Who agrees with DIY wedding dont’s?

by DIY wedding planner on May 18, 2012


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I’m on theknot.com quite a bit and since I’m doing a lot of DIY projects I became worried when I’m doing close to all items on the list. For others who had a DIY wedding is theknot.com’s list correct?

6 DIY Don’ts:
1) Your Cake: Whether it’s a missed teaspoon of sugar or a tilted tier, a wedding cake disaster is hard to fix. Yes, it would be much less expensive to buy a few boxes of cake mix and do it yourself, but the quality in the end could be lacking. Decorating and transporting a wedding cake is quite difficult and best left to someone with the knowledge of how to handle your confection without damaging it.

2)Your Photos: Your photographs are one of the few tangible things you’ll have to remember your wedding. All of your loved ones may promise to capture every moment, but what happens if they get distracted or have a camera malfunction? If it’s important for you to have high-quality images and hundreds of great shots, hire a pro. You’ll be glad you did when you see your picture-perfect album.

3)Coordinating it Yourself: You’ve organized every minute detail so far, so why shouldn’t you be in charge on the wedding day? Because you won’t be able to relax. Hiring a coordinator for the day can be a lifesaver. While you’re getting pampered, they’ll be setting up and averting any crisis that may occur. When everything isn’t going perfectly, you’ll be none the wiser. Trust us — peace of mind is worth the extra expense.

4) Your Centerpieces: A beautiful centerpiece sets the mood of the reception. From sophisticated to fun, you can create a setup that will wow your guests — with a florist’s help, of course! Flowers can cost upward of $3,000, depending on your taste and the season. Although it’s a larger part of the budget, it’s worth every penny. Your florist will ensure that you get exquisite displays filled with the freshest blooms.

5) Your Catering: Catering a large-scale party is a huge undertaking, even for a culinary whiz. You’ll be hard-pressed to get enough food together for a hundred people and keep it hot — even if you make the best dish in town. And, once you get it made, you’ll need a reliable staff to serve it. Caterers are trained to make it happen; they have the support staff to serve you and your guests in a timely manner.

6)Your Music: It’s tempting to rock out to your favorite tunes, and you might think it’s easy to do so with an iPod. Not quite. You’ll be limited to the music that you love as a couple, not necessarily what everyone else will like, and you’ll be stuck with the premade playlist. Music pros are trained to read the dance floor. They can speed it up or slow it down so that your guests are footloose into the wee hours.
Lol, yeah our wedding is going to have only 40 people. And our reception venue has a kitchen area for rental. I thought it would be easy breezy make our simple dishes for 40, but my Rev. was flabbergasted at the idea. She was really shocked. Seriously, what do I know.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

hardcoregirl4ever May 18, 2012 at 1:08 am

Hmmm… the photos, I have friends that dabble in photography. The centerpieces, well, if you get center pieces wrong, I’d hate to see your house!

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hithuial May 18, 2012 at 1:08 am

I have been to weddings where all of the above was handled as a DIY project. I am doing many of those myself. The only one I agree with is the photos. There are certain moments you want to be sure are captured so your guests do not have to stress about getting the perfect shot. I think theknot.com is just going with the fantasy that you are the star in the show (wedding) and therefore should not do much. Do as much as you want and make the wedding truly yours!

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knowitall May 18, 2012 at 1:41 am

These are all valid, however if you are on a very tight budget, this is not practical. Just get help from as many friends and relatives as possible and enjoy it. If something goes wrong ( cake falls, flowers wilt, etc) it just makes for memories to laugh about years later!

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lalala May 18, 2012 at 1:57 am

I am unfortunately not very good at DIY, but I can see how some of these things would be good and some wouldn’t to people who are creative/crafty.

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D4Pres2012 May 18, 2012 at 2:00 am

1- wedding cake sucks anyway. I even went to a 5 figure very posh wedding in boston last winter and the cake was just mediocre. I would have a bunch of pies or cheesecake or petit fors instead.

2- my bf is a semi professional photog and brings his camera gear to all my friends weddings. he always takes better pics than the photogs they hire and pay thousands for. people are more at ease and take better pics for a person they know as opposed to some strange photog getting in their face.

