You're engaged and looking at all those rustic, outdoor possibilities. Barns, gardens, and tented lawns. All perfect for the darling Pinterest ideas you have been collecting. And, right in line with your budget. WAIT.....!!! Before you sign up for that clearing in the woods or that barn that has no heat, no kitchen and no bathroom facilities. Before you start shopping on Etsy and at Michael's, start collecting mason jars and old bottles and burlap- STOP! - and take notes.
Crafty brides- and some "not so crafty" brides are becoming commonplace. But, girls, you need to consider the facts. When you book a venue with a clearing in the woods, over a bridge, down an embankment to a pavilion- all that crafty stuff has to get there, get set up and get back at the end and into a car. YOU also have to get there- in a wedding gown.
Once all those boxes of homemade stuff get there- WHO is going to set them up? Most venues give you limited time on the day of to set up. If you have not hired a florist to do your centerpieces, your caterer is not going to do this for you. And, a florist is not going to set up your DIY centerpieces if they are only delivering bouquets. Are you prepared to spend your wedding day sweating it out to put up tables and decorate them? Shouldn't you be having your hair done, spending time with your bridesmaids and relaxing for that special moment when you walk toward your groom? But, OK, you enjoy all that crafty stuff and you are on a budget. Hire a planner to coordinate your wedding day. Have that someone who will set up all the wonderful things you have put together.
I recently did a wedding where the bride and her maids came to the venue- all made up with hair done, and proceeded to put up tables and chairs and decorate the space. By the time they were done, they were all sweaty, exhausted and had to rush to get ready. Is that how YOU want to spend the start of your wedding day? Now, I know everyone is on a budget. You would rather be putting that money toward a house or even the honeymoon. And, you can do all those DIY projects if you are up for the challenge. But, hire someone to take care of them on your big day!
And, work with a real caterer!!!! A caterer can be found at any price range. And, you can tailor your menu to any budget. But, you need a professional to set up the venue, serve the food, clear away the dishes and clean up and break down. Again- that is NOT the job of the bride!!!!
Finally, Pinterest is a great place for ideas! I love going there for inspiration. But, please keep in mind that many of the pretty pictures you see are "styled shoots" and not real weddings. Some of what you see is far more expensive and/ or complicated to do than you realize. And, some of it was done by event designers with rented pieces and not DIY at all.
When choosing to do a DIY wedding, keep your feet on the ground and your logical mind in check. Realize what is really possible and figure out HOW you are going to make it all come together BEFORE you start! You will save yourself a lot of stress down the road. And, hiring a planner is NOT only for big budget brides. I have worked with many brides on very tight budgets. But, they realized the value of having someone to lean on for such a special day in their lives.
Note: All the photos here are from my brides.