Happy Monday to all you do-it-yourself-ers!
Whether you are a bride, a friend that has stepped up to coordinate a wedding, or a family that is working together to make it all happen - planning an event can be a big task!
The reality is that once you get beyond the pretty bits that are floral and event design - coordinating an event is WORK! There are a lot of moving parts that come together to make an event a success and at the end of the day it is all about the logistics.
One of the key things that I have noticed throughout developing my coordination process is that it is SO important to have an organized inventory of items for your event. When you have reached that home stretch and are so close to your big day it is easy to want to just put a loose list together of what items will be present the day of your wedding. I feel you!
But, if you want to have everything fit your vision so that you aren't constantly eye-balling out of place items throughout your day - hang in there and go that extra mile with the below tips!
Spreadsheets are Your Friend
I am almost religious about spreadsheets when I am planning an event! My favorite thing to do when I am planning a wedding is to divide the inventory up between the major sections that make up the day - ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Within each section, I like to go one step further and specifically designate what table/place the item is meant for.
This is also helpful for divvying the setup duties between friends and family. You can unleash a couple of people on each section and feel secure that the items will be appropriately placed.
Label Your Boxes
This is definitely an extra step, but to provide a leg-up for your friends and family that are helping with setup - label your boxes! I find that labeling them for each section of the event + their specific purpose really helps take the guess work out of quickly distributing the boxes to their appropriate areas. This helps speed up the overall unpacking process so that you aren't having to sift through and shift items around the venue too much day-of.
Example: Reception - Gift Table
Who's Bringing What?
I always like to put on my spreadsheet which individual is responsible for bringing each item. Whether I am bringing certain pieces or a family member of one of my client's is bringing something, I always like to have this information readily available so that I know who to touch base with day-of regarding a certain item if it is not in place.
Likewise, it is important to know who will be responsible for packing up and storing certain items at the end of the night. This is so that you know who to touch base with after your honeymoon (if it is a wedding) to reclaim your items!
Quantity Over Quality :P
Have a field on your spreadsheet next to each item with information about the quantities of each that will be set up per specific event section. Oftentimes, when I am dealing with table decor items, I will break this down to total number of an item (votive candles for example) per table.
However, it is also helpful to have a field for overall quantity of an item for the whole event versus just the specific sections. This is useful for making sure the same amounts brought in are being loaded back out again. You can gather them all at the end of the night and do a quick count and mark it off.
Check-In and Check-Out
Having a section where you or your family/friends can check off each item as it has been set out as well as packed back up is a great way to make sure all of the items are accounted for at the end of the night!
An organized event is a fun event! Go that extra mile and knock out the nitty gritty details so that you can have confidence in your plan and focus on enjoying yourself throughout your day!