DIY Brides: Does it Really Save You $$?

12 Nov

Living during the economic roller coaster of 2008 to “end it already!”, has made the majority of people re-evaluate what they find important in life and more conscientious about how they are spending their hard earned dollars.  This trend of  cautious consumerism has definitely carried over into the wedding industry.  Over the last year or so, I have seen many brides and grooms get creative in the name of love in order to figure out how to make their wedding happen, without breaking the bank. Some brides and grooms are scaling back the size of their wedding, some are postponing their nuptials until they are on more sturdy financial ground, and others still are finding out ways to “Do It Themselves” in order to save on wedding services. As an event planner, I definitely applaud people brainstorming creative ways to stay within budget and certainly agree that everyone needs to make some adjustments to find alternative ways to live and socialize on a smaller budget.

However, after hearing several DIY horror stories, I have begun to wonder if “going it alone” on you wedding day is actually a cost effective and time efficient way to plan your wedding. I have heard of supplies not showing up when they were supposed to, leaving brides and their wedding parties scrounging local craft shoppes to find all the materials needed for the DIY decor and favour ideas (not only is this incredibility stressful, but they ended up paying twice for the necessary supplies). I’ve heard of brides and grooms creating all their wedding decorations, then hating how everything turned out. In order to have their wedding the way they envisioned it, the couple ended up calling in a professional at the last minute (again double the price). One couple asked friend to be their “photographer” for their wedding and ended up deleting their memory stick at the end of the night…leaving the couple without formal pictures!! Another shutter-worthy story is a groom  that had his brother DJ the wedding with his iPod. The problem was, he only downloaded about one hour worth of songs specifically for the wedding. The rest of the night was either on repeat or a selection of gansta rap that said brother had in his usual repertoire. Uuhggg.

From my perspective, marrying the person that I love is a once in a lifetime opportunity that needs to be memorable and everything I imagined the day to be.  That doesn’t mean blowing the budget, but instead, figuring out ways to make your wedding your perfect day at your perfect price point.  That starts by sitting down and realistically thinking about what is most cost and time effective? Where are the areas of your wedding you care about the most and would like to invest the most money? What areas or wedding product services do you not care as much about and can either eliminate or not invest as much for those services? Most importantly, how are you, as the bride and groom, going to enjoy the day the most? Ask yourself those questions and see if DIY still comes out on top.  You may be surprised by the answer.



42nd Annual Hamilton-Halton Spring Wedding Show

January 8 & 9, 2011The Hamilton Convention Centre

14th Annual Niagara Spring Wedding Show

January 15 & 16, 2011, Quality Parkway Hotel & Convention Centre, St. Catharines


4 Responses to “DIY Brides: Does it Really Save You $$?”

  1. Roxie Ellis November 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Great blog. I read another blog the other day that was telling brides how they could save money, find a free venue like a part , etc. Buy a flip camera. You would probably know I wasn’t too pleased and I know several other vendors weren’t to happy either. DIY weddings are disastrous we see it at our venue more then we like. Brides just don’t understand there is no do overs on their special day.

  2. weddingftw November 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Great post! I consider myself a DIY bride and I am trying to do as many projects as possible by myself (with family/friends help too). The important things that make DIY feasible for me is that I still have around 8 months to work on projects, I really enjoy doing crafty things, and I know when to scrap the DIY projects that aren’t affordable or that will take more time than it’s worth. I think with doing a mostly DIY wedding it’s important to know when you’re in over your head and when to call in the professionals (and also give yourself PLENTY of time to complete projects because they always take longer than you estimate). Not only is DIY a good way to save money, but it’s also nice to put your personal touch on your own wedding instead of having many cookie-cutter aspects of weddings where you buy something that has been done a million times.

  3. Nicole November 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    I definitely think there is a place for DIY in wedding planning, but that it’s really important to consider your priorities. If you want fancy decor, don’t do it yourself. And the time crunch is huge – I’ve seen even the craftiest, best DIY girls be up until 2 am the night before the wedding to finish tying bows or fixing botched placecards. Sometimes it’s worth paying for.

    As you mentioned it doesn’t always save money. Craft supplies aren’t always cheap – I’ve seen DIY invitations and silk flower bouquets turn out to cost as much as the professional version. Remember, the stores buy those supplies at wholesale. You’re buying them at markup. For the most part I recommend letting the professionals handle things – it’ll turn out better, save you time, and may not cost that much more.

    I always caution against hiring/counting on friends or family to do things like DJing, Photos, etc. for exactly the reasons you mentioned. They’re not professionals. If you hate how it turned out, you can’t tell Uncle Bob that. They won’t have professional equipment or backup plans, or the experience to know what to expect. Not to mention you’re inviting them as guests, too, they should get to enjoy the event. And they may do just that and miss a prime photo op or not notice that the music is skipping.

    • Stephanie Thompson November 19, 2010 at 3:16 am #

      There is a time and place for DIY. If you are a crafty person already definitely have a few little personal touches. If you aren’t and you want to learn… make sure you get some help from someone who is crafty an aunt who makes wonderful wedding cakes (like mine). I worry about ipod DJ’s or friends who are DJs, photographers etc (I really haven’t had a good experience with this, I’ve tried to talk my brides out of this).

      If you want to hire friends/ family keep this in mind… do they do this professionally? Do they earn money doing this, still check out their work & equipment, and will they 100% be focused on the job at hand or will they be trying to be a guest at the wedding and do their job 50%.

      I also worry about brides who want to take on too much a week before their wedding with flowers- bouquets especially, making their wedding favours and their wedding cakes. The last week of your wedding you should try and get your beauty sleep. So if you have some D.I.Y projects on the go… get lots of help!

      Brides if you are on a tight budget then sit down with a wedding planner one-on-one for $200 for 2 hrs you can go over how to have the wedding day you envision on your budget, get some pointers and resources to save themselves $$$ on D.I.Y disasters and spending over budget on a project that was just terrible. I also offer bootcamps for brides who want to work with a planner, plan their entire wedding and split the costs with the group. The professionals are here to help.

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