Post # 1
We’ve zeroed in on a venue that we love. It’s a municipal building, and it comes with tables and chairs, but not much else. Part of the fee pays for a park attendant. The city website says that the attendant will help you to set up the tables and chairs, but that ultimately, setup and decor is your responsibility. I will be hiring a day of coordinator.
My current plan is to get my hair and makeup done, go down to the venue with my FI and our 4 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen, and spend an hour a few hours setting up the tables and decorating with the help of the DOC and the park attendant. Then we’ll put on our nice clothes and take our pictures before the ceremony.
Here’s a wedding at the same venue with an amount of decor similar to what we’re thinking about (but with some Italian lights instead of the hanging poofs).
Am I being unrealistic about the complication of set-up here? My mother thinks I’m buying myself a lot of headaches, but she has also never heard of a bride setting up her own wedding (really?) so I’m not sure if she’s just being melodramatic.
Post # 3
I would think it would take closer to three hours to set up something like that….
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
I think you’re being a little unrealistic, but I also think it’s definitely doable. You would just do well to recruit a few more family members or friends to help you out with the setup, and make sure everyone knows exactly what their job for the setup is (that way no one’s milling about going “now what needs to be done?”). Just make sure you are organized and have enough help and you should be fine!
Post # 5
I also think it would take longer than an hour to set that up. Any option for setting up the night before?
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2014 - Legare Waring House
Is there not a rental company involved? Does your DOC not have people to have set up? I think you need to discuss the logistics with the DOC first before making any decisions.
Lastly, do you really want to get your hair/makeup done before doing manual labor?
I guess this would just make me really nervous.
Post # 7
It’s doable, but I’d give yourself more time than what you’re thinking. Get as many hands as you can to help so you can speed the process up so you can relax before pictures and touch up any makeup and hair.
Post # 8
I don’t think you’ll regret it, but you’ll need a lot more time than you think. I’d say give yourself a couple hours, unless you can get a bunch of people together pre-wedding in order to help you decorate.
Post # 9
Agreed with the PPs. If you can do any of it the day before (non-perishables) then that would be a huge help. I also think you should try to recruit people to do it for you so you can relax and take your time that day. Things always seem to take longer than one expects. Try to keep your day as stressfree as possible.
Post # 10
@MrsTVLover: and @elysion: Thanks for the insight! I guess I should probably look into a couple of extra hours on the venue.
@whitarens: Unfortunately no, setting up the night before won’t be an option. But we can start the rental pretty much whenever we want on the day of.
@lizzieb: The DOC is another thing that’s kind of up in the air. Our second choice venue comes with a coordinator, so I’m not booking anyone until we’re sure that we’re going with this place, and whether or not the logistics are feasible obviously influences the decision, and so…
Post # 11
I wouldn’t want to set up my own venue – way too stressful and not enough time on the day of! Plus, you don’t want to be working and sweating in your hair/make up However, I don’t think choosing a DIY venue is bad, as long as you have an event coordinator that will be responsible for setting everything up!
Post # 12
the rental company should provide some labour depending on what you’re renting – in addition, do you know any teenagers etc who would like to help set up for 15/an hour? my parents have a lot of events, and there are two teens in the neighbourhood who come and help move cases of beer, set up tables, etc for spare cash and they are always happy for the extra $!
i wouldn’t necessarily entrust technical details to them, but i’m sure they could move all the tables and chairs etc before the bridal party fine tunes the details!
Post # 13
Thanks all! You’ve encouraged me to actually contact a couple of DOCs to see what other people tend to do at this venue. I’d love to keep hearing ideas from people who have had similar venues, as well!
For those who are asking about rentals, my understanding of it so far is that the venue provides tables and chairs. Our catering company (BBQ with any luck) provides the linens (tablecloths) as well as single-use dinnerware and cups (which we may or may not be using, depending on whether or not I can convince my family that eating off of plastic is not the quickest way to divorce). They also provide the necessary serveware. I will need to rent chairs for the outdoor part of the ceremony, along with any china/glassware/etc. that we decide on.
Post # 14
Delegate! I think you’ll certainly have to have a specific plan of attack; make sure everyone who is helping knows exactly what they’re going to be doing once they show up so you don’t have to be directing and micromanaging a dozen people during your setup time. And make sure you have a good rental company in the area. If you’re having it catered, make sure you know exactly what your caterer provides and if they will do any portion of the set up for you (sometimes they’ll do tables and chairst, etc…). Most couples need some sort of rentals for their wedding unless their venue is full-service, so make sure you know the costs involved in that, too; common rental items are specialty linens, serving ware (coffee urns, extra glasses for the bar, etc…), sometimes even a dance floor or outdoor heaters. It might be worth talking to your day-of coordinator before booking the venue to see if he or she has any insights to things you guys may be overlooking, just so you know exactly what you’ll have to do the day of, what can be done leading up to the event, and anything else that might be relevant!
Post # 15
It’s not realistic to set up your own wedding in one hour during the heat of summer after you’ve already had hair and makeup done. Spend the money and hire someone for a few hours. Otherwise, you’re more likely to waste the money you spent on hair/makeup. That setup took at least 3 hours with at least 2-3 professionals. All those small, perfectly placed details take time. That look is a classic example of “Oh really, I just picked up a few lovely finds at the antique store and threw it all together”, except it took months of finding just the right pieces and hours of setup time. That’s like the of the one woman in every office that always rocks that perfect vintage modern look, and it’s always “just a little something she put together”.
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2014 - Legare Waring House
@jdhall89: Gotcha. If you love the venue, the DOC seems like it would be a good expenditure. Also, talk to the caterers that you’re thinking of using, sometimes they’ll do the set up.
I can give you a small piece of advice from experience: a friend of mine had to go set up a wedding, fully dressed, and in heels, because her husband was a groomsman…but no one told them in advance! So just make sure you can bank on the help you need.
Also, didn’t mean to sound argumentative before, just things that I was thinking 🙂