Handling some wedding tasks yourself can be a great way to personalize your event and save money. But don't go too far, says wedding expert Annie Lee, lead planner at event planning company Daughter of Design. His golden rule? "If you can do it months in advance while watching TV, do it," she says. "If it's time sensitive, don't risk it. And whatever you do, don't do it."
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The last few days before your wedding will be hectic:last minute errands, family in town, seating charts to finalize, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, honeymoon packing and more. There is no room for anything unnecessary. See below for Annie's tips on what to do with DIY and how to let the professionals take care of your big day.
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If you're crafty, or have a friend who's a clever graphic designer, DIY invitations can be a highly personalized touch that won't cost you a fortune. “You can even cut your own wallpaper envelope liners to dress them up,” says Annie. "I also had a client make a rubber stamp of her menu, which she inked and applied to slips of paper. You could get a calligrapher or do it yourself on the computer."
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Decorating elements like signage, table decorations, and other reception focal points are totally doable, as long as you plan ahead. "One of my girlfriends is trying to fold a thousand paper cranes for her December wedding," Annie says.
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These aren't easy for everyone, but if you've got the goatee, handmade earrings, necklaces, and belts can be fantastic wedding gifts. You can even custom dye your bridesmaids' dresses if that skill is something you're known for, and it will be meaningful to your friends to wear something made with love.
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This is one place where DIY products can be really special, as long as they can be prepared well in advance. "If there's a meaningful family tradition, all the better," says Annie. "The father of one of my clients made jam, for example, and it was a great success."
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"I'm not opposed to reception music coming from an MP3 player," says Annie, "as long as there's someone whose specific responsibility is to monitor it, turn it down during speeches, etc. Creating your own playlist can really help. be really nice. But the exception would be classical music:when you see the musicians aren't there, it feels really fake."
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"The last week before your wedding is very stressful," says Annie. "Don't give yourself the added chore of baking 150 empanadas unless you own a bakery. Well, not even then."
iStock / Okorokova Natalya
Because flowers are by nature a last-minute item, making your own arrangements is a bad idea, even if you're a talented decorator. It is much more complicated than you realize. "For a simple wedding we did, we had what seemed like minimal work:just an order of hydrangeas to cut and put in vases and candles to line the tables," says Annie. "But it took me forever to unpack everything, remove the price tags from the vases, clean and dry them, fill them with water, set up all the tables, take out the garbage, and sweep the floors. My helpers and I were exhausted, and that was it." set up." If you do all the decorating for your own reception, you'll have to break it down yourself later, which probably isn't how you envisioned spending your wedding night.
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Photo by Amber Lowe
While you're not likely to take your own photos, you may have a friend you're thinking of asking, but don't. "I'd rather someone skip the flowers and food than a good professional photographer," says Annie. "There's nothing worse than seeing a bride and groom disappointed with how the photos turned out. It's your wedding. You can't rewind."
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