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Don't Forget These Things: DIY Wedding


As mentioned in my other wedding blog, "6-Month DIY Wedding Checklist," there are a ton of things you need to do to prepare for a stress-free wedding.

Although this list may appear quite hefty, you'll thank me later for reminding you to do these things.

Here's the list of things you will need to do and need to have to ensure well-preparation for even the most unexpected events...which should be expected.

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"Plan B"
    • Have a "Plan B" for bad weather, if you're having an outdoor wedding. You'll want a "Plan B" for both of these:
      • Last-minute venue changes (if you know the weather will be bad before the wedding day)
      • During the wedding (if unexpected weather suddenly hits)
    • Deposits: Some "Plan B's" require you to put a deposit down (i.e. if you are planning on a backyard wedding but it ends up raining that weekend, you will need to have a pre-planned reservation at your local church or an additional venue). Or it will require you to actually purchase an item (outdoor tent). 
    • Having a "Plan B" isn't just picking a place; you have to have a PLAN for all the details involved, especially for last-minute changes. This includes:
      • Getting all the props/decor transported
      • How you will set up the decor/tables/food/etc.
      • Music set up
      • Telling your guests and vendors that the location has been moved
      • Where you will be getting ready
      • Bridal party transportation to and from venue
      • Porta-potty rental
      • Outdoor tent
      • etc.
Emergency Kit
    • This kit is essential to have before the ceremony while you're getting ready, as well as during the reception for any touch-ups. This kit includes:
      • Safety pins
      • Kleenex
      • Bobby pins
      • Small scissors
      • Makeup for touch-up
      • Needle and thread
      • Medicine: nausea, headache, gas, upset stomach, allergy, cramps, etc.
      • Pocket shot (liquor)
      • Energy shot
      • Water bottle
      • Nail polish for touch up
      • Deodorant
      • Pads/tampons
      • Hairspray
      • Shaver
      • Tide to-go pen
      • Lint roller
      • Super glue / fabric glue
      • Baby powder
      • Mints / mouthwash (no gum!)
      • Blister prevention balm
      • Bandaids (clear or small)
      • Oil absorbing sheets
      • Floss
      • Wet wipes
      • etc.
Always Prepare for Extras
    • It's better to be safe than sorry:
      • Extra envelopes in case you mess up a hand-written address
      • Extra seats in case you have some unexpected guests/dates
      • Extra wedding favors
      • Extra garter and bouquet (to give away)
      • Extra food and drinks (for hungry guests)
      • Extra parking space in case guests don't carpool
      • Extra shoes in case your's break or get uncomfortable
      • Extra batteries/memory cards for photographer
      • Extra candles and centerpiece items (in case something breaks)
      • Extra cupcakes for extra (or greedy) guests
      • Extra napkins, plates, silverware, and cups
      • Extra outlet plugs or extension cords
      • Extra volunteers for unexpected events (clean up, power outage, security, etc)
      • Extra... Extra... read all about it! 
Details For Guests
    • You want your guests to have a great experience, too. Provide them with essential (and some nonessential) details to ensure they are just as prepared as you are. You can provide this to them on a separate page in the wedding invite or email/call each guest. 
    • This includes:
      • "Plan B" location and contact method if the venue location changes.
      • Parking instructions
      • Basic directions to the venue (first, do a drive-through to make sure the directions are right on a GPS, Google Maps, and MapQuest)
      • Dress code suggestions (appropriate shoes for field/grass floor, theme, chance of chilly breeze/wind/rain/etc.)
      • What you will be serving (dinner? hors d'oeuvres? alcohol? open bar? Need a designated driver?)
      • RSVP deadline
      • Additional guests/dates allowed?
      • Registry information
      • Who to contact for questions/concerns
      • etc.
Details For Wedding Party
    • You also want your wedding party to have a great experience, including your photographer/videographer. Provide them with essential (and some nonessential) details to ensure they are just as prepared as you are. You can provide this information when you ask them to be in your wedding party, at a bridal luncheon, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, or even all of the above. 
