saving money

Three Things to DIY that aren't Decorations

When it comes to DIY and your wedding, many couples stop at decorating as the easiest way to save money. Pinterest and the general acceptance, even push to include hand-crafted elements means there are a ton of resources and inspiration to create your dream vision on your big day, but there are other ways to save some cash that don't involve paper cuts and hot glue burns. Our goal is always to save couples time and stress as well as money, so when we say you can knock these things out yourselves, we really mean it!


You don't have to spend your entire reception spinning your own vinyl collection to have an intentionally curated playlist. Using a library service like iTunes allows you to take the music you already have and organize it in a way that keeps the atmosphere going all while spending as little as zero dollars. Before you plug in your laptop and hit shuffle, we have a few tips to make this a viable, even professional-sounding option. 

     Start with a few playlists and label them accordingly. Keep in mind what you want to do on your wedding day and how you want it to feel. For example, make a separate playlist for the pre-wedding prelude, another for the music you want to use in your ceremony, then have individual lists for a cocktail hour, dinner or food service and party tunes for dancing. 

     Look at your day-of timeline (We'll help with that!) and pad each block of music with 15-20 extra minutes. Use songs that you wouldn't mind hearing but aren't super-excited to play since this part of the playlist is just a safety net if pictures run long or one of your key people goes MIA before the cake cutting.

     Have someone to pause, play and switch playlists. You don't want to be running to the soundbooth every hour, so make sure you have someone to hit a couple buttons for you. This can be a friend/family member or a coordinator. Just make sure they're tech savvy enough to understand what's on the screen!

The Bar

Shaina Sheaff Photo

Shaina Sheaff Photo

This one depends on your contract with your venue. If they have an open vendor policy, you should be good to go. Full bars are tricky not only because they get expensive, but because it's hard to estimate how much you will need of what when you have all of the options. Purchasing beer and wine from a big box store and having a licensed bartender hand it out can save you hundreds over fully catered bar setups. If you're feeling adventurous or want to have a liquor option, pre-mix batch cocktails like spiked lemonade or margaritas the week before. They come out to pennies per serving and can be transferred from a plastic jug to a nice pitcher to give your bartender an elegant, yet speedy way to dish those dranks. Not sure how much you'll need? Consult an online drink calculator and feel the relief of the affordable option!

The Food

Shaina Sheaff Photo

Shaina Sheaff Photo

Ok, you probably don't want to try to make 100 chicken parmesan entrees the morning of your wedding, but if you're leaning towards a light-bite option, you can make it happen with some help from someone close to you. Fruits and veggies can be purchased and cut a couple days ahead of time to make grab and go options. Dips like guacamole and hummus can be made in large quantities and easily served with a selection of chips, crackers or breads. Looking for some hot options? Think about meatballs heated in a slow cooker or a slider station with pre-cooked ham or brisket. If someone is helping you with the setup, you may want to think about compensating them or at least a gesture to show your gratitude, but you're still coming in at a fraction of what it costs to cater!

Before you make any choices about what to take on yourself and what to pass on to a professional, make sure to be honest with yourself and your partner about how much time you have and how much of it you're willing to invest. As with all DIY projects, the cost of saving money can be a chunk of time. If your craft skills are lacking, there are still plenty of ways to pinch pennies while still having a fabulous wedding!

Do you need some guidance when it comes to making DIY decisions? Let us know how we can help!