3- I’m the most organized person on the planet. hands down. being a chronic list maker and detail checker, I won’t have any problem thinking of everything in advance and enlisting my friends and family to help with wedding details. there will be no last minute catastrophies because I live in a drama free zone

4- I’m not paying for flowers that just die in a few days and which will be taken home by guests so I won’t even get to enjoy them! the centerpieces will be candles I can re-use or some mirrors and gems borrowed from my friends

5- of course you have to hire a caterer. even if you pay for nothing else for your wedding, I agree catering is essential. shows respect for the guests and adds formality to the event

6- all you need is a laptop and an ipod, and a friend enlisted to mix up the mix. my bf loves to dance so he can have a playlist, and I like slow songs so there’s another playlist. just shuffle!

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Messykatttt May 18, 2012 at 2:47 am

A lot of this is personal preference, I can see scenarios where almost all of these could be handled by a friend or relative, especially if the wedding is smaller. Plenty of photography amateurs have good digital cameras and could take photos you’d want to remember, for example.

And the ipod argument is weak. You’d put in the same songs you’d want the dj to play, not your own private list!

The one area where I do agree is on catering. It’s not that you have to hire a pro, but if you don’t, whoever is in charge of it has GOT to have experience catering to groups of whatever size yours is. I was at a wedding once where the aunt did this as a wedding gift – she’s a great cook, entertains frequently at her home, etc. She had no clue what catering to a larger group is and it was a disaster, sadly.

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Miss Kitty May 18, 2012 at 3:19 am

1.) I agree and disagree depending on your event. If you want a formal event then you should leave it up to the professionals. You have so much to plan and making and decorating a cake would seem like so much. If you are having a casual back yard wedding then make your own cake.

2.) As a wedding photographer I can tell you the number one complaint I have from brides is that they wished they hired a professional or spent more on photography. Sure you can hire someone with no expierence, but you get what you pay for. Also there are A LOT of professional photographers, including myself, that will work with your budget. I even did a wedding for free because the bride and groom were laid off a month or so before the wedding and I felt bad for them.

3. Depending on the size of your event. I have contol issues and OCD and want to be in control of every detail of my wedding. Of course I know better and I will be hiring a wedding planner. We are having 600 guests now and I couldn’t imagine taking on the whole thing myself. If you are having a small event then it should be easy planning it for yourself. A wedding planner can come in handy for deliveries, telling people where to go, rounding up everyone, ect. I work everyday and my weekends are booked with weddings until the end of 2010. My fiance works 50 hours a week and is on call sometimes. So we don’t have time at all. I’m hiring an actual wedding planner, not just a day planner.

4. I’ve seen some brides do centerpieces themselves and then others where they hired a florist. Again it depends on the size of your event. Do you really want to do centerpieces for 30 or more tables?

5. I agree. I couldn’t imagine cooking for 600 people. Even 100 people is crazy.

6. I agree. If you know nothing about sound systems, your music can sound really crappy coming from an ipod and small speakers. Especially in a large hall.

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fizzy stuff May 18, 2012 at 3:25 am

I agree with all, except 3 and 4. Lots of venues have a coordinator already on staff, and if you have hired a caterer and DJ and other professionals, they will just go in and do what they were hired to do, so no reason the bride needs to supervise. Im just saying, a coordinator can be helpful but not necessarily in all situations.

And 4. I dont think centrepieces are that big a deal. Why not DIY it? The guests care more about the food and music than about the centrepieces. Besides, DIYing quality centrepieces is not that hard, if you buy the right materials.

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Blunt May 18, 2012 at 3:49 am

I agree with 1, 2 and 5.

If the wedding is small and simple, brides can do 3, 4 and 6 with no problem, if the wedding is large, no way.

Good luck

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jettyspagetti May 18, 2012 at 4:24 am

I disagree with most of these don’ts!

First , the cake, if you have the time and are semi pro at baking and decorating why not? I made the cakes for both my mother’s second wedding and my bff’s wedding, I made cakes as a second job through high school and college and had the experience. As i was maid of honor for both of the weddings I did cakes for I can say if you are organized with your time and don’t mind if a cake might not be “professional” do it! Be prepares to make several cakes leading up to the big day to get the design you like, then make the layers you need well in advance, wrap them well and freeze em. then just take the frozen cakes out of the freezer and decorate!