    • This includes:
      • "Plan B" location and contact method if the venue location changes
      • Parking instructions
      • Location where you will be getting ready together before ceremony
      • Location and time of rehearsal/rehearsal dinner
      • Dress code requirements (type and color of dress for the wedding, appropriate shoes for field/grass floor, accessories, conservativeness/appearance, theme, chance of chilly breeze/wind/rain/etc.)
      • Expectations as a bridesmaid/photographer
      • Things you will pay for, things they will need to pay for
      • Things you will need help with (showers, parties, DIY decor/invitations, set up, etc.)
      • Preferences on bachelorette party/shower ideas (including dates you are available to do these things). Confirmation of event dates/times/locations.
      • Duties after the wedding (once you leave)
Volunteers
    • What are the things you need volunteers for? It depends on what you are doing for the guests.
      • Parking instructor / valet
      • Shuttle driver
      • Servers (alcohol, food, drinks, table waiting)
      • Set-up / clean-up crew
      • Gift guarder (also puts the gifts in a safe location after wedding guests have all arrived)
      • Cook / baker
      • DJ / band
      • Officiant
      • Security (if needed, or "bouncer" for those not on guest list)
      • Babysitter
      • Ushers
      • Logistics (someone to ensure things are working properly, candles aren't burnt out, pets are contained, everyone is where they need to be, kids aren't getting out of hand, etc.)
Kid's Play Area and/or Babysitter
    • If you are allowing kids at your ceremony/reception, or have children in your wedding (ring bearer, flower girl), you should expect them to get a little rambunctious or whiney. Their attention spans only last a little while, and when they get bored with one thing, they need something else to grab their attention. It's essential to have a play area towards the back of the reception area for kids to play. Include: 
      • Games
      • Crayons/markers
      • Coloring sheets
      • Play dough
      • Dolls
      • Legos
      • etc.
    • If you don't want kids to be disrupting the reception/ceremony, but also don't want to tell your guests to leave them at home, hire a babysitter to watch the kids in a room near the ceremony/reception. Find a kid-safe room or even the dressing room (after the bridal party is done getting ready) for the kids to play in.
Shuttle for Guests
    • If you are having an open bar for guests (or serving liquor), you don't want to run into the problem of drunk guests driving home. There are several things you can do here, but it's based on your preference and budget. 
      • Call a taxi company and ask a few taxi vans to come to the reception area at a certain time to be ready to take any drunk guests to their homes or hotel (if they live close). You can either make the guests pay or ask for the bill for all rides. Try to negotiate a flat rate or discount.
      • Ask a couple volunteers with an SUV/van to shuttle guests to their home, leaving the reception only once all seats in the car have been filled.
      • Rent a church van, school bus, or other type of bus for taking guests home. The bus will leave at the end of the reception to ensure all drunk guests without designated drivers will be getting a ride home.
      • Or make sure guests know to have a designated driver if they plan on drinking.
    • If the venue has very limited parking, ask guests to park in a different location nearby with adequate parking and offer a shuttle service to take them to the ceremony/reception area.
Bright Folder for Important Documents
    • This folder can contain whatever needed that you consider "important." But it's important to keep them organized and in one location so you don't misplace something. This can include:
      • Vendor contracts
      • Marriage license
      • Vows
      • List of things you borrowed for the wedding
      • Tips and checks for vendors/officiant/babysitter/etc.
      • Plane tickets
      • Passports
      • etc.
Signs for Guests
    • Guests need adequate directions to feel comfortable and not get confused or frustrated during your wedding. This includes:
      • Bathroom signs/directions
      • Parking areas
      • Large, bright signs (and balloons) near the road pointing towards venue
      • Gift drop area
      • Guest book area
      • Seating arrangements (if none, mark where the bride/groom are sitting)
      • Food/drink stations (also put labels for each food and drink)
