Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

DI Why? Why do they do it themselves?

I’ve spoken over the years about the DIY (Do It Yourself) wedding couple. While many weddings have some element that was done by someone involved in the wedding (family and/or friends) there’s rarely a wedding that’s truly all DIY. Did her mom make the wedding dress? Did his/her aunt cook the food? Did his friend take the pictures or play the music? More likely they made the programs, possibly decorative items for the tables or church.

Why are they doing it themselves?

It might be their budget, or it just might be that they enjoy the creative process. I’m a DIY when it comes to home improvements and repairs. Rarely is it to save money, because many of my DIY projects wouldn’t get done if we had to hire a professional carpenter or handyman. They’re not emergency repairs, rather improvements or artistic expression.

So, when couples try to do things for their weddings…

• Are they trying to save money? – maybe

• Are they trying to be creative? – maybe

• Do they care if it looks homemade? – I doubt they think about it

• Should they care if it looks amateurish? – if it looks like they made it themselves, they’re probably OK with it.


What about you? Are you a DIY wedding pro/business?

So, when you try to do things for your business instead of hiring a pro…

• Are you trying to save money? – probably

• Are you trying to be creative? – maybe

• Do you care if it looks homemade? – most likely you haven’t thought about that until now

• Should you care if it looks amateurish? – you should care, that first impression may be the only one you get

People often ask me how much it costs for a new website, or a graphic designer to do your business cards, brochures or email template. Usually the answer is that they all cost less than the business you’re already losing with your current website, branding or marketing pieces. If you lose one customer because of inferior branding, design or execution, that usually costs you way more than hiring a pro. If you lose one customer per month now, what are you waiting for? Not doing it at all costs you even more than doing it yourself.


Don’t go it alone

In an industry where so many of us work from home, or run lean organizations, there’s often way more to do than we can get to. Sometimes you have the skills, but not the time (that’s my biggest challenge). The thing is you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can outsource much of what you do, contractors and freelancers are everywhere (consult a labor attorney if you engage the services of the same person or people regularly and they only or mostly work for you).

My benchmark is that I can do it myself only if you, my clients, can’t tell that I did. If I have the skills to deliver to a professional level, then I do it. However I also outsource many things that I can do very well, because it’s not the best use of my time. Choose the services you want to personally do for your customers and outsource the rest or pass them on to another service provider. If you’re that busy, it may be time to hire another, or a first employee.


Rather than DIY we should all be asking ourselves DIWhy?

If we have a really good reason to be doing it ourselves, then keep calm and carry on. If not then we have to start thinking bigger, like the businesses we want to become, and let the experts do it (which, after all is why we want people to hire us in the first place – we’re the experts).


Alan Berg is a business consultant and the wedding and event industry’s only Certified Speaking Professional®, the highest-earned designation for a professional speaker, and a featured speaker at Catersource® each year. Find out more at Get more business ideas at Alan’s online learning portal

Alan Berg

Alan Berg

Marketing Guru,, Kendall Park, NJ

With more than 20 years in wedding & event related sales and marketing, Alan Berg has been called "North America's Leading Expert on the Business of Weddings & Events". He's uniquely qualified to help caterers achieve success in this most important sector of the business. As a highly regarded industry expert in all aspects of marketing, his knowledge and expertise can help practically any caterer move to the next level. As the author of the popular books "If your website was an employee, would you fire it?" and “Your Attitude for Success” (both in their 2nd editions) and the mini-book “Don’t Paint The House”.

Weddings represent the...