As far as photos, we had a family member that had professional equipment take our posed shots, then had those little disposable cameras on all the tables. Those plus our votive candle favors were our centerpieces. The photos from the cameras plus all the copies that guests gave us of their own photos were so great that we had contact sheets made from the posed shots and never really had any prints done.

I do say get a day of coordinator or have a bossy person to do the tasks on the big day. that was one concession I made. The reception hall had a day of coordinator as part of our package and it was great!
But if it hadn’t have been a freebie I think my bossiest friends could’ve handled it!

Catering, same as the cake, if you’ve got the skill and some extra helpers do it, if you’d rather avoid the stress get a caterer. I had mine catered but did the food for my mom’s reception and my bff had a crew of family members do hers.

Music, I had a dj as part of my package and since it was a wedding int he 90s before ipods nad MP3s there really wasn’t much of an option. At my mother’s reception the dj and bartender backed out at the last minute and my new step brother and I ransacked all the guests for dcs from their cars, got a boombox and managed to spin some music and pour drinks for a few hours, it was a blast and was also kind of fun to spring new music on a crowd that though music began and ended with the stones. My baby sis is going the MP3s route for her up coming nuptials and has accessed lists of top wedding music as well as their faves. She’s planning on a music rehearsal, timeing the music to the events that need to be done and having a close friend cue it up when neccesary, i think if you are organized you can do it!

If you make the DIY commitment, stay organized and have a support crew you can do it all!

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MissE May 18, 2012 at 4:59 am

Disagree with the following ones
2: So many pictures were taken, both by our photographer and by friends and family. It can be done, specifically if you have a friend that has a talent there.
3. We coordinated our whole wedding. Then once we were done handed all to our masters of ceremony. (BIL and SIL) They knew to a tee what we wanted from our self prepared script.
6. We used our iPod and it was great, we did not have a dance at our wedding so no issues there.

1. and 5. I agree with. but mostly because my guest are my guests not the staff that needs to help with the catering and the cake. As the bride I did not want to spend any time in the kitchen and thus I happen to agree. As for the cake we were not bothered one way or another so we ended up not having one.
4. We had none. There were only 14 people for our very intimate dinner and it was a la carte.

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kateiskate May 18, 2012 at 5:50 am

I disagree with all of your DIY “don’ts”.

1. You could easily DIY a cupcake tier (which is popular now) or have something else rather than traditional cake for dessert like cheesecake or sundaes.

2. If you do are on a low budget (and who isn’t, with this economy?) you can always ask around for a student photographer at a local college who is probably cheaper and just as good as a proffesional. You can also put a few disposable cameras on each of your tables so your guests can catch all of those great candid moments your photographer might be too busy to see.

3. Duh, that’s what friends and family are there for! Coordinators are expensive and you are probably doing a DIY wedding to SAVE money, not spend a ton on a pricey coordinator.

4. Centerpieces no longer have to be huge floral arrangements that cost tons of money. You can do any number of creative, DIY centerpieces that will be beautiful. You could do floating candles, river rocks, flower petals, anything that is pretty and that you like. You can also do flowered centerpieces for cheap DIY if you get your flowers wholesale and make them the day before with friends and family.

5. It’s trendy these days to have a dessert reception or have heavy hors dourves late in the evening. You can also have friends and family bring a great dish as a gift to you. If you have a large family, they can cater the bulk of the wedding.

6. Have a friend control your ipod, make up a huge list of all kinds of favorites from today and from the past. Put your ipod on shuffle and dance the night away! Your friend can change it if they feel the crowd needs something more upbeat or something slower.

The economy sucks, people still want to have great weddings. DIY weddings are a great option and I think with a little creativity you can do any of it yourself.

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Mrs. S May 18, 2012 at 5:58 am

I agree with not doing your own cake, pictures, catering and music.

Centerpieces, on the other hand, you can easily do yourself if you have the time and are creative enough. I would have done these in a heartbeat, were it not for the fact that I am completely worthless at arts and crafts. But if you are good at this stuff, go ahead and do it. If you choose not to use flowers (centerpieces can be so much more than flowers) you could even make them months in advance. What about a beautiful vase filled with river rocks and some floating candles? Simple, elegant and beautiful.

