DIY Wedding or Should You Hire a Wedding Planner?

            With many couples wanting to save money and do everything themselves, it is not surprising to find so many couples who are overwhelmed by the infinite array of ideas that are splashed all over the internet and in bridal magazines. Everything from bridal and groom wear to cute and kitschy souvenirs which couples are told are necessary for their guests to remember the day fondly. For some couples, it seems as though an endless list of “must do, or else” items no matter how many times they read or see videos saying “just keep it simple”; the idea of simple seems impossible or they feel it will appear cheap and gaudy.

Most couples want an elegant, however simple wedding ceremony and reception. In which case may range from a beach venue including just their closest family and friends, with driftwood as the chairs, seashells with roses as the decorations, a bouquet, a boutonniere, a wedding officiant, a photographer, and a beach bar-b-Que for the reception. However, often couples will want to find a venue resembling a ballroom that can accommodate the ceremony and the reception in the same location with beautiful table linens and focal point arrangements, and staff to take care of all the details. They will need a wedding officiant, and this often includes a photographer, wedding cake baker, caterer, DJ/ sound specialist, and floral arrangements. Many couples relish the idea of a heated or air-conditioned location with a more formal theme.

            No matter the venue planning; a wedding does not need to be complicated or headache-inducing. Brides can find beautiful white or colored dresses in many local stores ranging from informal to intricately formal. Grooms can find relaxed and exquisitely formal attire in many established men’s shops. On the other hand, with the availability of ordering online and having it shipped to you anywhere, the range of ideas expands infinitely. Needless to say, everything starts with the basics:


What is required to marry in the state of Oregon-

·         A marriage license – you can find further information at

·         Wedding Officiant

·         2 Witnesses (possessing the maturity to understand the event)

Other people and items you may want to include-

·         Dear family and friends

·         Special wedding attire (gown, suit, or tux)

·         Beautiful location venue – can provide a list of suggestions on request.

·         Photographer and/or Videographer (many couples wish they had hired someone to take professional photographs and video)

·         Wedding Rings – (Dog tags, inscribed bracelets, watches, cuff links, or pendants)

·         Bouquet(s) and Boutonniere(s) – may be provided as part of a package or hire a local florist.


In comparison, occasionally couples will hire a wedding planner not knowing if they even need one to create the wedding they desire. Simply not knowing where they wish to wed or how much they plan to spend on the wedding as a whole or if they want to elope instead. Then, there are those couples who are just overwhelmed by the thought of putting together a wedding without professional assistance. Many couples do know roughly what they want for their nuptials, and yes, hiring a wedding planner is a must-have for them to achieve the picture-perfect wedding and reception. The wedding planner’s responsibilities may include:

·         Setting a Budget for the Couple.

·         Setting a Date and Time for the Ceremony/Reception.

·         Finding a venue

   o   Location within the desired area.

     * Ease of access for guests

     ·         Wheelchair/Walker access

     * How many guests can the venue hold

   o   The number of guests you want to invite.

     * How many adults

     * How many children

     ·         Are children allowed?

     * Are pets allowed?

   o   Reception

     * Are you having one?

     * Will it be a full course?

     * Brunch

     * Only Desserts and other Sweets

     * Indoor or Outdoor

   o   Fitting the theme of the wedding

     * What customs are expected/observed?

   o   Date available

   o   Time available

   o   Within the correct price point

·         Decorating the venue for both the wedding and the reception

·         Creating a seating chart

·         Coordinating with the wedding party (groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls, ring bearers, along with others).

·         Appointments to find wedding attire for the couple marrying and their wedding party.

·         Coordinating the rehearsal with or without choreographed elements.

·         Booking the honeymoon

The hiring of the -

·         Wedding Officiant

·         Photographer

·         Videographer

·         Florist

·         Caterer

·         Wedding cake artist

·         DJ/sound specialist

·         Band/live musical performer

·         Transportation to and from the ceremony site

·         And more….


WOW, that is a plethora of arranging and coordinating, no wonder so many couples feel overwhelmed. Whether you hire a planner or do it yourself, be certain you are creating the wedding/reception you desire, not for other people's expectations and dreams. This is your wedding, the continued journey as a couple, and the start of your married life together. Always be true to yourselves. May you have a beautiful wedding and a blessed marriage!