So, despite all the 'friendly advice' and dire warnings, you've decided to tackle the momentous task of wedding planning all by yourselves. But before you start taking cookery and flower arrangement lessons, stop and acknowledge that some work is best delegated to the professionals. Why I advise restraint is because once you get into the zone of DIY, it can almost resemble a high. Buzzing on a cocktail of endorphins, adrenaline and other chemicals that your body runs on, you are likely to act out of sheer excitement. And then burn yourself out by trying to do everything.
Also, do ask yourself this question: why do you really want to take over the wedding planning? Is it just to save money or is it so you have more control over the proceedings and want to ensure it bears your own unique stamp?
That out of the way, let's take a look at our wedding planning checklist.
Things You Can Do
1. Invitations and Programs
If you are handy in the area of graphic design, and can draw anything that can be clearly distinguished as being something, then you can probably take a hit at doing the invitations and other cards related to your wedding. The first thing you need to do before rolling out your bombastic invitation design is to get an idea of the pricing of printing and paper. But at the end, you will have a truly beautiful and above all personal invitation. Consider leasing out some of the printing to save you some effort and avoid oversized and needlessly fancy envelopes, as they become a pain to mail.
2. Wedding and ceremony decor
Something that is near and dear to most people's hearts is a space that reflects their own personal style. The fact is most so-called professionals do a pretty tacky job and if you can decorate your room, you can probably manage a wedding along with a set of a few trusty minions. There is no need to shell out serious money for somebody else's idea of good taste. If your venue is already pretty enough on its own, as most wedding venues are, then all it needs is that personal touch. You can always go for the traditional route of employing floral centrepieces, but then you should take into account that flowers are an expensive prospect, even if bought at wholesale prices.
There is no need to shell out serious money for somebody else's idea of good taste.
Alternatively, you could go for a non-floral centrepiece and not only save a lot of money but also effort. Go bold and explore your likes; perhaps you can even stack some old books with a tasteful ribbon tied around them, maybe with a nice aromatic candle on top? You can even glue some paper or tissue flowers to some nice clean twigs and artfully place them in a simple glass vase, or even a tumbler.
3. Bridal accessories and make-up
The sad fact of it is that a 'bridal' tag has the effect of doubling or tripling the price of just about anything, whether it's a dupatta or a hair accessory. Making your own accessories is a simple matter; all it takes is a one-time investment in a few essential tools that will service you above and beyond your wedding day.
If you can handle your make-up with the aid of a friend or two, in the privacy of your own home, then why book a professional?
With millions of helpful tutorials on the net, almost any question to any problem that you could encounter will be solved with ease. You know that gorgeous bracelet that would look perfect on your wrist, but just has too many digits on the price tag for you to be comfortable with? You can make a beguiling knock-off with some odds and ends and a little bit of hot glue and a dash of inspiration. As far as your make-up and mehndi go, the only thing a professional might help with is the time period that the make-up needs to successfully stay on. If you can handle your make-up with the aid of a friend or two, in the privacy of your own hotel room or home, then why book a professional make-up artist?
If you're worried about how you'll end up looking in the photos, then you can always do a trial run with a few friends and the photographer to see if you need to do anything else
What You Shouldn't Do
1. The catering
As good as you are in the kitchen, and no matter how much an avatar of Tarla Dalal you may be, the cooking for the wedding should be left to the professionals to handle. You can decide the menu but leave well alone from that point on or you'll be courting disaster.
2. The photography
You will never regret the amount of money you will spend on hiring the services of a good photographer to capture the precious moments of your wedding. No matter how good you or your partner is behind the lens of a camera, you might be slightly busy on your wedding day. Besides, you want yourself and other loved ones to be in the frame.
3. The wedding day coordination
Do you want to be wondering where exactly the food is? Or whether the car that will ferry your ailing grandmother has arrived?
Congratulations, you've done a ton of planning and hats off to you. But do you really want to be working on your wedding day? Do you want to be wondering where exactly the food is? Or whether the car that will ferry your ailing grandmother has arrived? You should be able to relax and enjoy yourself as the day unfolds itself. Employing a coordinator who knows their business for your special day might make the difference between warm nostalgia and drowning out the memories in a dingy bar somewhere.
This is a condensed version of a post that first appeared in The Bridal Box.
Also see on HuffPost: