There are all types of DIY wedding possibilities and the DIY bride can personalize her day in a way that will be memorable for everyone. We suggest that before you tackle your list, you do some research, get organized and have a plan of attack. We’ve compiled a list of ten steps to a Successful DIY to help you with the research process!
One: Know your Venue
It’s important to know all the details about your venue including what they supply, their strengths and weaknesses and if they have any particular restrictions. Find out if you have one go-to person who will take care of questions and get you quick answers or if there is a certain email which is more commonly used for communication. Be sure to review your contract and the information package to make sure that their level of service aligns with your wedding day expectations. Not only is this important for your venue, but this is a practice that should be used for all vendors.
Two: Organize Rentals
Depending on whether the venue you’ve chosen has supplies or not, you may have a lot of rentals to keep track of. We suggest getting yourself organized from the beginning with a spreadsheet to ensure your many items are organized along with how many you’ll require, price per unit and other pertinent details. We suggest booking your rentals well in advance to ensure availability; at least nine months in advance is the optimal timeline.
Three: Setup Day
If you can organize with your venue, book an extra day for set up as it is extremely time consuming. If you don’t have the knowledge to execute your setup, consider hiring a day-before coordinator to oversee the process to ensure everything is on point. Also remember that you may not have a lot of time to execute your wedding setup as the day before is generally filled with manicures, pedicures, last-minute errands, a rehearsal dinner and should have a few moments of relaxation.
Signage is becoming more and more popular for the bride and groom chairs. They can add some personality and are a cute touch for photos. However, don’t forget about signage regarding seating and flow of the day. If you are having your ceremony in a secluded or hidden area, or if you have multiple entrances, mitigate possible confusion with signage. Your signs could say, “Wedding this Way” or could simply be cute arrows pointing in the right direction. DIY-ers may also want to consider fun signs for their gift table, bar, washroom and/or photo booth. Signs can be homemade, ordered from Etsy, VistaPrint or even rented.
Five: Personalization is Key
All the small and intimate details put into your wedding day are the aspects that both your guests and you and your partner will remember for years to come. Consider having personalized favours, photo booth props, and entrance table items. If you feel like you want to do DIY for most of the stuff but feel overwhelmed about buying the big stuff, hire a decorator for those large details such as a backdrop or ceiling treatment and rent the easy stuff like linens and centrepieces.
The wedding day is over and you’re probably exhausted, but there’s still more to do! With every DIY setup there is DIY takedown, from our experience it’s best not to rely solely on your wedding party to help with this process as most-likely, many drinks were consumed the night before and just the general lack of exhaustion can come into play. If you believe that you’ll have trouble with the takedown process, hire someone to do this for you so there is no stress at the end your happily ever after and no extra bills for lost or misplaced rentals. If you’re going it alone, try using a rental checklist to keep you organized with how many of a particular item you should have and where they get returned to.
Seven: Be Ready for Anything
When planning any event, whether a birthday party or your wedding day, things can and do go wrong. The good news is, the only person who will know is you and your partner; however, what you can do is prepare for challenges in advance. One of the most important tasks that a day-of planner takes on is event logistics. They’ll manage details such as who will put the name cards out, who will cue the DJ or band and who will guide the wedding party down the aisle. You may also want to consider the details after your last guest has left such as who will pack up the leftover favours, pay the vendors or load the leftover alcohol bottles into the car. Even more important is to have plans for challenges from a ripped dress, caught zipper, lost groomsman, rain drowning an outdoor ceremony to a broken centrepiece. So if you want to skip the day-of coordinator, just make sure you’re prepared.
Eight: Create a Schedule of Events
If you’re skipping the day-of coordinator, take a little extra time to consider how you want the events of the day to run. The best way to keep the details organized is by making an event roll-out with the time, task, and person responsible for execution of said task. All wedding party members should be given a copy so that together, you can remain on time and keep the day moving according to plan.
Nine: DIY Strategy
DIY weddings can be cost saving but also rather time consuming. If you have the help, patience and time, it can be a fun experience. However, when DIY-ing consider hiring professionals for the details that you feel are most important to your happiness and would be better executed by someone else. A carefully considered budget will let you know where you have some wiggle room to hire professionals such as a photographer, videographer or makeup artist. If you have a friend who makes videos, you could ask for their help which would allow you to either have a bigger budget for your photographer or to save some funds for an upgraded honeymoon.
Ten: Flower Bucks
Flowers can be a costly blow to your wedding day budget. There are a few ways to lighten the flower bill including non-flower centrepieces, a mix of flower and non-flower centrepieces, homemade flower centrepieces or DIY bridesmaid bouquets. Depending on your budget, there are plenty of options which can help you achieve your optimal wedding design. If you’d like to DIY your wedding bouquets, consider keeping it simple for your bridesmaids and getting your bridal bouquet arranged by a florist which is a cost effective compromise.