I'll be completely straight up about this: Trey and I have both done this before. (Gasp! I know, I know, haven't we learned, we should wait seventy years, we should this, we should that, and then we should do something else just for good measure.) "Should" reminds me of a particular four-letter word. And while my past experience has been full of gorgeous, amazing things that one typically associates with weddings, and while I am very appreciative of having had those experiences, I noticed something: There's a whole lot of "shoulding" that goes on when you start planning a wedding. And all that "shoulding" - what to wear, what to serve, where to do everything, what to send - can usher you straight into shelling out enough money to fully arm a small country in the course of six months because you *should*. Been there, done that, wanted the red cake, got talked into the white, wanted a black dress, got talked into white, wanted a colorful bouquet, got talked into the one that would blend, and became a competitive little princess 'Zilla just like I was supposed to. I punched my steering wheel over the fact that anyone dared mention having plastic plates at the reception so hard my hand was stiff for days. *Yeah*.
When my life took a series of upending turns, I decided that it was high time to just embrace who I am and go with what I honestly feel I should do. Trey's the same way, and has been through as much "stuff" as I have, so when we got engaged there was never any question as to whether or not we were going to do something that reflects who we are. I think I probably started getting a little more "out there" with the initial planning than he did, for instance, I went through a couple of days where I had my heart set on getting married at the Sno Cap Drive In in North Augusta, SC. He expressed a desire to actually have a wedding, a real wedding, with a cake and invitations (I've been there, he hasn't) - but he still wanted it to be cool. That grounded me a bit, and put us squarely on the same page.
Combine the desire for a real wedding that's different, fun, and fully reflects who we are with budget constraints from both of us gearing up to go back to school next year (not that outpricing anyone matters to us in the slightest), and you've got why we decided to do as much of this ourselves as possible. I honestly think we're doing everything but our clothes and the cake ourselves - oh, and someone has to marry us, obviously. Once we jumped outside the wedding box of settling for something we didn't want because we *should*, the whole thing became more fun than the most fun day at the fair imaginable. Since planning parties and making stuff are things we're both already into, the DIY approach is just another way of making our event that much more authentically us.
And honestly, I don't think we *would* do it any other way - this way, we get our vision *and* save a small fortune, and no member of the traditional wedding brigade will ever tell us we should really opt for the softer, prettier option. I'm sure certain elements might slightly raise some eyebrows, but a little facial exercise never hurt anyone's complexion, now, did it?