Broke-Ass Category: Planning

6/5

photo by Cakes and Kisses
Yeah … don’t even think about it.  Photo by Cakes and Kisses

As you get closer to the end of the aisle, one question starts to overwhelm all the others: “How the heck are we going to get all this stuff over there?? The favors, your escort cards, your wedding dress. Maybe you scored and you can bring in your own alcohol. Maybe you wanted to score, so you’re creating your own centerpieces — which means flowers and vases. Or all the different DIY projects you put your heart and attention to over the past few months. They’re big, or numerous, or unwieldy, or need to be packed correctly in order to survive the journey from Point A to Point B. You may be tempted by the siren call of the saved dollar, but sometimes you need to just save your peace of mind, instead. Here’s a few rules:

What Can Not Be Damaged Must Be Delivered

“Can Not Be Damaged”? Hmm. The first thing that comes to mind is the cake. If its’s any taller than a  tier, then odds are it’s smushable. And frosting — even fondant frosting — is near impossible to fix. A bakery truck has things that your Mom’s SUV does not, like special spots and slots to keep the yummy pretty stuff from sliding around. And the driver  knows exactly how to pack and load the cake and unload and unpack the cake and set it perfectly on the table. And it’s all their responsibility, not yours.

The second thing is your flowers. Depending on what kinds you’re using, crowding them together, with the water and the containers, might not work. You can get it all over there yourself, but be realistic about how much room you’ll have, and what you’ll be able to carry. And if you’re not creating your flower arrangements yourself — in other words, if you’re using a florist or designer —  then don’t pick them up and deliver them yourself. It’s not worth it — better to pay and not worry than to not pay and then … pay for it, you know?

The third thing is catering. I’m talking meals, not necessarily small things like appetizers or cupcakes. But, if you can’t keep it warm, or keep it cold, or keep it in one piece as it should be, then get it delivered by someone who can.

You’re probably thinking that the fourth thing is your dress, but we’ll talk about your dress in a minute.

Never Touch Anything More Than Once

It’s work efficiency thing — when you’re starting a task, don’t put it down until you finish it. In pick up/delivery terms, if it’s something you have to make two trips for because because it won’t fit in your car (come on, will it?) then recruit a second driver, or have it delivered. Your time, and the time of everyone who is helping you out, is at a premium on your wedding day — don’t let the miles eat it up. And if it takes multiple stops to get it there, wherever there is? Get it delivered.

So, What Can I Pick-Up Myself?

For the most part, your dress, the bridesmaid dresses, the tuxes, will be okay. Your guest book, signs, favors. Anything that won’t be susceptible to heat or crowding. But, whoever you’re getting it from, ask them what the best way is to transport it. And then, do that. Buy the fancy big dress bag/box that will be just tight enough and loose enough to avoid massive wrinkling. Buy the steamer just in case and keep the receipt, or just keep the steamer — you’ll probably want to use it again someday. If you like red wine or dark liquor, grab a Tide pen. Put a plastic sheet down to catch the water, put the cupcakes down in the passenger seat well. Refrigerate immediately once you get there. Whatever it is, just do it, and get it done right.

What are you trying to decide if you should pick up or deliver yourself? Let me know in the comments below, and we’ll figure it out.

And if you would like to find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to Silver Charm Events.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz
Liz
  • 5/27

    Hi Liz,

    My wedding is in September, and I’ve been struggling with my guest list for at least 6 months now – I didn’t send out  Save the Dates simply because I couldn’t get it together in time. The main issue is that my venue has a 50 person cap if I want a sit down meal.  I’m happy with having a small wedding, but it means there are old college roommates and friends from my 20s that I simply can’t invite.  We thought of having a separate event the day after the wedding, but that basically means planning two weddings at once. Do you have any solutions for how I can include and celebrate with folks who are emotionally important to me but won’t be invited to the wedding? And once they get here, how do we acknowledge/handle out of town friends? We don’t own a house, or else I’d go the BBQ route!

    Signed,
    Gobstopped at the Guest List

    Dear Gobstopped,

    I can’t decide whether to start tackling this from the “good news” standpoint, or the “wedding planner with a stopwatch and a bucket of water” standpoint. Coin toss…bucket of water wins: If you don’t have enough room to invite your college roommates and friends from your 20s, then you can’t invite them.  Sucks, but you can’t do it. The rule, such as it is, is that you don’t have to invite anyone you haven’t seen or talked to in over a year. Start slashing, over a glass of wine if you have to. And try and get those invites out next month, my stopwatch is ticking. Oh, and practice saying this so you’ll have it ready if anyone asks, “It’s small wedding – the venue that we love only accommodates 50 people. And there was his list, too, so that limited mine even more.” Not just short and simple, but true. And they’ll get it – they weren’t invited, but then again, a lot of people weren’t.

