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Event Design: How to Convince a Client to Ditch the DIY

When someone is planning an event, there is often the question of whether the design should be a DIY project or if it should be contracted out to a professional designer. While each route offers its pros and cons, bringing on a designer is often the best choice for everyone involved.

If you have a client considering DIY design, it’s in your best interest to push them toward hiring a professional designer. In addition to saving them time (and a headache), events that are styled professionally tend to be much more competitive when it comes to publication—which, of course, leads to more business for the whole event team.

Appeal to the rational side

Selling professional design doesn’t have to be difficult if you can appeal to a client’s rational side. While they may consider DIY design as a way to save money, they often forget about the time it takes out of their own schedules. We’ve seen couples depend on friends or family to help with DIY crafts, only to be up all night before the event to hurriedly complete the projects. Similarly, the client would need to find storage options and may need to hire someone to handle setup and breakdown of the event. Without training in color theory, in-season florals, or design programs, they will most likely find that DIY design is a bigger undertaking than expected. While apps and programs can often aid the planning side of things, design can be tricky and is best left to those who specialize in it.

Lower costs on higher end

A true designer will not only be able to provide suggestions on colors, fabric, floral and layout suggestions, but will also have spent years building up relationships with vendors. This often leads to lower costs on higher end items that may not fit in the budget otherwise. Professional designers also have elaborate (and costly) software that can require a fair amount of training. While a client may feel that a designer is out of their budget, it’s important to stress the savings that can come with having the right connections.

Recreating a vision

Of course, hiring a designer does come with a price tag and clients often think they can’t justify the added expense. However, in most cases, it can be done—many designers love when the plan is left up to them, but when the budget is tight, it’s important to work on a vision together in order to find cost-effective ways to recreate it.

When working with clients who aren’t quite sold on professional design yet, remind them that working with a designer does not need to break the budget—with an open mindset and a professional who understands what needs to be done, anything can be achieved!


Kim Sayatovic is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Kim Sayatovic

Kim Sayatovic is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.