Most of us do have a pretty tight budget for our weddings.  But we don’t want to give anything on the celebration.  Which means we do  a lot ourselves.  So how do you determine what to do yourself and what to hire?  Who should you ask to help? And how can you reduce the stress of doing yourself?


  • Anything that can be done ahead of your wedding day – should be done ahead of time. Even easy things – if it can be done the week before, do it then. A day before – do it then. A wedding day is busy and stressful all by itself. Eliminate everything that can be done before hand so you are relaxed on the big day.
  • Flowers are high labor items so I really recommend outsourcing flowers because of the time they take. I love crafts and thought I would love to do the flowers myself, and actually if it wasn’t right before the wedding, I probably would have. And if you really want to do them yourself, be sure they are done at least a day before the wedding.
  • Count the cost of stress into your planning. When we were determining our food budget for our last wedding I had planned on a local restaurant making salads, but when one of my more budget conscious daughters saw the salad budget was over $500 she convinced me that we could make the salad and save a fortune. I listened to her and discovered that she was right, salad is cheap. but I also learned that stress has costs! Making salad for 150 people is a lot of work! Last minute work! (see tip number 1)
  • Make very specific assignments to friends and family who offer to help. Be sure you and they both understand the precise time commitments their assignment will take and what time it must be done. Hire (or trade for) some help if you need it so that your own family can enjoy this special day. (I think my brother in law Brad will think twice before coming to our next wedding!)

Finally, be realistic about who will be available to assist you on the wedding day. Do not expect your wedding party to do anything to help you for at least five hours before start time. I’ll say it again – Get friends or hire help for set up. With five daughters I figured I would have lots of last minute help, but no, what I had was one bride and four bridesmaids doing their hair and nails!


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