DIY Wedding Planning vs. Hiring a Professional

Trying to decide between a DIY wedding and a professional soirée? No one can make your mind up for you or tell you which is better for your situation. You can, however, get some insight to help in your decision-making process. There are many factors to balance and consider, but with this list of pros and cons you’ll be able to figure it out just fine!

Option One: DIY

For those of you who are endlessly hard working, naturally crafty, super thrifty, and have the patience of a saint, this may be the obvious choice. As for the other 99% of you, don’t count the DIY option out just yet! I think many brides are surprised how professional their event can turn out with some hard work and coordination. To make this option work for you, it is essential to get organized. Find a wedding organizer and/or software (there are wedding product reviews on our site) to help you get and keep information organized and avoid missing any key elements.

Planning your wedding is a great way to cut down on costs and stay in control over the end result. As far as budgeting goes, DIY is a much friendlier choice than hiring a professional. You save a good bit of cash, but the tradeoff is an increase in leg work and, potentially, stress level. It is a common misconception that DIY weddings are only for brides on a small, tight budget. This may be the case for some, but for others it is simply a matter of choice. Maybe the budget allows for a wedding planner, but sacrifices the dream venue. Some brides also want to be in control of all of the elements of their special day—who knows better what you’ve been dreaming of than you? Many couples also believe planning the wedding themselves gives them heightened anticipation and excitement in looking forward to seeing it all come together. It is important to keep in mind, though, that you cannot be expected (or expect of yourself) to singlehandedly pull it all together. There are three words to remember here—delegate, delegate, delegate! Never turn down help from family or friends!

Option Two: Hire a Professional

If your budget allows for it, hiring a professional to coordinate all of the aspects of your special day may be a good choice. A good wedding planner will have it down to a science and make it a breeze for you. They know the ins- and outs- of etiquette, the best venues, all the great local vendors, etc. They will be there to keep a check on everything on your big day and make sure all is well. They will be prepared for the worst and make sure you see only the best! A big plus is that there is a lot less leg work and pressure for you with this option, but your budget will take quite a hit for it. You may also feel a bit disconnected from your wedding if you are not used to being a passive participant in events. The best way to get a feel for your preference for (or against) this option is to get out and meet the planners available to you. Many larger venues offer on-site planning services (for a fee, of course!), but it is also a good idea to meet other wedding professionals in your area. I very strongly recommend looking at the local wedding planners if you are having a destination wedding, even if you are familiar with the area. It will be a lot of work to coordinate a wedding and reception long-distance without the help of an “insider”!

Option Three: Hybrid

Did you know there would be a third option? Some brides don't realize that many wedding professionals will be as involved or hands-off in the planning details per your request. It can be a great compromise to have a professional at hand to help you with the coordination and making sure all of your bases are covered, but to allow you to take complete control of the items that you are capable of or take very personally. This option can also be a bit easier on the budget, since the wedding professional is having to invest less time in your event. Again, balance out your options and your goals to help you make a decision.

Whatever you decide, cherish every moment of your planning and the resulting event. Regardless of how your wedding is planned, keep in mind that in the end you'll be married to the man you love and who loves you back!