In these days of looking for ways to trim corners on wedding budgets, Paper Passionista constantly hears stories of plans for "DIY" (do it yourself), or the slightly different version of that, LAFDI (let a friend do it). I'm constantly hearing "aftermath" stories of DIY projects gone wrong. Last week it was one of my invitation clients telling me a story about an invitation they just received in the mail from a friend. She described a scenario where the invitations were assembled with the layers of paper askew, borders uneven, and part of it ripped when my client tried to open it because the glue they used for their project stuck to the mailing envelope. She said the one good outcome of this disaster was her fiance proclaiming, "Now I finally underestand why you wanted to have a professional do our invitations! I don't care how much you had to spend...it was worth it!"
Today, while catching up on Facebook post reading, a friend described her experience this morning at her job as a catering director at a local venue. She related, " the cake was delivered by a friend and is a lost cause. All the layers slid out from each other,but we grabbed a mocked up cake from the bakery display and brought it to be pretty, and then will serve the destroyed cake as best as we can from the back". I have no idea what color scheme the substitute cake may have been done in, or whether it was in keeping with the expectations of the bride, but all of this could have been avoided if the job had been left to professionals.
During my years as a wedding consultant I had a similar situation happen where a bride engaged a friend who had "always made wonderful cakes for their office parties" to make her wedding cake. My best efforts to discourage this plan were ignored, and the poor friend ended up way over her head with the wedding cake project. That day, when I arrived at the wedding reception site after the ceremony, the caterer greeted me at the door with the question, "Where's the cake?" I pointed to the part of the room where it was supposed to be placed, and she said, "No, I know where it's supposed to be, but it isn't here!!!" I began trying repeatedly to make contact with the "co-worker turned baker", and couldn't reach her. One hour into the reception the frantic friend arrived, cake tiers still only partially decorated, and the other co-workers of the bride joined her in the kitchen to help her finish up the project. The caterer was not amused, since the "cake crew" were in the way. We held the cutting of the cake until there was finally one there to cut, but all could have been avoided with the hiring of professionals.
There are lots of ways to trim costs from a wedding, and experienced wedding professionals can make many suggestions of ways to do it where frivolous or unnecessary items can be left out without being noticed. Don't let things that CAN be noticed be left in the hands of those who don't have experience in creating a polished finished product or service. Better to leave something out from a wedding than to have it make an appearance that will leave a blemish in the memories of your guests, and you, about your "not-so-perfect" day. Some possibilities for places not so risky if you want to test out your inner Martha Stewart might be your wedding programs or favors - neither of them are mandatory for your wedding so if things don't go as well as you'd hoped those projects can always be scrapped. Your cake and invitations are critical pieces that are best not left in the hands of those inexperienced at the craft. Paper Passionista just doesn't want you looking like the stressed bride shown at top. (Thank you "One Wed" for previously sharing this treasure.)