DIY Wedding or not?

The price of a wedding on Canadian soil may lead some couples to roll up their sleeves and proclaim, “How hard can it be?” If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that handmade touches can add warmth and personal flair. But if you DIY too much, you can easily get in over your head. Here are a few things to leave to the experts:

Photography: Stand down, shutterbug cousin. These photos will last forever, so an investment is in order. Plus, pros know how to get great photos even in bad lighting and hectic moments – and retouch if needed after the fact. To find the perfect photographer, review past work in detail, including the poses, colours, lighting, sharpness and overall style of the photos. Are you seeing excitement, variety and emotion? Paul Walker of McMaster Photographers suggests choosing a professional with a studio space, which is an indication of reliability and experience – not to mention a solid Plan B if the weather doesn’t cooperate for outdoor photos. “You should be looking at what kind of services they can offer if things don’t go right,” he says.

Flowers: Sure, you have a favourite bloom. But do you know whether it will droop once cut? Or how long it takes to assemble and dismantle 50 centrepieces? Don’t go there. What’s more, you should give your florist as much leeway as possible, says Heather de Kok of Grower Direct. “I would leave it to the florist to find the flowers that suit the wedding and not get too caught up in exactly what and how many in each arrangement.” The florist will look at your budget, your wedding style and which flowers are on the market – and create the most stunning arrangements she can for the price. This is key, because when some flowers are out of season, their price skyrockets, and quality can be patchy. If you’re really stuck on the look of an out-of-season flower, not to worry. Any florist worth her shears can suggest lookalikes in your palette and budget. A few examples:

  • Tulips: Outside of spring, these can cost four times as much. Lisianthus is a great substitute. These affordable, bell-shaped flowers with ruffled petals come in white and shades of pink, lavender, purple and violet – and they’re grown year-round in South America.
  • Peonies: Hothouse-grown peonies are rare, expensive and often smaller than their natural counterparts. Large garden roses can stand in year-round, in a comparable range of pinks, corals and reds.
  • Hyacinth: When these true-blue spring flowers are no longer available, delphiniums, similarly stalky plants with violet, cobalt, indigo and cerulean blooms, fill their place beautifully and affordably.

Food and drinks: Say it with us: you do not have time to prepare food on the day of your own wedding. Besides, many venues have strict rules about serving food only from licensed kitchens – so your homemade cupcakes and hummus might not even be street legal. Consider making a simple-yet-scrumptious appetizer for one of the pre-wedding activities, such as the shower, instead. Brad Lazarenko of Culina Restaurants and Catering in Edmonton offers the recipe below. Done!


Gull Valley Tomato Caprese Brochette Recipie

Add local flavour to a pre-wedding bash with this easy-to-make recipe. Brad Lazarenko of Culina Restaurants and Catering in Edmonton suggests this delicious DIY dish for a shower or engagement party.


Gull Valley grape tomatoes

Fresh fior di latte from White Gold Cheese (or other bocconcini)

Fresh basil

High-quality balsamic vinegar

Salt and cracked black pepper

Instructions: On each skewer, add one grape tomato, two pieces of fresh fior di latte and one leaf of fresh basil. Boil balsamic vinegar until thickened, let cool and drizzle over skewers. Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper.


AMA Members Save!
Receive a $350 print credit on wedding sessions with McMaster Photographers.
Save 10% on chocolate and treats at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Save 10% on baked goods at Crazy Cakes.
Save 10% on in-store purchases at Grower Direct. 
Save 10% on fresh flowers, or choose free flower delivery in Edmonton, at Studio Bloom. 


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