#WeddingPreneurs Lounge: How to deal with DIY weddings
You’re probably asking yourself: “Why on earth should brides and groom turn to DIY (do-it-yourself) weddings when it comes to their once-in-a-lifetime celebration?” You are absolutely right: There are no repeats and the planning process will drain their energy, there’s no time for do-it-yourself projects.
Well, one of the main reasons why we see a lot of DIY weddings is because weddings are very expensive, and couples try to save money wherever possible. However, they don’t realize how much time and effort it can take to personalize their special day. And, not only that: it can actually cost them more money!
We live in an era where the do-it-yourself trend reigns supreme. We were all inspired by Martha Stewart a few years ago, and now Pinterest is the main go-to resource. Do-it-yourself is a great way to create or customize items by turning them into something unique and creative. I love to see all the personalized touches at a wedding and I never discourage a wedding couple if they want to add their signature on their wedding items. However, I always try to be very honest and let them understand that their decision can cost them hours and stress on top of their planning efforts.
I don’t have many wedding clients who decide to go with the do-it-yourself option, most of them hire professionals for each service (they’re either very smart or they listen to me!) but sometimes it happens and that’s usually the case with small, destination weddings.
I always point out that, when they add up the cost of materials needed, the time spent on each project, and the pressure they will get, it will take them five times longer and the project will cost twice as much (if not more) in reworks if they make mistakes. Especially if they are perfectionists like me. Think about invitations, for instance – What if they miss something or they make a typo, or the paper they selected doesn’t work well with their home printer? They will need to order new paper, and do it again.
Your job as a professional is to educate them, guide them, and let them understand that DIY is a great idea and it can be done but it shouldn’t be the focus of the entire wedding. And you, as the professional planner, should still be in the picture. Having a DIY wedding should not mean for the couple to do everything by themselves. DIY should be having fun creating something personal to share and enjoy with guests, not stressing out trying to cover all the bases including the planning, décor, stationery, etc.
Show them that you can still be their guiding light and assist where needed with the planning process. Most of all, don’t create any obstacles when it comes to DIY, you may not be seen as a team member. Instead, show them you have experience with DIY and you know how it should be done in order to have fun and also to keep their sanity.
Below are some tips that you can discuss with your wedding couples.
Find something that you can prepare well in advance
This means, not finish the night before the ceremony! They can start making or personalizing candle holders or centerpiece accents for the reception 5-6 months before the wedding, and have them ready 1-2 months prior to ir. It would be ideal to to create and work on items in bulk so that it speeds up the process. There will be so many things to manage at the last minute and you don’t want them to deal with DIY items.
Be sure you can accomplish the results you want
If your wedding couple is trying to dye their own linens for the reception, they should do a test before moving forward with the project. If they don’t like the results or don’t know how to achieve the desired look it’s better for them to go in a different direction
Choose only a couple of items
They can work on the projects with the help of their wedding party members. That can actually turn into a fun activity night (bride with the girls, groom with the boys, or the entire wedding party at work: dinner, movie and crafts while chatting and hanging out). The secret is to not overdo or they will be stressed out and they will get to the wedding exhausted. A couple of mine wanted to customize most of their wedding items and, on the wedding day, they only had a couple ready because they didn’t have the time to finish the projects. They didn’t have toasting glasses done, they didn’t have ceremony programs, they didn’t even have table numbers ready, so I had to borrow plain ones from the hotel (and they didn’t look like what they were planning to make).
Stay away from perishable items
The best example is arrangements and bouquets or boutonnieres with fresh flowers. Don’t even let them try to tackle that: a professional should provide all the centerpieces and make all the beautiful bouquets because they know which flowers to choose, when the flowers are ready, how long the flowers will last, how to care for them and how to keep them refrigerated before the wedding. I’m sure your wedding couples can’t store 10-20 centerpieces in their refrigerator, can they? Unless any of the wedding party members is a florist this will be a big no.
If they still want to contribute to the floral part, they can work on something that doesn’t involve fresh flowers. A bride of mine made all the groomsmen’s boutonnieres for her vintage style wedding by using feathers and rhinestones and she did an amazing job!
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ Do you have a DIY story to share? I’d love to know!
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Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.