As for the coordinator, well, that really depends on your budget. We had done all the work ahead of time. There were no vendors to be confirmed, no guests lists or seating charts to be made, no place cards or menus to be printed, everything was set! All we wanted was someone to be there that day who could be a contact person for the wait staff and other vendors in case things didn’t go according to plan. I couldn’t get anyone to give me a price lower than $2000!!! Two grand just to stand there IN CASE something went wrong??? That is ridiculous! We ended up doing it ourselves and I am not going to say it was perfect, having a coordinator would have definitely kept our stress levels down, but it certainly wasn’t $2000 worth of stress. So, if you have the money, or can find someone to do it cheaper, then by all means go ahead and do it. If not, be prepared to deal with some questions form your vendors, but honestly most of them have done so many weddings that they pretty much know how to handle themselves.
Good luck.

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Bride_in_2010 May 18, 2012 at 6:41 am

My grandma, great aunt, sister (MOH), and I are going to make my cakes. My grandma and great aunt have always made the wedding cakes for that side of the family. If you have never made a tiered cake before I highly suggest you do a trial run before you do your actual wedding cake. My fiance and I are having his uncle do our photographs because he does wedding photography for a living so he has experience. We are hiring a deejay instead of using an iPod because you never know what could go wrong with your iPod or the connection. If you hire a deejay they will go set up before hand and should test the sound system and equipment out before you or any of your guests get there and fix any problems that may occur that way you don’t have to worry about it on your day. While my fiance and I are planning our wedding (with the help of our parents and wedding party as needed) the reception location has a coordinator that is available to us and is included in the fee for the location and the church also offers a coordinator at a small fee (around $50) for the day of the wedding and if have questions about the general requirements and limitations of the church which will allow us to simply enjoy our day and let them worry about any mishaps. Our reception location requires we use their in-house catering for the food (with the cake, mints, nuts, favors as an exception) however, for the price per plate we get a dance floor (21X21), the wedding coordinator, a bridal suite, and no fee for the location (as long as you meet the food & drink minimum which is easily met). We are, or rather I, am making/organizing our centerpieces for the reception because we are not going to use real flowers as they are too much of a hassle and often get in the way. We will be using rose petals, vases, votives, and glass beads for centerpieces. We are really simple and do not want anything too extravagent since that isn’t how we are. I agree with the music, photography, and coordinator for sure. I would probably suggest not doing cattering because then you would have to worry about making sure there is always food out and keeping it hot (or cold). However the centerpieces & cake I think a bride can do on her own. Hope this helps!

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Coffee Junky May 18, 2012 at 6:42 am

I disagree with all of the above.

1)Cake. The cake presentation is just not of the utmost importance to me. I am not about to dish out a couple hundred dollars for a cake. We’re buying a simple, cute cake (NOT a wedding cake). Something for under $30. We’ll cut that, and then serve sheet cake for our guests. We’re getting a black forest sheet cake, served up with ice cream. If we really wanted a traditional wedding cake, we would enlist the help of some friends who are bakers and make fantastic fondant and butter cream cakes.

2)Yes, photos are important. But again, I would never dish out thousands of dollars just to ‘capture the moment’. The moment will forever live on in my heart and our relationship. Luckily for me, my brother is a professional photographer, has done many weddings, and has travelled the world taking photos. He’s doing our wedding as a gift.

3)I would never, EVER consider waisting money on a coordinator to make sure the day runs smoothly. It’s just one day. If something goes wrong, then so be it. Our wedding is super relaxed, and my and my family are taking care of EVERYTHING. If a hiccup happens, then I could care less. That’s the nice thing about laid back weddings…it doesn’t really MATTER if something goes a little wrong.

4)Centerpieces = not that important. Our centerpieces will consist of a single tigerlily in a small vase, with tealight candles. All our flowers are free anyway, courtesy of my mothers garden. There’s no way I’d waste thousands of dollars on flowers and centerpieces. Not a chance.

5)Again, we’re doing all the food ourselves…with a guest list of 80. My father’s friend owns the local meat market, and is doing our prime rib roast. He’ll deliver it at dinner time, fully cooked. The ladies in our family are getting together the day before the wedding, and doing up a bunch of cold side dishes and salads. The day of the wedding, we’ll do up some steamed veggies and baked potatoes on the bbq. No big deal. Hardly any fuss. EASY and CHEAP. My mom and dad run a bed and breakfast, and are used to catering to larger groups. The largest was about 40 people…but mom is amazing in the kitchen, and since we have all the help from family members who are staying at the house over the weekend, it’s going to be a breeze.

