DIY Weddings – To Do or Not To Do

Hooray! You’re engaged! Wedding planning is going to be fun, right?

One of the things you may be thinking about is a DIY wedding. Maybe you’ve had a little look around at weddings venues and you’ve gone ‘Argh! So expensive’. Or maybe you’re a creative person who would love the opportunity to manage a project that has so many exciting elements to it. So, like many others before you, you’re wondering if a DIY wedding is for you. What are the pros and cons, and how much money can you save as a result?

Firstly – what is a DIY wedding?

A DIY wedding can be anything from a ceremony and reception in your backyard with yourself, family or friends doing all the preparations, catering, styling, etc, through to a wedding at a venue where they provide some elements but you have to arrange the rest.

Some of my favourite DIY wedding venues around South East Qld and Northern NSW are Samsonvale Hall, Ewingsdale Hall or Riverwood Weddings. There are lots of venues around that offer a semi-DIY option, for example, they can provide tables and chairs, but you can choose your caterer, stylist etc.

Most of these venues will have a list of suppliers you can choose from, or you can do your own research to come up with your dream team.

Yeah! I’m up for the challenge!

Good on you! However, I’m going to be the party-pooper here and say before you dive right in, you might want to consider the following.

  • You’ll have more flexibility over suppliers. When you book some venues, they may have preferred suppliers or in-house caterers and stylists whereas with DIY you can create your own team
  • DIY weddings are an opportunity to get others involved in your wedding planning and preparations – friends and family can use their talents to help you with cake, flowers, arbour, etc
  • There is the potential to save money and achieve the wedding of your dreams within your budget
  • It can make you feel more involved in your wedding planning and have control over all elements of your wedding
  • If you are buying styling elements for your wedding, or having people make things such as an arbour, you may be able to recoup the costs by selling these after the day
  • If you love being creative, you can let loose and really make your vision a reality
  • Organising a DIY wedding will be time-consuming. Trying to find suppliers who you trust, who are available, and who meet your budget can take time
  • Not all venues will allow DIY weddings – do your research to see what they will and won’t let you organise yourself
  • DIY weddings can be stressful – do you have enough hands to help and are you prepared for the work a DIY can take?
  • If you’re choosing DIY mainly to save money, just be aware that it’s doesn’t always work out cheaper. It may not be that sexy, but a spreadsheet will be your friend under these circumstances, and doing some cost benefit analysis will help you work out the savings. You may find that once you’ve paid for all the elements, some which are included in the price at other venues, the savings may be negligible
  • If you’re going fully DIY and setting up the day before, think about whether this is how you want to spend your time. Who do you have who can help? Will you be so busy that come your wedding day you’re limping over the finishing line
  • Think about who is going to be looking after everything on-the-day. You will need someone to ensure all the elements are running smoothly and that if, for example, the caterers hasn’t turned up, they can chase them

In a nutshell…

DIY weddings can be great fun to plan, and amazing to attend. However, be realistic about the time you can invest in to planning your wedding and your ability to do so. Plus, will you really enjoy the process? If you want to though – go for it! However if there’s one important piece of advice I can give you, it’s get an on-the-day coordinator such as Til Death Events, The Other Bridesmaid or Olive Rose Weddings. They are worth their weight in gold, and will be the difference between a stressful and non-stressful wedding day.