      • Instagram hashtag for wedding?
      • Activities for guests?
      • Bar (Is it open bar? Do they get two tickets each? etc.)
Be Charged Up
    • I'm talking physically, mentally... and electronically. 
      • Charge up your electronics: phone (for before/after wedding needs), camera (for honeymoon), and iPod (to play while the bridal party is getting ready). 
      • Eat a GOOD breakfast! It's not only the most important meal of the day, but it's also essential for the wedding. Because you may not have time to eat during the entire wedding (or too nervous to eat), you will have wished you had a satisfactory breakfast. It will give you energy and keep your stomach from eating itself throughout the majority of the day. 
      • Get PLENTY of rest. You don't want to be falling asleep at your reception or drowsy while you greet your guests. If needed, take a Tylenol PM or sleeping aid pill the night before so you will be sure to get a good night's sleep. 
      • Limit your alcohol, especially the night before your wedding. I know you're excited and it's the "last night to be single," but the LAST thing you want is a hangover the day of your wedding. Also, don't drink very much the morning before the ceremony. You don't want to reek of alcohol, be bloated, have stained teeth, bad breath, get drowsy, or get hiccups during your vows.
Photo List and Accessories
    • Obviously, a photo check list is essential for your photographer. You can give them a list with just bullet points and ideas, or you can give them a sheet of paper with photo ideas that you want done (probably ones you stole on Pinterest, but we all do it). Click here for a detailed photo list.
    • You also want photo accessories. This includes:
      • Pretty hanger for wedding dress
      • Pretty robe or outfit while getting ready (not your PJ's)
      • Your cherished pet
      • A long mirror to get your reflection 
      • Something blue
      • Your mother's wedding dress and/or accessories
      • Hair accessories / veil
      • Bouquet
      • Wedding shoes
      • Custom written vows
      • Garter
      • Wedding rings
      • Handkerchief 
      • Empty picture frames
      • Vintage chairs/props
      • Wedding purse/clutch 
      • Picture of your mother in her wedding dress
      • Coffee or tea cup
      • Champagne glasses for bridal party, toasting
      • Pretty umbrella
      • Bible
      • etc.
Timelines
    • Photos: This can be in an album, scrapbooked, or clothes-pinned across a long string. Have photos of you and the groom in chronological order from a baby to the current year. 
    • Dating: This can be a poster, a chalkboard sign, or any other creative timeline method. You can do it in pictures, bullet-point list, or both. 
Umbrellas
    • Find a pretty one or two matching ones for you and the groom. If it rains during your wedding, you will want to protect your dress and hair -- and look cute in pictures while you're at it. 
    • Even if you have an indoor wedding, you will more than likely be stepping outside at some point, and you'll wish you had an umbrella (mainly on your way to the venue before the ceremony, and leaving the venue afterwards). 
    • If you will be having an outdoor wedding, also remind your guests to bring umbrellas.

Greet Guests
    • Don't forget to greet all of your guests during the wedding at some point. Yes, it is YOUR special night, but you are also HOSTING the event. Just like a good host greets their guests, expresses gratitude for them all coming, and offers refreshments, you will want to do the same for your wedding guests.
    • It's a win-win situation: they'll be glad you saw them there supporting the wedding, and you'll be able to see who all cared enough to come support the wedding. If you don't greet the guests, many guests will feel offended. It will come across as "Well, I got all the wedding gifts and that's all I really care about." And trust me, the wedding is not the only or last time that you will want plenty of good connections and close relationships to contact.
    • The best way to do this is to have a "Receiving Line" after the ceremony. This allows guests to line up and greet/congratulate you, while allowing you to see who all came for support. 


Helpful Resources:




Comments

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  3. DIY wedding planning is the very difficult and confusing. I was searching for such articles on the Internet that’s make me comfortable and I meet your blog and found those information which I badly need. Thanks for such informative blog I really like it

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