Wedding DIY: Do’s and Don’ts

As a Phoenix Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies, I’ve seen all of the ways people have gone about cutting costs and adding personal touches to their weddings. One of the most common ways to accomplish this—and something that’s very “in” right now—is to DIY certain aspects of the ceremony and reception.

And yes, DIY is now a verb.

DIY has gotten so popular, that just about anything and everything has been that homemade touch. But should it?

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but some things should not be DIY. Not just because there are professionals that have been trained in that particular skillset, but for your own peace of mind. That being said, there are also some things that make great DIY projects!

If done right, DIY is the perfect way to cut costs and make your wedding stand out. Below I’ve made a list of some things I think work for wedding DIY projects, and some things I think don’t work:

Wedding DIY Do’s

  1. The Invitations

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to make high-quality wedding invitations yourself. There’s no limit to what you can do, and there are a lot of easy-to-follow templates online. Making the invitations yourself is also a great way to show your guests that you care. With a small enough guest list, or enough determination, you can personalize each invitation with a fun little note. Have them printed at a local print shop or find a place online!

  1. The Centerpieces

The centerpieces at your reception are a great way to bring out creative side. They don’t have to be very complicated—in fact, it’s better that they’re not. An overly large centerpiece prevents guests from speaking to each other from across the table, and may even prevent them from seeing the main events. When it comes to centerpieces, it’s usually best to keep it simple.

  1. The Favors

Making your own wedding favors is a good way to save money and add a personal touch. Let the wedding favor tell your love story. Perhaps give guests some of your favorite candy? It won’t be too expensive to buy pretty bags and ribbon, and there are an endless number of gifts for you to fill the bags with. Don’t be afraid to get sentimental!

  1. The Place Cards

Decorating your own place cards can be really fun, especially if you have a themed wedding. If you’re having a beach wedding, the place cards could be disguised as fish in the sea. Maybe seashells in the sand? If it’s a more elegant wedding, feel free to have some fun with the calligraphy!

  1. Signage

Signs are another great and easy way to get creative while adding a personal touch. You could do anything from a classy framed blackboard to the ring bearer wearing a sign that says “Has anybody seen the rings?” There’s no end to the ways that you can demonstrate YOU as a couple through words.

Wedding DIY Don’ts

  1. The Photos

Unless you have a friend who’s an actual wedding photographer, I would hire a professional to do this. There are a lot of photographers out there who are hobbyists more than anything, and this is one of the most important days of your life. You’re not going to want to remember it with blurred or off-center photos. Photographing an event is harder than you think, so please hire a professional. It can get expensive, but you won’t regret it when you have documents of the memories that will last a lifetime.

  1. The Cake

This is another one of those situations where people think, “I’ve made a cake before. Why pay for someone to do it?” I get it, I do. But unless you or a relative owns a bakery, I don’t recommend it. It’s so easy to mess up a cake, and so hard to fix it. They’re impossible to transport, and who actually knows how to professionally decorate them?

  1. The Food

If the biggest meal you’ve ever cooked was Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t want to try cooking for 100+ people. And if it’s not you, you really don’t want to ask your poor family to do it. A professional catering company has the kitchen and experience to cook for that many people. Let them do it. Your mom may make the best roast beef known to man, but she may not be able to make 30 of them at once.

  1. The Music/Entertainment

In this day in age, it’s easy to think “Why do I need a DJ? I have Spotify!” The thing about Spotify is that it can’t read a room. If the playlist is bombing, it won’t change. And someone still needs to stop the music and make announcements. They need to change the music. They need to make the playlist. They need to…be a DJ and MC. Some people ask their friends to do this, but it’s not really fair to ask them miss out on the wedding. Either they have to be a great DJ by missing out on all the activities and socializing, or a horrible DJ who drinks and hangs out with all their friends. See the problem?

If you’re searching for a great wedding DJ in Phoenix, look no further than DMR Entertainment. We’d love to help make your evening memorable. Contact us today to get the process started. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Wedding Budget: Allocating Your Money

Everyone knows that weddings are expensive. The thing is, you never truly realize how expensive weddings are until you start planning your own. Deciding on your wedding budget can be overwhelming. Like most people, you’re going to try to save money wherever possible. Low-budget weddings are possible, but it’s important to understand that there are still elements—such as venue, reception entertainment, and food—where you pay for what you get. You have to figure out how to save money elsewhere.

