K Robinson Photography


DIY Do's + Dont's

We asked some of the Island’s top wedding planners to weigh in on their ultimate DIY do’s and don'ts.


Welcome Bag

Planning a destination wedding requires many, if not all, of your guests to travel. Greet them in style and set the tone of the event with a DIY welcome bag, featuring hand-picked items, a weekend itinerary, and even a welcome note. “You can create and fill your welcome bags well in advance, at your leisure, incorporating lots of little personal touches that will be special to your guests,” said Lynn Buckmaster-Irwin of Weddings on the Vineyard.

Ceremony Décor

Your ceremony is typically the shortest part of your day, often fifteen to twenty minutes, said Jen Connelly and Kaitlin Baker-Hewes of Blue Lane Events. Depending on the look you’re after, “if you have time to craft something beautiful that someone can help you set up, this is a great place for DIY.”


“Signs that welcome guests to the reception or indicate where the ceremony is taking place are functional,” said Kristen Gosselin, owner of KG Events & Design. “If you have a family member or friend with good handwriting, it's nice to loop
them into these projects. It also saves you a little bit of money!”

Guest Book

With a little planning, you can easily flip the script on the guest book. “Polaroids are a fun way for your guests to capture candid moments throughout your event and create a memorable coffee table piece to last a lifetime,” suggested Kate Conde and Doriana Klumick, co-owners of Plan It Martha’s Vineyard.

Personalized Items

It’s so easy these days to personalize items for your wedding, be it match-books, glassware, cocktail napkins, or stamps, said Conde and Klumick. Plus, many of the sites that specialize in these services can be used to create invitations, ceremony programs, menus, and escort cards. “They have so many affordable options, so it's worth the money to make everything look that much nicer and cohesive,” said Gosselin. But, she cautions, don’t be tempted to print the items yourself. Your home printer isn’t up for the job.


Favors can be as little or big as you want them to be, and can easily be assembled in advance on your own. “There are very little rules or expectations for these gifts for guests,” said Gosselin, “so you can really let your personality and creative side show.”


Whatever you do, don’t do it all yourself. “We love DIY! It's what personalizes weddings and makes them your own,” said Connelly and Baker-Hewes. “But, delegate a wedding pro or someone trusted to help you set it all up. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is where your super-cool handcrafted sign is placed.”



“Cutting corners by downloading your processional and recessional music and assigning a friend or family member to hit play on the iPod is often risky business,” said Conde and Klumick. “Timing is everything. Allow a professional to queue the music for your long awaited walk down the aisle.” As for the reception, that’s also a “no,” said Connelly and Baker-Hewes. “All couples say what they want most from their reception is for their guests to have a great time. Make sure you have a pro for this. It's a recipe for disaster if not done right.”


There are plenty of ways to cut corners and expenses when it comes to centerpieces and bouquets, but making your own arrangements can be a big “don’t.” “The morning of your wedding day you should be with your girls, relaxing and getting pampered, not racing around making tablescapes,” said Conde and Klumick. Instead, try talking with local florists about budget options. “You will be surprised at some suggestions a florist can make to give you the look you want with less expensive flowers.”

Wedding Photography

Don’t draft a wedding guest to serve as your photographer, said Buckmaster-Irwin. “Everything else from your wedding weekend comes and goes, but your wedding photos are forever. Your children and grandchildren will see your wedding in years to come through these pictures. Hire a professional photographer to capture the best images that your budget can provide – and allow all of your guests to relax and enjoy the entire weekend.”