What I Learned From Driving Myself Insane Planning a DIY Wedding

If you read my commiserate post about planning a wedding, or even the one about hosting parties, then you’ll know that ‘event planner’ was never a career option for me.

Yet, in my typical control freak fashion, I deluded myself into believing I could just make everything for my wedding. And I mean EVERYTHING.

The bouquets, boutonnieres, the centerpieces, the playlist, the favours, the cake, the decor, the everything!     

Somehow it all got done, and it’s over now.

And although it’s kind of a blur, I’ve got the ring, the photos, and the best husband ever to remind me that it happened.

Here’s what I learned.  

No Woman is an Island

I started the wedding planning process thinking I could do just about everything myself. A year and a half is plenty of time, right?

When you’re learning like 10 crafts from scratch, not really.

People in my life saw me struggling and started taking control of certain tasks, most without even asking, because I didn’t know what to ask for help with.

It was such an amazing help. I’m so incredibly thankful and humble to be reminded of the amazing people I’ve surrounded myself with.

There’s no way I could have gotten everything done without the people who just started helping, and even if I could have, it was a much more special experience to share the ride with people I love.

Cheesy, but true.

DIYs Can’t Save Money When You Stop Making It

Another downfall of trying to do everything myself is that it started to take over my life. Wedding planning became my full-time job and I stopped taking on as much work to get me through.

This is probably the hardest lesson.

It doesn’t matter how cheaply you can do something yourself compared to paying someone else, if you’re sacrificing something more important, it isn’t worth it. Period.

Let it All Go on the Day

I didn’t finish everything I wanted to exactly how I wanted it. And things certainly went wrong.  

The bridesmaid dresses came in a little too purple, we spent too much money on transportation, the favours didn’t match my vision, the cake was on a slight tilt, our backdrop came in with mismatched lights, we didn’t get our outdoor ceremony, the list could go on forever.

But I didn’t care. This weird calm came over me on the day. All I could think about was the promises I’d be making to my best friend and getting to see all of these other people we love supporting us.

Nothing else mattered.

And no one has mentioned the little flaws…at least not to me. People talk to us about how heartfelt our vows were, how amazing the speeches were, and how lighthearted and fun it all felt.

Again, we have amazing people in our lives.

It Was All Worth It

About halfway through the process, I really started regretting the decision to have a traditional wedding. It was so much damn work!

Just about every day I told my fiance that we should have gone to city hall and used some of our savings to go on a big vacation. And who knows, maybe that would have been equally fulfilling. But I don’t think so.

Nothing can replace the memory of running across the street then through a muddy field to get a snapshot with the ferry before it got out of frame. Or the memory of going from table to table, beaming with happiness and sharing laughs with all of our guests. Or the memory of crying at Every. Single. Speech.

I loved it all.

So I partially rescind my commiserate post on the subject. If you have the budget, the time, and the desire, I say go for a traditional wedding, even if you have to keep it small like we did.

But, and this is a big but, limit your DIY projects to a maximum of 30% of everything that has to be done. Any more and you’ll start to resent your wedding, and that’s just no fun.

Now I want to know what you think. Did I get anything wrong? Are you still going for a city hall wedding? Let me know in the comments below!

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