    Now for the good news, such as it is: Typically, you get about a 15% attrition rate – in other words, 15% of the guests you invite are not going to be able to make it, for whatever reason. That even goes up a little if you have more out-of-towners. So, you can send invitations to say, 60 – 65 people and you should still end up at your limit.

    You can also stagger your invites – send half or so out to those whoabsolutelypositively MUST be invited, like family and your best friends and wedding party.  Then depending on how many actually accept within a couple of weeks, send out more. Everyone gets the same RSVP date, but you just need to give yourself a deadline to send out the second set.

    As for those who didn’t make the cut, take a cue from my friends who’ve eloped – Send out wedding announcements afterward, either formal or by email. If you want to do formal ones, order them at the same time as your invites, and then send them out at the same time you mail your thank you cards. That’s like, 3 birds with one stone. Love it.

    Out of town friends? If they’re not going to the rehearsal dinner or there isn’t going to be a rehearsal dinner, then find a bar you love with a great happy hour and invite them to hang out for a couple of drinks. If you can, buy the first round.

    That being said…

    Wow, these can get you coming and going, right?

    Hi Liz!
    I’m wondering what on Earth happens when more people show up than you are allowed to accommodate. I’m not overly worried about it – we only invited about 10 more people than the 150 we’re allotted, and of course some won’t be able to come. But I have this nagging feeling like: wait, what if they
    do all come? Most of our guests are local, so we’ll probably have a lower “No” rate than usual. It’s most likely I’m fretting over nothing at all! But have you heard tales of venues that are very strict about capacity, and weddings that are over that capacity?

    Signed,

    Space Worrier

    Dear Space,

    Most venues have capacity rules, but odds are that you’ll be fine – it’s that whole 15% attrition thing I was talking about above. But give your venue a call and ask if they would be able to accommodate 10 extra guests,  if it comes down to it. Find out what that would look like logistically and cost-wise. Forewarned is forearmed, and it will make you feel better. I have coordinated weddings where more guests showed up than expected (RSVPs looks like an approximation to some people), and from my experience, venues and caterers generally make more food than is ordered and you can usually squeeze another table in there somewhere. But definitely, definitely ask.

    So, are any of you going through these dilemmas, or does anyone have any more advice to give? Let me know in the comments!

    See you at the end of the aisle,

    Liz
    Liz
  • 4/22

    Earth Day is 40 years old today, and we're so excited. Mother Earth means so much to us, that we even made a vow to protect her during our wedding! So, naturally, on this day in her honor, we'z about to bust out some of our favorite green goodies to help you discover how being green can help you save green, have fun, and give…

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    4/6

    I have lots of strong feelings about weddings. I don't believe they should result in debt. I do believe they should be a celebration of your personalities, and sing with details that say something about your love. And generally, I don't believe there are rights or wrongs in weddings, because really ... who are we to judge what's right for you, or the next couple?…

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    2/16

    Its time for another exciting installment of Ask a Broke-Ass! (insert kitschy theme music here) And away we goooooo...... My partner and I are both college students so we are trying to stay as cheap as possible. Plus I don't see the point in wasting all that paper...Do you think it's inappropriate to send out postcard wedding invites? Sure, why not? Sure, your Aunt Edna…

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  • 9/3

    We got the idea to register for vintage dishware after seeing the plates of our dreams on set at a television sitcom taping we attended. I was flat out drooling for them, and even Hunter gave them a hells yeah. We scampered over to check the stamp on the plates, ran home to google it, and mentally filed it away. After a long and painful…

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    9/1

    Being in my 30's (shhh, don't tell) has brought some cool bonuses along with it. My stages of life have varied wildly: I was a nerdy kid, awkward tween, rebellious wildchild turned hippie teen, and was left in my 20's very confused and insecure in my own style. In fact, looking back I can see that I didn't really have a style to speak of....…

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    8/14

    Pssst, if you missed part 1 - get it here. We left off a week before the wedding.Four days before our wedding, Hunter had run out on an errand, and called to ask me to come upstairs to the car and help him with something. I could tell he was crying. Terrified that he had been hurt, I tore upstairs to the street to find…

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  • 7/8

    This weekend, I'm going to experience some very happy wedding deja vu. My Bride$hare buddy is getting married, and Hunter and I are thrilled to go back to the Bungalow Club for the first time since our wedding 6 weeks ago, and enjoy some of our decor, drink delicious mojitos, and dance our faces off, for the 2nd time around.These are the fateful paper lanterns…

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