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Do-It-Yourself is all the rage in everything from beauty masks to home improvement, but wedding DIYs can be a little more difficult than refinishing a table for your living room. If you drop the ball on a major element of your wedding day because you forgot or didn't do it properly, there's no fixing that. There are no three strikes in wedding planning but how you handle the problem however, makes all the difference.
I'm actually a huge advocate of DIYing parts of your wedding to add personal touches and save money. But I worry about couples who take on more than they can handle and don't ask for enough help, either from friends or professional vendors. Granted, some things aren't that important. The bride who mailed me little bags of wedding bell chocolates that melted en route and appeared to be little bags of poop had to laugh when I sent her pictures. We simply didn't use them. But that happened ahead of the wedding day. When something goes wrong during the wedding, it's not funny.
My favorite example of an epic DIY fail is credited to a groomzilla who is a television producer and is used to being totally in charge of everything. At this particular wedding on a beautiful property in the Hamptons, the bride and groom's friends did all the setup. The guys in charge of putting up the tent for the musicians determined they didn't need to use any of the tie-downs provided with the tent. So when the wind picked up and the tent blew away, floating right in front of the guests just before the ceremony started, the string ensemble hired to play for hours on the lawn complained. It was hot as hell out, and if the weather turned to rain, their instruments would be ruined.
When the groom heard about the problem, he turned into a monster. Instead of negotiating to get them through the ceremony so they could solve the problem afterwards, he ran down to the ceremony site in his wedding attire and screamed at the musicians in front of the guests until they were intimidated into playing the ceremony.
Despite the fact they'd been hired to play for cocktail hour and dinner, they packed up their gear and left after "I Do." Their contract required a covered location and it wasn't provided so they had zero obligation to stay. Had the groom been nice about it and relocated the musicians under the dinner tent, it would have been just fine. Instead, it was a deathly silent affair and everybody knew why and who was at fault.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.