This week we are coming back from a little break and kicking it into high gear to prepare for a very busy fall wedding season. At this point all of our weddings are planned, the decor has all been procured, and now it’s time for us to get our brides and grooms organized for their big day.
For our clients we prepare an inventory check list that details how much of what needs to go where, and although in most cases we actually source all of the props and accessories for our brides; on occasion our clients do prefer to control this aspect themselves. When this is the case organization and clear direction is key. This is not only from a communication aspect, but more importantly that knowing everything is clearly dictated gives you a sense of calmness and keeps that inner bridezilla at bay.
Today we want to share our tips for how we organize all the little details for our client’s events, and how brides can keep their wedding items together and effectively communicate their vision for what these items are to be used for.
How we prep and keep props organized before a big event:
- When we design an event for one of our clients one of the items that they will receive from us is a master document that outlines every detail, how many they ideally need for their particular wedding, and where to find them.
- If we are sourcing the details for our clients, then we keep everything tagged and filed away in our studio. Everything is separated by each event in a color coded box. For example, the Albrecht wedding is a purple box, and the Mentzel wedding is a gold box. We also have a master inventory list that is checked regularly to ensure that everything is on track to be secured prior to the event.
- After everything is filed by event, we then have a secondary system where we keep items grouped by location at the event, i.e. place cards, favors, and guest book are in a separate box that is labled “sign in table”.
- We often have several people who are assisting us as we set up for an event, so it’s important that each person know how to stage a particular area should I be off fighting fires prior to an event and unavailable to dictate to them. For this reason we will have a sketch or photo of a mock up available with each box so that there are no questions or surprises causing a delay in set up.
- Finally, we insist that EVERYTHING that can be done in advance is done in advance. Years ago we had a wedding that was located at a private estate. We had everything taken care of prior to the event, except for one big surprise. The bride decided last minute to purchase sparklers for her sendoff, and remembered about an hour before the wedding was set to end that they were still in boxes in her closet. So we ended up spending the last hour of the wedding unwrapping 250 sparklers that were individually wrapped inside four pack boxes. It was no skin off our back, but it did take us away from doing other tasks that we usually assist with as a wedding draws to an end such as organizing everything to be packed away after the party is over, or getting the getaway car loaded so the bride and groom can take off. The point here is that when more is done in advance, we, your coordinators, have more time to spend on YOU!
How can you to translate these tips to work for you? As I mentioned earlier, many brides prefer to source their own details for their wedding. This not only allows them to maintain a sense of control, but also saves a little money in the long run. When this is the case, it’s evermore important for us to be sure that we as well as our clients are organized. We want to be able to devote every moment setting up for an event to actually setting up, instead of tying ribbons on mason jars or figuring out what to do with 200 mini wine bottles.
How to make wedding organization work for you:
- Get boxes- or bags, or whatever is easiest for you to keep your wedding items organized in. They don’t have to be nice, but keep in mind that the easier they are to organize your accessories in the easier your wedding day setup will be. We suggest to our clients that they do it exactly like we would. Separate items in boxes by the area that they belong in your wedding.
- Create a checklist- Actually, you should create several throughout the course of your wedding planning, but for this particular area you should make one that details your details, where to get them, when you got them, and when you need them by.
- Create a manefesto– this is different from a checklist. See the image above that we found on apartmenttherapy.com in a great article about using technology to organize your home. Give it a read, because it easily translates to prepping for your event. Your manefesto should list every item that you have secured for your event, what should be done with it, and where it can be found.
- Do the prep work- I think we covered this pretty well above, but seriously, don’t expect the people setting up your event to have time to do everything. If it can be done in advance do it. If you don’t have time to do it in advance, pay someone. You deserve to not stress about these little things.
- Be clear in your delegation- It doesn’t matter if it’s a rough sketch on the back of a napkin, an immaculate professional mock up, or advanced auto-cad rendering, the best way to explain your vision is to show it. Never assume that your set up crew is going to assume what to do with an item just because you think it might be obvious. This will cut down on unnecessary questions and people bothering you before you walk down the aisle, and it will save time for whoever is setting up your event.
If there is anything that you can do for yourself before your wedding, it is taking the time to get organized. Just a little bit of time will save you a lot of grief, and make you enjoy your engagement so much more!
What steps are you using to organize your details for your big day? We would love to hear new ideas!
Owner | Creative Director
Vera Green Productions | Vivi Gray Design