This is where the allocation of funds comes in. It’s important to decide what percentage of your budget you want to spend on which parts of your wedding. From venue to flowers, you need to figure out what will cost the most, and what you personally want to spend the most money on.

I know, I know—talking budget is a bummer. You never feel more broke than when you start to buckle down and look at prices. It’s important to remember that being on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a fun and unique wedding. There are always ways to make your wedding stand out!

When it comes to the planning process, there are websites, apps, and actual wedding planners out there to help you budget for your wedding. You’ll receive a lot of advice, but it’s up to you to figure out what’s best for your wedding. While it’s ultimately up to you to figure out how you want to budget, websites such as and have some helpful articles on allocating money.

Below is a good sample of the average wedding budget. Remember, it’s just a sample and may not necessarily be a good fit for you. If you’ve always dreamed of having the type of cake you see on TV shows like Cake Boss, maybe you’ll want to allocate more than just 2% of the total wedding budget. If you’ve decided that horse-drawn carriages are a must, you will probably have to spend a bit more money and cut costs somewhere else.

Like I said, you’re going to get a lot of “helpful” advice when planning your wedding.


Sample Wedding Budget

Food & Drink: 25%

The venue and catering will take up the biggest chunk of your wedding budget. That’s completely normal. When it comes to venue and catering, you definitely get what you pay for. Because it’s such a large part of the overall experience, spending a bit more on these elements may be a good idea.

Venue: 20% 

A good venue will not only be beautiful and comfortable fit all your guests, but it will include backup options for inclement weather. Spending a bit more for this safety net is probably a good idea. I would also hope that it has a big dance floor! After all, you want your guests to have the time of their life dancing to the best wedding reception music!

Photographer: 10-12%

You’re going to want beautiful photos and video to capture your wedding day. So, allocating 10-12% of your wedding budget on a photographer is completely reasonable. This may seem surprising, but remember, you’re not just paying for the finished product. You’re paying for their time. Never hired a professional photographer before? Check out these tips. I’ve also included a list of some of my favorite photographers in the Phoenix area!

Music & Entertainment: 7-9%

My favorite part of a wedding—for obvious reasons. Not only does a wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies ensure that your reception runs smoothly, but it really sets the tone for the whole event. Keeping your guests entertained and dancing will have them remembering your wedding fondly. Ever hired a professional wedding DJ? Here are some tips on hiring a DJ and making sure you get the most out of your disc jockey.

Attire: 7-9%

Who doesn’t want to look their best on their wedding day? Keeping attire, hair, and makeup in mind when drafting the wedding budget will ensure that you and the wedding party look great for photos.

 Flowers & Décor: 7-8%

There are ways to decorate your venue without breaking the bank. However, it’s also easy to fall in love with everything on Pinterest and spend all of your money on décor and flowers. Figure out just how important décor is to you before you make your wedding budget and consider all of the ways where you can cut costs.

Wedding Planner: 3%

Some couples choose to plan their wedding on their own to save money. This may be a good idea for some, but I can definitely say that there are advantages to hiring a wedding planner!

Stationery & Invitations: 2-3%

There’s more to this than just invitations. Don’t forget about programs, table numbers, and place cards! You’ll also want to make sure you get thank you cards to thank your guests for their presence (and their presents!).

Cake: 2%

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a tiered cake. Nowadays, many couples choose to pay for a fake cake with a real top tier, while serving their guests cupcakes. It’s a thought.

Rings: 2%

It could be worthwhile to increase the budget on rings if you need something special to fit you and your spouse’s personalities.

Transportation: 2%

Horse-drawn carriage? Limo? Bicycles? Walking? Transportation can be really cheap, or really expensive.

Favors: 2%

Favors are a nice gesture, especially for the wedding party. Odds are, they’ve done a lot of work to ensure that your big day was amazing.

Emergency Fund: 3-5%

A wedding is a huge event, and anything can go wrong. Having an emergency fund will keep you from stressing if there are any issues!

Searching for a “Wedding DJ Near Me”?

Finding a DJ for weddings can be tricky, but if you’re in the Phoenix area then we’d love to hear from you! Whether you have a specific idea of the wedding dance music you’d like or you prefer to let us take the wheel, we’re the source to turn to when you need a wedding DJ! Contact us today!

Header Image PC: Pictures of Money