Eliminating Wedding Vendors – What to DIY?

by Melissa on March 9, 2011

Once we decided to self-cater our wedding, I realized that there were probably so many other things that we could do on our own.  (Despite my previous post decrying a lot of DIY efforts, I am not anti-DIY.  I guess just anti-crafty DIY.)  Tops on my list of DIY consideration recently has been makeup.  Unlike doing my hair, which I am completely inept at doing, I tend to be pretty good with makeup.  Several years ago, I went to some classes and workshops at MAC store, and I’ve been hooked on makeup ever since.  But is it worth it to do my makeup on my own?  Here are some things I’ve been considering DIY-ing (or at least asking friends/family to do) for the wedding, and some pros and cons of each:


Pros: I am pretty good at doing my own makeup and already own high-quality makeup and tools.  I wouldn’t have to pay another vendor and could do countless of my own makeup “trials” without paying for each.

Cons: Although I’m good with makeup, I’m good with “every-day” type of makeup that may not necessarily look amazing in photographs, may not stay put for a really long period of time, or hold up to the tears of joy that may stream down my face.  I’ve tried researching what types of foundation a lot of wedding makeup artists use, but haven’t found much information.  Do you remember what your wedding makeup artist used?


Pros: I’ve been doing my own nails for a long time now.  I have a big collection of nail polishes and I can paint my nails neatly.  I follow Scrangie and All Lacquered Up religiously.  However, I do go for a pro pedicure about once every six weeks, and when I do that, I usually get a professional manicure as well, typically because they’re better at cleaning up my cuticles than I am.  So, I was thinking that a few days before the wedding, I can get a pro manicure and pedicure, and then just paint my own nails the night before the wedding.  If I do go for a pro manicure the night before the wedding, I will definitely bring my own nail polish so that in case I chip the nail, I can fix it easily.

Cons: My hands will be photographed several times that day for, among other things, wedding ring shots.  Shouldn’t I leave my nails to the professionals?  Plus, what if my nails are uneven on the day of the wedding thanks to a broken nail?  Should I just plan on getting acrylic tips?  Tips are something I would typically never consider because of how they just destroy nails, but maybe I should get tips?

DJ/iPod wedding

Pros: The biggest pro is that it would save us a lot of money.

Cons: Although we would save money on the DJ costs by doing an iPod wedding, our venue is not wired with a built-in sound system, and so we’d have to invest in or rent some heavy-duty speakers, which would be costly itself, and we’d have to set it up on our own.  I really like the idea of having someone emcee the wedding and introduce us at the reception, announce the dances, etc.


We had initially budgeted for a wedding videographer, but are now considering cutting it because we wonder if it’s really necessary.

Pros: My fiance already owns a high-definition camcorder, which he could ask a steady-handed friend or relative to use.  I have this stereotype of wedding videographers as being obtrusive and tacky.  Do I really want that on our wedding day?  Or is it an outdated stereotype?  It’s one less expense to an already very expensive day.

Cons:  I worry that I’ll regret not having high-quality audio and professional, steady footage of our wedding day.  What if something happens that I really wish had been captured on video?


Although we’re not having any flowers as decor, I am starting to consider having a traditional bouquet instead of a brooch bouquet like I had been dreaming of for so long.  First, I have no idea how a florist would handle an order for a single bouquet.  Would they deliver it?  I don’t want to have to have anyone drive anywhere to pick it up.  And I know that any flowers that I would assemble myself would look like total crap.

Has anyone ever used an online service for their flowers?

Hmmm, the more I think about this, the more I may be going back to my original decision of having an alternative bouquet like a brooch bouquet.


Although we’re planning to self-cater most of our food, I planned on having my fiancé’s aunt bake some of her awesome cupcakes for the wedding.  I am starting to second guess this decision, primarily because making 125+ cupcakes is a huge undertaking for someone.  So, my options for consideration here are 1) Original decision for his aunt to make cupcakes, 2) Order cupcakes or cake from a professional bakery, or 3) Order a sheet cake from a store like Costco or supermarket.


So what major wedding DIY did you do that you regret or would recommend?  Any tips for the above DIY ideas?

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