6)Music…you could have guessed it, we’re doing ourselves. We’re renting all the DJ equipment for a tiny fraction of the price it would have cost to hire a professional DJ. Seriously…a DJ would have been over $800 for 4 hours. We’re renting all the equipment for an entire week for only $100. We pre-mixed our iPod with hundreds of songs just for the wedding. Not just stuff we love, but stuff everyone loves. From oldies, to hip hop, to country. DJ’s are not as great as they are glorified to be. Some downright suck, or think that wedding’s are just like going to the club. We have a mix of fast and slow songs on the iPod, and we’ll change it up as WE see fit. I can read my family and friends better than some DJ.

I think that far too many couples believe they need ‘professionals’ to carry out the perfect day. The fact of the matter is, if you’re willing to take things into your own hands, you can save literally THOUSANDS of dollars. We’re doing everything ourselves, and our entire wedding budget is $3000 (that’s including the dress, alcohol (wine, hard stuff, beer, cocktails, mixes), candy buffet, food…EVERYTHING!).

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DigitalDiva May 18, 2012 at 7:17 am

I agree with some of them. However, if you are like me and on a tight budget, doing some of those can save you some serious bucks. I definitely wouldn’t attempt to make the cake, only because I have actually already had nightmares about the cake not turning out right and we don’t have a backup plan.

I wouldn’t do the photos myself because the photography is the only thing we will have left as a memory of the wedding day. I would rather spend the money or at least ask someone you know who is very talented and has professional equipment to do it. A photographer can cost thousands of dollars, so if you are on a budget of a couple thousand total, it may be something you have to find a way to cut back. Hiring a student photographer could be a compromise.

As for coordinating, I am planning my own wedding. I can’t afford a coordinator, and most of us on a budget can’t! I agree that on the day of the wedding, someone should be making sure things are running smoothly, but I can’t pay someone to do it. I have family members who have been to enough weddings that they know how things are supposed to be, and I’m getting my help from them.

I’m not brave enough to cater my own wedding. I am having over 150 guests so it would be impossible for me to do. But I would consider doing it if it was a very intimate wedding.

We are making our own center pieces. This is something I definitely recommend doing yourself to save money. You can get lots of inspiration and ideas online and in wedding books.

We have contemplated doing the music ourselves with our laptops or iPods, but have decided against it. We have enough in our budget to hire a DJ and have found one that is relatively cheap but still highly recommended – so that’s what we are going with. But if we had an even smaller budget, I would cut it out (as long as you can come up with sound equipment to use). Just make sure you have plenty of music in a wide range of musical tastes and not just your own. There are plenty of websites listing popular wedding music playlists categorized by genre. Appoint someone to read the crowd and change the style of music if people aren’t dancing. It doesn’t have to be a set playlist if you have your computer handy or an iPod with a lot of songs on it! My fiance used to DJ weddings as a job, and he knows the “rules” – he says that a good DJ will start with older and popular music to get everyone on the dance floor (think “Footloose” and “Thriller”). Then as the night progresses, slowly play more new music for the younger guests as the older ones leave the party. As for announcements, have the Master of Ceremonies announce the bouquet and garter toss and the first dance.

When theknot.com made this list, they weren’t really considering those of us who have VERY limited budgets. In the end, it comes down to weighing out what is more important to you for your wedding, and allocating more money towards that, and less to some of the less important things.

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Trilliana May 18, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hi,
If you are crafty enough to get all these things done yourself and manage them, do it – it’ll save you lots of money and you get what you want. The only concern I would have is #3 – once you have all these things in place, you will need someone to run the event smoothly as you should be focused on your new husband. I would invest in a wedding coordinator so that all the things happen when they should and you can enjoy your wedding day. Best Wishes!

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Tricia G May 18, 2012 at 8:36 am

For a wedding day coordinator, I don’t know if you necessarily need to hire a professional coordinator, but I think having someone in charge of the wedding day is very helpful. I had a good friend of mine in charge of my wedding day. It was great because she knew where I wanted everything and was responsible for making sure that the right people had what they needed at the right time. I wasn’t inundated with tons of questions. The bridesmaids were too busy getting photographed and doting on me to be able to do this task. It was great just having one cook in the kitchen.

