I know what it is like to plan a wedding on a budget and take on every aspect as a DIY bride. I admire this type of resourceful and creative determination in the brides I work with, but there are a few pieces of advice I think every DIY bride should consider. The following are my top three suggestions that I learned the hard way.
Don't stress yourself out on your biggest day! Consider these three tips:
- FLORAL DESIGN My recommendation... don't try to do all of your own floral arrangements on the morning of your wedding! DUH, right! I look back and this is one of the first things that comes to mind if I was to re-do anything on my wedding day. What was I thinking? I wasn't, because I was so busy thinking about everything else! Instead of getting up early with the stress of going out to wild harvest ferns (which wilt way too fast) and what-not, I would pick out a floral grower/stylist early on and share my vision and budget with them, not matter what it is. Most wedding vendors are able to work with all types of budgets. There many ways to creatively work with budget limitations by possibly selecting easy-to-grow local flowers or supplementing flowers by providing your own homegrown flowers to be designed. Or if you are the creative and task oriented type good with time management, then maybe you buy some buckets of local flowers the week of (depending on floral type) or 1-2 days before and have an intimate floral making party with those who trust to cut and blend your flowers. I would hope you also have an appropriate way to refrigerate them and you understand the shelf-life of each flower. My biggest recommendation is to save yourself any stress associated with this big task and just work with a florist and/or a grower who does design.
- PHOTOGRAPHY The other big thing that I wish I could do-over is selecting a photographer. We didn't think we had it in our budget to go with a professional photographer and videographer, so went with a friend of my brother, who we didn't know or never met with prior to our wedding. He was great and gave us a really amazing deal, but this is where that saying "you get what you pay for" rings true. It's really easy to think that a friend, family member or a friend of a friend photographer can simply just take the photos you are imagining, but it is simply "you get what you pay for" with photography. No matter your budget and who you select, make sure you research their work and know what you want from them. Make sure to schedule an appointment to meet with them, or at least a Skype or phone conversation, for you to learn more about them, their style and share your ideal scenario and preferred shots - related to your timeline. Once again, there's a range of vendors with someone that can meet you where you're with your photography budget.
- STICK TO YOUR GUNS Overall, my biggest recommendation is that you stick to what feels good and doesn't in regards to your true style and authentic self. Even if it meanders, you have a vision from the beginning - don't let others or the industry pressure you into this or that which doesn't fit you and your love! Weddings are such a whirlwind of consumerism - a ton of stuff gets thrown at you that you would probably never would have thought about. Keep a folder of ideas or a Pinterest Board to help sort through all the components of your ideal vision. My manta is always "less is more" when it comes to weddings - don't let stuff clutter or distract from all the beauty in the room, backdrop and you - the couple, in a space full of love!