I have a friend who during her waking hours is a Wedding Consultant. Actually, I’m not sure she isn’t doing it in her dreams too, she’s a walking wedding encyclopedia. Lynnette owns Inaru Creations and when we get together the topic somehow always turns to weddings. The last time I saw her, she had just contracted to coordinate a former DIY wedding whose bride decided her mental health was more important than a self-planned wedding. Since we were on the topic I asked her, “what mistakes do DIYer’s make?” WOW. She had a lot to say, so I started taking notes for you!
DIY Wedding 101
Turns out she gets a lot of 911 calls from DIY wedding brides. Not that she isn’t more than happy to take the business IF she’s free, but these common problems were simple fixes if they just knew what she told me before they started. So, if you’re planning your own wedding, or you’ve been hogtied into planning someone’s wedding, I’ve got 15 tips for you!
The Knockoff List
These are her top 15 tips for things you should know if you’re coordinating your own wedding. Of course, I can’t cover every unforeseen problem, but continue breathing. We’re going to touch on the biggies. I get it, it’s your big day! But it’s your wedding, you should be able to enjoy it! Lynnette and I hope that these tips will help you to relax and bask the celebration.
- Plan early! Lynnette suggests that you give yourself at least 6 months to plan, longer if you’re hiring any professionals such as seamstresses, bakers, photographers or DJ’s. Or if you want to hold it in a public venue. Look at it this way, D-Day took over 2 years to plan, so you’re ahead of the game. If you’re truly DIYing it, you need that time to beg your friends to lend their talents to your wedding.
- Set A Theme and choose your colors! Don’t be wishy-washy and then STICK TO IT! You need time to find the decor. Scour Pinterest for ideas once you’ve you picked a style and start gathering your stuff ASAP.
- Choose a venue that matches your theme. Do you want a rustic wedding? Get access to an old barn or an open field. Thinking Vintage? An old train depot would be perfect, so would a garden!
- Choose flowers that will be in season the day of your wedding and use lots of cheaper greenery! Using lots of greenery is very vogue right now, it’s also a very elegant look. Buying fresh flowers in the season cost less, than if they have to be ordered from a hothouse and shipped in. If you are using flowers from someone’s garden, make sure they will be in bloom when you need them.
Planning Your Wedding
- Find out what your service professional are offering. If you are hiring a photographer, check out the portfolio and call the references! Same goes for any professional you hire. I absolutely encourage you to try out cakes and to invite me along! Are you hiring a DJ? Ask to attend one of his/her functions. And find out what perks come with the services, such as; does the baker stick around to cut the cake? Does the florist deliver?
- Plan a simple meal, I’ve heard buffets are back in style. Personally being Southern, I’m happy when I find out there’s BBQ at the end of the I do’s. And if your family members all bring side dishes, I swoon. If you need to have it catered, find out if they set up, serve and clean-up as part of their service. Unfortunately, not everyone would be excited about BBQ at a uber sophisticated wedding. Shame.
- Make A Nature Plan. If you are having an outdoor venue, be prepared. Bees, wasps, high winds, and rain won’t play nice just cause you say so. Offer insect spray if needed or insect bite balm, and have a backup plan ready to initiate at a moment’s notice if the weather turns on you.
- Select someone to direct your plan, handle emergencies and help wrap it all up. For a DIY wedding, this would be a family member or friend with gentle, bossy tendencies. Someone who has unresolved control issues. Make them a checklist for the day, then leave it in their hands. You’re going to be busy. Or if you’re really lucky and have several someones that fit this description, split up the tasks to; services, food, decor and bridal party.
- Make sure your bridal party and groomsmen are old enough for their tasks. Not just in age, but in maturity. Lynnette has some great stories!
- Choose an officiate, and for goodness sake, hold a rehearsal! It’s not going to run smoothly if no one knows what’s supposed to happen, where they’re supposed to stand or who has the ring.
- Audition hairstyles. Try out several until you find the one you want. Then try it again with the veil or hair accessories one week prior to the wedding.
Depend On Your Tribe
- Try on the dress one week prior to the wedding in case stress has made you gain weight. Or lose weight for that matter (fingers crossed for you).
- Have someone there who can fix your dress in case of mishaps like a torn hem before you take to the aisle.
- Find out who’s in charge of the license. And don’t forget to file it!
- And finally. Remember it’s your wedding. Well, yours and your partners. You can’t please everyone in either family, don’t even try, (bridesmaid dresses). Do it your way. A way that reflects who y’all are. Absolutely involve both families in your DIY wedding, but stay firm that all final decisions are yours and yours alone. Be prepared to deal graciously with hurt feelings, but keep in mind it’s just a ceremony. The marriage and the family relationships that tie your families and friends together are the most important.
DIY weddings are fun! I’ve helped to plan a few, even loaned out some of my stuff to stage a wedding. But, if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed don’t be afraid to ask your tribe for help. A DIY wedding is the best way to have a glorious family oriented wedding on a budget. You can find lots of beautiful ideas for a DIY wedding on my Pinterest Board A Faded Bluebird Style Wedding.
And if you find that you have the additional funds, hiring a Coordinator like Lynnette is like paying someone to take on your stress. Well worth it.
Happy Wedding Day!