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

Balance is the key to happiness.

August 27, 2019

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.

Bride and groom stand in ceremony space

Chelsea and Tyler Enjoy a Sweet Moment After Their Ceremony

The bride and groom are all smiles after saying "I Do." String lights, gilded chairs and large mercury hurricanes add a touch of shimmer to their ceremony space and complement the wedding's New Year's Eve theme.

Photo by: Amber Lowe

Amber Lowe

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.


Handcraft Decor Items

Menu Written on Large Green Leaf

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

White and Gray Wedding Invitation Suite

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

Metal Basket Full of Heart-Shaped Sparklers

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."



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.


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.


Two Men Holding Hands and Kissing at the Beach

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

See All Photos

Shop This Look


Next Up

How to Craft the Ultimate Soiree: 5 Tips From a Celebrity Wedding Planner

Pro wedding planner Tara Guérard lists the necessary ingredients for a top-shelf celebration.

12 Things to Include in Your Wedding Welcome Bags

Welcome out-of-town guests to your wedding festivities with a thoughtful bag brimming with everything they need for the weekend ahead.

Wedding Reception Songs Guaranteed to Get Your Guests on the Dance Floor

Whether you've hired a DJ, a band or are playing songs on shuffle, our crowd-pleasing playlist is sure to get the party started.

How to Make Wedding Confetti Cones

Adorn wedding reception chairs with these sweet confetti cones so guests can celebrate the bride and groom as they leave for their honeymoon.

Congrats on Being Maid of Honor! Here's How to Plan a Fab Bridal Shower

Because every bride needs a situation-savvy MOH by her side.

DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Wedding Guestbook

Make a personalized keepsake that you can frame or take apart and put back together every anniversary.

All the Things We Want From Priyanka Chopra + Nick Jonas' Wedding Registry

Take a peek at Priyanka's Amazon Wedding Registry and shop her must-haves.

3 DIY Bridal Bouquets You Can (Actually) Make Yourself

Create an eye-catching bridal bouquet at a fraction of the cost with these must-know tips.

Write Like a Lettering Pro With This Faux Calligraphy Hack

New to hand-lettering? Even beginners can master this easy technique.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.