Tales of a “Do It Yourself (DIY)” Bride: The Pros & Cons

Tres Belle Beauty’s very own Creative Director/Invitiation Designer, Nikki Roskowinski (soon to be “Mrs. Robles”) is getting married this Saturday and has been kind enough to share her wedding tale of doing it herself!

DIY Wedding pic1

In today’s economy, do-it-yourself weddings are growing in popularity. With an average wedding costing upwards of the price tag of a small car or down payment on a house, couples steer clear of the high numbers and take the DIY route. For me, DIY weddings are near and dear, because I myself am I DIY bride. Not only am I a DIY bride, but I am at the end of the DIY adventure. With my wedding in just a few days, I offer up some advice to brides thinking about a DIY wedding. Looking back on this 13-month journey from when I said “Yes” to my fiance, to in just a few days when I say, “I do”, I’ve found the pros and cons of DIY weddings that only someone who has taken that journey can discover. So I present to you three cons and three pros to DIY weddings:

Pro #1: Budget-Friendly. DIY weddings are famous for being low-budget, and this is often the reason couples decide to go this route. By skipping the wedding planner, and sometimes even other vendors like the invitation designer, florist, and decorator, big bucks can be saved.

Pro #2: Your wedding will be YOUR wedding. With a DIY wedding, the result in the end is a celebration of a marriage that not only is beautiful and breathtaking, but is all about you, because everything was coordinated, made, and placed by you. With a wedding planner and long list of vendors, it’s very possible that your wedding will look or feel like someone else’s wedding look and felt the week before yours. Wedding planners only have so many ideas up their sleeves, and none of them truly come from your brain, so your wedding won’t truly capture you and your fiance’s personalities. With a DIY wedding, every decision is yours, and your love and lifestyles will shine through every detail.

Pro #3: Meaningful moments. Believe it or not, your special day can be even more special by choosing a DIY wedding. The preparations often require more than just you and your other half– they often require family and close friends to get the job done. Relationships can cultivate and grow over your DIY projects, and memorable moments are born. Your wedding day will no doubt be amazing no matter what, because you are marrying the one you love and have been waiting to marry for however long. But instead of just having an awesome wedding day that flies by like a speedtrain in all the hustle and bustle, a DIY wedding allows you to have unforgettable moments with family and friends all the way leading up to the big day.

Con #1: Unexpected costs. Although DIY weddings are often low-budget friendly, a stressed-out bride and groom can only remember so many things. Without a wedding planner and vendors who have done hundreds (even thousands) of events, mistakes are likely, especially financially. DIY weddings can be easier on the pocket, but only if you’re extremely organized and at least have a little bit of knowledge of the wedding industry. Unexpected costs, hidden fees, and things you just simply forgot about until the week of the wedding can wreak havoc on your budget.

Con #2: Time. A DIY wedding requires A LOT of time. And when I say a lot, I mean hours upon hours upon days upon WEEKS of researching, preparing, organizing, crafting, and putting plans into action. You will spend literally months researching, especially if you’re choosing a DIY wedding to keep costs low. The cheapest caterers, florists, disc jockeys, and other vendors do not grow on trees. And the ones that are out there are extremely hard to find. You will spend countless hours in front of the computer, combing through every wedding vendor website for the lowest price while still maintaining good quality. After researching, you have piles of spreadsheets and lists to manage in order to make sure your DIY wedding goes off without a hitch. And of course, all the time taken to assemble invitations, hot glue centerpieces together, tie ribbon to flowers…the list goes on and on, and days seem shorter and shorter.

Con #3: Stress, stress, stress. You think those bridezillas on television are stressed out? Think again. They don’t even know the meaning of stress. They have planners and vendors taking care of all the details– a DIY bride doesn’t. As a DIY bride, YOU are the planner, you are the coordinator, you are the contact person, you are the decision-maker, and everything else that is involved in the wedding. And trust me, with my last week of my wedding already here, I can tell you that 13 months FLEW by, and maybe hiring a wedding planner wouldn’t have been such a bad idea. 22 credits in college didn’t stress me out this much. It may be worth it in the end, but the stress is overwhelming. Looking back, I would have taken some of the money I spent on certain things and instead would have tried to use it towards getting a planner or at least a day-of coordinator.

What are your thoughts? Are you a DIY bride? Are you newly engaged and trying to decide which route to take?

Let me know– and ask any questions you may have! –Nikki Roskowinski, Creative Director and Invitation Designer

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