3 Things to DIY + 3 Things to Leave to the Pros on Your Wedding Day

Balance is the key to happiness.

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The week before my wedding was one of the busiest of my life. Between packing for the honeymoon, dropping off welcome baskets and mingling with family and friends at the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, I didn't have a second to spare. Needless to say, I was glad I hired trusted professionals to handle some of the bigger jobs, allowing me to relax, enjoy and be present on my big day.

But like many couples, my husband and I were on a tight budget. And in order to pull off the chic, romantic look I wanted, I had do a lot of the prep work myself. While I love a good DIY project, there were a few times in the months leading up to the wedding when I felt totally overwhelmed. So if you're at the beginning of your wedding-planning journey, take these words of advice from a bride that's been there: figure out what you can feasibly do yourself, then hire someone to do the rest. The last thing you want to be on your wedding day is stressed.

 SMART DIY CHOICES:

 Handcraft Decor Items

Leafy Menu

Leafy Menu

Greenery is totally on-trend in the world of weddings, so why not incorporate it in a creative way? Using a paint pen and your prettiest handwriting (or a calligrapher), display your menu on a large leaf.

Photo by: Alea Moore Photography , Design By: Michelle Burke , Calligraphy By: Callie Brannen

Alea Moore Photography , Design By: Michelle Burke , Calligraphy By: Callie Brannen

As long as you start well in advance of your wedding date, making your own decorations such as centerpieces, signs, pew markers and more is a great way to stay on budget without sacrificing style. Browse through our favorite easy-to-make wedding projects below, then get your BFFs together for a wedding craft night a few weeks before the big day.

 Plan Your Own Wedding

Budget Wedding Tip: Printing Styles Can Affect Invitation Cost

Budget Wedding Tip: Printing Styles Can Affect Invitation Cost

The method in which your wedding stationery is printed can drastically change the price of your order. Fine printing techniques like engraving and letterpress can increase your cost exponentially. If you’re on a super tight budget opt for flat, digital printing to get the best bang for your buck.

Photo by: Jackie Mangiolino

Jackie Mangiolino

The keys to successfully planning your own wedding are staying organized, doing your research and knowing when to delegate. That being said, meeting with and hiring vendors, managing receipts and ordering invitations can quickly become a full-time job. My advice? Assign smaller tasks to a handful of trusted friends and family who understand your vision and with whom you can be open and honest. Then, hire a coordinator for the day of the wedding so that you and your loved ones can enjoy yourselves without worrying about timing and logistics. Get our top planning tips plus a printable 12-month to-do list below.

 DIY Favors

Sparkler Send-Off Kits

Sparkler Send-Off Kits

Prep for a grand exit with these adorable, heart-shaped sparkler kits. Make the packaged kits ahead of time to display on a table near the door.

Photo by: Tori Watson , Project By: 17Apart

Tori Watson , Project By: 17Apart

Wedding favors are a thoughtful way to show your friends and family how much you appreciate them. But if you're expecting upwards of 100 guests, these small gifts can get pricey, quick. Making your own not only helps you stay on budget but is a special and unique way to say "thank you."

 WHAT TO LEAVE TO THE EXPERTS:

 Music

Find a Wedding Planner

Find a Wedding Planner

Sometimes your venue may provide you with a day-of coordinator, but in case it doesn’t, you’ll need someone on the day of your wedding to coordinate all of your vendors and make sure everything runs smoothly. Alternatively, you can also hire a full-time planner that will plan everything with you from the very beginning to the day after the wedding.

Photo by: Viera Photographics

Viera Photographics

A good DJ does more than hit the play button — he acts as an MC, provides a high-quality sound system and ensures the right songs are played at the right moments. Because DJs normally charge by the hour, you could cut costs by making your own playlist for the ceremony and cocktail hour, then hire a pro for dinner and dancing.

 Food

Photo by: Julie Paisley

Julie Paisley

Even if you're a skilled baker or chef, making a wedding cake or plating 200 hors d'oeuvres the day before your wedding is an added stress you don't want to take on. Instead, hire a caterer with good reviews and be involved in every step of the process, taking advantage of tasting opportunities and being honest about what you do and don't want. If saving money is your main concern, consider a semi-DIY approach to your wedding cake: purchase a plain white wedding cake, then decorate it yourself.

