Let’s take a moment to introduce our lovely day-of coordinator team for The Big Fake Wedding NYC. Meet Dreamality Events – behind-the-scenes ladies who love getting creative and planning to their heart’s desire! They are so close, you might even think they are twins, and while they were born a day apart to totally different families, that’s pretty much right. Today, we’ve invited them to share on the blog tips for blushing brides. As tempting as it is to do everything DIY these days, they’re sharing their wisdom on what to invite a professional in for.
The pair at Dreamality Events are sisters-in-law and now co-owners of their own wedding company, where they get to put their planning and design talent into creating amazing events for the best kind of people – cool crowds who love to eat, drink, and be merry!
DIY or Don’t : That Is the Question
The internet is a beautiful thing and Pinterest is amazing isn’t it? We’ve seen the increase in DIY brides recently and we’ve received countless inquiries to assist DIY couples. As planners we have seen the good and the not so good side of DIY, and because of this we are always educating our couples of the pros and cons of DIY. So what have we learned? Below is a list of 4 things to consider when deciding if you should go the DIY route, or if you should hire a professional to handle the details, maybe even a little of both.
Keep Calm and Get Organized
We cannot stress enough that organization is key when deciding to DIY. Start by creating a list of everything you need to buy. We are huge fans of using spreadsheets for this because you can add columns to keep track of everything you purchased, where it belongs and how many you have of each (even adding a photo can be super helpful). Can you do without this? Obviously yes but the headache you’ll save yourself by putting all your thoughts on paper will help you so much on the day of setup.
The photo below is an example of what one of our clients did in preparation for their wedding. The couple had a very clear vision of what they wanted, and did everything possible to ensure that their vision would be fully executed by anyone that was setting up their event. Every single detail was documented and mapped out to avoid any confusion. When our team arrived at the venue, every person on staff knew where each décor item went, how each centerpiece should look, and where every accent was to be placed! Of course, not everyone is like this, but this is a great example of how organization and preparation can ensure that your DIY vision comes to life.
Can you envision it? Good, now let’s put it together!
We can’t stress enough how essential it is to create a mockup of how you want everything to look. Not only would this assist your coordinator (if you choose to hire one) to execute your vision, it will also help you decide if you like the placement of everything you purchased. Sometimes a setup looks good in your head or on Pinterest but remember those are specific angles you’re dealing with. When you create a mockup you get to see your vision in 3D and that helps you get a feel for the big picture which is something you don’t want to wait until setup day to determine. Also, if you have to assemble or create something, do it in advance to make sure it works how you envision it. For example, say you have seen this tall cylinder vase centerpiece with a beautiful submerged rose in it. Seems pretty simple right? What you may not realize from all those amazing Pinterest pictures is that in order for that rose to stay submerged, you need something that will hold it down because roses will float up to the surface. Is the rose too small? How much water does the vase need? Will the water magnify the roses’ imperfection? All questions that should be answered prior to the big day. Something else we highly recommend testing ahead of time, is any makeshift solutions that you are creating. Test it more than once and move it around to make sure it doesn’t fall apart.
Execution is life!
Number 3 is the most important step. For steps 1 and 2 you have as much time as you allow yourself but step 3 is the only step you usually can’t control. Execution is everything!!! This is the hardest part of determining to have a DIY wedding. Yes, you can save money on buying the items yourself but think about this: when a florist or designer gives you a price it’s not just for the items you need. The price usually includes shipping, handling, delivery, setup, breakdown, insurance, etc. Designers have a staff on hand to execute a full setup and who require payment. So if you decide against hiring someone to execute for you, plan to have a full team of friends and family to make sure you get everything done within the time slot allotted by the venue. Most venues only allow setup the same day so check with them before deciding to DIY your wedding. Your day of schedule may not allow for you to set up personally, especially if the venue only gives you a few hours which also happen to be the hours when you will be getting your hair, nails, makeup, etc. done. We know it’s easy to ask cousin Jill to manage the setup (after all have you seen the dinner parties cousin Jill throws?) but, do you have the assurance that Jill fully sees and understands your vision and will execute exactly how you envisioned? Unless you have a super detailed plan in writing it’s a challenge to convey your vision to a family member or friend and it could be stressful if it doesn’t come out how you envisioned it. As professionals we know what questions to ask, how long certain things take to setup and have a team behind us who know what they’re doing.
Let’s pack it up and get out of here!
Determine an end game. By that we mean once the reception is over what do you plan on doing with the 60 vases, 60 candles, etc. that you purchased? A lot of times couples plan on selling these items after the wedding so does that mean your guests can’t take the items with them? do you need to pack everything up at the end of the long day? do you have space in your home to store these items after the wedding while you find someone to purchase all of it? These are all questions you need to be prepared for when planning a DIY wedding. Don’t wait until the last minute especially if you’re going on a honeymoon right after the wedding. Remember your wedding day is exhausting and the last thing you want to do is get your not so sober BFF to pack up glass vases at midnight and take them to her house.
We hope this blog helps you think about the steps you need to take when trying to determine whether to plan a DIY wedding. Try hiring someone who specializes in DIY weddings. Those professionals are more prepared for last minute issues than friends and family and can save you a lot of headaches in the long run and since headaches aren’t quantifiable, it’s not something couples include in their budget but should definitely be included in your plans!
Justin Pedrick Photography