Planning a DIY wedding isn’t a new concept, but executing the entire event with the help of some (overly enthusiastic, reluctant, or drunk) friends and family – now that can be a challenge. If you as the bride and groom are the principle planners and absolutely everything (from catering to decorating) about your big day is a DIY affair, read on for the three P’s on how to execute flawlessly.
Pack the Stuff
Organize what’s needed for each area: alcohol, bar napkins, bottle openers, bar décor for your DIY bar in one bin; photos and décor along with registration list and seating chart for the registration table in another, for example. Once packed, assign each bin to the person who will be responsible for setting it up. Packing should be a long process where thought is given to those opening the bins. And yes, I said bins, not boxes. Ideally, pack everything in plastic bins, with hinged lids or attached lids. No bags and cardboard boxes are not ideal but semi-acceptable. Plastic bins keep everything organized, make it easy to transport and stand up to rough handling or bad weather. Remember to provide a dolly or two for heavy and hard-to-move items.
While you are packing, label everything. This seems obvious, but many brides who have planned a DIY wedding still laugh and cite common sense as their defense for saving a dollar’s worth of labels. Weddings are hectic events and memories get fuzzy. You don’t want your friend to wonder which gold vase she was supposed to put on your sweetheart table, or have your ushers look through all of the boxes to find the bottle opener. Label all four sides of your bins plus the top lid. This way, no matter how your bin is moved or placed, the label will always show. Inside the bin, write on masking tape (which is easily removable) to explain what the item is for, where it should be placed and if any other items should be placed with it. For example, a label on a decorative picture frame should say, “Guest book table décor. Place on guest book table with roses provided by the florist.”
Provide a Plan
Sure, you’ve told your family what needs to be done, but do they have it on paper? As mentioned, memories get fuzzy and if you don’t want everyone running to you with questions, a folder with pertinent information is needed for each “helper.” Include only the information each person needs to do their job because most won’t want to read a super long document. Portion out the tasks and provide a schedule of the day’s events, with each person’s role highlighted. Include a checklist and a contingency plan in case something goes wrong with any tasks they are responsible for. Lastly, remember to include important contacts (the bride and groom should not be one of the contacts!)
Pay the People
Do you have vendors needing payment on the day of your wedding? Designate someone to pay all of your vendors. Place the exact amount owed in separate, labeled envelopes to each vendor so there is minimal confusion and no change needed for any cash payments. Give an extra $50 – $100 to a few helpers as emergency money in case they have to pick up anything extra for the event.