Planning a wedding is a minefield. So many things to organise with many different suppliers. Regardless of whether you are having 100 or 500 guests; the amount you have to do is the same. Because there is so much to do, certain jobs tend to get over looked. Also, couples sometimes make assumptions about who they think are responsible for certain jobs, only to find out that on their day, their assumptions were wrong and there is now mayhem.
As venue stylists, we are one of your suppliers that will be onsite on your day. I am frequently setting up at weddings and witnessing the huge issues that can occur from small jobs that have been overlooked.
Here are 5 jobs that need to added to your ‘Check list’. It may surprise you what jobs aren’t immediately the responsibility of your suppliers without prior discussion:
One: Putting out the tables and chairs
Please do not assume that your venue is immediately responsible for putting out the tables and chairs on your day; especially if you have a dry hire agreement with them. Some venues will include this service and some will charge for it. Always check the situation regarding the tables and chairs with your venue.
If you dry hire tables and chairs from an outside company, the likelihood is that your venue will not put them out free of charge.
Just a note: if you decide to get family and friends to do this job, please leave ample time because moving 5ft/6ft tables takes longer than you think. Ask the venue if they are able to give you a plan of how they best fit to give adequate space between the tables whilst not blocking fire exits etc.
Two: Putting table cloths on the tables
Please do not assume that this is the job of your venue stylist! There is an assumption that if it goes on the table then it is our responsibility; this can be a grave assumption to make.
Some of the key to working out whose responsibility it is can sometimes be connected to who supplied the item. If they came from the venue, they are likely to put them out, if they came from the caterer the same may apply and so on.
If you are dry hiring the table cloths, you will need to make additional arrangements to get the cloths on the table with either your venue stylist, caterer or venue. This will usually be at an additional charge.
A word of caution: always arrange for your table cloths to arrive and be put down at the earliest opportunity. Remember, nothing can be put on your tables until the cloths go down!
Three: Putting out cutlery, glasses and napkins
These items are usually only a problem when they are dry hired from outside. You will need to make arrangements with either your caterer or stylist to put them out. Please do not assume that your caterer will be responsible for cutlery and glasses that they have not supplied.
Napkin folding takes time: if you are having napkins delivered to the venue (maybe a special design or colour) you will need to reserve set up time and money for one of your suppliers to fold your napkins and place them on the table.
Four: Putting out table names and favours
Couples never forget to order their stationary but they hardly ever make provisions for who will put it out. Putting out these items is over looked in 90% the wedding prep that I see. What then happens is that on the day, there is a last minute dash by family members to organise where everyone is sitting. It makes a lovely day all of a sudden look unorganised.
Make sure you arrange for either your venue, your venue stylist or your caterer to take care of this job.
Five: Clearing up after the reception
Not all caterers will automatically clean up the food on the tables after your reception. This may be a service that is available at an additional charge.
If you dry hire any items, you will need to arrange for them to be collected up from around your venue and to be packed together (in the way that you have agreed in your contract). Ensure that someone is given the job to ensure that this happens.
Your venue stylist will only collect their items; the same is probably likely with your caterer.
Check with your venue who will collect and remove rubbish and then check with that person if they have included the cost for that service in their price. Not all venues take items like glass bottles for free. You do not want to be standing up at the end of your wedding with 20 black bags of rubbish and no way of disposing of them.
Note: If you are clearing up yourself, you may have to provide your own black bags!
I know this is a lot to take in but honestly, these are the little things that will cause huge bother to your day; don’t get caught out!
Angels and Gypsies