Our Do’s and Don’ts of the Do It Yourself (DIY) Wedding
We thought for our first blog we’d share our thoughts and views on the growing trend of DIY weddings. This is where you book a venue and bring in the facilities and decoration you want – as a pure DIY venue you are booking a room or hall only, however, there are “shades of grey” with most venues so it’s worth checking what is and is not provided before you go ahead and book.
As we’re sure you’ve realised already, it isn’t necessarily the easiest or the cheapest option. Tight control on the plan and co ordination is essential but there are several advantages. If that sounds great and it hasn’t scared you off and you’re excited to consider the DIY wedding as an option, here are some of the more positive aspects to consider:
- Full control of each aspect of your wedding – if you have a clear vision of the wedding day you want to create then you can decide on each element that will create the day you want, from catering to music to room decoration.
- Budgets can be carefully managed – you’ll know exactly how your budget is being spent as you’ll maintain control on all spending.
- Allows for lots of creative input – let the creativity flow!
- Can be a more relaxed feel and uniqueness reflecting you and your partners version of your perfect day.
- You can control timings with more focus on aspects which interest you and your partner.
- It may work out less expensive compared to a traditional wedding venue.
- All your helpers will feel like they’ve contributed and are very much part of the wedding.
OK so there are downsides and in the interests of full disclosure here they are:
- You’ll need to be comfortable with lots of help and therefore completely happy to delegate a lot of tasks.
- Consider who will manage the day for you both – you may not want or need a master of ceremonies but someone who will make sure the day runs to time and can deal with any hiccups is a good idea.
- Most elements will need to be brought in – have a run through your day from start to finish (and by that we mean tidying up and anything that requires removal or uplifting).
- What if – best to consider all eventualities and plan for them…everything from bad weather to some unexpected food intolerances.
- It is very likely that you, your partner and a team of willing helpers will be at the venue the day before the wedding putting everything into place.
- AS per the above, it is also very likely that you, your partner and a team of willing helpers will be at the venue the day after the wedding removing or making sure items are removed so the venue can be handed back.
So, everything considered here are our Top Ten Tips for your DIY Wedding:
- Compile lots of lists and names of your close friends and family who you can count on to help.
- In the nicest possible way, ask for named individuals to own certain tasks and be clear about your expectations up front.
- Ask the venue for a list of preferred suppliers or suppliers that they have used and would recommend. You don’t have to use them but it’ll provide a useful start.
- Check any requirements or restrictions for the venue e.g. licensing, loud music, post event cleaning, naked flames etc
- Focus efforts on your strengths and be realistic about calling on the experts for areas that could have maximum impact or that are important to you both.
- Don’t underestimate the time required to prepare and dress your venue. Hotels have lots of staff in the background before, during and after your wedding carefully placing furniture and decorative items to ensure the venue meets the needs of guests and looks great at all times!
- Have a detailed plan of what each supplier is providing, when they are expected at your venue and finishing times.
- Ask if your suppliers will set up or just deliver – we’ve seen situations where heavy catering equipment needs to be moved up several flights of stairs.
- Show your plan and budget to a close friend or relative and ask them to consider anything that may have been missed.
- Good suppliers are in demand so don’t delay in booking, some suppliers are booked 2+ years in advance.
This is clearly not an exhaustive list however, we hope you’ve found this useful in considering a DIY wedding. If you’re still excited by creating your perfect day from a (near) blank canvas then we take our hat off to you! It’s not for the feint hearted and we’re therefore convinced that in reading through this blog and coming out the other side with enthusiasm and gusto you’ll make your wedding day totally amazing!
If it isn’t for you, that’s ok too!! There are many alternative options including those venues who will provide a hybrid option – some DIY with some support. Also, in considering a more traditional wedding option there’s a lot to be said for a whole team of professionals who work in hotels and other venues who are amazing at what they do and who care about making sure your day is exactly that, YOUR DAY!!