’t miss out on document it, trust me the anniversaries you and your best friend are going to have to look back on this day is going will be well worth it!

Flowers: Fake or Real?

Honestly you can go both ways on this one. If you go fake, still get nicer ones (like silk), the ones that still give you a nice picture. If you’re not too budget conscious for the real ones, then DO IT! They create a romantic ambiance and really do bring life (haha) to your big day! Most brides that I talk to tell me that the money is well worth it when they get them.

Plus, if you do decide to go with real flowers you can always donate them to a nearby hospital or senior home and continue to spread the love from your big day.

Cake or Dessert Table?

While cake is the traditional method to having a sweet treat on your big day, there are so many other ways to celebrate! I worked with a couple that brought in ice cream and had their own sundae bar! Others had a sweet table, and some even had both. Point being, celebrate your big day the way you want!

Now, there are a few things you can consider. Cakes can be expensive, so sometimes a small cake with a candy bar is a good way to go. Then you can still carry out the tradition of cutting the cake while giving your guests a sweet treat! If you don’t want that, and you just want donuts? GO FOR IT! It’s your day, make it yours.

The Buffet or Plated Dinner?

I know this topic may come across as funny, but it’s a real question! Not only is dinner a fabulous moment of the evening because you get to eat (something you don’t actually do much on your big day) but it’s also a full logistical question. Buffets are great in terms of budget and food portion. If you are worried that some people may come even if they miss sending their RSVP, then the buffet is the BEST option! Typically, vendors make a bit “extra” for the buffet to compensate for portions plated as well as number changes.

On the other hand, you have the plated meal. Now this way of service is very much like a 5-star experience for your guest, but the problem with this is that it typically takes more time to serve and clear. Plated meals are also VERY number specific. Your final count is the number of plates you get and if more people come you may not be able to compensate for them.

You can handle everything alone?

Now I know that I’m a wedding planner, so again I am a little bit biased, but here’s the thing. Being the bride is enough stress. You want your day to be something you cherish and remember for years to come, not something that you can’t wait to get over with because you are continuously stressed out! Can you do it alone? No. Allow your friends to help, let your mom jump in, and if you really just want someone to pull the stress off your shoulders get yourself a wedding planner.

The planner not only knows the ins and outs of a wedding, but they also take on all of the stress. Let them stress eat and worry about a vendor being late. This is YOUR day. Allow yourself the chance to enjoy it! Plus, it’s not like you have to have a wedding planner by your side each step of the way. You can hire a day of coordinator that only gets involved the last month or so of the process and takes on the schedule of the big day. This keeps the headache away from you and in someone else’s arms. Trust me on this one, IT IS EASIER.

I think I’ve said enough, but hey if you have questions about anything you just let me know! I’m always quick to answer e-mails, and love to help people out where I can. Good luck planning love, and I can’t wait to see your Big Picture come into focus!

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