Oh man. I was there. I was SO there. We had a 13 month engagement so I thought to myself, "I can do alllllllll the things! OH MY GOSH I'M GOING TO MAKE MY OWN FLOWERS OUT OF SHEET MUSIC! And special props that represent us... our nieces and nephews will have so much fun helping with those! " 

There are a few reasons I wanted to do all the things:
1. I'm a creative person and I wanted to show off my creative abilities. 
2. It would be fun!
3. It wouldn't take that must time... and I had 13 months to do it and TONS of friends and family members willing to help. 
4. I could say, "I did that" when I showed my kids and my grandkids our wedding photos so they had a reason to say, "you were sooooo cool when you were in your 20's."
5. It would save money... potentially a LOT of money. 

But there are also a few reasons John showed how much he knew me and he told me to PICK ONE. 
1. He's actually the creative genius... I just keep things going, and he knew he (WE) had other things to work on (um, like running our business).
2. DIY-ing things takes a lot longer than you think it does. And, let's be real here: time = money. 
3. No one was going to remember the details I spent so much time on... if they even noticed them in the first place.
4. Friends and family love to help, but they have lives, too, and we all have busy (and conflicting) schedules. 
5. Family was coming in town to spend genuine time with us... not so they could stress with  me about the little things I found out I didn't have time to do (or forgot about). 
6. There's a reason professionals exist: They're professional, they know what they're doing, and they were going to do the work so I didn't have to.

Boom. Number 6 was the biggest lesson I learned when I let go of my dreams of a DIY wedding so I could actually have a DREAM wedding and enjoy every minute of it. It wasn't easy. Trust me. Being in the wedding industry I should have known better but I took off my "small business owner" hat and put on my "bride" hat and forgot everything I've learned in the hundreds of weddings of I've attended. I'm telling you this so you don't make the same mistake!

So, when it comes to DIYing your wedding, my suggestion is to pick one thing and own it. If that ends up being your photo booth, that's great... but here's why I think you should hire a professional (cough, cough, I know a super awesome photo booth company with three different booth options called The Photo Bus Company) instead:
- Quality. I'll admit iPads actually can take decent photos... when you're outside and the light is perfect. Most receptions are dark and the teeny tiny camera on there can't properly handle the poor lighting situations. Our background is in photography and it shows in our image and print quality. We want the best so we give you the best. Always.
- Instant prints. The DIY Photo Booth tutorials don't tell you how to have instant, quality prints. Why have a photo booth if your guests can't take their fun photos home to put on their fridge? At The Photo Bus, we make a print for everyone in the photo. No one wants to share, and we don't blame them. 
-  Time. If you make your own photo booth you have to do the research on how to do it (technologically speaking), make the backdrops, and make the props... which also means you have to go buy the things to do that. We've been in this business a long time. We've done the research, we have you answer a few questions for us so we can do the customization for you, and we show up without you even having to think about it. The props are handmade for you, and the logo matches your wedding! All of this is time you save so you can be with your friends and family. 
- Memories. A DIY photo booth seems easy enough, but again, your guests don't go home with prints. They may not even know it's there and it won't stand out as much. But a VW bus? Or a classic bamboo enclosed booth? Or a big light shining on a fun background? You can't miss it, and your guests will remember it for years to come (and they'll have an awesome souvenir to show for it!). 

My best advice for you DIYers is make sure you have fun doing it! Wedding planning is so stressful but it doesn't have to be, and the professionals can help! Booking early will also help ensure you get to work with who you want to :)