• Leah Marie

The Dos And don'ts Of A DIY Wedding

DIY weddings are a great option if you're looking to get hands on with your wedding decor or if you're simply trying to save money where you can, but take it from me, a real bride who's DIY wedding turned into one of the most stressful days of my life. Here's some dos and don'ts for you.

1. DO

Do look for venues that offer styling or hire a stylist if you don't have an official venue. You'll still be able to pick the exact look you want for your day, but someone else will come and set it all up for you and trust me just knowing someone is taking care of that for you will be the biggest relief when your day rolls around.

My wedding day looked like this:

We hired a removal van that we then loaded with all of our decorations and took it to the woods (we eloped in the woods) we set up in the morning not realising how long the setting up of everything would take, meaning we had very little time to go back get ready and come back to the woods. Long story short, we were 2 hours late to our wedding! The party had started without us and by the time we got there we had to pack up the whole place ready to leave for the night. So if you can hire a stylist I would 1 million percent recommend it.

2. DON'T

Don't underestimate the value of having a catering team. We had a bbq wedding that one of our guests took on for us, which was great but was a lot of pressure on that person. I hear this a lot in the wedding industry that the food is the most expensive part and I can't help but think 'Of course it is!' When have you ever gone to a restaurant with 100 guests had a three course meal and it come under £1000. Trust me when I say this, it's worth every penny to be able to sit down relax and have a lovely meal cooked for you on your wedding day, plus it's up to you how many people you invite to share that with.

3. DO

Do get creative with your decor. You can always personalise your own decor and bring them with you on the morning or day before your wedding for your stylist to set up for you. For our wedding we made our own welcome sign, we also had an art canvas as our wedding guestbook for people to draw us something from our day as opposed to writing us a message and we brought lots of Mason jars for our homemade lemonade. As a wedding photography I've seen a lot of couples put their personal touch on their decor in real simple yet effective way, so go ahead and be creative, it's time to put your stamp on things.


Do not, and I repeat do not photograph your own day or have uncle Steve who knows how to work an auto click and point camera photograph your day. I learned very quickly the value of what I do as a photographer when I decided to photograph my own wedding day and it's a lesson I hope you will take note off.

Weddings always over run, like mine did, remember the whole two hours things… but your photographer is capturing everything despite that, as I was our photographer I barely captured any of our day because we were so late and it's so gutting for me that I don’t have my own beautiful photos to look back on like the ones I get to deliver to my couples.

On that note photography is worth every penny in my eyes. A lot of time effort and not to mention money will go into making your day everything you want it to be, and so budget wisely for a photographer/videographer because they are the ones who capture and retell your story. Always go for a photographer whose work connects with you and not because of their price. You don’t want to get that wrong, these won’t just be in your life forever but your kids or the generation to come. I still look at my grandparents photos now and we look at theirs, it's a time capsule of your best day so don’t loose sight of how important photography is to your day.

5. DO

Plan your day, your way. If I could go back and do our day differently, I 100% would and I don't want you having that sort of regret. So do plan your day the way you want, even if that means saving an extra year so you can have the day of your dreams. DIY where you can but just don’t let it take over completely, you’ll still need a ton of support to make this day special and there are teams of suppliers who will wait on you hand and foot to make sure your day is one you will always remember as your best day ever.

How to still have your dream wedding? Find out more about what eloping is. Click Here

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