Real talk: Weddings can cost a pretty penny. But just because you may have a tight budget doesn鈥檛 mean that you have to sacrifice having your big day be picture perfect. While there are certainly ways to keep your budget limit at bay, I鈥檝e found that the best way to cut costs is by doing things yourself. That鈥檚 right, DIY projects can really help you keep your wedding budget in a reasonable place. After all, we do live in the age of Pinterest!

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For my own wedding, I opted to DIY rather than buy when it came to certain elements, and vice versa. Knowing what you can take on yourself and what you should be saving for can help you in the long run. As Brit + Co鈥檚 Guest Editor, I am sharing five aspects of your wedding that you should buy and five that you should definitely DIY. Which items do you think made the lists? Keep scrolling to find out鈥

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1. Seating Charts + Table Numbers: Surprisingly enough, creating your own seating chart and table numbers can be a seriously enjoyable craft. This is a decoration every guest will be looking at and admiring, so take your time and have fun with it. A good tip for these types of wedding tasks is to take a calligraphy class. After I took a beginner鈥檚 course, (try Brit + Co鈥檚 easy online class!), I was constantly looking for projects to get my calligraphic hands on! Plus, after the wedding, you will be sure to have the most beautiful handwritten thank you notes.

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2. Bouquets + Boutonni猫res: One of my favorite DIYs that I鈥檝e done for some of my close friends鈥 wedding celebrations was creating beautiful flower arrangements. Putting together arrangements for your own day may seem like a scary undertaking, but with a little practice, you can truly be a pro in no time. While you may not want to take on all the centerpieces yourself, creating your own bouquets and boutonni猫res isn鈥檛 as hard as you might think. Plus, your friends and family will be so impressed with your newfound floral skills.

3. Sweets Bar: Creating a decadent sweets bar is a way easier DIY than baking your own wedding cake. So, while you may enlist an expert to whip up your dream cake, consider having a dessert bar filled with your favorite cookies, candy or all of the above.

4. Wedding Favors: Wedding favors are a great way to say thank you to your loved ones for being a part of your special day. Not only should you include sweets and treats, but you should also try to make an effort to personalize them. For example, you can include little mementos from your love story. I included a deck of cards in our wedding favors because, on my and William鈥檚 second date, we played gin rummy in a hotel lobby all night!

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5. Something Blue: One of my favorite wedding traditions is wearing something blue on your wedding day. You wouldn鈥檛 guess it, but it鈥檚 actually pretty challenging to choose the perfect blue addition to your ensemble. So, take this wedding element into your own hands and get crafty. Your something blue can be a hidden item (stitching your partner鈥檚 name under your dress in blue thread) or a subtle pop of color (blue toenail polish). There鈥檚 no need to go out and spend a dime, and you can get creative with this one!

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1. Photography: Paying for high quality photography is one thing that you won鈥檛 regret on your wedding day. I can understand wanting to stick to a tight budget, but there are certain wedding elements that you are going to want to save for, and having great photos is one of them. After your day has come and gone, your photos are going to be what you look back on to tell your story. Do your research ahead of time so that you can find a photographer that fits your style and overall vision. You won鈥檛 be sorry!

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2. Makeup + Hair: It鈥檚 tempting to want to do your own makeup for your big day, especially if you鈥檙e well-versed in the world of beauty. While I consider myself pretty good at doing my own face on a day-to-day basis, I knew that it wasn鈥檛 something I wanted to gamble with on my wedding day. If you鈥檝e had the chance to read this post, then you know that I wanted a more elevated version of my everyday style on my special day. And if you share the same sentiments, be sure to find an artist who will do a trial run beforehand so that there are no surprises on your actual wedding day.

3. Catering: We鈥檝e all heard horror stories about guests leaving the reception hungry. That alone should have you convinced to find a reputable caterer for your wedding day! Taking on an entire menu is not a realistic decision as a bride or groom, especially since you will be in high demand before and during your wedding. Find a caterer that will create the ultimate menu for you and your guests. Plus, caterers are great at adjusting the menu for guests that may have dietary needs. One less thing that you have to worry about in the long run!

4. Day-0f Coordinating: Even if you are super into planning your own wedding and design every element yourself, it is without a doubt worth it to hire someone to take over on the actual day of the event. That way, you and your family members know that all of your beautiful plans will be executed flawlessly 鈥 and you can all relax! Coordinators make sure that everything sticks to your original timeline and that everyone is where they need to be. Basically, they want to take as much stress off of your shoulders as possible. Consider this investment a wedding day game changer.

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5. Wedding Cake: Like we mentioned above, whipping up a dessert bar is far easier an undertaking than baking your own wedding cake. Even if you love to bake, mastering the art of tiered cakes and buttercream frosting isn鈥檛 something you鈥檒l want to leave to chance 鈥 especially since it has to be done right before your wedding day. This is one detail that you鈥檒l want to be done by a professional.

What do you have on your buy and DIY lists? Tweet me @LaurenConrad!

XO Lauren

(Photo via Yoni Goldberg)