10 Things Nobody Should DIY for Their Wedding (Slideshow)
October 24, 2014
Seriously, just pay for these must-have services
Watch Out for These Tempting DIYs
Attempting a DIY project for your wedding, large or small, can be disastrous. Here’s why: DIY designs require creativity, labor, and attention to detail. Since they’re so time-consuming, you may need extra help from friends or family and everyone can burn out fast on the job. Even if you’re committed to the project, things might not go as expected. Often seemingly easy tasks turn into lengthy jobs that cost more money than you think and end up looking sloppy or amateur.
Wedding gowns can be pricey, but it doesn’t pay to stitch your own.
“Don’t try to sew your own dress,” says DIY weddings expert Jen Carreiro of SomethingTurquoise.com, who explains dress design can be “incredibly difficult to accomplish, unless you have a background” in that area.
Baking a cake is easy, right? While it seems all you need is sugar, flour, and eggs, there’s actually a lot more involved in crafting a wedding cake.
“A traditional wedding cake is expensive for a reason,” says Isadora Martin-Dye, owner of Rixey Manor. “The baking and decorating are time consuming, almost impossible to get right without many trial runs, and so easy to mess up.”
Things to consider: the wedding cake is typically very large and needs to serve at least 100 guests; the cake’s finish needs to look smooth and balanced (no cracks in the tiers); and the cake must taste terrific!
“It is surprising how many people want a friend to make their cake,” says Mike and Sandy Wieber of Bayfront Marin House, a Florida bed-and-breakfast that hosts many weddings. “The problem is that if it doesn’t turn out well, it’s too late to get a replacement. “Have your cake and eat it too: hire a baker.”
Want to have your favorite out-of-town foods at your wedding? Don’t handle the shipping on your own. Instead pay a professional to send the delicate or temperature-sensitive items safely.
“Chocolates, candles, and cookies all have a rough time in transit,” says Sandy Malone, owner of two Caribbean destination wedding planning companies and star of TLC's Wedding Island.
“If you must send something edible and fragile, consider individual boxes as packaging,” says Malone, who also recommends buying a few extra items in case one or more break (or melt) in transit. “Or even better, order freshly made cookies from a reputable bakery at your destination and use those,” she says.
Hiring a band is pricey, and so is working with a professional D.J. Still, it’s not a great plan to DIY your wedding music.
“Some couples think they can skimp on a D.J. by allowing a friend, or an iPod, to D.J., and sometimes it winds up tragic,” says Renae Strozier, wedding planner from Beauty and the Details who wrote about her DIY wedding on The Budget Savvy Bride. “Pprofessional D.J.s do more than play music. They’re a part of your wedding from the ceremony to the last call.”
Strozier recommends working with a D.J. that’s close to your budget and negotiating a custom package with a price you can afford.
A cake topper is supposed to get everyone’s attention because it’s pretty, cute, or stylish. But if your DIY topper isn’t impressive, you’re in trouble.
“We recently had a cake topper that consisted of two sticks, two banners, and two paper birds,” says the Wiebers. “We had no idea what it was supposed to look like, and two of us fiddled with it for about 20 minutes. We couldn’t figure out how to get the banners to read ‘Together Forever’ all going in the same direction.”
Photography can is one of the most expensive wedding details but that’s for a reason: you need a professional to get the job done efficiently.
“It’s easy and cheaper to rely on social photo sharing or the good old ‘disposable camera at a table’ trick,” says Strozier. “But you can wind up with blurry or out-of-focus or unflattering photos of important wedding moments like your first dance.”
Hiring staff to set up or clean up the wedding isn’t cheap, but it’s worthwhile.
“If you are doing a more casual affair and friends are helping you by providing dishes for a buffet, do not DIY clean up,” says Martin-Dye. “Nothing makes an evening less romantic than washing dishes and nothing will make guests feel more uncomfortable than leaving knowing the wedding party has hours of cleaning ahead of them.”
Give yourselves and your guests a break from cleanup duty and hire some help instead.
Unless you are a professional florist, homemade bouquets and arrangements can look silly or amateurish.
You want boutonnieres, bouquets, and centerpieces that will look great in person and in pictures, so why would you risk that with DIY floral designs?
Beautiful lighting is ideal for a wedding but it’s not something that’s easy to DIY.
“It’s time consuming and tricky and much better left to the professionals,” says the Wiebers, noting a lighting professional can get you just what you want including chandeliers or tavern lights. “A licensed contractor will be able to hang them quickly, ensure that there aren’t too many strings on a single power source, and they'll have replacement bulbs if anything is burnt out.”
It’s tempting to design and/or print your own invitations but it’s a big job that can doesn’t always turn out as expected. Do you really want to print out and organize invitations, response cards, programs, and menu cards?
The project may seem easy but it’s going to take a lot of time, even if you do it right. If something goes wrong, you’ll have to start over and potentially reprint hundreds of items. Save yourself the time and the money by hiring a professional stationer.