Y'all should know by now that I LOVE weddings. (And also that I'm not from the south yet still say y'all?) It was so much fun to plan my own (stressful mostly), but still fun! It was a gorgeous sunny summer day this past July in gorgeous Malibu, CA. Being a DIY type of gal, I'll let you know what I found worked to DIY and when you should save yourself the stress and hire the pros.

  • Wedding Planner... 
I did not hire a wedding planner. I'm a major control freak and couldn't imagine leaving details up to anyone other than myself. Ultimately, I think it would've been an extra stress for me but for others this one would be a lifesaver!
Go with your gut! If you need help organizing, hire a wedding planner. If you're a control freak like me then do it all yourself. This one is best left up to your own judgment. 

  • Invites...
This one was a no brainer for me! I loved making my own invites. It was super labor intensive, but I planned ahead for this one (and had a great friend foiling and embossing invites with me for about 5 hours straight). Same friend is also a graphic designer and designed the print part of my invites, but there are tons of free templates on the internet.
If you're crafty and have lots of time and patience, go for it!

  • Wedding Photographer and Videographer...
If you care about memories at all, hire a professional. Do all of your research, make sure their style meshes with yours, ask lots of questions, and make sure they have tons of wedding experience. An experienced pro will not only provide you with lasting memories, but also make the day run extra smooth! If you don't care about memories or photo/video quality, I guess it wouldn't be as important to you. It's all about personal priorities. (My photos were done by Terina Matthews)
There's a small chance that you'll regret spending a bit extra, but there's a definite chance that you'll regret awful photos. Don't shoulda/coulda/woulda with this one! This is the one thing that you'll have forever from your special day. 

  • Catering...
Most venues require hiring a caterer on their list. It's often one of the biggest expenses, but it's so worth it! This is one thing that you don't need to mess with on your big day. Hire the pros and go sip a mimosa (I sure did)!
Definitely go with the pros; your guests will thank you!

  • Hair and Makeup...
Originally I was going to do my own hair and makeup. My MOH insisted that I hire a makeup artist and ended up getting one for me as a wedding present (thanks girl!). I was so flustered on the day that I would have never been able to do my makeup. Like at all. I did end up doing my own hair (this is one thing that calms me and I know that I can do consistently, so I was confident in doing my own) and one of my bridesmaid touched up my curls.
Makeup should be a splurge! Keep on sipping on that mimosa and stop stressing for that short time that you're in the chair! 

  • Flowers...
Ok, so this one was another control freak thing for me. I have my own floral design company (M Floral Boutique) and I know how much time and effort flowers actually take. It's a messy job that can take up to 36 hours straight! Because I had so many unexpected hiccups in the days prior to my wedding, I was up until 1 am the night before finishing my flowers. I even made my bridesmaids make their own bouquets! I could have been relaxing (and sipping on more mimosas of course) but instead I was living my own control freak life. I don't regret it, but I at least knew what I was getting myself into.
The verdict, DON'T DIY THE FLOWERS! Unless you have many extra hours, tons of help, and a bunch of experience, leave this one to the pros! Simple arrangements of hardy flowers are totally ok, but don't expect to be wiring a cascade bouquet with no floral knowledge. 

  • Set-up and Day of Coordinating...

This is one that I wished I didn't do myself. I know, I know... control freak. Looking back I wish that I just got dressed and ready on the day and had no other worries than saying "I do". My bridesmaid would've really thanked me if I didn't have them ironing tablecloths and finding the proper cake plates. Sorry ladies! Literally I was THE hot mess express. I'm also pretty sure that the makeup artist thought I was certifiable insane since I was running around yelling at random things (like a dahlia that died overnight in my bridal bouquet... see the previous point on "flowers"). All worked out and everything got done, but a LOT of stress could've been saved if there was someone there to set everything up and make sure everything and everyone was in the right place at the right time.
SO... if you like stress, take on this role. If you would like to have a happy and relaxed wedding day, let someone else take care of it! 

  • Overall...
Whatever you think you're capable of doing yourself, cut it in half. You won't remember all of the tiny details (mostly because you won't even have time because MAN weddings go by fast!) but you will remember the stress. If you can't afford to hire someone for something, maybe it's best to leave it out or go with a simplified version. Don't be afraid to ask for help; it's your big day after all!
Overall I got married! We both said "I do" and had the time of our lives, and THAT'S what's most important!

Dress: David's Bridal
Photographer: Terina Matthews
Catering: Stonefire Grill
Cake: SusieCakes
Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson


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