Everyone dreams of their wedding day differently. For some it is an elegant ballroom reception surrounded by all their friends and family. This couple may see each guest greeted with butler passed champagne as they enter the reception with flowers flowing from Eiffel tower vases on each guest table. Other couples may see their wedding as a more intimate and relaxed backyard BBQ. Each table adorned with mason jar arrangements and dancing in the backyard underneath the stars.
Chances are regardless of if you relate to one of the forementioned couples, or if you fall somewhere else on the style spectrum, at some point while wedding planning you are going to say- that’d be cheaper/better/easier if I did it myself!
Everyone’s been there- so here is my guide to what you should and shouldn’t DIY.
When most couples think of reception centerpieces they start by thinking of flower arrangements. But let’s be honest- flowers are not cheap. They are gorgeous and while we do appreciate a floral filled reception, there are many floral alternatives.
If you are set on having floral arrangements, consider hiring a professional. Could you save money by bulk ordering flowers and making the arrangements, yes you could! However, in order to to make sure your arrangements are the freshest the day of the wedding, you'll be picking up floral orders, processing flowers, and making arrangements in the days prior to your wedding when you might have other time sensitive matters to attend to (or when you should be relaxing and pampering).
If you are opting for faux flowers (like silk or sola wood) then by all means go for it and DIY. However, give yourself plenty of time to make the arrangements and don’t wait until the last week or even month to make that happen.
There are many other ways to DIY your centerpiece so don’t think you have to use flowers (fresh or faux) just because everyone else does!
Most venues are going to require that you hire a professional caterer or use venue’s catering. If this is not the case for you, you could have the option to DIY cater. You may consider recruiting family members to help with this- but then you are taking their attention away from you and most likely having them work your wedding rather than attend your wedding.
In most cases, hiring a caterer also comes with the staff to set-up the venue, service dinner, and then clean-up after your wedding. They also provide all the rental items you need to host a meal- chafing dishes, plates, china, glassware, flatware, serve ware, etc. Remember to take into consideration all the extras you’ll be providing when you don’t hire a caterer.
Cake on the other hand is a different story. If a family member wants to make your cake, it’s a lot easier for them to drop it off and still attend your wedding instead of working it. Same goes for if you wanted to have a family member bring/set-up a dessert bar. Just make sure they have all the trays and platters they need.
Nowadays between music streaming apps like Apple Music and Spotify, everyone has the ability to create a playlist and it’s often easy to do. However, what you can’t anticipate with a premade playlist is special requests and the mood of the dancefloor. A DJ is able to make active decisions about what song to play next to keep everyone entertained, engaged, and on the dance floor.
If you have a professional musician in the family, you could consider having them play your processional music, or making a performance during the ceremony and/or reception. This allow you to incorporate them in a meaningful way and if it’s only a few songs it will allow them to still be present in your special day.
Planning and Coordinating
It’s never a bad idea to lean on your closet friends and family for advice and guidance while planning your wedding- after all, they know you best. However, somethings they also think they know what is best for you and there is a difference. All professional planners have dealt with pushy family and friends, and we know how to separate their wants from yours. We can help you prioritize your budget and hire vendors that we know will make your day extra special.
Just like with DIY catering, DIY coordinating often leaves family and friends running errands and setting décor the day of your wedding. Hiring a professional coordinator allows your wedding guests to simply attend your wedding and soak in every moment of your special day. Professional coordinators can often stop little emergencies from popping up, or quickly resolve them if they do happen. We do all the running around, while you and your loved ones truly get to live in the moment and enjoy one of the most special days of your lives.