DIY– Do It Yourself
DYI– Do Yourself In
DYVI-Do Your Vendors In
I have seven children, so I totally understand the need to save where you can in the areas where you know how. In day to day life, we use our strengths or skills as ways to save. Perhaps your husband, dad, or boyfriend can change the oil, maybe you are a great seamstress and you can make clothing or you can bake breads. All of this is fabulous if you have the talent. If you are crafty and have abilities that will come in handy on your wedding day, by all means put your skilled hands to use. That is the meaning of a Do It Yourself bride.
What scares me is the bride or family who decides, even though they have no prior experience or skills, that they are going to be chief expert in charge of all things beautiful at the wedding. This is what you might call a Do Yourself In situation. Even for experts, designing stationary, baking wedding cakes, arranging flowers, photography, event coordination, and even providing music is a very stressful situation.  Our work is very detailed and requires endless amounts of time before the event.  Time you would probably rather be enjoying. Nothing is worse than being in the midst of a situation and feeling in over your head. Having too many projects or responsibilities leading up to your wedding can destroy your big day.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Choose projects that you are 100 percent certain your are capable of.
  • Do a practice run of any designs you are making and time how long it will take for you to achieve the whole project.
  • Choose projects that you can do in advance.
  • You will also want to consider how much it will cost to set up a mini shop.   The supplies list on most projects is very extensive  and you really need to think about every little thing you will need.
  • Next do you have the space to create and store your project? Make a plan on how the project is getting to the event and who is placing it.
  • Do you have a vehicle to transport all of your items? You may need to rent a mini or cargo van.

Image from
When you’re a DYI bride, it is also important that you remember this key: choose projects that do not require another unpaid vendor to complete. I bolded that last statement because this is where the Do Your Vendors In code or fear came from. On many occasions I have arrived at a reception only to find the DIY centerpieces were not put together or that the catering staff was enlisted to put together the designs. This automatically makes me feel bad because, after all, I am the florist. For instance, I charge a delivery and set up fee. Some brides, choosing to save a bit of money, opt to pick up and set up the flowers themselves; however, if they neglect to do the set up, the work usually falls to the venue, caterer or coordinator. I want to be able to continue offering this option to help brides save, but sometimes I wonder if I should stop. This instance becomes a poor reflection on my services, for I am the florist. If the flowers are not set up, who should be to blame? The first thought would be the florist.
Brides, if you have made a prior agreement with your florist or any other vendor to do a task to save money, please complete that task. This way when a vendor works with a bride to help her save they do not end up regretting it later. Most vendors are friends with the other vendors at an event; we don’t want to place anymore work on the already busy staff, yet we don’t want to stop providing you ways to save. It is easy to take advantage of your wedding vendors. You may do this without even meaning to. No qualified wedding vendor would ever leave any work undone even if they were not paid to complete the job. Let’s face it: your wedding is depending on everyone working together.
However, all vendors have time lines and have figured out how long it will take on each job. They know how many hands it will take to complete the job successfully and they have charged you accordingly based on those time lines. On many occasions, I have seen countless bags of candles, crafts, favors and gifts arrive and with no one designated (or paid) to do the set up. Another big mistake is to send these items still wrapped in cellophanes with sticklers glaring. It can take hours to get things unwrapped and clean enough to be set out at a wedding. I regret when I discount my flowers or give someone DIY ideas and they let the work or set up fall to another vendor.
In short, remember DIY means just that, do it yourself. Do not assume that someone else will pick up the slack. I want the other vendors to love me, love you, and love you’re wedding, but if you aren’t careful the DIY bride can become the DYI or DYVI bride.

  • Sprout Says: (01.13.2010 | 05:43)
  • julianne smith Says: (01.14.2010 | 07:02)

    great post with great insight and perspective! thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa Schneider Says: (01.14.2010 | 07:10)

    Such a great post! I don’t think that enough DIYers consider that when you as the vendor are trying to do something nice you are staking your reputation if the plan isn’t properly executed.

  • Cherin - Customized Wedding Creations Says: (01.14.2010 | 07:13)

    Thank you for a great post. If only all brides would see the point. 🙂

  • roses philippines Says: (01.19.2010 | 01:02)

    This is an awesome post! Bookmarked!

  • david dahlson Says: (01.20.2010 | 09:08)

    Your blog is awesome, really informative and right on point. Speaking for myself, I would not allow the bride the option of the DIY set up, because as you point out, if the flowers are set-up incorrectly, or without water, or handled withoiut TLC in any respect; then it falls back on you. How do the guests know that there was an agreement between you and the bride? All they see are the results.
    I do not know how you do it, between your family and your work, as well as growing flowers and writing this wondeful blog. I am exhausted just contemplating your life!
    By the way, before you destroy all the boxes from your next event, the “half” boxes (41x 10 x 8) are great for a game of Giant Jenga for the 9 – 13 age group. Or adults too!
    Happy New year David

Leave a Reply

Send to Friend