Post # 1
If you don’t have a wedding planner/coordinator, who sets everything up the day of the wedding? I know this is a stupid question, but it doesn’t make sense to me. We are using a barn venue where it’s a blank canvas and we bring EVERYTHING in– tables, chairs, linens, china, etc. I saw someone else post about how their catering team and florist will be setting up their tables– do florists normally do the linens and all that stuff?
I know this isn’t something the bride or the wedding party or the family does….so who does it? Who makes sure the centerpieces look like they’re supposed to or that the place settings are out? Also, why the hell don’t I know this…?
Post # 3
Well, if you don’t have a coordinator it usually is the bride or the family who sets it up.
My DH, my dad, and the groomsmen set up our decorations. I would suggest talking to your catering team and your florist to find out if they do it or if there is an extra charge.
Post # 4
@CharleighT: at every wedding I’ve been involved in the wedding pary does it and it sucks. Everyone is stressed and rushed. At my BFF’s we were setting up until guests were arriving! My FI saw that and said we have to have a coordinator.
But I think to save money I’m going to trade off with my cousin who is also engaged. I will coordinate set up/ break down for hers and she will for mine.
Post # 5
@CharleighT: There is no one answer. Every couple has to work out a solution for themselves.
Does your contract with the vendors, tables, chairs, linens, china, etc, include setup? Then you need someone there to give them directions.
Many times in fact, it is the family, close friends, or wedding party that does the setup. Can you get access the day before so the setup can be done before the rehearsal dinner?
Do you have a college nearby where there is an event planner course? Hiring a college student to supervise is a great option. Make sure you have clear directions and pictures or whomever is in charge so you end up with what you wanted.f
If your contracts don’t include setup, hire few high school or college students to do that.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@CharleighT: the short answer is that unless you’re paying someone else to do it… whoever cares that it gets done, does it. So: the bride and hopefully groom and whomever else they can recruit.
The florists / caterers / etc will only set up what you’re hiring them to provide. Definitely clarify with them and don’t assume they’ll do any more.
We had a crew of ~20 friends and family members helping for 1-4 hours the morning of the wedding, in addition to my husband and me.
Post # 8
@CharleighT: my caterer and the venue coordinator are doing it. I don’t get the venue until about an hour before the ceremony so there’s no way I can do it!
Post # 9
@CharleighT: It actually IS the bride’s responsibility unless you hire someone else to specifically do it.
Post # 10
It’s the bride’s responsibility.. You set it up, or you pay someone to do it.
We hired a coordinator, who worked in conjunction with the catering staff. They set up the tables, and the coordinator did all the place cards, menu cards, etc. My caterer said they’d help “time permitting” but their focus was the food, not the decor (and rightfully so).
Post # 10
Well if you don’t have a co-ordinator and your vendors aren’t prepared to do the job for you then you set everything up and yes, it IS the job of the bride, wedding party and family to organise.
The need to set up yourself can be the downside of any venue that gives you the freedom that this allows. Because on the one hand you get a totally free rein in how everything looks which is wonderful but on the other hand, it means you need to organise a reliable team of people to set up.
Trust me, the very last thing you should be doing on your wedding day is running around with ladders, decorations, centrepieces or whatever. There are many brides who will confirm that the need to do this really did take the shine off their day.
At my son’s wedding in September he and his FI organised a team of friends and family to help decorate their hall. They organised more people than might be needed which was very sensible because a couple of people flaked out on the day. They also needed to make arrangements to take everything down afterwards too – a job that should not ever be left to your guests!
So I strongly recommend that you either get a reliable team together or pay someone to do the job for you.
Post # 12
We are renting our reception hall for the day before, day of, and day after.
We’ll be decorating/setting up the day before ourselves [with the help of a few family members].
I’m hiring a co worker on the day of to do smaller stuff [turning on light strands, lighting candles, ect]. He will also be in charge of restocking the candy buffet, and breaking down the tables after dinner.
We will cleanup the hall the day after so nobody has to after the reception.
Post # 13
@CharleighT: we also had a “blank canvas” barn wedding. And I showed up the day before the wedding, before our rehearsal dinner, with my husband, our families and the bridal party. We set everything up ourselves. It worked out because I’m a serious control freak and was able to oversee everything.
Post # 14
Actually if you are doing a DIY barn wedding, it IS something that the bride and groom, wedding party and family do. Especially if you have access to said barn the day before.
I’d hope you can get in the day before, and in that case you and your groom as well as anyone you can get to help should set up as much as humanly possible. On the day of, you’ll have to either hire someone to coordinate, or recruit some friend’s and family that are able and willing to complete putting things together. WE had a regular winery venue so tables chairs serving dishes etc etc were all done by them. Decor was set up by a good friend of mine. I made her a tank top that said “The Boss” on it, and an emergency supply kit. Her and some other wonderful friend’s worked their butt’s off and set everything up perfectly in almost 100 degree weather.
Post # 15
@CharleighT: I, the bride, set up all the tables, chairs, and decor with the help of family. I found that the focused, physical work on the morning of the Big Day really helped calm my nerves.
However, the tent and lighting were set up by the rental delivery guys the day before, and of course the DJ took care of his stuff when he arrived, and the caterer did what they had to do.
Post # 16
Generally the wedding party would help with all of the setup, which could go smoothly or be a logistical nightmare depending on how much work there is to do. I definitely suggest finding people that understand your vision and will assist you in getting everything done the way you want it.