Ok ok so I know what you're thinking. Of course I'm going to tell you not to do it yourself and hire a wedding planner. Well.................yes I am but that's only because it's THE TRUTH! After hundreds of weddings I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. The bad and the ugly all had several things in common. The most apparent of those things? DIY disasters.
I'm going to try to break it to you nicely, but your wedding is definitely going to cost money. Perhaps more money than you initially planned. This is what steers most couples away from portioning part of their budget towards planning, decor, etc. This would be your first mistake.
Whenever I'm trying to explain this I put it simply. When you don't know how to do something, you find someone that specializes in that "thing" and you pay them to do it. You wouldn't represent yourself in court, you'd hire a lawyer. You wouldn't perform surgery on yourself, you'd hire a doctor. You wouldn't even make your own Chinese food at home, you'd call takeout! So why oh why oh why would you try to tackle planning a wedding on your own when you've never had any experience before?
Here's why you shouldn't:
Timing is literally everything on your big day and even in the months and weeks leading up to it. The word "timing" takes on a very different meaning than what you are likely used to. Everything on your wedding day is coordinated with family, photographers, venue, caterers, hair and makeup artists, bakeries. Tackling how to juggle all of these people, not to mention your wedding party, on your own makes you an employee at your wedding, not the bride. Far too many times I've seen brides and grooms running around stressfuly trying to herd people in one direction or the other. I wince at the fact that someone else (that was hired) should be doing this while they're toasting champagne and eating hors d'oeuvres without a care in the world. The absolute worst part about this is that it's so avoidable. There are also many items that the average person wouldn't know about, simply from lack of experience. Do you know when the best time to cut the cake is or how important it is that guests arrive on time so that the venue and caterer don't serve you burnt steak? These are all things that happen behind the scenes and make the people executing them professionals.
Who wants to work on their wedding day? Hopefully that answer is a resounding "no" from everyone. The other question you should always ask is "Who in my circle of friends and family should be working on my wedding day?" It's so important to remember that your guests are called guests for a reason. When you try to do-it-yourself you tend to rope in mothers, aunts, bridesmaids, groomsmen into doing set-up and organization of your event. This means that they are running around like chickens tying bows on chairs and inevitably are almost late to the ceremony. By the time the reception rolls around they are exhausted. Do you really want your mom worrying about details and setting up your wedding? I would always recommend that you pay someone to do all of this for you. Again, your decor company is worth paying the rental and set-up fees. If a decor company is doing 15 weddings every weekend chances are they are going to be able to tie those bows better than Aunt Gilda anyhow! Pay the small amount of extra money for the peace of mind and ease on the feet. Hire a professional.
The BIGGEST reason I would warn against trying to do-it-yourself is the importance of one main point person. Throughout your wedding planning process, if you have ONE main point of contact, this creates such a beautiful aire of organization. If one person knows exactly what you want and what you expect it is so much easier to accomplish the day that you've been dreaming about and anticipating. Your wedding planner is there to oversee all of the timing and all of the vendors involved. They can step in when the wrong linens are being used or if the floral centerpieces aren't delivered on time. This is what they do for a living. I also want to stress how hard it is and how complicated it becomes to reign in 5 different people. If you assign setting up flowers to your cousin and bringing cupcakes to your mom and tying bows to your aunt and bringing the guest book to the best man and dropping off party favors to your sister and bringing in the photo slideshow to your maid of honor...................................................ok I think now you're getting the point. ONE person needs to be in charge of this and why not have this person be someone who does this for a living?
Bottom line is that your wedding day only happens once. You've spent months or years getting here and you've dreamt about it. Take as much stress, pressure and work out of this day as possible. When you look back on your wedding day I only wish that you remember it as one of the best days of your life, and not how exhausted you were.