How to Have a Successful DIY Wedding

When it comes to that special day, it should reflect the personality of the couple. Fantasy-themed, elegant or eclectic weddings are becoming the norm for many couples who want something memorable. Even for those who desire something simple, here are ways to become your own wedding planner.

The first matter to determine is money. How much is available to spend and if necessary, how much can realistically be raised to meet a certain milestone. Often couples (or the bride) go for details that seem small at first but add up to large numbers by the big day. By having financing in order first, this can help save face when the final invoices arrive.

The second matter is to create a book that is both functional and visual. While many brides pore over wedding magazines filled with ideas about the special day, a three-ring binder (or e-folder dedicated to wedding details) should contain the following –

  • 50-100 sheets of college or wide ruled paper
  • A business card holder or email folder for wedding contacts (optional)
  • 3-5 individual folders (or subfolders) labeled: contracts, invoices, and ideas with estimate costs
  • 10-15 sheets of blank or graph paper

Ruled or lined paper can be used to write down details including appointments and contact information. This may seem routine but sometimes discounts on products are available through a specific contact or with other information like promo codes that may be difficult to remember.


Contracts are one of many areas where the bride-to-be can experience conflict. Often a minor detail can cost extra money or work in favor of the bride should something not pan out as planned. Either way, it’s best to keep copies separate from other financial matters or where it’s easily accessible.

The same rule applies to invoices, as these are also legally binding until the final balance is paid, or the agreement is cancelled. Ideas from books and periodicals should be kept together. By copying or scanning pages with the items desired, this uses less physical space than having books and magazines piled up.

While event and wedding planners are experts in knowing how to use event space and manage crowds effectively, the bridegroom (or person making the plans) will have to take a crash course involving handwritten notes up until the big day. Often these mistakes are innocent but noting details along the way can make the day go smoother.

Two areas to note are event space and traffic. This affects how food and drinks are served as well as guests’ overall comfort. For large groups, consider dual lines at the buffet tables for shorter wait times. Also, arrange seats so that differently-sized or disabled persons will have enough room to get around.

While there are books that can act as a template, another money-saving alternative is to use a wedding planner new to the industry. It’s possible they will volunteer in exchange for a testimonial for their business. Prospects can be found at adult schools or colleges that offer event or wedding planning courses.

Chiffon bridesmaid dresses at