Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?

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Morrisania Posts : 4 Registered: 5/31/09
Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 24, 2009 1:51 PM

Money is a VERY big issue for us. We have given thought to doing everything from food to making the bouquets and centerpieces. Our friends and family says it is way too much work. They say that we will be too exhausted to enjoy the big day. While they all seem to have an opinion, when we tell them the prices of the catering halls, they say it is expensive. Are we crazy to do everything ourselves? Did/Are any of you going this route? Any suggestions PLEASE!!!!!

desperate in NY

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 24, 2009 2:29 PM Go to message in response to: Morrisania

Well, are you talking about having the wedding/reception in someones home vs. a banquet hall / catering venue etc? Sometimes people think that by doing this, they are saving themselves money, but a lot of times it can end up being just as expensive AND extremely stressful. Not always, but sometimes. Do your research, and really look into all options before making decisions. Ask yourself what is important to YOU in regards to your wedding and focus on that, that is where you spend your money. Anotherwords, if limos are not important, dont get them. If you dont care about flowers, dont spend $2000 on them, or dont have them at all, use other alternatives for centerpieces etc. There are endless options, you just have to sit down and figure out what you want, and what you can afford specifically. Create a budget, and then go from there. As far as the wedding day itself, if you do have the wedding at a home, I would definately suggest hiring a wedding planner/day of coordinator to take care of all the small and large details on your wedding day for you. Sure, you CAN do these things, but honestly, its not that easy and its not very relaxing. (I know because I did it myself... I was decorating the venue 2hours before my own reception started etc etc. I would not recommend that.)

I dont think youre crazy at all, I think youre smart because youre trying to save money. Just do some research, there are lots of other ways to save money that include having a smaller guestlist, cutting things that arent necessary, and focusing on what you truly want.

Im a planner in the NY area, and I have all kinds of excellent money saving tips and suggestions. If youd like to talk , just contact me at my site below.

Good luck.

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KaylaMarriedBrett Posts : 146 Registered: 3/12/08
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 24, 2009 2:36 PM Go to message in response to: Morrisania

I'm doing a lot of things myself.

Things i'm doing myself: inviations, pew decorations, center pieces, reception decorations, 2 bouquets for my ribbonwand girls (they wanted little bouquets so i said ok)
This may not seem like a lot of things, but once you get to actually having to do things(especially the invitations) it's a lot to take on by yourself.
We were going to be buying all our bar drinks ourselves and provide the ice,cups, napkins, etc.., but once it got closer to the wedding day we were stressing about where to put the ice, where to get all the ice, how to keep all the kegs cold and where to store them until we can get into the reception venue.
So we opted to hire a catered bar service, which took a HUGE load off my shoulders!

When is my wedding
 

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 24, 2009 3:28 PM Go to message in response to: Morrisania

If you're not crazy now, you might be by the time you finish LOL! It all depends, as Kelley say, on what you want. It's very possible to do a small, intimate family-close-friends wedding at home, with people pitching in to help with food and so forth. It's another thing to do the full-on catered dinner for 100 people with linens, centerpieces, dancing, a big wedding cake and all of the formalities. AsKelley said, research, research, research. Read everything you can about real weddings that fit your idea of what you'd like. Find out what each element costs, what has to be rented, what kinds of food keep best with the least attention, how much help you need or have access to, what can be done early, what's last minute. You'll find plenty of info. in wedding books, magazines, and on the internet from people who have gone through the experience and will warn you about all of the ups and downs.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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Morrisania Posts : 4 Registered: 5/31/09
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 25, 2009 2:53 AM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

We were thinking about finding places that rent the hall and allow us to bring in our own food. We each have our best friends who we know will roll up their sleeves and help us with whatever we ask them to. Unfortunately that is kind of where it ends. Our problem is not getting people to say they will help, it is actually getting them to follow through.We are planning what we think is a small event, about 75 people(maybe less as we go over the list). I am finding when we talk to caterers, limo co., florists, photographers, when they hear the word wedding, the calculator in their brain just gets stuck on the add button. We want to have a nice and tasteful event without spending a ridiculous amount of money. I will take your suggestions of doing lots of research and deciding what can we really live without.

This has all been so frustrating that I suggested that we just go to City Hall with our parents, our children and our two best friends. We go to lunch and make a day of it and put all the money we save toward a honeymoon( which we were going to put off until a later date) and a new car.

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2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 25, 2009 4:56 AM Go to message in response to: Morrisania

You can do a lot yourself. However, you may want to consider hiring people to help out, even it is just college students hired for the day. Even if you make and freeze a lot of the food in advance, you are going to go nuts if you are also heating it, serving it, watching for when serving trays get empty, cleaning up, etc. during your own reception.

Also, think about when you can do all the stuff. For example, if you are renting a venue, will you be able to get in early enough to do the decorating?


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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 25, 2009 12:50 PM Go to message in response to: Morrisania

Our problem is not getting people to say they will help, it is actually getting them to follow through.

Red flag, red flag! If you have even the slightest doubts that people will follow through, then don't depend on them! If you rent a hall, there are plenty of caterers who will come in, set up the food, and leave. This option is not too expensive. I've done a Mexican-themed cocktail party for 100 people for under $400, including punch bowls full of magaritas. Think outside of the box. What can you feed people that will fill them up and not cost a fortune? Time the wedding so you can do "Just Desserts" or cocktail nibbles or brunch foods. How about a fun barbecue? Find a hall (if you can) that already has tables and chairs, so you con't have to rent them. If the space is informal, play into it instead of trying to hide it (e.g. find a barn, throw straw on the floor, cover hay bales with fabric , and call it a hoe-down!).
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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Ebby102310 Posts : 57 Registered: 2/3/09
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 25, 2009 2:20 PM Go to message in response to: Morrisania

Don't think your crazy and it is something that can be done. I agree with PP, if your budget allows, pay for what you can, and DIY what will save the most cost as well as time. For my wedding, I have a friend doing our centerpieces, and another doing the bridal flowers and programs. We are having it at a hotel so catering is covered.

Also, for those who said they will help, give them a deadline, especially one that allows you to find another option in enough time.

One of my aunt's did the same as you are planning. What she did was tapped the creative people at her job, her friends that was the most dependable, and most of the family and she got a caterer, a baker, favors, DJ, and favors under budget. She also had people help her with logistics, so that was good.

It might be beneficial to check with friends and co-workers, and even local restaurants. Some caterers will work with you if they know your budget up front and if you tell them your are shopping around for quotes. Some local colleges that have hospitality classes and horticultural classes might help out with the food and flowers.


You also want to make sure that the hall you choose allows outside vendors. Some halls have a catering services and you can only use them, which skyrockets the price. Do a spreadsheet and in 1 column put what you can DIY and in another put what you need to pay for. Visuals sometimes help make the decision.


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Morrisania Posts : 4 Registered: 5/31/09
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 26, 2009 1:14 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Thanks. You guys are the best! Your suggestions give me hope that we can do this. The suggestion to use college students was just great. I could kick myself for not thinking of it since I recently applied for acceptance to a culinary program.(stress really does block the brain) Please keep the great ideas coming. We can use all the help we can get. Thanks again.

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Morrisania Posts : 4 Registered: 5/31/09
Re: Doing It Yourself: Am I Crazy?
Posted: Aug 26, 2009 1:34 PM Go to message in response to: Ebby102310

Thank you Ebby. We are surrounded by restaurants here. I will check with them. Maybe they will give us a better price than the catering halls.

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