And your food, and your photography, and your this that and the other. Please notice that I said and - not that you can’t diy your wedding flowers or your food or your photography. No, today’s edition of Can’t Week is appropriately themed for Wedding Wednesday and will hopefully serve as a fabulous wedding planning tip. Just like my reasoning why you can’t have a first look and why you just can’t wear cheap wedding shoes. Time for a wake up call: you can’t DIY your wedding flowers.
If you are a professional florist, then congratulations, you probably can do your own wedding flowers. But, knowing the hard work that goes into it (not to mention the fabulous trade discount I hope you get) you’re probably having your staff/partner/favorite industry friend do them for you. If you are considering DIY-ing your wedding flowers, make it one of your only DIY’s, and go in armed with a plan. When I first started wedding planning, I wanted to DIY e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. My craft bug was only spurred further by the knowledge that my Mother in Law is one of the craftiest people I know. My Mom & MOH, however, looked at me dubiously whenever I brought up another fun “project’ I’d tacked onto my to-do list.
Then, one night I was showing my Mom a “skillfully” drawn champagne coupe tower that I wanted to build, inspired by two mini bottles of gin during the flight to Florida – did I mention I wanted to somehow do all of this IY-ing long distance? Oh, I did. My champagne coupe tower was magnificent, even better than the wall of dangling blown glass bulbs I wanted my Dad to build as the altar back drop. Instead of actual champagne, the coupes would hold floating candles. Gorgeous. Except the candles might melt the plastic coupes I’d sourced. Or I could just use glass! But how does one glue 60 glass coupes together? And then who would be responsible for lighting the candles before the guests started arriving? Perfect – my Mom could run downstairs real quick while the bridesmaids were getting dressed and I was finishing up makeup.
My Mom finally put her foot down and told me that she’d be lifting zero fingers to do any sort of wedding task on the big day, and I should follow suit. I quickly realized that my tower (a money saving ploy to avoid large centerpieces) was going to cost more than a gorgeous, vibrant centerpiece designed by an amazing florist. I also realized I was being crazy. On my actual wedding day, I’m happy to report my Mom was by my side, relaxing and soaking up every minute of a day that flew by, not lighting a billion floating candles in formal wear as a cautionary tale of fire safety.
All this ridiculousness is meant to say: Some things are best left to the professionals. If you know, hands down, you can bake your own wedding cake (because you’ve done it before and/or are a professional pastry chef) then go for it. But then you shouldn’t also try to DIY your flowers. If you are adamant that you can do your flowers, like this bride was, then make it your only project. You can read her story about spending the hours before the ceremony corralling family members instead of lounging with a hair and makeup team. Speaking of which, you know what would be awesome to DIY? Your hair. Or makeup. Or your programs, or favors. Or your photobooth. Or even your playlist. But when it comes to the biggies, there’s common consensus. Hire out:
- Photography: Your photos are all you’ll have left to remember your wedding (besides your husband.) Make sure someone who knows what they’re doing is behind the lens.
- Caterer: A lot of people disagree with this one, and I think it can be done self-sufficiently for a smaller wedding. However coordinating the prep, flow, serving temperature and food safety guidelines can and should be handled by someone else while you and your guests are breaking it down on the dance floor.
- Planner: This one’s kind of a bonus, because it’s typically included in lists written by wedding planners. But I drank the planner koolaid, and I have no doubt it was the best money I spent on the entire wedding (especially because it saved me money.) If you find yourself deep down the DIY rabbit hole, give serious thought to hiring a planner. They can organize your ideas, see your vision, and offer an impartial opinion when your bridesmaids are too terrified by your glue gun to do so. They can also shake you by the shoulders and insist you pay someone else for linens, rather than DIY-ing. Especially if you can’t sew
And when debating whether to DIY or PSE (pay someone else), ask yourself these questions:
Is the money I’ll save more valuable than the time needed to pull it off?
If it’s about saving money, do I really need it?
Really, would it be cheaper to just nix it? (Fight the Pinterest.)
Will it cause unnecessary stress the month, week, or day before my wedding?
Will the help I need to make it happen require loved ones to feel more like vendors than guests?
Does it require that I violate my promise not to turn my bridesmaids into indentured servants?
Does it present a safety hazard to my guests? (champagne coupe tower of FIRE)
Does it comply with my venue’s restrictions? (see above.)
Have I done it (well) before?
If not, have I had adequate time to do a dry run?
Will my Mom fear for my sanity if I ask for her help?
What’s the point of this wedding again? (Oh riiiiiight, marrying the love of your life. Not finding the perfect shade of burlap.)