DIY vs. All-Inclusive: Which Is the Better Way To Go?

Blog, September 14, 2023

To DIY or not to DIY – that’s the question many couples ask themselves when they first embark on their wedding-planning journey. Weddings are expensive, so it’s perfectly reasonable if you’re trying to find shortcuts and workarounds to avoid over-spending. This is particularly true if you’re gifted with the skill of invention and craft, and love taking matters into your own hands.

But is the DIY route actually more cost-effective than opting for an all-inclusive venue? Which approach yields the most benefits? As a venue that offers a hybrid approach to wedding planning, Flora’s experts know the pros and cons of each method. Here, they compare the two based on several important factors, like time, convenience, cost, and quality.

All-Inclusive Saves Big on Time

Although the DIY approach can be a money-saver, the biggest drawback has a lot to do with time. When planning a wedding, time is a precious resource. “You may save money, but you will be paying in time,” Flora’s wedding experts say. As a rule of thumb, it takes about a full year to plan a wedding – longer if you have to do everything yourself.

This means researching from a long list of vendors and finding the right professionals to bring your vision to life. It also means communicating with every vendor and getting down in the weeds of every detail, both big and small. “An all-inclusive venue is perfect for those with a busy professional life who don’t have a lot of planning time,” Flora’s experts say.

DIY Gives You More Control and Freedom

One of the biggest perks of doing it all yourself is flexibility. You aren’t tied to your venue’s preferred list of vendors, which allows you to think outside the box. Want to recruit your artsy aunt to dream up your wedding stationery? You have the freedom to do so. Want to tap into a jazz group from your community theater for your musical entertainment? Whip up your own desserts? It’s all possible.

However, it’s important to remember that unless you know exactly what you’re doing, your costs might spiral out of control. Despite the creativity it offers, there’s a learning curve when it comes to planning it all yourself; make sure you and your spouse-to-be have the necessary skills. Alternatively, choose a venue that offers a hybrid approach. “We provide a list of vetted vendors, and we give you options,” Flora’s wedding experts say. “But you can bring in your own vendors and your own decor. You can have the ceremony only, reception only, or both at Flora.”

All-Inclusive Offers Convenience

Working with a venue that takes care of your big-ticket items – think: catering, decor, and florals – contributes profoundly to your peace of mind. Instead of whiling away the hours trying to coordinate different aspects of the wedding, you have a well-organized partner and a carefully vetted team who make it all happen. The planning process becomes more streamlined and simple, allowing you to focus on the fun parts of your wedding.

What’s more, your wedding coordinator will make sure everything is going according to plan and will jump in to save the day if something goes wrong. Even if you decide to go the DIY route, hiring a wedding coordinator – or at the very least, a day-of coordinator – is still invaluable. (If you still need more convincing, here are a few other important reasons you should think about adding a wedding coordinator to your team.)

DIY Provides a Creative Outlet

For couples who love taking on projects – and most importantly, have the time to do so – going with the DIY approach might be a good way to release that creative energy. By doing everything yourself, you can turn your pastime into your dream wedding. For example, if you’re crafty, you can try your hand at making your own centerpieces, putting together your own decor, and designing your own wedding stationery.

Not only can it save you money, but it will also help add a personal touch to your big day. Plus: You get to keep all of your decor, materials, and floral arrangements. You can sell or reuse everything or repurpose them as party favors. And of course, there’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment you get when you dream up a wedding that you’ve designed from start to finish!

All-Inclusive Allows Less Room for Error

When venues work with the same list of vendors over the course of many years, they develop a relationship that’s based on trust. These carefully selected vendors know the ins and outs of the venue and are able to seamlessly execute every facet of the wedding, mainly because, well, they’ve done it so many times before!

Caterers can navigate their way around the kitchen. The DJ knows how to set everything up in a pinch, and the florists know exactly how to complement the space with standout arrangements. What’s more, if something goes awry, these professionals have the experience needed to troubleshoot and quickly fix the problem, versus someone who’s never worked in that space before.

DIY and All-Inclusive Can Both Be Cost-Savers (Depending on Your Goals)

Is one more cost-effective than the other? It depends. How much you spend largely depends on your vision for the wedding and all the bells and whistles you’ll be adding to the budget. The DIY approach can allow you to shave a few extra dollars here and there, but don’t forget to factor in all the hidden costs that you wouldn’t immediately think of. (In fact, we put together a list of all the fees that may surprise you in this blog post.)

On the other hand, an all-inclusive venue can also charge a hefty price for premium services. However, it’s important to remember that going all-inclusive doesn’t fall into a specific price range. “High-end venues may have lots of high-quality options,” Flora’s wedding experts say. “Budget-friendly venues may have fewer options and lesser quality items.”

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