What you should know before you start your DIY wedding planning

Disclaimer: This is not a blog about the perils of do-it-yourself wedding planning and then suggest you need to hire a wedding planner. Nope. This is about what a DIY wedding is – to you, to others, to me, and what to expect.

Planning a DIY wedding is certainly a very trendy and popular type of wedding for a lot of brides and grooms. But while everyone assumes that they know what DIY aka Do-it-Yourself is, I‘m not sure everyone’s definition is the same. When I hear brides tell me that their plan is to DIY their wedding, I need to hear more.

DIY Wedding Planning And You

When you envision your wedding and all that leads up to it, what do you see?  Beautiful floral cascades, ceiling draping, hand-painted seating charts, a five-piece band, small cake/lots of cupcakes, tons of family and friends? Now, how much do you see yourself doing – personally – to make that happen?


What does “Do It Yourself” mean when it comes to your wedding?


    • Does it mean that you’re not hiring professional vendors to do anything for your wedding?
    • Is it a theme or a style?
    • Does it mean that you’re making your own décor and putting it up? 
    • Are you going to do your own invitations or flowers?
    • How much are you planning on doing yourself? 


These are questions you need to ask yourself when you say you’re going to DIY wedding planning.

In my 20+ years as a wedding planner, I have noticed that one bride’s DIY isn’t the same as another bride’s. It has become such a broad term to describe weddings that you have to ask the question – what exactly are you DIY-ing? 

For example, say you’ve decided to DIY invitations and centerpieces or maybe make all the jams for the favours. Does this qualify as a DIY wedding?

To some, it might be. In reality, and to most people, especially in the wedding industry, it just means that you’re adding some details that you made yourself. And that is wonderful. You definitely want your wedding to reflect who you are. It is YOUR day after all.


What to expect if you decide to DIY your wedding planning


My definition of a DIY wedding is that you are going to do everything yourself and that you aren’t hiring professionals to help. You’ve consciously, or maybe unconsciously made the decision to take on the roles of

     ♥  designer

     ♥  coordinator

     ♥  florist

     ♥  caterer

     ♥  and decorator

to name only a few of the roles it takes to plan and pull off a wedding.

That’s a pretty tall order and a lot of stress to put on yourself. Even if you’re a really good organizer and love to do this stuff. 

It’s also an agreement with yourself and your family that the majority of your engagement period is going to be extremely busy with making decisions, adding your personal touch, gathering things, among scores of other little details. Some of it is going to be fun, and other times, not so much.

Time – how valuable is it to you and your family? Planning a wedding can and is going to take a big chunk of your already busy life. No matter how much we think we can do (and it always looks good on paper), things don’t usually go entirely as planned.

Most everything in life has 2 sides and wedding planning is no different. To give you a bit more perspective when deciding to DIY your wedding, take a moment to read my previous blog on The Ups and Downs of wedding planning and how to get through it.  


Would you rather enjoy your wedding day as it unfolds or be the one running around making sure that everything that is supposed to happen happens before, during, and after your wedding?


It’s probably the former. Either way, you’re going to be tired so let’s try and reduce as much stress and anxiety as possible. 

So how do you plan your own wedding and keep your sanity?

We all want to be involved in how our wedding goes together. I mean you’ve thought about this day and the time leading up to it for a long time.  How did you picture yourself – calm and happy or stressed and upset? 

Hopefully, the first two, right? 


Here’s what you can do to make that happen


  1. When you start planning, write down all the things that you want to do to put your ‘personal touch’ on your wedding. Maybe you’re great at calligraphy, so you want to write out your seating plan.  Are you good at baking? Rather than take on making your own cake, why not put your efforts into something edible for your favours.
  2. Next, write down all the details for the overall wedding planning. This may take a bit as there are lots of details. Grab this detailed checklist from Truly Engaged.
  3. Now look at it with a realistic eye.  What touches can you add that are yours and what details can be looked after by professionals or by trusted family and friends? 
  4. Then picture yourself as the planning goes along and how you want to look and feel. This way you are focusing more on creating memorable details, but not taking on the burden of it all.

Does that sound like a plan?

That is what it is – not a DIY wedding but putting together a wedding plan.


Moving forward


“I’m planning my own wedding with some DIY touches and some professional guidance” says the smart bride. It’s a way to choose to be hands-on without being overwhelmed.

You’ve seen and heard as many horror stories as happy ones when it comes to brides planning their weddings.  Obviously, you want to be the happy, stress-free one. Know what you are capable of handling, how much support you have and most of all be honest with yourself. You can’t be expected to know it all so don’t be afraid to ask for help.


Still not sure about the whole DIY thing? If you need help in moving forward with your wedding plan, check out how a Virtual Wedding Planner can help you get started.  Remember, you want to be able to plan as much of your wedding yourself as possible but to do it in a fun and relaxing way. I can help you with that.

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