If you’re planning a marquee, tipi or rustic barn wedding, have you thought about the hidden costs of a DIY Wedding that you may not have considered?

 The hidden costs of DIY Weddings

I’m going to give you some information about DIY weddings, the hidden costs and how you may be able to reduce them.


(Q) If you are doing EVERYTHING yourself at your DIY wedding, including providing your own bar, think about who is going to do all of this for you:

  • Serve drinks to your guests?
  • Clear your tables for your evening reception?
  • Wash glasses to make sure you don’t run out – And how are they going to wash so many?
  • Check the toilets are clean and stocked with toilet roll throughout your wedding day?

(A) If you’re having a relatively small and intimate wedding, this is not too much of an issue.

If your Wedding is bigger, then you may wish to think about:

  • Placing bins around your reception site with chalkboard notices asking your Guest politely to clean up after themselves.
  • Have plastic glasses so that your Guests can clean up after themselves
  • Have a minimal table lay-up, this could be difficult if you are having wine on your tables with your meal, as you will have bottles (red and white per table), water and perhaps a bottle of champagne or prosecco for the toasts, all of which need different types of glasses that will need clearing off after your meal.
  • The best solution is to ask friends of family or from your local area, who will not be guests at your wedding to act as staff for your wedding, for a nominal wage.  Ideally these people will have worked on bars or weddings before.  (Don’t forget if you are not selling alcohol, the staff don’t have to be over 18) Or you could hire a professional staffing business such as the Iron Bar Hire.

GLASSWAREThe hidden costs of DIY Weddings - Glasses

(Q) Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many glasses per person have you allowed for?
  • What types of glassware are you having?
  • Where are you getting these from?

(A) Guests won’t keep the same glass all day, and they will more than likely change their drink choice as the day goes on

  • Your guests will put glasses down and have a fresh glass, even if they are drinking the same type of drink,  so you need to ensure that you have plenty of glasses (How many spare, will depend on whether you decide to have staff who will wash them)
  • You need to have a selection of glasses dependent on what type of drinks you will have available, for example Pint glasses, Wine glasses, Champagne flutes (if you are serving prosecco or champagne) also think about whether you are having a toast as well as serving prosecco as you will need more glasses for this, and finally you will also need hi-balls for spirits with mixers and soft drinks.
  • You can hire in glassware from various suppliers, e.g. Sainsbury’s, Majestic wine warehouse etc. You could even think about buying glasses from IKEA, it is as cheap, if not cheaper than hiring and then after the wedding, you can either sell them on to other couples via wedding groups on Facebook or keep them.


(Q) What are you going to do about the rubbish created from the catering provided and bottles from the bar etc.?

(A) Dependent on your DIY wedding venue, you may have to source your own recycling facilities,

or pay the venue for them to supply the facilities, alternatively, you will have to arrange for a member of your wedding party- or you the day after to take the rubbish to the local Council recycling centre.


(Q) How are your Guests going to find their way to the toilet or parking area after dark?

The hidden costs of DIY Weddings

(A) Don’t forget to arrange lighting for your Guests to see their way in the dark, particularly to the toilets and car parking area.


(Q) If it’s the summer how will you keep your Guests cool and comfortable?

If it’s likely to be wet and cold, how will you keep them dry and warm?

(A) Here’s some options for you

  • If it’s hot, purchase fans and flip flops.  You may want to think about hiring air conditioning units too – marquees and tipis can get ridiculously hot in the summer
  • If it’s looking like a cold and wet wedding (I really wish I could have the power for this not to happen) then remember to purchase blankets and umbrellas for your Guests.  Likewise, think about hiring in heaters too.


With the DIY Wedding, there is a lot to think about, for more help and advice, contact me on 07980 679575 or drop me an email info@lmsweddings.co.uk

Still looking for ideas for planning your perfect day? Don’t forget to follow me on Social Media for more Wedding Planning tips and advice.  Click on the links below