 Photos

Wear Different Color Suits

Wear Different Color Suits

Grooms John Henry and John wore suits in different soft, neutral colors.

Photo by: Marc Millman

Marc Millman

A great wedding photographer is the single most important investment you will make. After all, you can't go back and redo it if the pictures don't turn out the way you want. And while hiring a friend or family member for this job might seem tempting budget-wise, it's best to leave this one to a pro.

Get Inspired: 20 Hot Wedding Trends We're Loving Now

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Live Painting

While your photographer will certainly capture every classic moment to share, we love the idea of commissioning an artist on the premises to create an everlasting piece of art for your newlywed home. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Including Furry Friends

From flower pup to ring bearer, couples are incorporating their pets on their big day in the sweetest ways! Photo: Style Me PrettySimply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Pops of Deep Red

Blush pink has long been popular in wedding world, but now that shade is getting paired with deep shades of red or burgundy for a color palette pop. Photo: Style Me PrettySimply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Vintage-Inspired Engagement Rings

When it comes to your sparkler, designers are taking notes from a bygone era with intricate settings and unique stones. Photo: Style Me PrettySimply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Fresh Berry Boutonnieres

Nothing says seasonal like a beautiful boutonniere made of fresh berries. Whether they’re in peak or off-season, these hand-picked accessories lend a fresh feel to your big day. See more garden-inspired boutonnieres >>

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Family-Style Menus

Skip the traditional plated meal and transform a casual course into a conversation starter by allowing guests to pick their portions. Photo: Style Me PrettySimply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Long-Sleeve Lace Gowns

Kate Middleton first kicked off this trend on her big day, and five years later brides are still rocking wedding gowns inspired by her long lace sleeves. 

Photo By: iStock/Milan_Jovic

Cakes as an Artform

Desserts are another avenue for self-expression and we’re loving the uptick in artistic confectionaries —especially this gorgeous gold leaf creation. Learn 3 DIY ways to dress up a white wedding cake >>

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Bridal Crowns

Brides are channeling their inner-royalty with crown-style headpieces taking the place of traditional veils. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

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Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

Tapered Candles

Candlelight is all the rage and we love how couples are incorporating a new take on this traditional look on their big day. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Custom Crests

Couples are adding their own personal stamp to their celebration by incorporating (and designing) their own wedding day crests. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

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Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Monochromatic Bouquets

Rather than incorporating an entire palette, brides are sticking to like-minded shades of the same color family when it comes to their bouquet. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

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Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

Cotton Candy Carts

Thought cotton candy was just for kid’s parties? Think again, because today’s couples are embracing a playful vibe on their big day by including cotton candy stands with gourmet flavors. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Statement Envelope Liners

Couples want to wow their guests right from the get-go and what better way to do that than with a unique envelope liner that speaks to your wedding style? Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

Handwritten Vows

Whether it be handwritten vows or a personal friend officiating the wedding, ceremonies are taking a turn from traditional to totally personal. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Greenery Accents

For couples wishing to achieve a lush, organic look, a touch of greenery does just the trick. It’s an inexpensive addition that adds dimension and texture to tables, chair backs, arches, centerpieces and more. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Plunging Necklines

Gone are the days of sweetheart necklines dominating the wedding dress scene. Modern brides aren’t afraid to take a fashion risk, including a plunging neckline that’s anything but boring. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

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  1. wedding dress

©Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

Custom Logos on Desserts

An edible treat is all the sweeter when it’s branded with your wedding day logo. Get 30 more wedding dessert ideas >>

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Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Foraged Bouquets

Effortless yet totally elegant, brides today are embracing organic hand-tied bouquets. Learn how to make your own >>

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  1. bouquet

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Styled Elopements

With the shift to more intimate weddings, many couples are choosing a day made for two. An elevated approach to the traditional civil ceremony, couples are planning elopements without sacrificing style. Photo: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Simply Sarah Photography

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