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DIY Wedding Planning: Tips From a Pro Planner (page 1 of 3)

A veteran wedding planner shares her pointers for making your special day a success.

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With dozens of decisions (colors! cake! flowers!) and dozens more logistical details, planning nuptials can daunt even the most intrepid couple. It's no wonder that so many choose to hire a wedding planner to coordinate their big day so they can focus on the fun. But if you're up for handling it on your own, you can pull it off — as long as you approach it with a pro's mindset. Consider these tips:

  • Look into hiring a professional planner on a limited basis. You may find that the investment pays for itself. "The money and time a planner can save is valuable," says wedding planner Lisa Milko, of Event Perfect in Atlanta. "I can negotiate discounts a couple cannot and make recommendations on DIY and budget-saving places that many people would not consider, or be able to do without a little direction."


  • If you can't swing full planning services, you may be able to go à la carte. "I often do just (the wedding day), which covers a couple from about six weeks out," Lisa says. That allows the bride and groom to put her in charge of the day-of details, from vendor logistics and schedules to packing up gifts. Lisa also offers hourly consulting and lists of recommended vendors.

  • If you choose the DIY route, know where to start. Bent on doing it all on your own? You'll need a place to jump in. Lisa recommends two key launching points: "A budget and a guest list," she says. "The two are related, and cutting the guest list is the single best way to save money." Once those details are in place, you'll have a better sense of the type of wedding that suits you best.

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