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Wedding Planning: What to DIY and What to Buy - Quicken Loans Zing BlogThere’s a common misconception that DIY projects always save you money. Sure, the marquee letter I made was immensely cheaper than the $300 store-bought version, but sometimes DIY projects cost you more money! This is especially true if you don’t already have all of the supplies.

Sometimes it’s worth the extra money to have something exactly the way you want it or to add a personal touch. Sometimes making something yourself actually saves you money. And other times, as much as it pains my Pinterest-loving heart, it’s just not worth the time or energy to take up the project. You’re better off just buying it.

This couldn’t be truer when it comes to weddings. While a DIY wedding sounds great, there are a few things you shouldn’t waste your time, money and energy on. Do you really want to be in a kitchen worrying about desserts and mason jars filled with your signature drink, or do you want to be out there with your friends and family celebrating this momentous occasion?

You want to celebrate? That’s what I thought!

To ease the wedding stress, I’ve come up with this quick list of what to DIY and what to buy.

What to DIY


You’ll remember and cherish your special day forever, but truth be told, your guests aren’t going to remember the laser-print programs you had made on embossed cardstock. They’ll likely end up in the trash. Save yourself some money and make your own programs! Get crafty with a chalkboard program sign. It’ll save you money and people can take pictures of the sign that they can keep. Not confident in your hand lettering abilities? Try this neat chalkboard lettering trick!

Wedding Planning: What to DIY and What to Buy - Quicken Loans Zing BlogDecorations

Depending on how elaborate you want your theme to be, making your own decorations can either bust your budget or save you money. But doing your own decorations is a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding. Keep it simple and make your own table decor. You could make frames, table numbers, gilded mason jars or elaborate signage – the possibilities are endless!

Wedding Favors

You want to send your guests home with a special token from the wedding. Buying favors can really add up. Making your own wedding favors can save you money and add a special thank you for all of your guests who came to support you and your marriage.

Special Culinary Experiences

If you’re planning on having some sort of experience for you and your guests, like marshmallow roasting, a candy station, cupcake decorating, or anything else out of the ordinary, set it up and plan it yourself. The heaviest lift will probably be shopping for all the necessary tools or ingredients. Once you have everything you or your guests will need, all you need to do is set it up for people to enjoy. It’s a little extra step that will make your guests remember your wedding and help you make great memories on your special day.


You’ve been to weddings where the music just seems a little off from the bride and groom’s tastes, right? That’s probably because they didn’t pick the music themselves. If you’re set on having a DJ, that’s OK, but you can make a playlist for cocktail hour and dinner. If you set up your playlist on iTunes, there’s a cool DJ feature that will fade songs in and out for you so you don’t have that weird quiet between songs.

Things to Buy

Wedding Planning: What to DIY and What to Buy - Quicken Loans Zing BlogFlowers

Flower arrangements are not to be left to the novice. They’re actually fairly difficult. Leave the bouquets and centerpieces to the professionals. This will save you a lot of time, stress and ultimately, money. Florists can buy flowers at wholesale prices, making their beautiful centerpieces less expensive than if you did it yourself.


Everyone knows someone with a really nice camera. It’s not difficult to find a friend who’s a photographer, but your wedding photos and videos aren’t something you want to leave to the amateurs. Search for photographers and videographers whose style you really like. Make sure it’s what you want because you’ll have these photos forever. Even if you have a really talented photographer friend, you should keep in mind that it could be hard to tell him or her you don’t like something – especially if he or she is cutting you a deal.

Wedding Planning: What to DIY and What to Buy - Quicken Loans Zing BlogHair and Makeup

It’s your wedding day. You’ve been planning and making decisions for months – and it was probably at least a little stressful. Don’t add more stress by doing your own hair and makeup. Let a professional do that for you while you relax and enjoy this day.


It’s tempting to save money by making your own food, or at least your own wedding cake. It might sound like a good way to save money, but if you’ve never cooked for 50 or more people, now is not the time to learn. Instead of spending the last few days before your wedding in the kitchen, let the caterers handle the food. You can just enjoy it at your reception.

Any other wedding aspects you suggest people DIY or buy? Let us know in the comment section below!

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