For all the DIY brides out there, I have a few words of advice:
First of all, I was a DIY bride. I did it all. Silk flowers, all of them, bouquets, arrangements, garlands, swags, I even bought fresh pineapples, sand and mini tiki torches for my centerpieces. A balloon release after the ceremony required a helium tank, custom balloons and 3 hours of my time on the morning of my wedding. Rental pickups, vendor deliveries, tuxedos and bow ties ( my boys were young and needed help getting dressed), the girls hair (they were young too and needed help to get ready...this all left me with about 30 minutes to get dressed, stop sweating, climb into the car, and race to the church.
Bottom line? Whether you are the bride, mother of the bride, bridesmaid, best friend, or just the designated DIY helper, don't underestimate the time, effort, and steady nerves that are required to make a wedding come together. Not just come together, but come together in the way that you have imagined all of your life!
Estimate the time it will take you to set up/execute the decor element you are imagining....then multiply it by at least 3.
Unless you are willing to mock up the decor element you are executing, then you are really only estimating this time. When actually setting up/executing, the time gets away from you, tools needed are not available, and venue restrictions may exist. If you are willing to mock up an element, make sure that you multiply the time it takes you by the number of elements you are trying to reproduce.
Plan for the worst, expect the best.
A wedding planner is really just a pessimist, we follow this rule, or we would be constantly in the middle of chaos. Before the wedding day, sit in a quiet place, go over every detail in your mind, from the moment you wake on wedding day, until moment you wave goodbye to your guests. Go over every step, what needs to be done, who will do it, and how long (realistically) each will take. BE REAL! Can you, or whoever you will trust with your special details, really make it happen? If so, write it all down, plan it, share it with them, and then....make it happen. If not, GET HELP!
All of the money spent will be worth nothing if not executed.
Wondering what I mean by this one? An example is always best:
I purchased wonderful walking stick/branches to bury in the ground at a beautiful outdoor ceremony, even tested them 2 weeks prior, and they just slid into the wet ground.
When wedding day arrived and the watering system had been turned off (anticipating women's high heels sinking into the ground) the branches absolutely REFUSED to be driven into the ground. After 2 hours of struggling with tools, and techniques, we decided to place the bottle and baby's breath next to chairs at the end of each aisle. Great look, wasted money, and wasted time. Lesson learned. do you want to learn this lesson on your wedding day???? The bride never knew, didn't even notice the change...I was upset! I had at least 6 hours and a considerable amount of money into these, with a less than desirable result.
Your Mother loves you, but wants to enjoy the day of her daughter's wedding.
She is also, probably contributing to this day financially, so she wants to enjoy it along with you. To watch you with your girls, having fun is sweet, but she has been waiting for this day (in reality a lot longer than you) just like you. Let her enjoy it, don't expect too much, and make time to spend alone with her (and your Dad) right before you walk down the aisle. It's so sweet if she wants to be your wedding planner, but first of all...she's your MOM, honor her.