Pinterest has a way of making you think that you are DIY Queen but truth be told, some thing are better left to the professionals.     In the wedding planning process you have to choose your battles.   I was just telling one of my brides that she needs to take the time to prioritize what is most important to her and her fiancé.   What emotions do you want to evoke from your guests from the time that they open your wedding invitation to the time they exit your reception?  Map out these priorities, set your budget, ask yourself the below 5 questions and then hire professionals when required.

1.  Are you will to do the research and put in the work?   

Chances are that you will be attempting the project for the first time.  Are you willing to research tutorials, watch videos and accept the fact that you may not get it right the first time around?  Are you patient enough to attempt the project until you get it right? If not, then hire a professional.

2.  How much is it going to cost?

If one of the priorities that you mapped out is keeping your wedding budget low, you should do a cost/benefit analysis when deciding whether you should do the wedding project yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.  In addition to materials and tools, don’t forget to include your time as a cost.  Like any other cost estimate, add at least 10% to your projected budget because as stated, you will more than likely have to do the project multiple times.

3.  What is your patience level?

You are planning a wedding.  This means that your stress level is already at an all-time high.  Do you need the additional stress, the additional chaos and disarray that will take over your home? Are you patient enough to keep trying when the project doesn’t turn out as intended the first time around?   When I was planning my wedding, if I started a project I would not stop until it was completed.  I lived less than a mile from Michael’s and Target so running back and forth to the store was not a problem for me.  You may not live that close to craft stores though, so if you get something wrong the first time around are you patient enough to wait for a few days before you can make it back to the store to buy more materials?   Or if you lose momentum half way through, are you okay with leaving your house in a bit of pandemonium? Hey neat freak, I’m speaking to you!

4.  Can you admit defeat?

Okay, this is a big one.  NOT ALL OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE GOING TO BE WEDDING READY.  Can you admit defeat and scrap the project?  True story, I had the bright idea of spray painting keepsake boxes gold, adding glittered numbers to them and using them for Time Capsule Guestbook.  Big mistake!  Huge mistake!  Even after spending time and money on the project I knew that it looked elementary.  So I scrapped the project.  My dear husband tried to tell me nicely that the boxes were mediocre at best, but I called him a hater and kept going.  NOT EVERYONE IS HATER.  Accept the constructive criticism, scrap the project and either hire a professional or find a vendor that makes what you are looking for.  The Time Capsule Guest Book that I ended up with was a huge hit.  You can check out the details {here}.    I know I know, you want to see the project that I scrapped.  I even had the nerve to add bling to the numbers!  It just didn’t fit in with my decor and was definitely not wedding ready.

Before

After

5.  Can you accept help?

Ding! Ding! Ding!  Survey says….YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN!  Unless you are planning your wedding 5 years in advance, you are not going to have the time to do everything yourself.  Are you willing to allow people to help you?  Are you will to loosen the controls and accept the many offers of assistance that I know you are receiving?    If you are a Certified Coordinated Bride, you are not susceptible to people helping you.  Yes, that was me, until I realized that I couldn’t do everything by myself and when I also remembered one of my priorities.  I wanted my bridesmaids and my family to take part in the wedding planning process.  I wanted them to walk into the wedding and say, “I helped to make that.”  I started ALL of DIY project about a year in advance and fine-tuned them as I got closer to the wedding date.  I started them but I did not finish them.  Instead, I had a DIY Party, “Juliette’s Bridal Belles DIY Day”, to be exact.  About a month before the wedding I invited close family and my bridesmaids to come and help me finish wedding projects.   Of course I had food and drinks ready for them.  It was a huge success.

I started working on these chalkboard frames about a year before the wedding.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them.  The one thing that I did know was that the colored border had to go, so I spray painted the borders gold.

and it sat in my house for a year.

I used it as a welcome sign for “Juliette’s Bridal Belles DIY Day”.

And this is what it ended up being on our wedding day.

Help is always good and If you can’t give up 100% of the control, give up 70% and do most of the project but accept help from your family and friends.

Of course there are some things that should never be DIY’d like wedding photography, wedding cake (unless you are a master baker), and DJ.    A lot of people are on the fence about florals and invitations.  I think that DIY florals are fine, IF you are doing low simple centerpieces that fit your vision and your wedding budget. There are so many DIY templates sold in craft stores and online where all you need to do is print the invitation.  In my opinion, your invitation sets the tone for your wedding.  If one of the templates fit your vision and your budget then most definitely DIY but remember that you still have to pay to get them printed and you still have to have to stuff and mail the invites.  This is where that cost/benefit analysis comes in.

Long post right?  Hopefully it helps at least one bride to not bite off more than she can chew.

Happy Planning Coordinated Brides.

JSIG