It is incredibly hard to convey the worth of hiring a wedding coordinator when the bottom line and wedding budget is top of mind. Just like any other profession, it’s putting a dollar amount against the services that they can bring to the table, not just knowledge that a planner can bring but the experience can be invaluable. Understandably, not everyone can or wants to fit a wedding coordinator in their budget.
For many couples it’s a case of prioritising where to spend the money, and yes planning your wedding in the lead up is something that many couples are eager to do, saving precious dollars. The only stumbling block, is how to successfully execute on the day itself. After all, usually the bride and groom have better things to do on their wedding day, rather than placing candles, place cards and flowers! So some solid tips on how to pull off your DIY wedding like a true pro, and if you decide it’s all too tough, come in and talk to us so we can do it for you. You’d be surprised at how tedious some of those inane jobs can really be.
Votives and Vases and Tealights…Oh My
Did anyone say IKEA? if you have decided to buy any of your props, votives especially, take them out of their packaging and prep them. Remove any pricing stickers from underneath and give them a wash by hand, or run them through your dishwasher (best to test run a few before putting a whole load in at once just in case – you live and learn!). They will glisten. If possible, keep the original packaging and place them back in. If you have proper packaging place your tealights inside the votive (i.e. where each votive has it’s own compartment separated by cardboard, and is in a box with a lid). Make sure you buy the 9 hour tealights (4 hour tealights aren’t much chop at a 6 hour event), or even better are little miniature candles without the silver casing that burn even longer (we have these available for purchase just contact us). You would be surprised how much time is wasted on the day of the wedding just removing packaging and placing tealights in. Just by doing this alone, you can help speed up the process, leaving your friend (or venue staff) more time to focus on the rest of your set up.
If you are doing a thrift shop to buy second hand candleabras, give them a polish before you pack them up to send them to the venue. It makes the world of difference for your photographers and your guests. When you buy taper candles, make sure they fit your candleabra. You may need to slice down the ends of the taper so that they are nice and tight and there is no slippage. If they are still a bit loose, buy some bluetac or tape to hold them in. Nothing worse than a beautiful tablescape with crooked tapers and dirty brass. Who wants to spend the extra money on photoshop?
It does seem very obvious, but if you are making place cards, make sure they are all in the right position order, and place each table group into a separate envelope. If you want to make the work for your venue staff super dooper fool proof, include your seating instruction in every envelope. Usually there will be a few different staff members setting up your event. This will allow them to get on with it in a flash, rather than trying to find (or make) copies of your seating chart.
If you are having a DIY candy buffet or anything similar, ensure again that any glass containers have been taken out of their packages, with any tags removed and have been washed and polished. Label everything clearly so that staff know which candy needs to be placed in which cannister. A staging shot image with labels can go a million miles and make life easier.
Understandably some of your delicate items, glassware etc needs to be packaged in a way to prevent breakages. But try to keep it simple and not too over the top, as it can again take a lot of time to remove any superfluous bubble wrap, paper, etc.
Paper Pom Poms and Chinese Lanterns.
These can pack a punch at an event, for only a few dollars they can really create drama to an otherwise dull ceiling space. If you have ever assembled a paper pom pom, you know how time consuming it is. So it can be really stressful trying to bump a whole wedding in 90 minutes, when you have a dozen to hang and none of them have been assembled. If you don’t hire a planner, then usually there is nothing more that the venue can do – and they simply wont be installed. However having been in this situation ourselves, it can sometimes take begging and pleading with waitstaff to give you a hand and pray that you can get it all done in time. Provide them to the venue already assembled in garbage bags, that way they may only need a bit of fluffing. Have the fishing line already strung to it and tied around a piece of cardboard so it doesn’t knot.
Labels and Boxes.
Label all your boxes with your name and the date of the event. It’s also handy to number the boxes (1 of 2) plus a few lines about what’s inside and where it needs to go etc to make it dead easy for the staff setting everything up.
We are always here though to bring your DIY wedding ideas to life, so talk to us today about how we can come along, even just for setting up or packing up. But if a wedding coordinator really isn’t in budget that doesn’t mean you don’t have to get yourself (and your decor) organised like a true wedding professional. And if you’re finding yourself still stuck then head over to our online shop where you’ll find some very handy downloads (yes some of them are even free!) so you can really immerse yourself in the details. Happy DIYing!