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DIY Wedding Planning For the Bride On A Budget

Updated on October 18, 2012

In The Beginning

Yay! Nadine, my boss's daughter is getting married! And to the man of her dreams...another doctor like herself. And get this...he proposed on Thanksgiving on bended knee at her parent's house AFTER asking for her parent's permission. Now that's a GENTLEMAN!

What does this have to do with me, you ask? Why do I care that Nadine is getting married...other than I've known her for the past 22 years since she was a kid and have along with my boss, seen her through college, medical school, her residency, all the way to DOCTOR? Well, funny you should ask that...


Well, it's this...I'm a serious DIY-er. I have been known to make things out of bottle caps, scraps of paper, tin cans, whatever has an interesting shape that I think I can do something with . But this is different, you see. I've somehow gone in the space of a month from giving advice about wedding vendors to doing the reception centerpieces, to doing ALL the flowers, to being the wedding planner! YES!! I mean SHRIEK! I mean...well, this will be interesting.

Doing your own wedding or doing it for someone else can be fun...or it can be amazingly stressful. I would not advise the bride herself to do alot of her own DIY unless (a) she has alot of time on her hands and plenty of patience (b) she is extremely crafty and talented and (c) she has a large supply of Prozac! All the minute details of a wedding can stress anyone out, so if you are the bride, truly, for your own sanity, enlist the help of talented friends rather than trying to go it alone.

The Hell Is In The DIY Details!

A wedding is a fabulous and wonderful celebration of two people's commitment to each other. However, it's a tremendous undertaking. It can be as simple or complex as you (and your budget!) allow it to be. When faced with the request from my boss to plan her daughter's wedding, I tried to think off the top of my head of all the things that go into a wedding, but even that was overwhelming. What was a huge help was a wedding planner that I downloaded absolutely FREE online that has everything from how to choose a DJ to timelines to whose responsibility is get the idea. You can download one yourself and put in in a binder to refer to again and again. There are several free ones available. The great thing about the one I downloaded is that it had a section for every vendor and a place to write how much each vendor was paid, whether a deposit was owed, when it was owed...all important details. And one day it could be an interesting keepsake when your own children get married!

Do Your Research

Many reputable wedding vendors have websites now, so you can spend quite a bit of time perusing their sites and seeing what they offer. Make sure your printer has plenty of ink! You'll be wanting to print off some contact info like phone numbers or addresses to keep in a file to refer back to later. Also, many vendors actually put their pricing on their sites which is extremely helpful, so you'll want to print those so you can do side by side comparisons. Testimonials are nice, but vendors aren't going to put anything up that's negative from a former customer, so go on sites like weddingwire to read their reviews. This could save you a world of trouble later!


Go Pro!

What happens after you plan this wedding for yourself or your friend and you enjoy it so much you think you'd like to do it as a career? There are lots of online wedding planner programs out there, but choose carefully.Anyone can put up a website and say they are a school for wedding planners, but sorry to say are just there to take your money. The best route to go if you are serious about pursuing wedding planning as a career is to investigate CERTIFIED programs. Comparison shop prices as well as there are a wide range of prices for these programs. Many technical colleges are offering certificate courses in wedding planning as part of their curriculum, so best to start there, to be sure you're getting an accredited course from a reliable source..

Finally, if you do get involved in wedding planning, either for a friend or as a profession, remember although the planning seems stressful and there are a million details, in the end, a loving couple made a wonderful commitment to each other. And that's the most important thing!


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