Photo by Robert Franklin

Wedding Wednesday: Planner vs. DIY

Two months.

That’s how far away James and I are from getting married. It’s hard to believe because we’ve been planning our wedding for a year and a half.

From the moment we got engaged, I knew I wanted a DIY wedding. I love hosting events and believe the little details that go into them can make the simplest of gatherings truly extraordinary. I wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities and the love we have for one another — something I thought we could make happen more easily than a wedding planner.

With that said, planning your own wedding isn’t for everyone. There are some days I wish we would have taken the advice of many married friends and just eloped. But, I know the stress will all be worth it come May 30th.

So, how do you decide whether to plan your wedding yourself or hire an expert? Here’s what you should consider.

Budget. 

Even the simplest of weddings aren’t cheap — the venue, food, alcohol, music and decorations all add up quickly. Many wedding planners get good deals from vendors they work with regularly, but their expertise comes at a cost. It all boils down to whether you see the services of a wedding planner as a good value. Will the extra money be worth less stress? Or would you rather put more money toward a certain aspect of your wedding? Some venues include wedding planning services as part of their catering or rental packages, which can end up being a great value.

Vision. 

Some weddings are easier to DIY than others. If you want an elaborate, black-tie affair, a wedding planner will certainly come in handy. But, if your style is more laid back, dreaming up your wedding and making it a reality on your own is doable. It all depends on what you imagine your wedding day to be and how much work it will take to make that happen. If you decide to go with a planner, try to find someone whose portfolio reflects your own personal style and vision.

Time. 

The length of time you have to plan a wedding and how much free time you have to do so is a major factor to consider while deciding whether to hire some help. Contacting vendors, putting together decorations and ironing out all of the details can be overwhelming. It’s especially hard if you aren’t living in the city where you’re getting married. If you plan on getting married within six months of getting engaged, hiring a planner will make life much easier. James and I opted for a long engagement to make the planning process easier on us. And, we’ve enlisted the help of my retired mother, who has gone above and beyond with her Mother of the Bride duties!

If you want to handle all of the details of your wedding but are worried about the logistics once it gets close, consider hiring a wedding coordinator. They offer packages that vary from helping setup the venue and tearing it down to just making sure the wedding ceremony runs smoothly. We’ve hired a friend to serve in this role so all of our family members can sit back and enjoy our wedding day.

 

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