Handling some wedding tasks yourself can be a great way to personalize your event and save money. But don’t go too far, says wedding expert Annie Lee, principal planner for event planning firm Daughter of Design. Her rule of thumb? “If you can do it months in advance while you’re watching TV, go for it,” she says. “If it’s time-sensitive, don’t risk it. And whatever you do, don’t bake.”

The final days before your wedding will be hectic: last-minute errands, family in town, seating charts to finalize, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, packing for the honeymoon and more. There’s no room for anything unnecessary.

Smart DIY Choices

Invitations and other paper items. If you’re crafty — or you have a friend who’s a nifty graphic designer — DIY invitations can be a highly personalized touch that won’t cost you a fortune. “You can even cut your own envelope liners from wallpaper to dress them up,” Annie says. “I also had a client make a rubber stamp of her menu, which she inked and applied to paper doilies. You could get a calligrapher or do it yourself on the Computer.”

Decor items, such as centerpieces and other reception focal points. “One of my brides is trying to fold a thousand paper cranes for her December wedding,” Annie says.

Fashion accessories. These aren’t easy for everybody, but if you have the knack, handmade earrings, necklaces and belts can be fantastic wedding party gifts. You can even custom-dye your bridesmaids’ dresses if that skill is something you’re known for, and it will be meaningful to your friends to wear something made with love.

For more ways to save money while planning and preparing for your big day click here

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Match Your Wedding Cake To Your Space

If your reception is in a grand ballroom, choose a wedding cake with stature and height. (Go for something small and no one will notice how pretty it is because the room itself will make it look puny.) Not sure you have enough wedding guests to justify a 5-tiered wedding cake? Ask your cake baker to add height to your cake using faux layers. No one will ever know and your wedding cake will look the part.

Choose a Cake After Making Your Major Wedding Style Decisions

You’ll want a cake that’s compatible with the look of your venue, the season, your wedding gown, the flower arrangements or the menu. Arrive at your cake consultation prepared—you don’t need to have a complete sketch in hand, but knowledge of basic terms will make it easier on everyone. And if you’re looking for a custom design, bring along inspiration, like a swatch of lace from your dress or a picture of your wedding china. More here. 

The unfortunate thing about your big day is that it is, well, only one day. Fortunately, the right wedding photographer can gorgeously preserve the entire event’s happenings, the emotions, and the fun—forever! One perfect picture can instantly take you back to the happiest day of your life, and one perfect album can become your favorite coffee table book.

When it comes to professional photography, most shutterbugs start out by shooting weddings. This can mean wading through a lot of prospective hires before you find the right fit for you. Below are simple tips for finding a photographer who will articulate the event exactly how you want to remember it.

  1. START SEARCHING IMMEDIATELY

    So, you just got engaged—Congratulations! Now start looking for a wedding photographer. The truth is, the best professional photographers book their schedules a year in advance, so hiring someone is one of the first things you should do after you’ve set the date.

    However, if your plans call for an out-of-season wedding or a Sunday ceremony, there is a good chance your chosen photographer is available. Give yourself six months to find the photographer of your dreams if you’re having a more uniquely timed wedding.

  2. TAP INTO YOUR NETWORK

    Good wedding photographers have a reputation for success and can even be local celebrities. They should be the easiest to find, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best for you. Start your search by crowdsourcing recommendations from friends and family who have planned weddings in the last few years, and ask your married friends if you can peruse their photo albums. Look to Facebook pages and professional websites for samples of work, blog posts, and client reviews.

    The other professionals involved in your wedding day festivities will have worked with various photographers in the past. Ask for recommendations from your wedding planner, venue manager, caterer, baker, florist or limousine driver—it’s (literally) their business to have such contacts. For more tips click here.

To check out some of the awesome photographers we have had here at the barn click here 

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