I'm a huge advocate of the do-it-yourself generation of brides and grooms. It's more difficult to DIY a destination wedding because you probably won't have the same resources you have at home, but that doesn't mean that planning your own wedding at home is all that much easier. Hometown weddings are usually bigger than destination weddings. And bigger weddings tend to require bigger budgets... and bring more drama.
Just because you CAN do something yourself, doesn't always mean it's the best idea. I mean, face it — we can't all be experts at everything. And you want a certain level of expertise creating all the different elements of your wedding. It's okay for guests to look at things and admire the personalization, but you don't want it to look like a kindergartner made your cake pops or place cards. A successfully DIY'd wedding should look like it was planned and executed by professionals. That's the whole point.
I always remind DIY brides and grooms that there's no rule that says you can't hire professionals to execute as many parts of your wedding as you like. No reputable wedding vendor would claim to be able to be a wedding photographer and a wedding planner at the same event because we can't be in all places at all times. If professionals can't multitask beyond a certain point at the same event, what makes you think it will be easy for you at your own wedding?
Some things can be done well in advance. You can have all the décor prepped that doesn't include live flowers. You can make wedding favors a week ahead if you package them properly. But some things require entirely too much time and attention on the day of the wedding for the bride to do them herself.
Hair and Makeup
A bride with a free afternoon can do her own hair and makeup if she's a stylist, or has practiced a lot in advance. But even a bride who is a professional hair and makeup artist should not try to do the hair and makeup of every member of her wedding party, and the moms. If you're DIYing other aspects of your wedding, you'll hardly have time to do your own.
Photography and Videography
Whomever is taking the pictures cannot be part of the party, or in the pictures. Using a friend who isn't a wedding photographer means you're unlikely to get the detail shots a professional wouldn't miss. If you must DIY your videography for budget reasons, consider using a service like Wedding Mix so that the results look almost professional.
Unless it's a family potluck in the backyard, the bride cannot coordinate the food and beverages at her own wedding, and still have any fun at all. At the very least, do as much prep as you can on the food, and hire a catering company to finish and serve it to the guests. Nobody at the wedding should be doing dishes.
*Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of * How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.