The DIY (Do It Yourself) Trend
Who doesn't want to save money on their wedding? Unless your name is Trump, Rockefeller or Hilton, you probably do. But is cutting corners the wisest way to go? In this economy, DIY is the only way many couples can afford to even get close to their dream wedding. Let's face it, weddings are expensive!
I think that it's a personal choice per couple. If going this route, each couple needs to decide which things are the most important to them and spend the larger parts of their budget there. Anything that they are going to try on their own should only be attempted if it won't "crush them" if it doesn't go as planned, or if they have a KNOWLEDGABLE family or friend member willing to help. Ask to see examples of their work to be certain they are going to do things your way. If you don't like how they do it, you aren't locked in. Deciding to go with a professional will save you heartache, because it can't be redone. However, if Aunt Paula is awesome at cakemaking and wants to help, by all means, take advantage of that opportunity!
I hear horror stories about couples that tried to save money by having a friend ordained online to marry them. This is fine if your friend is a great public speaker and writer, with some knowledge of how to put a ceremony together. However, I have bailed out a couple that had the person back out a month before the wedding with nothing done; and heard about the cousin that had a "couple of nerve calmers" before the ceremony and had to leave during the service for a minute to use the facilities!
If you want something done right you have to do it yourself. This belief leads people to hold on to too much. Unfortunately, people who cling to this belief often become an organizational bottleneck. Everything has to be done by, or through, them. It is hard for some brides to emotionally detatch themselves from every aspect of their wedding, so they decide to take care of it all. Those are the ones that end up extremely stressed out, things don't turn out the way they wanted, and ultimately they didn't enjoy their wedding day. Realize your limitations both talent-wise cash-wise and time-wise.
The way you handle the wedding planning will give you both an opportunity to see how you can work as a team before the marriage, as well. Remember to listen and respect each other in the process.
I think every aspect of the wedding can be a DIY, but not every aspect for every wedding.