What You Should (and Definitely Shouldn't) DIY for Your Wedding

Avoid a DIY disaster with this easy guide.
by The Knot

Whether you want to save money or include personalized touches, do-it-yourself details can make a big impact. But some projects are tougher than others, and what you thought would be a 1-2-3 could turn into an undertaking worthy of a world-class planner. To avoid DIY overload, choose wisely. Here are our picks for what to take on and what to leave to the pros.

3 DIY Dos

Your Ceremony Décor

The ceremony lasts less than an hour, so it might seem like a waste to pay big bucks for specialty arrangements, especially if the site is pretty on its own. Create hanging baskets or vases filled with locally grown flowers. Doing so is both eco-friendly and cost efficient. Or, instead of flowers, buy candles and place them throughout the space. (Bonus points: You get to use any extras you may have to brighten your newlywed nest.)

Your Favors

A quick way to save money on wedding favors is to add a personal touch. Sweet treats are a safe choice—you can grab a box of your favorite mix, start baking and place them in colorful boxes or cute bags. For nonedibles, wrap up tree saplings, soap or succulents with twine or ribbon. Donating to charity is always a good idea as well, just be sure to give guests handwritten cards that say you've donated in their name.

Your Programs

You might not be able to find exactly what you want for your program, and they're super easy (and significantly cheaper) to produce yourself. Just head to a local paper store for a DIY kit or choose stock paper in any color and print them right off of your computer. (Just triple-check for typos before you start printing.)


8 DIY Don'ts

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.

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.

Your Invitations and Save-the-Dates

Your save-the-dates and invitations are your first opportunity to give your guests a taste of what they can expect during your celebration. And while you might think you can easily create a suite by yourself with some stock paper, the pros (like Minted or Shutterfly) have the resources to pull it off much more impeccably than you likely would be able to at home. 

Your Day-Of Schedule

You've organized every minute detail so far, so why shouldn't you be in charge on the wedding day? Here's why: 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, and when everything isn't going perfectly, you'll be none the wiser. Trust us—peace of mind is worth the extra expense.

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. Although it's a larger part of the budget, it's worth every penny. Your wedding florist will ensure you get exquisite displays filled with the freshest blooms.

Your Hair and Makeup

Unless you're super passionate and knowledgeable about all things beauty (and can give a smoky eye tutorial like a YouTube vlogger), we'd advise against taking the glam reins on your wedding day. The last thing you want is to have your hair fall out of place halfway through your ceremony, or look back at your high-resolution photos and realize your attempt at "contouring" was actually a fail. (Hopefully you'd have your bridesmaids to tell you the truth or do a trial photo shoot with, but you never know how things will really look in different lighting.) Leave it to the pros—you'll thank yourself later. 

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.

Your Music

It's tempting to rock out to your favorite tunes, and you might think it's easy to do so with an iPhone. 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 your guests are footloose into the wee hours.

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