Sunday, August 14, 2011

10 Things to Remember for Do-it-Yourself Weddings

I'm back from the family wedding in Tennessee and it's hard to believe we worked so hard or learned so much in just a few short days. Just in case you're crazy enough to take on a do-it-yourself wedding with 900 invited guests, here's a few tips from the events I've planned in the past and one or two from this wedding.

  1. No matter what you were told about room availability for decorating, be prepared for last minute glitches such as a crew waxing the floor.  The person with all of the keys may be out of town. Be prepared to go it alone. You're on a mission!
  2. If there were nails in the pews for pew bows two weeks before, you may find them gone, the holes patched up and hidden with fresh paint. Not so much of a problem unless you need 14 pew bow holders in a strange city with the closest store that MIGHT carry them an hour away! {Have ribbon to tie them to pews}
  3. Communication and passing along information from the photographers to everyone is of paramount importance to get your money's worth. Learn the photog's names. (Love you Athena!)
  4. Get as many pictures before the wedding as possible! If it's easier to have someone come to the church to do hair, pay the extra fee. It's worth it! Try to avoid running out for appointments on the wedding day.
  5. Someone should have a comb, hairspray and powder to fix people up for their shots. A little styling won't hurt either. That person should have a list of the shots the photogs want to get and ideally know who all of the people are. {I still remember the drunk photog from my wedding years ago made a mess of my photos and the fashion photog who took mostly pics of one guest who caught his eye}
  6. If the church has no secure staging area for your decor {I had over a hundred pieces of silver plate plus a lot of items that had to be transported from the house to the church} do yourself a favor and rent a U-Haul trailer for storage to save your sanity. I rented one to take everything home. The extra money would have been worth it.
  7. Be flexible when people offer to help you decorate. The concept may go in a different direction, but it could be much better than you ever thought possible.
  8. Keep the bride busy doing bridal things. Helping with reception decor may not be one of them. Be prepared to do it without as much help as you think you'll have. Everyone will be pulled in a different direction.
  9. Keep in mind that the wedding belongs to the bride and groom. Despite the hours you invested in the concept, be ready to change to fit changes in concept.
  10. Don't sweat the small stuff. There is no perfect wedding. 


  1. I hope you read past post comments. I'm helping a friend with her sons wedding this weekend. I read your advise and will be taking it.
    On another note....went to Mt Dora today and visit High Falootin Mercantile. Going back tomorrow for more!!

  2. You bet I read post comments! We just had the wedding on August 6th and I learned by doing!