Calling all DIY divas: Before you break out your hot glue gun and Pinterest board, you need to know that not all wedding-related crafts are created equal. And while you can save a lot of money by pitching in, you can actually spend more money by completing projects yourself. "Even as an event planner with high standards, I truly do understand the inclination to DIY — and, actually, I respect the self-sufficiency behind it," says Amy Kaneko, owner of Amy Kaneko Events in San Francisco. "But I also know for a fact that almost every couple underestimates the effort that goes into each and every one of these DIY tasks." So with that in mind, here are four projects you're better off leaving to the professionals.
Tempted by a $5-a-yard price tag on gorgeous sheer fabric perfect for table overlays? "Buying the material needed to create tablecloths, napkins or runners is actually quite costly," warns Stacy Wichelhaus, owner of They So Loved Events in San Francisco. Five dollars over 100 yards quickly adds up, plus, "it's also a lot of work to cut, sew and iron them," she says.
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2. Special lighting.
So you like the look of festive bistro lighting strung between trees — and you see you can easily snag string lights for the price of a song. But the look you love likely wasn't created with inexpensive LED lights you can purchase online, warns Kaneko. To mimic a high-class lighting look, you'll have to pay a high price for the best bulbs only to "climb ladders in search of tree branches at the right height, put up poles, and risk the danger of overloading circuits," she says.
"You could hit up every Goodwill and garage sale within a 50-mile radius and collect enough plates for your wedding, and it would cost you slightly less than renting," says Wichelhaus. But are the literally few dollars you'd deduct from your final bill worth the cost of "the time it takes to collect everything and the mess of dirty plates to deal with after the wedding?" she asks.
Sad, but true: "There is a major difference between a well-carried-out DIY project and one that looks like a craft project gone wrong," warns Wichelhaus. And if you're perfectionist, you could spend more money on a DIY décor project in an attempt to duplicate the version you could have rented.