When Is Wedding DIY Not Cost-Effective?

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A wedding reception decorated with pink swagged cloth.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is between $20,000 and $35,000. For the majority of us, that’s a lot of money to spend on one day—which is why so many couples are opting to go the DIY route.

No doubt, having a DIY wedding can save you thousands in the long run, and many projects are worth the time spent to cut costs. However, not all projects are cost-effective; some can actually cost you a lot more than just hiring a pro! If your DIY wedding goal is to save money, avoid these expensive projects:


For some people, the idea of making their tablecloths, runners, and napkins might seem like a good way to cut on costs. What they don’t realize is that the price of nice fabric is quite costly when you don’t buy in bulk, costing around five dollars or more per yard. That adds up pretty quickly when you need 100 yards or more. And that doesn’t even include the price of thread and other things necessary for sewing projects.

Assuming you’re looking to DIY linens because neither your venue nor caterer provide any, just know that it’s a lot cheaper to buy them. Even renting linens can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 per table depending on the material and size. A lot of people manage to buy tablecloths for their wedding in bulk for around $200 total. Once the wedding is over, you can wash and re-sell them to get a portion of your money back.


A stack of plates with lemons on them and silverware at a wedding reception.

Some people like the idea of using vintage plates from yard sales and thrift stores, but if you’re doing this to save money, you might want to rethink your choice. Trying to find matching plates will leave you more frustrated than just seeing the bill at the end, and even using mixed plates will add up quicker than you think

In order to buy enough plates just for dinner, you will have to hit up a lot of places, as most sales won’t have more than a handful. In most thrift stores, dinner plates often go for about a dollar each. While that doesn’t sound like much, you can rent a dinner plate for a third of that price from many special event rental companies. And you won’t have to worry about washing them before or after the event!


Wedding reception decor including a wood sign and basket of flowers.

In most cases, decorations are an easy DIY wedding project you can do for very little cost. However, it’s easy for DIY decor to take over your budget. Craft supplies aren’t always cheap and it can be very easy to get carried away!

If you’re not someone who already crafts regularly, you might have to go out and buy all the supplies needed to get started. You also risk wasting money on failed projects. A lot of DIY decorations look easier to make than they actually are, and if it doesn’t work out, you won’t want to display sloppy work at your wedding. Be realistic with what you are capable of doing, and make sure to add up the cost of supplies before running to the craft store to make sure your DIY decorations are actually going to save you in the long run.

Floral Arrangements

A bridal bouquet of white and blue flowers.

Creating your own floral arrangements is one DIY you may want to leave to the professionals, and here’s why. First of all, flowers are delicate and need to be cared for just right. If you purchase them too soon, they could die before your wedding, which would be a waste. If you purchase them really close to the time of, you’re going to have a lot of last-minute work to do. On top of that, you might not even save much on the cost of flowers. Florists typically buy their stock in bulk and receive wholesale prices. As a retail consumer, you’re going to be paying more for the same product.

Hiring a florist is going to save you a ton of hassle, and since they’re experienced your floral arrangements are guaranteed to look good. If you’re worried about fitting flowers into your budget, don’t be afraid to be very honest about what you can afford and find someone who’s willing to work within that figure range.


No doubt, hiring a photographer can be super expensive. On average, many wedding photographers charge $2,000 or more. As such, a lot of people consider forgoing the price of a photographer to enlist a few friends to capture their day.

This is a big mistake. Chances are, your photos are not going to turn out as good as you want them to and you won’t be able to get that opportunity back. On top of that, unless you or someone you know already owns a quality DSLR camera combined with various lenses, you’re looking at thousands of dollars just in equipment rental to try to capture your moments with quality. Then, consider the cost of photo editing software and the cost of prints and you’re looking at even more money. Photographers are expensive for a reason, and they’re worth the price compared to doing it yourself.

The post When Is Wedding DIY Not Cost-Effective? appeared first on Weddingbee.

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