For the centerpiece, I disagree. We did our own center pieces. My thing was that I wanted a very simple centerpiece. I don’t like when the centerpieces are so elaborate that they become the focal point. So, we were able to handle that our our own.

I definitely agree with the list for the music, cake and photography. Most of the people who have said that they are using someone to do the cake or photography have described their enlisted friend as someone who has done this previously for other weddings and has experience. That’s a lot different than someone who is doing this for the first time.

For the photography, there is a lot to be said about the quality of the camera equipment. Over the past 5 years, I have gone from a kodak ez share camera to a sony all the way up to a nikon d300. With each upgrade of camera, the quality of the photos increases dramatically.

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Thriftmaster:married in 11 days! May 18, 2012 at 9:19 am

I disagree with most of these:

1. I would personally never make my own cake, but if I knew how I would. If you wanted to go a less conventional route, you could always have a cupcake tower.

2. Photos: Ok, so I did hire a friend who also happens to be a photographer for this.

3. I simply cannot afford to pay someone to coordinate my day for me. I have friends, family and myself.

4. Centerpieces: I made my own and they look awesome. Who wants to pay thousands for something you’re gonna toss?

5. We are catering our reception but we’re only having a dessert buffet. I still think that you could cater your own food if you keep it simple: BBQ, etc.

6. We hired a DJ who is also a close friend. We considered this a must.

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B2B 8/21/09 May 18, 2012 at 9:29 am

I’m not a DIY bride, but I believe in all of them expect the Centerpieces. If you are a crafty person and can do a good job then why not do them your self? Centerpieces are extremely expensive and its a good way to save a few bucks. I know a lot of DIY brides are going to disagree with the wedding day coordinator part but trust me its worth it, you don’t want to have to worry about anything that day, no need to stress your self out. Many venues will offer one to your for a small or no charge on your wedding day. I have 3 coordinators.

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mydarlyngirl May 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

6 DIY Don’ts:
1) Your Cake:

My mom is making it- she has made a million cakes and is experimenting with fondant a year in advance.

2)Your Photos: Paying $1000 for professional photos- i agree with this one.

3)Coordinating it Yourself: Why would I pay someone to coordinate a 15 minute wedding and an informal backyard reception without a sit down dinner? The officiant will corordinate the wedding and we are hiring 2 or 3 responsible teens to serve the bar and clean up garbage etc.

4) Your Centerpieces: Doing non-floral centerpieces- cheap cheap cheap DIY.

5) Your Catering: So we’re having fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers, slices of sausage, stuffed tomatoes and little wrap pinwheels. We will pay for the fruit, veggie, cheese, cracker and sausage trays to be made- but are making the tomatoes and pinwheels ourselves. Later in the night we are having an informal caterer bring in roast beef and buns.

6)Your Music: laptop- our music, my parents music, lots of different stuff- and make someone responsible for keeping an eye on it.

I wouldn’t pay for all this stuff- we’re having a cheap wedding!

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TwistedxKiss May 18, 2012 at 10:51 am

I am doing all of the above except photos and the cake. The Knot is really not a great website for people who are trying not to overspend. If I paid to have all six of those done professionally I’d have no money for anything else I need.

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Garnet Glitter May 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

It depends on the size of your wedding and your expectations….

1) My second born daughter made our cake…she learned cake decorating from my bakery….we had a simple three tier carrot cake with cream cheese icing, decorated with sugar calla lillies simple but elegant..turned out tasty and beautiful (and it all was done from scratch)

2) Both my eldest daughter & BIL are amazing with a camera. I have the pix burned on a CD and also loaded on a digital pix frame for display, along with copies in a wedding album.

3) Had a simple Town Hall ceremony and a reception at my sister’s for 20 people…what’s to co-ordinate? lol

4) The weding cake was our centerpiece for the buffet table (we had a simple buffet meal) ordered the bouquet and corsages/button holes and picked them up myself

5) Did my own catering….made my own salads, had my bakery and a local deli make up platters for me…picked the stuff up the night before and ran it to my sisters.

