DIY Wedding Forum

set-up woes

Howdy!

So this is my first wedding lol, and a lot of the elements are ending up sort of being DIY? My venue is basically a historical building with a beautiful yard that's run by an older woman and her husband. She's told me they have no staff, it's just them, and it seems like they do a lot of decoration work and have built things for peoples wedding, but it doesn't seem like they do specific set-up and they def don't do tear-down. I mean either way they seem like a really nice couple~

I'm not really sure how to broach the topic of what she's comfortable doing? Like I don't mind asking them to help assemble some of the centerpieces (literally just putting little accent pieces in the flowers) or setting up the tables since they are providing the tables. But when it comes to setting up the tablecloths and decorations I have no idea who does those? Also there are a ton of yard games that I'll be providing and don't know who would place them. Basically I'm providing a lot of stuff on my own, but I have no idea how to get everything set up.

As a lot of articles point out I'm probably going to be super busy the day before/day-of the wedding, and our Venue does a 1-event-per-day thing so there won't be any chance for me to get in there the day or night before for set up (I could ask if I can come in after an event, but am not comfortable with things staying out all night since a big chunk of it is outdoor). Are there companies that can be hired for things like this? I saw something about a wedding stylist, but it seems that those people just kind of make sure things look nice and don't do the actual grunt work of moving and setting up tables and stuff.

I can't exactly ask any friends or family since the reception is an hour away from where we all live (this was so my elderly grandparents could attend since they can't travel). Plus I have a super small friend group so like most of them are actually in the wedding party lol. Are there any businesses that focus on setting up for weddings/parties/events? Do things like that exist? Is there another option I'm not really seeing? (other than higschool/teenagers...not really comfortable with that eiter lol). 

Thanks in advance!

Re: set-up woes

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Howdy!

    So this is my first wedding lol, and a lot of the elements are ending up sort of being DIY? My venue is basically a historical building with a beautiful yard that's run by an older woman and her husband. She's told me they have no staff, it's just them, and it seems like they do a lot of decoration work and have built things for peoples wedding, but it doesn't seem like they do specific set-up and they def don't do tear-down. I mean either way they seem like a really nice couple~

    I'm not really sure how to broach the topic of what she's comfortable doing? Like I don't mind asking them to help assemble some of the centerpieces (literally just putting little accent pieces in the flowers) or setting up the tables since they are providing the tables. But when it comes to setting up the tablecloths and decorations I have no idea who does those? Also there are a ton of yard games that I'll be providing and don't know who would place them. Basically I'm providing a lot of stuff on my own, but I have no idea how to get everything set up.

    As a lot of articles point out I'm probably going to be super busy the day before/day-of the wedding, and our Venue does a 1-event-per-day thing so there won't be any chance for me to get in there the day or night before for set up (I could ask if I can come in after an event, but am not comfortable with things staying out all night since a big chunk of it is outdoor). Are there companies that can be hired for things like this? I saw something about a wedding stylist, but it seems that those people just kind of make sure things look nice and don't do the actual grunt work of moving and setting up tables and stuff.

    I can't exactly ask any friends or family since the reception is an hour away from where we all live (this was so my elderly grandparents could attend since they can't travel). Plus I have a super small friend group so like most of them are actually in the wedding party lol. Are there any businesses that focus on setting up for weddings/parties/events? Do things like that exist? Is there another option I'm not really seeing? (other than higschool/teenagers...not really comfortable with that eiter lol). 

    Thanks in advance!
    Yes, they do exist! You need a wedding coordinator. It's sort of a sub-piece of wedding planning, although you don't need a full wedding planner if you don't want one. It sounds like you're also going to have to hire a separate caterer. Your caterer may also be able to provide or recommend a coordinator as an add-on. 

    You need to have a very clear conversation with the venue owners about what is and what is not provided, and then make sure it's in your contract. In addition to furniture and linens, you need to be clear about everything needed for catering, and electricity and equipment hook ups for your DJ/music. These are professionals who own a venue; don't be shy about directly asking them what they provide and asking them to put it in writing. It's just business.

    A coordinator would step in to fill in the gaps. They'd coordinate vendors coming in on the day of, rental deliveries, and be able to set up little things like centerpieces and games. 
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hire a wedding coordinator. 

    charlotte989875MesmrEwe

  • Yes, they do exist! You need a wedding coordinator. It's sort of a sub-piece of wedding planning, although you don't need a full wedding planner if you don't want one. It sounds like you're also going to have to hire a separate caterer. Your caterer may also be able to provide or recommend a coordinator as an add-on. 

    You need to have a very clear conversation with the venue owners about what is and what is not provided, and then make sure it's in your contract. In addition to furniture and linens, you need to be clear about everything needed for catering, and electricity and equipment hook ups for your DJ/music. These are professionals who own a venue; don't be shy about directly asking them what they provide and asking them to put it in writing. It's just business.

    A coordinator would step in to fill in the gaps. They'd coordinate vendors coming in on the day of, rental deliveries, and be able to set up little things like centerpieces and games. 
    Agree with all of this post, especially the bolded.

    Also, the venue owners might have recommendations for a good wedding coordinator and/or any other services you need that they do not provide.  They might be a nice couple who run a 2-person operation, but don't forget they are also an event venue operator and are a good resource.  I assume they have tons of experience on the best ways to do what you all want and how it will flow.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875MyNameIsNot
  • Thank you all for your answers!

    I've looked over the contract and it only mentions we have 1 hour after the event for teardown and 2 hours before to set-up (you can get longer time for an added fee). She did explicitly tell me that I am wholly responsible for clean-up and taking away any items that are not part of the Venue. My contract does include the addition/use of several items, so I'll have a lot of what I need. But I'll also be providing things.

    So far I've sent about 2 emails to the Venue host over the week and am still waiting for a response (1st was to ask questions, 2nd was to ask if she got my email). I'm hesitant to call her because she tends to ramble and being on the phone gives me anxiety. If it gets to that I'll do it, but oh man I don't want to lol. It's hard to keep her on track and I always feel like when I speak with her directly nothing is ever made clear because everything devolves into a story about a different event she hosted.

    Until I hear back I guess I can't really move ahead?

    I do plan on hiring a day-of coordinator, but everything I've read about them says they do NOT set up venues and should never be asked. They are mostly there to help out and oversee things. Which will be invaluable to me lol, since I'm going to need them to check the venue before we get there, do a couple announcements, keep track of time, and make sure our playlist doesn't pause or stop (not doing a DJ, there is no dancing so music is just background).

    Honestly I know I should have paid more attention when she went over set-up in our initial meeting, and probably should have asked definitively if they do set-up even though by all her accounts and stories it seems like they are active in the set-up process. But planning and trying to have everything together is stressful and difficult, and I'm no pro lol, so naturally there's going to be hiccups.
  • Things worked out! Finally had a talk with my Venue owner and she'll be helping with set-up. We're going to be setting up a meeting as the day gets closer to figure out how I want things set up, what I'll be providing and stuff.
    short+sassy
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