by Raj Desai | Updated 2/23/22
Family and friends LOVE to help. And when it comes to wedding planning, you should let them! If you’re cringing at the thought of well meaning friends and family forcing their unsolicited opinions on you, let me clarify.
This isn’t a “tell me what you think about my wedding” free for all (f* that). What you’re doing instead is channeling the excitement of friends and family into task-oriented action that’s helpful for you.
Before we get into the meat of it, there are 2 major ground rules that you need to follow. First, don’t assume that everyone wants to help. Ask first.
Second, always make sure that your requests for help are specific. You don’t want your tone deaf masi singing at your wedding reception or your notoriously unorganized cousin in charge of letting you know when vendor deposits are due.
Instead, be specific about how you want them to help and how they should execute your vision. There’s nothing wrong with having a really specific idea of what you want, but there IS something wrong with expecting your helpers to pull double duty as mind readers (and then getting frustrated when they fail).
1. Wrangle The Performers
Set up your helper for success and make this really easy on them. If you already have an idea of who wants to perform at your wedding, put together a list of those people (names, contact info) so that the person in charge of this task can get in touch with them easily.
Conversely, refer anyone who reaches out to you about performing to this person so you don’t have to deal with it. Whoever is in charge of this needs to be sure to:
- Update you on who and how many people want to perform.
- Ensure that those people send MP3 files of their songs WELL in advance, which will then need to passed along to the DJ.
- Communicate with your performing friends and family so they know what events they’ll be performing at and in what order.
2. Manage Post-Ceremony Photos
Choose your most organized and control freak family member or friend to:
- Devise an order of who gets their picture in what order;
- Inform your family and friends well in advance that they will be in the photos after the wedding;
- Tell folks the order in which they’ll have their photo taken so they don’t run off;
- And if necessary (especially if you don’t have a day-of coordinator or planner), boss everyone around for the photos so your wedding runs like a well-oiled machine.
3. Plan Your Bridal Shower
Unload one event off of your plate and let someone take the wheel on your bridal shower. Appoint one trustworthy person (or more) to plan it so that the only thing you have to worry about is showing up and having fun.
4. Assemble Welcome Bags And Favors
If you’re super detail oriented and want to include welcome bags for out-of-town guests and favors as goodies for reception-goers, enlist some help to put those bad boys together. This is such a mindless task that you can even get some kiddos in your family involved. Put ’em to work!
5. Decorating At-Home Events
Saving some money by not hiring a decorator for your mehndi or any other events you’re having at home? This is another place for family and friends to jump in and help.
Again, set them up for success by being specific about how you want the party to look and having the decorations ready for them to put up. And give them a big enough window where they can fit in decorating in their schedules, too.
6. Keep You Organized
If you’re worried about forgetting something or getting things done on time, have a relative or friend keep you on track with a wedding checklist.
7. Help Wedding Week Run Smoothly
Not only is there a lot to get done during the wedding planning process, but you’ll also have a need for friends and family during your events. Don’t substitute friends and family for people that you should be hiring (be reasonable, people). DO ask friends and family to help with tasks that are simple and you can trust them with.
Do your grandparents or elderly relatives need help walking into the ceremony space and finding their seats? What about dropping off wedding welcome bags to the hotel before guests arrive? And handing off touch-up makeup products back to your hair and makeup team at the end of the night?
You’ll find that a lot of these tiny tasks will need to get taken care of and you won’t want to be the one having to handle them.
Content strategist and UX writer who’s been researching and writing about weddings for 5 years. Addicted to Netflix, dirty martinis, and naps.