The Truth About DIY Weddings
Even as a Wedding Planner I can be honest and say that I see the appeal of a DIY Wedding. My income may be dependent on the amount a couple decides to spend on their Big Day but I can entirely see the positives of saving a buck or two by making a lot of the supplies myself. If you are a creative type then you would probably thrive upon the challenge and get a lot out of creating your own bunting and spray-painting centrepieces, until you achieve exactly the right shade of teal. I get it. If I’m not doing something creative as part of my day I consider it a waste of time and that’s just the honest truth. For my Wedding, I would be so down with spending hours in the wholesale craft shop filling my trolley to the brim with perforated paper and yarn. YARN. Even the word makes me incredibly happy.
But I will not be having a DIY wedding myself. I can hear the shocked gasps amongst you now. The girl who gets excited about the word ‘yarn’ won’t be making her own wedding favours, or anything else for that matter? Because as a Wedding Planner I know the truth behind planning a Wedding and what really goes into ‘doing it yourself’. I know how appealing it sounds to save some money; but what you save in dinero, you lose in time and energy.
Not to get too deep here, but we are a nation running on too little time and too much effort. We break our necks at work trying to stand out from everyone else who is doing exactly the same thing to make an impression. We work well beyond our contracted hours to stay on top, and complete all of the tasks we are responsible for. It is entirely normal these days for brides to be working 11 hour days, including the weekends. And then thinking they can spend whatever time they have left in between eating and sleeping, hole-punching pretty pieces of paper to make confetti. It’s unrealistic. And if an unrelenting workload isn’t enough to cause you to burnout, creating all your own decorations will.
I think it’s perhaps best if I tell you a story to illustrate my point a bit better.
I went to a course in London run by an extremely successful wedding planner who had planned weddings costing £1,000,000, and to explain to us aspiring planners about pricing our services, she told us the following.
She had a client who was having an opulent wedding theme and two weeks before the wedding decided that she would like all 200 female guests to have a gold fan, as an additional wedding favour. The budget had nearly all been used by this point and with two weeks before the wedding, the planner had an almighty job on her hands trying to track down 200 golden fans. She rang round florists and suppliers and although she could find 200 plain fans there was no way any of these vendors had the time to spray them gold, with all their other client requests. And so the planner bought 200 plain fans and a number of cans of gold spray paint and took them all home. She then spent hours laying them all out on newspaper in her garage and gave them the first coat of paint. After they dried she went back down to the garage, turned over 200 fans and sprayed them again. They needed a second coat which required, yes you guessed it, the planner turning over 200 fans twice more. Once the second coat had dried on both sides she went back down to the garage to marvel at the finished result. But as soon as she picked them up her hand turned gold, which made them no good for all of the guests who would be holding them on the wedding day. So she went out and bought some sealer spray to stop the colour transferring. Back at home she needed to spray 200 fans and turn them all over again and do the same on the other side before they were finished.
Now this may be, in your eyes, an extreme example. But this would have taken the planner hours and hours, if not days! And it is her full-time job to complete tasks like this for brides who need them. Would you have had time to spray paint and turn over 200 fans, multiple times, whilst working the job that you do, and complete all of the other DIY decorations you wanted to make? If the answer is no then a DIY wedding just isn’t for you.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you should spend your entire engagement looking forward to it, rather than feeling relieved when it’s over because you won’t be peeling PVA glue off your hands anymore. If you want homemade elements incorporated into your Wedding because you like the aesthetic then that’s fine, but there are people like me who will do this for you. And happily. Find it hard to believe that you can have a DIY wedding but without doing any of the work yourself? It’s all just part of my profession. Doctors plead the hippocratic oath, I plead to the fact it’s your big day and you can have whatever the hell you want on my time.
So hopefully you’ve decided you’re not making your own decorations for the sake of your health, and you’re going to spend the extra money you’re saving, or on a planner to make them for you. Naturally, you may have to reconsider the size of your budget, or alternatively rethink things such as the venue and possibly opt for something a little cheaper (please do not substitute the word ‘cheaper’ for ‘less classy’). But at the end of the day that’s just life. I want to get married in an Orangerie and I also want a golden firework display at midnight. Will I be able to afford both? Not a chance. But we can’t have everything that we want, which can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when we’re all so used to instant gratification. But the best vitamin for a healthy-minded bride is B1.