DIY is en vogue right now, partly because of Pinterest I think. Where else can you find ideas for upcycled furniture, cool hair trends (you should have seen my husband’s face when I tried pin curls the other night), and of course, wedding décor and food all in one place? It can be a great resource for planning; a place to collect visual concepts of your dream wedding. But for certain wedding details, going it on your own is not the best option.
Brides magazine posted an article last year citing the 5 things a bride should never DIY which included flowers, hair, planning/coordinating, photography, and food. I have to agree…for anything bigger than a dinner party I’m getting a caterer.
Imagine for a moment that it is the day before Thanksgiving. The doorbell rings and your first guests have arrived. They are staying in your house, so you have some level of hospitality to provide – dinner and breakfast before tomorrow’s big meal. Even if it’s just cereal, you’re going to have dishes to clean because you will need every last bowl in the house for that butternut squash soup you had to have on the menu (thanks again, Pinterest!). Fortunately though, you thought ahead and spent ALL WEEK straightening, vacuuming, dusting, washing sheets and towels, decorating, and you had time left over to make two of your side dishes and a pie. Now it’s the day of, and you can’t fit the turkey and three casseroles into the oven at the same time. Your nephew is antagonizing the dog to no end. Your cousin wants to help, but the kitchen can’t hold another person – and she doesn’t know where anything is so it’s just faster to do it yourself anyway. The remote batteries die in the middle of the big game so you have to help find more. Various in laws start to show up, and you haven’t even had time for a shower yet. You manage to pull it together, get dressed, and get everything on the table (including the slightly burnt rolls) only an hour after you wanted to have the food laid out. Stressed yet? I am, and that’s only a holiday meal for 10 or 15 guests.
Now imagine what would need to go into cooking a meal for 100 of your nearest and dearest on top of getting ready for your wedding. No thank you! “But we’re only having an afternoon reception with cake, and they do that in an hour on TV,” you say. No, they edit that show down to an hour from footage spanning days including preparation (emails, marketing, licensing, etc.), shopping for supplies and ingredients, mixing batter, baking, making frosting, torting and filling the cake, icing the cake, assembling the cake, decorating the cake, and delivering the cake which can entail more decorating on site (notice how the cast is never wearing the same outfit through the whole show?). Not to mention the years of practice those decorators have had working with cake all the time. Even if you only want to serve cupcakes, you still have to take the time to find recipes you like, bake and frost all those little guys, figure out a way to store them so they don’t go stale, transport them without damaging them, and set them up…instead of getting ready for your wedding.
And when it comes to wedding cake, skill is important. You need to know how to stack and transport a cake properly so it doesn’t sink into itself. People get a slice of cake and think, “this is so light a fluffy”, but a whole cake is crazy heavy. You also need to know what to do when things go wrong. Cake is an edible sponge, so it compresses which can cause a myriad of issues - from filling bulges and icing bubbles to sinking tiers and complete collapse. Cakewrecks.com is an entire website dedicated to professional cake failures (research your vendors!). Just think what those cakes would look like when made by someone with little to no experience.
The photos below were found on photobucket.com. These ARE NOT my cakes.
I like to think I’m a frugal gal, so I completely understand not shelling out the big bucks for something that just isn’t important to me. However, I also understand that my time is important, and while I’m great at a lot of things, I do not have every skill needed to pull off an entire event by myself. I’m not saying you have to go out and hire someone to take care of every last detail. You absolutely have to consider your budget and wishes (it’s your wedding, right?). However, sometimes as a consumer, it is in my best interest to delegate or seek help, and that means paying someone else for their service, time, and skills – especially if it is something that is a high priority to me.
Hi! I'm Melisa
I am the owner, baker, designer, decorator and all around 'one woman show' of Sweet By Design, a home based, custom cake bakery which is located just outside of Dallas, Texas. I hope to shed a little light on the wedding and event industry and make your day a little sweeter!
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