6 Mistakes I Made At My DIY Wedding
That’s what I’ve always aimed for. So when it came to our wedding, that goal was no different.
We originally wanted SUPER simple. A ceremony and a dinner with close family and friends. That’s it. However, when we started telling people about our plan, I saw coworkers and acquaintances become sad and sappy. I had multiple offers for different showers and things so they could celebrate with us.
So we changed our plan and decided to do a ceremony and a small* reception.
*small was 500 people
GASP / ROLLS EYES
Anyway, we learned a butt-ton. And I also learned huge, valuable lessons when it came to decorating and executing a reception on a budget!
Total cost of our wedding? About $8,000 (INCLUDING the Honeymoon)
So how did I do it? Well, we did just about everything ourselves! DIY BABY! And, we got super lucky in a lot of aspects.
But was it worth it?! What do I regret?
1. LETTING OTHERS MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOU
My numba one. Seriously, don’t let your Mother-In-Law-To-Be, or your own mother, or anyone else bully you into something you don’t want. I actually had a great experience and my family wasn’t pushy at all. However, my dad told me he’d pay for a photographer and pretty much booked a friend of his for me. Although he is a fantastic photographer, it wasn’t the style I was totally going for. Luckily for me, it ended up fine and I loved the photos. I know tons of brides that didn’t get that lucky though.
Moral of the story: Stick to your guns and voice your wants.. it is, after all, your wedding. People will hopefully respect your opinion and should appreciate that you care enough to voice it.
2. TRYING TO DO THE FOOD YOURSELF
Don’t get me wrong. You can do it! But from experience, let me tell you this:
Your family will hate you.
HAHA but really. It will mostly end up being your family’s responsibility because you are trying to put together a million things AND relax at the same time. And your family is there to enjoy your big day and celebrate WITH you.. not make sure the pulled pork is warm and stocked (happened).
And let’s go ahead and mention that buying food, cutting/washing/finding the right recipe, cooking/preparing, making sure it’s cooked on time and makes it to the reception center, kept warm, and put on appropriate food trays… *INHALE* …is the LAST thing that you and your family need to worry about.
So what to do? There are so many catering companies that are affordable and amazing. Freak, you could even have an ice cream company come and set something up. Or a cookie place. That would be a lot cheaper than a restaurant. Plus, by the time you spend money on the food, it costs almost as much as a caterer. Trust me on that one *rolls eyes* .. I don’t know, get creative! But do not, I repeat, do NOT attempt to do the food yourself. You will thank me later.
3. NOT HAVING ENOUGH (OR ANY) SIGNAGE
Think about how comical this is: I now have a shop where I sell signs….. and I didn’t have ANY signs at my wedding!! In fact, we realized that people weren’t even going to know how to get into the reception center (let alone where the bathroom was) until the day-of. So I had one of my bridesmaids print off signs real quick.
It looked so bad. It was printed on paper, not even framed, and didn’t look planned out it all! Maybe because… it wasn’t planned out! (Although my bridesmaid did a great job with the task at hand).
Lesson learned: Plan ahead! Your guests need to know where to go and don’t want to have to come up and ask the bride (happened) or the bride’s mom (also happened) where the bathroom is. So do yourself and your guests a favor and put up some signs.
4. MAKING YOUR WHOLE BRIDAL PARTY SET UP YOUR RECEPTION
Help is great. In fact, I recommend it! (What’s a bridal party for?! *snort*) HOWEVER, I thought that instead of paying someone to do it, I would put my friends and family to work. And they did it without complaint! Most of them.
I’m such a jerk!
Let your bridal party enjoy the wedding.. mmk? Hire someone for it. That way, you’ll get it set up how you want it and no light bulbs will get broken.. ammiright? Let them help you in other ways, but setting up the entire party is a little much to ask, in my opinion. #oops
5. HAVING A RECEIVING LINE
Ok, I know this isn’t a thing in a lot of states or cultures, but having a line where everyone came and said hi (awkwardly) was a big thing at the time. Do I regret it? Absolutely. (It was my husband’s number 1 wedding regret! After saying, “Not spending any money” of course. LOL)
We had originally decided not to do a line and I’m not sure what happened….. but I think I got talked into doing a receiving line. The space wasn’t set up for mass groups, so maybe that was it?? I don’t even know, it was all such a blur!
We both wish we could have just roamed about and hung out with whoever, talked with everyone naturally, and not had the awkward conversations and aching feet.
6. BEING STRESSED OUT OF YOUR MIND
When my husband and I made it to our honeymoon, we freaking slept for 13 hours. We were exhausted. We had both also gotten pretty sick right before the wedding and were both taking antibiotics while in Mexico haha.
I remember crying at night because I was so stressed out and didn’t know if we’d have the time or money (we paid for 90% of the wedding ourselves). Luckily, I married a great guy and he really stepped up.. making things, chiming in on what we should do, and paid for a lot of it. He was definitely my saving grace (and still is).
Lesson? Don’t stress! What’s the point in stressing? It will happen or it won’t. If to doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. I understand not having the money to pay for things and also not having the time or being able to do things yourself. So if you can’t seem to make it work, then drop it! Or simplify it. You don’t need the gray hairs that a wedding can cause.
If you have a family member that is making it difficult, don’t involve them or maybe even ask them to do something else to preoccupy them :) (I know, I know.. easier said than done. But you got this!)
Just remember, your wedding will be perfect, even if everything goes “wrong”. Why? You’re marrying your best friend! And that’s what it’s all about. Keep this in mind and everything will go a little bit smoother
I hope you enjoy planning your wedding because it will be over before you know it! It really is such a magical time.
For all you peeps out there that have done this before: I want to hear what your wedding mistakes are! Let’s make life a little easier for our newbie brides.