D-I-Why | Is that DIY project worth it?
Hi friends! Happy Friday!
Earlier this week I shared an easy little DIY project from last year. The reason I like it? It's simple, fool-proof, and incredibly inexpensive. If you're not sure what DIY stands for, you've probably been living under a rock for the last 5-6 years because the Do-It-Yourself movement has impacted the wedding and lifestyle industries in a huge way. For several years it seemed that every other magazine or wedding blog article encouraged couples to tackle the details on their own. I think the shine is wearing off that advice a little bit these days, but it's still out there.
Here's the thing... not everything is worth doing yourself.
The most common reason provided as justification for DIY projects is that "it will be less expensive". Well, maybe... maybe not.
Some projects are inexpensive, but more often than not there are more costs involved that one might anticipate.
So when is it advisable to tackle a DIY project when it comes to wedding details? I think it's important to ask yourself a couple key questions: (1) Does this project utilize my strengths and existing skills? (2) What does this project truly cost?
Let's use flowers as an example, because we hear about this one all the time...
If you've never designed flowers in your life, then your wedding is NOT the time to try. Sure, you might save a little money, but you'll lose out big time in the end. More often than not, people end up spending much more than they planned. Do you have all the tools necessary, such as buckets, clippers, and floral tape? Do you have the storage space to hold everything at an acceptable temperature? Do you have many hours available the day before your wedding to design? Do you have many hours available 2 days before your wedding to process and prep flowers (unpackage the product, strip off thorns and extra foliage, trim stems, and place in water) once they arrive? Do you have all the vessels you need to create centerpieces? Do you know how to make a bouquet? Do you have extra time and labor to deliver and set up flowers at the ceremony and reception site? Do you have proper vehicles to transport centerpieces without them tipping over? Do you have extra time and labor to remove all the flowers and clean up at the end of the night? What happens if you mess up or get into a bind less than 24 hours before you're supposed to walk down the aisle? If some of the product you ordered arrives looking terrible or all wilted, do you have resources for sourcing new replacement product at the last minute? Starting to get the picture? If you can't answer all of these questions with a confident "yes" then you need to run...not walk...away from this idea.
If your prospective DIY project requires technical skills that are typically put to use by a professional, then know that if you decide to take on that project, you are doing so at your own risk. In the floral design scenario, you need to be prepared to spend a lot more on supplies than just flowers, know that your flower cost will be set at retail pricing because you won't have access to wholesale growers and providers that deal only to the trade, and understand that you will likely need to spend 15-25 hours processing and designing flowers for the average size wedding. That last item alone should scare you. What bride and groom have that kind of time in the last two days before their wedding?!
If you're preparing to start on a project that is truly affordable and something you know how to do, then I encourage you to also ask yourself... "why am I doing this"? Often times people feel a sense of inadequacy if they don't try things on their own. There is zero shame in hiring professionals to execute the details of your wedding. Zero.
In my humble (but experienced!) opinion, the only great reason to tackle any DIY project for your wedding is if it truly brings you joy. Leave everything else to the pros and your family, your fiancé, and your guests will thank you.