Today's couples are more inspired than ever and they are finding more ways to put personal touches on their wedding day. I couldn't be happier about their soaring creativity and their desire to be intimately involved in the planning process. Hey, I love a couple that knows what they want! However, there are many couples that insist on the DIY (do it yourself) route. Whether they think it is saving them money, or they could do it better - this is not always the case. There are many aspects of this special occasion that should be left to the professionals. Hiring a professional is not always more expensive, but it is ALWAYS less stressful. Pros have gone through specific training, regularly attend conferences to keep up with wedding trends (and if not, they should!) and know all the tips and tricks of their trade.
Please, whatever you do find a pro to:
Provide day-of coordinating and/or wedding planning and design services - Trust me! This is not an area of expertise that can be handled by a friend or relative, plus they should be enjoying this special occasion as a guest. This person needs to be a professional wedding coordinator hired by the couple, not the wedding venue (check out my blog post about the differences between a venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator).
Do hair and makeup - These people are ARTISTS! Good hair and makeup artists will listen to what you want and bring your dream wedding look to life. What if you woke up with bags under your eyes or you were having a bad hair day on your wedding day?! These artists know how to apply the perfect cover-up and WILL be able to tame your mane. I definitely recommend scheduling a trial run well before your wedding day so that you have time to find an alternative artist if you don't like the first one. Loving your wedding day look is a MUST.
Photograph your wedding - Let me start by saying; just because someone buys a Canon Rebel T6 and calls themselves a photographer, does not mean they are a professional wedding photographer. Please do your research and ask to see their past work (at least one wedding from start to finish). I also strongly advise against hiring a close family friend or family member even if they are a professional wedding photographer. They should be able to enjoy your wedding day as a guest without a major responsibility. Photos last forever and will be all you have to look back on.
Design your bouquets and centerpieces- Floral décor can take up a big chunk of your wedding budget and it is easy to think that you are saving money by throwing some stems together and calling it a bouquet. Many people don’t realize the number of stems it takes to create a bouquet or fill a vase for a centerpiece. Not to mention where are you going to store these fresh flowers? Whatever you do, don’t store your DIY bouquets in a refrigerator – there isn’t enough airflow and your bouquets could freeze! Floral designers have ventilated walk-in coolers and also have the means to transport the flowers in bulk to the wedding venue. More importantly, they go through years of training and know their blooms inside and out. A good floral designer will be able to deliver a gorgeous arrangement, all the while staying within your budget.
Cater your wedding – I am sure your homemade Chicken Parmesan is to die for, but have you ever made it for 100+ people? Cooking a large quantity of food requires a vast amount of work. Cooking your own food will add a large amount of stress to your wedding day. You also have to think about set-up, storage, dishes, transportation, staff and clean up. These are all things a good catering company will provide.
Bake your wedding cake – Elegant multi-tiered wedding cakes take a lot of time and patience to bake. There are often many intricate details in the design that can be easily messed up. Where will you store your creation and how will you transport it safely to the venue? It is highly possible that you will be left in a panic with a subpar wedding cake. It is no wonder they are so expensive! Your wedding cake will most likely be getting a ton of attention on your wedding day, so please leave this task to a bakery.
If you have the urge to personalize your special day and DIY an aspect of your wedding I recommend making fun welcome bags for your out-of-town guests or handcrafting unique favors. These are tasks you can complete well in advance that won’t cause added stress on your wedding day. Even the craftiest bride should leave some wedding elements to the pros ;).