As more venue options pop up and couples embrace the idea of designing a day that reflects who they are, we are seeing far more DIY weddings, or “Do It Yourself” weddings. Many couples choose to do a DIY wedding because of the thought that it is cheaper. But is it? This article will share the real truth about DIY weddings so you know what you are getting into BEFORE you get yourself in too deep!
What are DIY Weddings?
DIY weddings encompass a big scope – it could be making or supplying a few items right through to making / supplying / doing every single element yourself.
With this definition in mind, often couples who choose a DIY wedding select a venue that is a blank canvas, or one that allows couples to bring in their own items, rather than the venue supplying it for them.
DIY weddings see couples bringing or supplying pretty much anything on their wedding day, such as cake, desserts, grazing tables, furniture, florals, signage, etc.
Why is there the perception that DIY weddings are cheaper?
Often couples see DIY weddings as cheaper for a few reasons:
- they can source the cheapest supplier to provide the product or service, and / or
- they can get family or friends to provide the product or service, and / or
- they can make the products themselves for the day.
It sounds like the way to go. What’s the catch?
Well there’s a few. Let’s start with the first one:
1. The Cost v Time Trade-off
Whenever you choose to do something yourself, it may not cost you in money, but it will cost you in time.
“That’s fine. We’ve got 12 mths / 18mths before our wedding”, I hear you say.
True, but remember that:
- you won’t be starting to make each of these items right from the start of your planning journey, and
- some of these things won’t be able to be made until a few weeks out from your wedding date, and
- don’t forget that life stuff will continue along as usual. For you this might be a full-time job, building or selling a new house, caring for children, etc, etc. So adding in another thing may sound easy, but in reality, not be that simple.
2. Is it really that cheap?
Sometimes I see couples who do decide to DIY some part of their wedding, buy this and buy that and buy this so they can make said item. But in the end, the total of all the parts they need to purchase total to be more expensive than if they had purchased it from a supplier outright.
If you choose to DIY something, do your homework before buying anything to see if the money you will save is actually worth it.
3. Using friends and family members
Those of you on my mailing list will know my thoughts on this (check out this week’s email if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about!) but for those not, let me reiterate. The majority of couples who plan a wedding know someone who has a skill that is beneficial for a wedding. Sometimes this person will offer their services. Sometimes they don’t.
My plea to you is to consider very carefully whether you ask or use this person(s) to deliver a product or service for your wedding day. Again, it sounds good in theory but I have seen too many inexperienced, exhausted and stressed-out family and friends trying to fulfil the tasks that they have been set by couples.
4. Is cheaper better?
Sorry to be the party pooper, but often a cheaper product or service is that for a reason. This could be because:
- it’s an inferior quality product,
- the supplier has less experience,
- there are additional items that have not been included upfront in the price.
So, do I think that DIY weddings should be avoided? No, not at all. Creating a day that sings of who you both are and the things you love is something I preach every day.
BUT planning a DIY wedding requires you to do:
- more research,
- more thorough and detailed laying of your wedding foundations (check out my article on budgeting for your day here),
- more record keeping to ensure you have all the info, and
And couples often overlook this when they decide to DIY.
This article is simply to show you the other side to the “… but it will be cheaper doing it this way” discussion.
My recommendation is to book a wedding planner for a consultation (one or two consults, at a minimum!) to take a look over everything as you go along to ensure all your details and logistics are going to work and nothing has been forgotten – let’s call it “trouble shooting before any trouble starts”!!
If a DIY wedding is your dream, book a meeting now and let’s sit down together to figure out if this is the right way forward for you and how you can make it happen. The small cost of time and money to meet will end up saving you thousands in the long run – I promise!