Make no mistake: the do-it-yourself, or DIY, movement is here to stay.

The Internet is chock-full of blogs, photo spreads and videos showing people how to craft beautiful décor, clothes, desserts and more. For a little more effort, they say, you can have something fantastic for a fraction of what it would cost at a store.

But, as blogs like Cake Wrecks and Pinterest Fails demonstrate, sometimes DIY projects can end up looking nothing like the original pictures – or nothing like anything you’d want to eat!

Now, Red Velvet Events is definitely a fan of doing things ourselves – after all we’re creative problem solvers. We have clients from around the world who show us pictures and videos of events, saying, “Can you do something like this?” Of course we can! As a premiere meeting/event planner and DMC, we might not be able to carve a gorgeous, gleaming full bar out of a huge block of ice, but we’ll absolutely find an event partner who will!

However, that’s where issues sometimes spring up. Every so often, someone will tell us, “Surely it can’t cost that much if you’re doing it yourself.” Or we’ll hear, “Why does it cost that much? This [website / magazine / TV show] claims you can do all of this for less than a few hundred dollars!”

When it comes to DIY and RVE:

  • Donations Don’t Add Up. Sometimes magazines, TV shows and bloggers neglect to mention all the costs involved with certain projects. Fine print may hint that some items or services were donated. Those little details can add up to big dollars, bringing a project far above the budget the source claims it stuck to.
  • Time Costs Money. If we have to, say, put together centerpieces in-house, that takes up staff time and resources. Time is money. Always a good idea to re-evaluate each case to see if it would be more cost effective to using an event partner vs. trying to do it on your own.
  • Free Can Cost Money. While some of our event partners can go above and beyond by providing discounts to clients, the clients still have to pay for services to get those bargains. For example, a vendor bringing in one hundred chairs might be able to throw in some for free; but that same vendor is unlikely to donate chairs to a client who hasn’t paid them for anything.

We love to make gorgeous events happen, and we’re happy to work with budgets of all sizes. But be mindful of blogs and other media claiming that gorgeous décor can be obtained for only a small price tag. As the old saying goes, it can be fast, cheap, or right – but only two out of those three. Which ones matter most to you for your event?

P.S. We released a DMC parody series on our YouTube channel. Watch Why DMC, Not DIY here!