I’ve read the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ wedding blogs too. They tell you to go to a party store, buy lots of decorations, and go to your wedding venue the day before or early the day of your wedding and decorate the room yourself to save money, and they’re RIGHT! You can save a few dollars by imploring/guilting your family and friends into helping you decorate the Reception hall. (Truth be told, some people might even enjoy it!) My books and blogs, however, are as much about helping to take the STRESS out of a wedding as they are about saving money.
I have talked in the past about things you can do to save money when planning a wedding, so obviously, I thoroughly understand pinching pennies at every corner. After all, weddings are usually very expensive occasions! When it comes to decorating though, if you decide to “do-it-yourself” and not hire a florist, coordinator, and/or book a venue where the setup is included, you are asking for nightmare! Usually, this is your first wedding, and though you may have helped set up for someone ELSE’S big day, the level of emotions and stress that will engulf you the weeks, days, then hours leading up to your event is something you have likely never even remotely experienced. You, as the bride or groom, are going to be looking for everything to be absolutely perfect, as it should be for the biggest day of your life. What that means, however, is that the entire time you are setting up, even if you have a detailed diagram, you have very little idea what it will actually look like, so while your friends and family are helping you, you’ll be second-guessing all of the decorations, as well as how long it truly takes to set up a fantastic wedding. This will undoubtedly lead to anxiety, stress, and I have seen on numerous occasions, the bride and/or groom’s personality completely shift 180 degrees! They go from the fun, excited, loving bride or groom, to bride/groomzilla, unable to enjoy all of the work that went into the setup, planning, etc., and I have even seen brides break down and cry the day before and the day of their wedding because they are so overwhelmed with stress getting it “just right!” As a bride or groom, for you, the event should go off without a hitch, and you should be able to smile and enjoy each and every minute of your special day and the fact that all of those people came together to help you celebrate!
I realize that this is not free. You will definitely have to pay someone to do this work, but at the same time, it will be one less massive headache to deal with right before you commit to spending the rest of your life with someone. If you want to save money, get a couple less lights, hire a single photographer and videographer instead of one with an assistant that you have to pay for, or go with a meal that doesn’t cost so much. You’ll be thanking me for it…I promise!
***Geoff Maddox has been a professional wedding and event DJ and Emcee in Los Angeles and Orange County for more than a dozen years, has appeared on television and has been in the newspaper to talk about wedding planning, avoiding wedding vendor scams, and navigating the vendor hiring process.