Thursday, December 02, 2010

Countdown to Your DIY Wedding

Here's another oldie but goodie, taken from an article I wrote a couple of months ago for's blog. is the newest innovator in wedding planning - it will create a platform for engaged couples and wedding planning professionals to personally connect online through their very own microsites. Their daily blog is up now, and the full site will be launching early next year, so sign up to be on their mailing list to find out the latest updates.

You’ve got this.

You’re making your centerpieces, making your own bouquets, heck, maybe you’re even catering your own reception – and more power to you, if you are. But even though the time you’re spending may take place of the money you’re not spending before your wedding day, it also has to replace the money you’re not spending for professional help on your wedding day. A little planning ahead, and you will still have the wedding of your dreams.

Here are three questions you need to ask your venues the week before your wedding:

1. Setup and Break-down Time-
How much time you have to set-up for your wedding and how much time you have to get everything out of there at the end of the night? Most venues will give you at least two hours of set-up and an hour to break down, but it might be less than that. And, not only do you have set-up everything, but you have to get ready for your wedding, too, so don’t be a hero – get help. If you absolutely cannot afford to hire a team, nail down which of your family and friends can show up early, and then stay a little later. Shoot for four extra people other than you and your fiancĂ© – more hands mean less time.

2. Storage-
Ask your venue if it’s possible to store anything on site the day or night before, and/or leave anything there until the next day. The less time you can spend transporting stuff to your wedding, the more time you have to set it all up when you get there. Speaking of which, make sure that you have at least as many transportation vehicles coming as you do going.

3. Trash facilities-
Do they have any? What’s their capacity? Or do you have to take everything you brought in, out with you? This is not something you want to find out at the end of the night. And make sure you bring extra trash bags just in case.

Once you know how much time you’ll have, get organized at home. Try to avoid having to construct anything on-site by assembling as much as you can, as close to your wedding day as possible. That way, all you have to do is get it over there and set it down. Make sure that it is all clearly labeled, and not with post-its!!! They fall off. While you’re doing that, decide what you’re going to do with whatever is left over at the end of the night, and assume that there are going to be leftovers of everything. What can be tossed? What needs to be saved? And as far as what’s getting tossed, can you throw it out in the same container that it came in, in the same way it came in? I’m thinking about stuff like leftover cake, favors, flowers, which are usually displayed in one way, but have to be disposed of in another.

What can be tossed, what needs to be saved? Write this all down beforehand and put the list someplace where you can get to it easily at the end of the night, so all you have to do is pull it out and check it off. Believe me, you are going to be exhausted, and not in the mood to do any of it at that point. The checklist will save your sanity, and help you get out of there and to your honeymoon suite a lot faster.

And do me a favor during your wedding, would you? You did all this work, and it’s all gorgeous and just wanted you wanted. You’ve got a plan, and you’re going to pull it all off. Relax,your wedding is going to rock. So, this means that you don’t have to worry about what’s going to go where, or how and at what time. So, don’t. At some point, take a minute to stand with your new spouse and soak up the love and joy of the day. You did it!

So, what challenges are you coming up against while you are - or were - planning your DIY wedding? Let me know in the comments and we'll figure it out.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
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