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The DIY Bride: Do’s and Disasters


Article by Vicky McLean, General Manager at the Meadowbrook Inn

Are you a DIY Bride? If you’re creative, energetic, motivated, and want to save money, you may be a “Do It Yourself” bride. But don’t try to do it all—this can make even the most determined bride crumble on her wedding day! At the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock, NC we do more than fifty wedding events each year. From our experience, here’s what to consider in achieving a balance between “Do It Yourself” and “Take Care of Yourself” on one of the most special days of your life.

Reasons to DIY:

  • Create touches that make your wedding very personal and special.
  • Bring your family and friends together to help create your event.
  • Control or substantially cut costs.
  • Use your wedding as a creative outlet for yourself and family members.
  • Turn Pinterest and bridal magazine photos into reality.


DIY Disasters (Yes, they’re real ones!):

  • The bride, family, and wedding party were so exhausted from creating décor that both the rehearsal dinner and the reception ended early.
  • Decorating took too much time, and the family had too little time for hair styling and getting dressed.
  • Not everyone liked working on their assignments. They got cranky.
  • When traveling to the venue, some things were: broken, left behind, a mistake, poor quality, late arriving or didn’t arrive at all…and replacements were not available on short notice.
  • The bride’s design was poorly executed by the bridal party and family.
  • DIY floral design – It took waaaay more time than the family planned!
  • The event space wasn’t available for early décor.
  • At the last minute the bride found that the décor took up so much space in the bride’s vehicles that there wasn’t enough room for the wedding party’s luggage and gowns.
  • No one was appointed to direct the ceremony or reception, and the mother of the groom was MIA when the DJ introduced her. At the same wedding, one of the family members tried to authorize a substantial addition on the bar tab for the entire party. There was no clear plan for cleanup and taking items home, and the family was left with a huge mess.


Advice for Getting a Balance of DIY and Taking Care of You:

  • The most successful DIY projects? Create your own place cards and seating charts. Prepare your own favors and takeaways.
  • Create centerpieces that have no live elements (flowers, greens, branches) and are well-organized for traveling to the venue and for placing quickly onto tables.
  • Venue staff should never be expected to complete projects for you – their staff is tightly scheduled to do their own tasks in setting up for your wedding and need this time to prepare to take care of you and your event.
  • Communicate your plans and your needs in advance! Be specific about the number and sizes of tables and easels you’ll need for your displays. Agree on the color and size of tablecloths for displays.
  • Be aware that there may be a charge for additional furniture, display pieces, and setup at the last minute.
  • Guests are not permitted to move furniture or to get up on ladders because the venue’s insurance policy may not cover this activity.
  • Most venues prohibit attaching anything to walls, and damage fees can be hefty. Check with your venue to learn about their policies.

Professional Floral Arrangements in Our Four Seasons Ballroom

No one likes last-minute changes and scrambling on a wedding day. Not the bridal party, and not the venue. DIY projects that add small personal touches seem to be the most successfully executed. Without a doubt, professional florists create the most beautiful décor. Consider hiring a Wedding Planner; their fees are surprisingly affordable, and they can take care of the thousand details that come up during planning through the final day of the wedding events. Careful planning and communication between the bride and the venue can eliminate problems that no one wants to face on a beautiful, wonderful, fun-filled wedding day!

If you’re planning a wedding, find out more about the Meadowbrook Inn by calling us at 828-295-4300. Our wedding event specialists would love to talk with you and have you come take a tour of our property!

Posted in Meadowbrook by Calendar on October 11, 2013

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