When it comes to planning a wedding, you probably start to realize pretty early on that your budget might not allow you to splurge on the most fancy, luxurious wedding on par with something out of a movie. Don’t get torn up about it though. There are a few things that you should hire a professional to handle, but there are a number of must-haves that you can DIY for your wedding to still make it a day you’ll always remember.
Wedding invitations are no longer something you need to pay a professional printer to do. With how widespread easy-to-use graphic design programs are, and even just the access nowadays to quality crating supplies, making your own great looking invitations is very do-able.
One way to make your own invitations is by designing them yourself in Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign, or for those will less graphic design know-how, designing them with a free online service like Canva. Then, you can simply print them on quality paper at a local print shop for a fraction of the cost a wedding invitation company would do it.
Another option would be to hand write your invitations. With casual weddings on the rise, a hand written invitation can be a great personal, homey touch. It is not difficult to find well priced, beautiful paper and professional quality pens.
Whether the look you are going for with your wedding décor is streamlined and clean, or quirky and eclectic, DIY-ing your decorations has never been easier. With the rise of websites like Pinterest and stores like JoAnn Fabrics, there is an unlimited amount of how-to guides out there and local places to buy the supplies. Everything from tablecloths to light fixtures are make-able at home.
If creating items from scratch sounds like too much work, another DIY decor option is to put together an eclectic mix of vases and dining ware from second hand stores. You could also decorate with live plants, making the only work required just putting them in a pot that matches your color scheme (well, and keeping them alive).
Pay a Professional
In general, a professional caterer is not much more expensive than having friends or family cook and avoids a number of potential problems. A big reason to hire a professional caterer is simply the logistics of it. By hiring a professional, you know that they do this for a living and will have planned out what is cooked ahead of time off location, what needs to be cooked on the spot, how to store food at safe temperatures, how many serving spoons will be needed, etc.
For a home cook, not only do you have to worry about making sure they have the space to cook the food for however many guests you are expecting, but you also have to worry about their experience with keeping food at the right temperatures to be served at different times. Preparing food for a large number of people is a huge task, and no matter how yummy their homemade pulled pork normally is, no one will love it if it’s cold.
Apart from the obvious of providing a location for you to get married and entertain your guests, a wedding venue offers a lot of behind the scenes support that you might not realize you need until you start to get down into the nitty-gritty of the planning details. Let’s just start with a few.
- Who is going to set up all of the chairs for the ceremony, and then break down/set up all of the tables and chairs for dinner and the reception?
- Who is going to provide the tables and chairs for the wedding and reception?
- What about coordinating with other staff you might have, like a photographer, bartender, or a DJ?
Surely the bride or groom won’t be available to tell the DJ where to set up and grab him an extension cord. And they definitely won’t want to take 45 minutes after the ceremony to set up tables and place settings for dinner.
A lot of people think they will enlist friends and family to help with these tasks, but wouldn’t you prefer that your guests just be guests and enjoy themselves? Plus, no bride wants to be thinking in the back of her mind all night about if so and so is going to remember to turn on the lights, or such and such will get the table arrangement right.
DIY-ing is a lot of fun and can save you a ton of money, but there are a few things that you should pay a professional for. And guess what? A lot of venues even have deals where if you use their caterer, there’s no extra fee for the venue use. (Like us!)