6) The music was supplied by CDs and my BIL’s sound system in the home….just nice relaxing music while we sat, schmoozed,drank and ate.

I had FUN doing it…no regrets…BTW I worked full time and did the early morning (3 am-11:30 am) donut shift the day before I got married! lol…..

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MathNerd May 18, 2012 at 11:29 am

I simply say it depends on your budget and what you as the couple want. There is no right or wrong answer here, merely preference.

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nova_queen_28 May 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

I agree with #2 and #6 only (and I think #6 is iffy). These are two areas that I think people should leave to pros, but sometimes a more casual reception doesn’t require a DJ so – like I said #6 is iffy.

I’m doing alot DIY so I’m “guilty” of doing #3 and #4. THey are easy and once everything is done, where’s the problem?

I am not talented enough to make my own cake, but some people are so disagree that #1 is a DIY Don’t.
And #5 – - I’m sorry, but cost alone sometimes puts people into a position that they must DIY their food. While I see the knot’s point, I disagree that it should be a DIY Don’t.

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Mrs. Happy Wife a.k.a. Viv May 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

I agree with some and disagree with others.

1) Cake: If you are skilled at making cakes or know someone who is skilled, there’s no reason why you can’t make your own. My mom hired a lady who bakes wedding cakes from her home. She decorates them too, However I saw these beautiful sugar paste flowers and stands on the web and wanted to use them for our cake. Nothing else appealed to me. So the cake lady baked and iced the cakes and I set them up on the stands in the reception room and decorated them with the sugar paste flowers. This was much cheaper than an $800 cake.

2) Photos: We did have a professional photographer included in our wedding package. His services were a steal! However, if a had a family member or friend who was a professional, I would have enlisted his/her services.

3) Coordinating it Yourself: I did coordinate the details of setting up the reception room the morning of our wedding and was not stressed. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Why let someone else have all the fun?! However, the venue provided a coordinator to keep us on track with time and getting to where we needed to be. She also assisted us with the reception room and the ceremony set-up and working with the caterer and vendors.

4) Centerpieces: I totally DIYed our centerpieces. I think it’s ridiculous that they included this as a don’t. I agree that if you’re using bunches of flowers and don’t have experience it can be difficult at the last minute. However, you can get pre-made bouquets from the grocery store or wholesale from places like http://www.fiftyflowers.com. Ours was a destination wedding and I shipped candelabras to use as centerpieces. I just had to add candles, rose petals, and acrylic ice crystals to the tables.

5) Catering: If you have family/or friends with catering skills/experience you can definitely use them. My mom is an excellent cook and probably could have cooked for our small 42-guest wedding. However, this was her daughter’s wedding day! I wanted her to relax and not have to lift a finger cooking for once in her life. So we had a catered reception and it that delicious food was worth every penny! I don’t know why your pastor is shocked. 40 people is not a lot of people. Think about all the family gatherings you’ve had and fed that many.

6) Music: We could have definitely set-up an iPod and put someone in charge of it who knows how to “read” the dance floor. However, we had money for the services of a DJ and thought it worth it to use the venue’s DJ services. He was great! It also added more of a party element.

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zeureeka May 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

Take The Knot with a grain of salt. Always, always, always.

There is a TON of advertising on there, because that’s where they make all their money. So, of course it’s in their (and their advertisers’) best interests to tell you not to DIY lots of stuff (day-of coordination, etc). I swear I’m not a conspiracy nut – it’s just simple business.

Yeah, if you’re a crappy baker? Don’t bake your cake. If everyone you’re inviting is very traditional, don’t go the iTunes route to music. If you budget allows, you should certainly get a great photographer.

But remember where The Knot is coming from – they’re in this to make money, first and foremost, and they do that through advertisers. Advertisers make money by convincing you to outsource this stuff (having your centerpieces made, instead of DIY).

If you love something and can do it, do it yourself. Just make sure to be realistic and pile a lot less on yourself than you think you’ll be able to handle day-of and week before, because unexpected things WILL come up and surprise you, and you don’t want to get run over by things that have to be finished (like the food).

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Luv2Answer May 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I disagree with the photos and centerpieces. I think both of these are easy to scrimp and save on without sacrificing quality.

I agree about the cake and catering though.

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