Monday, June 27, 2011

When to say NO to DIY

It’s confession time! I’ll admit it. I am an obsessive do-it-yourself-er. I am an amateur at some things and an expert at others. I can do just about anything given enough time and internet access on the particular subject. I am also heavily opinionated about when to do it yourself and when to call in the professionals. There are just some things that are not a good idea. Weddings, in particular are one of those times.
The months, weeks and days leading up to your wedding are extremely busy. Most women have to work and plan this event in their free time (free time, what is that?). There is barely time to sleep so taking on an extra task is unthinkable to most brides-to-be.
However, there are some couples faced with wanting or needing to cut costs so fanatically that they decide to attempt the Do-It-Yourself wedding. I can tell you this has disaster written all over it.
DIY nightmares:
#1 -Bridesmaid Dresses. Sewing is easy, you get a pattern, cut it out, thread the needle and begin, right? NO. Sewing properly is an art form not to be taken lightly. Sewing delicate fabrics requires patience, skill and concentration. Unless you are a professional seamstress with your own studio filled with eager employees, do not attempt to make your own bridesmaid gowns. You will not only be disappointed when the gown don’t turn out right but, you also risk having bridesmaids who will never speak to you again.
#2 -Flowers. This has the potential to be a major disaster. Imagine staying up all night, the night before your wedding day clipping flower stems and ribbon-tying bouquets. That’s a best-case scenario and it goes downhill quickly from there. Ask yourself if you have a cooling system large enough to house the completed centerpieces and bouquets. You can’t put them in your refrigerator at home because there are natural gases in food that will destroy the flowers, not to mentions flower arranging is very difficult and time consuming if done properly. Ask yourself if you will truly have time to enjoy your wedding week if every second of the last three days is spent focusing on flower pick up, purchasing and arranging only to wind up with an arrangement of half dead flowers. I doubt it.
#3 – Photo/Video. So you have decided to just put single use cameras on the table and let everyone take photos at the reception? Really? (Remember my previous post on this?) Maybe you handed a cam-corder to your uncle and asked him to tape the whole thing. Maybe it would be a better idea to have everyone hold up their cell phones and snap random pictures out of focus with bad lighting. Or you could just have a courtroom sketch artist depict the whole affair. Hire a photographer, even if it is just for an official portrait…. hire a photographer.
#4- Cake. Speaking from experience, decorating a cake is not easy. Martha Stewart seems to show up, squirt icing on the cake and it looks fantastic. The truth is that she had years of rigid training, attention to detail and only now after decades of hand-piping by herself in the confines of her own kitchen; she has a staff to handle this for her. Her staff has been trained and re-trained and practiced on more cakes than you can eat in a lifetime. In all fairness, they do make it look easy on TV. Don’t attempt to make your own cake. Not to mention the added concern of transporting without dropping it. You would be better off buying a cheap cake at the grocery store than attempting to make one yourself. I’m not wrong about this.
In the end, it is the actual ceremony that matters the most but, why waste time and money trying to do it yourself only to have a failure weeks, hours or even minutes before the ceremony?
There are a few things you can do yourself. You can print or make labels for your favors, you can carefully arrange and/or wrap the favors that will be sent home, you can also cut and tie the netting or paper rice holders, if you are having rice thrown at your wedding. Other than that, I would advise against any attempt at handling these tasks yourself.
My word of advice, Hire professionals to have professional results.

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