some diy pros and cons

This week we've been talking about how to plan for DIY projects for your wedding or other event.  Today, I'd like to quickly run through a list of DIY projects some of my couples have undertaken or considered, and touch on some of the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, only you can decide how to weigh the pros and cons of a potential DIY project.  Some of the ones I've listed below may not matter to you; others may be pretty important.  The ultimate decision-maker, I think, is to imagine what you'll do if your project doesn't succeed.  If you know it'll ruin your day if your finished project isn't perfect, then it's best to leave it to the professionals.

If you're a wedding/event pro working in any of these categories and you'd like to weigh in, then please leave a comment on this post.  I'd love to share your insights!

Cake

cake

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]PROS[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]CONS[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]Wedding cakes are expensive, so you might save some money.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Making a tiered wedding cake is a huge undertaking, especially if you've never done it before.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Even if you make part of the cake ahead of time and freeze it, you'll still have a large last-minute project in assembling and decorating it.  Even cupcakes, in the quantity required for the average wedding, will be a major last-minute time commitment.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Check with your venue first, as some venues only allow licensed food service professionals to provide food at their events.[/wpcol_1half_end]

Flowers

flowers

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]PROS[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]CONS[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]You'll probably save money by creating your own floral arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Arranging flowers isn't as easy as it looks.  Unless you have experience, your finished product will probably look homemade.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Working with flowers -- especially enough flowers for your whole event -- is going to take up a lot of space.  You're going to need a lot of working room and a lot of refrigerator space.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]This is necessarily a last-minute project.  You'll have to squeeze your floral work in around your wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and any other festivities you have planned for right before your wedding.[/wpcol_1half_end]

Hair & Makeup

makeup

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]PROS[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]CONS[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]You can save money by doing your own hair and/or makeup.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]You'll miss out on the mini-spa-day experience of having these services done for you by a professional.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Professional hair and makeup artists know how to make their work last, so you'll look as good at the afterparty as you did walking down the aisle.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]You'll probably be photographed more on your wedding day than you ever will be again, and professionals will apply makeup to keep you from looking washed out in photos.[/wpcol_1half_end]

Photography

camera

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]PROS[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]CONS[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]Photography is expensive, so you'll probably save a few thousand dollars.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]You only get one chance to get good photos of your wedding day, and those are the photos you'll live with forever.  You don't want to mess this up.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Many pro photography packages include a wedding album, and many album companies sell only to pro photographers.  If you have a friend or relative photograph your wedding, then you'll need to find your own source if you want a high-quality album.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Weddings often feature photographic challenges like changing and extreme light conditions, moving subjects, and a rapid timeline.  These things can make it difficult for an inexperienced photographer to capture quality images.[/wpcol_1half_end]

Reception Music

dj

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]PROS[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]CONS[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]Not too difficult: With the advent of MP3s and iPods, it's become pretty simple to nix the professional DJ in favor of a handcrafted digital playlist.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]DJs cost money for a reason: They're good at keeping your guests happy and your dance floor full. No matter how carefully you craft your iPod playlist, it's still not human and it can't make quick changes on the fly to keep your guests involved in the party.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]Less expensive. DJs vary in price, but you can expect to save at least $1000 by providing your own music. If you're using an iPod in place of a live band, then your savings will be even greater.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]DJs frequently act as MCs; if you aren't going to have a DJ, you'll need to find someone to make the essential announcements at your reception.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]     [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Since DJs provide their own amplification equipment, you'll need to source your own speaker system for the night.[/wpcol_1half_end]

Stationery

stationery

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]PROS[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]CONS[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]This doesn't have to be a last-minute project, so as long as you get it done on time, you can work on it at your own pace.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]You might not save any money here.  It's easy to go a little crazy buying irresistible high-end papers.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]You will have complete creative freedom, so you can create something that's uniquely representative of who you are.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]You may have to invest in special tools to help you print, cut, and assemble your stationery.[/wpcol_1half_end]

[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]Papercrafting is very popular right now, so there are a lot of tools available to make your job easier.  You'll also find a lot of inspiration online and in books![/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]If you don't have a high-quality printer at home, then you'll need to outsource the printing, which can get expensive.[/wpcol_1half_end]

.   .   .

As with yesterday's post, I'm not trying to dissuade you from taking on some DIY projects at your wedding or other event; I'm just encouraging you to make educated choices about what you DIY and what you leave to the professionals.  Choose your projects wisely and you'll be more relaxed before and during your event!

What are your thoughts?  Are you planning some DIY for your upcoming event, or did you DIY some elements of a wedding or event that already happened?  How'd it work out?  We'd love to hear your stories!

photo credits:  cake photoflowers photomakeup photo, photography photo, and stationery photo via wikimedia commonsdj turntable photo via sxc.hu