We recently wrote an article for Sound Wave Music and Lighting about the DIY bride with some tips! Head on over for the full article. Since writing that guest blog post I have continued thinking about the DIY couples and how as designers and coordinators we can help our Do It Yourself Couples with some helpful tips! So, get your notepad out and start taking notes! Here are some tips for DIY Brides working with wedding coordinators and designers!
SAVING MONEY! From experience talking with DIY couples, many assume they can't afford a professional Coordinator or Designer. DIY, usually lends to a couple being serious about having their wedding on a strict budget , so they are opting to tackle the details as much on their own as possible to save money. They immediately write off any option of having a Coordinator OR they hope to use a family friend or relative to help with coordination. Sometimes this works great and other times not so much... In our own wedding, many years ago and pre-wedding industry professional, I was in the same boat. I felt that $10k was a lot of money and had no clue what weddings cost and thought it would stretch far. I made the mistake of blowing through a decent amount of that buying decor, as there weren't vintage rental businesses back then. I certainly thought hiring a coordinator was out of the question!
Questions to ask yourself:
- Budget - have you actually figured out an itemized budget? Not just an overall budget, but how it is broken down? Usually DIY brides are reaching into the unknown trying to estimate price range for services: venue rentals, catering, DJ, flowers, attire etc. Often the answer is... "I had no idea how much that costs!" A professional coordinator can help you navigate the budget with a clear idea of what the different services cost and how to best guide you to reputable vendors that fit your budget.
- How much of your budget went out the window on those spontaneous shopping sprees at Hobby Lobby? You know exactly what I'm talking about. I know how tempting it is! That $75 here and $50 there and another $130 last month... Those add up! Instead, that money could have been saved up to go toward catering vs your family having to prep all the food. Or that dream floral arch for your ceremony! Those details will last in photos and give you the real bang for your buck vs. all those cute chalkboard signs. Really go through and ask yourself what you definitely need. Return the extras before you get any further into planning.
- Prioritize needs: (some of the main things to consider)
- Rentals (chairs, linen, tables etc)
- Floral + Decor
- Hair + Makeup
- Coordinator fees. We highly encourage you reach out to local coordinators and ask lots of questions! Each of us offers different packages and services and all share the belief that each couple will find the coordinator that fits their personality and needs. It's okay if you meet and find that it isn't a good fit. It's all part of the process. Ask about coordination and design services - YES, there is a difference. Let the coordinator know your budget up front. Talk about it. See if you can figure something out that works for both of you. Maybe you need to pick between having a designer/decorator or a coordinator - what do you need most? ASK why they are beneficial to your particular needs. *side note! As with all industries there are always businesses that want to get into the industry and therefore do research on the market and then underprice the competition in hopes of getting experience and business starting out. Beware. As a couple with budget on the mind, that doesn't mean the cheapest coordinator is quality.
- Utilize PINTEREST. Pinterest can be a bride's AND coordinator's best friend or worst enemy! Autumn is a perfect example of how awesome Pinterest can be utilized for DIY couples!
- Set your Pinterest Wedding Board to SECRET! You don't need the opinions and input of everyone AND you want to keep some elements a surprise right?
- Start pinning things that catch your and your fiance's eye.
- EDIT and DELETE pins that no longer fit the vision (or move them to a different board if you are attached to them)
- Once you have narrowed down your board make sure to put in the comments the specific description:
With Autumn giving us all the details we knew EXACTLY what she wanted! This is perfect for the DIY bride who really wants to make sure her hard work comes together at the end; how SHE envisioned it. Autumn functioned as the designer until the last three months and then handed the reins off to our incredible team.
My husband and I both so grateful for Heidi's and her team's part in making our wedding day truly memorable and amazing. It was more than we dreamed about, and it was surreal to walk into the space with all the little details I'd been planning and working so hard on fully executed beyond my wildest dreams. It was beautiful, and I wouldn't change a single thing about any of it. The Ira & Lucy team was truly incredible - so kind, thoughtful, and hard working, and their dedication means the world to us. Because of all their hard work, we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves from the first second to the last, and focus on our vows, our guests, and most importantly, each other. My husband even made a point of telling me the next day how happy he was that we found Ira & Lucy - we couldn't have pulled it all off if we hadn't! Special thanks to Arielle for her attention to detail - she had lots of questions in the days and weeks leading up to our big day, and it really showed that she was thinking through everything to make sure it was just how we pictured. You know you've had a successful event when there isn't a single thing you'd change when you look back! - Autumn
We work with DIY couples often and don't want you to shy away from contacting us to inquire about our services. Hopefully these tips will help you in your planning! Certainly, we could give many more tips, but this post is already long enough! After you take a look at your budget with realistic expectations and think you may benefit from hiring a coordinator or designer/day of decorating team - shoot us an email and let's chat! You can see our packages here. Now put the car in reverse and pull out of that Hobby Lobby parking lot!!!
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