Broke-Ass Tag: Little Wedding Extras

3/17

organized wedding

Raise your hand if you’re a disorganized hot mess most of the time … yep, me too! Now where are my Type A friends who get anxiety when someone even touches something on your desk? There’s news for you, too. No matter where you fall on the messy-organized spectrum, putting together an orderly, executable system for wedding day set up is going to save you a lot of anxiety while you get all pretty (Is everything there? Are they doing it right?). It’s also a huge kindness to the people working their tails off so your day looks perfect.

Whether it’s a backyard gathering for 20 or a ballroom gala for 200, you probably have some feelings on how you want your wedding to look. When other people — whether they’re friends and family or hired event staff — are doing the set-up without proper guidance, you’re forcing them to make decisions for themselves. By setting up a detailed plan of action that your set-up crew can see beforehand, you take the guesswork out of it, giving everyone some peace of mind.

Don’t expect people to read your mind.

You may think everything is perfectly obvious, but that unlabeled box of personal photos and candlesticks was supposed to be divided among the guest tables, yet Aunt Jane assumed they were supposed to go on the shelf in the entryway. Your box of extra, in-case-of-emergency candles got mistaken for desired decor, so your cousin just kind of stuck them wherever he thought would look good. They’re both reasonable assumptions, but it’s not what you wanted.

So how do you deal?

Make diagrams and either print them out or email them to the people helping. The easiest way to do this is set up a mock-up somewhere in your home and take a picture. If there are items you’re renting and don’t have stashed around your home pre-wedding, grab a stand-in item and make a note that (for example) the water glass will actually be the 9-inch cylinder vase at the venue. This way, everyone knows what your plan is.

Separate items by table, not by decoration type.

This is a foolproof way of making sure things go where they need to go, especially if your tables will have different decor. Rather than putting all of the candle holders in one box and hoping for the best, put three candleholders in a box with the respective candles, the two photos of you and your partner at 3 years old, the #3 card, a holder for the card, and, if you have them with you, the linens and centerpiece vase. Label that box (visible from the outside) Table 3 and repeat as necessary. Separate other decorations like the buffet tables, desert table, sign-in table. Not only does this make it less confusing, it saves precious time and you’ll ensure all the things for each table are present and accounted for.

Assign people to take home you items at tear-down.

True Story: My husband of well over a year and I bought a plain white puzzle for our guestbook. I have not seen this since I lovingly admired a few of the messages at our wedding reception. I have no idea who took it home or what box it could be in. Learn from my mistake! Since it’s unlikely you’ll be doing the packing up yourself, have a list of what needs to go home with someone and ask specific people to be in charge of it. This way you know that Uncle Jim loaded all of the table decor into his Suburban; Mom has the gifts and cards; your best friend grabbed your bouquet and all the flowers … you get the picture. Of course, make sure that these people live relatively close so you can coordinate to pick things up after the wedding.

Make clear what was rented and needs to be returned.

Renting items can get pricey. The last thing you want it to get hit with a replacement fee after the wedding. Since the people helping tear down may not be the same people who helped you set up, make sure there’s a list of rental items so everyone there can easily identify what goes home with you and what gets returned. If you’ve rented from multiple businesses, separate the lists and make note of what will be picked up and what needs to be taken back personally.

Providing all of your helpers with a plan takes less work than you think. Simply knowing how you’re going to pack your boxes can be less stressful than cramming things in arbitrarily and trying to figure out what else will fit. Plus, in all honesty, people will love you for it. The less stress you put on people before your wedding, the happier they are once the whole shindig kicks off.

If that level of organization isn’t your game, find someone who color-coordinates their closet or alphabetizes their book shelf. Organized people usually love to help other people get organized, so it’s a win-win. Knowing where to find your precious memories in the days after your wedding will be well worth it!

Do you have any other organization tips? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 11/11

    calligraphy envelope and Epson LabelWorks printed ribbonWhether you’re hand-writing on the envelope or using a convenient print-out label, addressing your wedding invites comes with a few *rules* that etiquette specialists still advise you follow. We don’t want you to be left searching, so here’s what you need to know before sending out that stationery.

    Before you get started, make sure to check and double-check that spelling! Your partner’s cousin Ashleigh is probably used to it, but she won’t be thrilled to be addressed as Ashley. If you’re going at it by hand, scrub ’em down before you get to writing. That smudge of dirt will transfer right onto that pristine white paper! Even pressing labels can leave little streaks if your paws aren’t squeaky clean.

    Let’s start with the easy ones. Formal invitations usually include a title and a full name. Married couples are addressed together as in, “Mr. and Mrs. Homer Simpson.” If the kids are invited as well, a simple “and family” on the end will do. Leaving off “and family” might not be enough to signal that this is an adults-only affair, so it’s wise to further clarify, whether politely stated on an enclosure card or by word of mouth. If the envelope is to be addressed to a single person, include the title and full name — “Miss Marjorie Bouvier.”

    If the wife doesn’t go by her husband’s name, simply list both names on the same line:

    Mr. Homer Simpson and Mrs. Marjorie Bouvier

    Same-sex couples should also be addressed on the same line and alphabetized by first name if they share a last name or last name if they don’t.

    “Mr. and Mr. Brad and George Takei” or “Mrs. Ellen DeGeneres and Mrs. Portia de Rossi”

    If a couple lives together but isn’t married, simply split the names into two lines. You can also use this for roommates if you don’t want to use separate envelopes. List the man first or use the alphabetizing by last name if they are the same sex.

    If one member of a couple has a title like Doctor, Judge or Reverend, list the titled name first (yep, even if it puts the lady first!) like, “Dr. Martin King and Mrs. Coretta King.” If both members of the couple share the title, list it as plural, followed by full names. The same general rules of “which name first?” apply here, too.

    “Drs. Derek and Meredith Sheppard,” “Drs. Arizona Robbins and Callie Torres,” etc.

    If you use inner envelopes, this is your opportunity to spell out who is specifically invited by listing children’s names or including “and guest” if you’re inviting plus ones. This time just use a simple title and name, followed by the first names of children if applicable.

    Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, Bart, Lisa and Maggie

    Once you’re finished addressing, make sure you have the correct postage. The size, shape and weight of your stuffed envelope might require more than a basic stamp. Now you’re ready to send those babies out and get ready to party!

  • 8/31

    They add up! I mean when you buy things, they accumulate. Math was never my strong suit, but that is an easy one ... and holy shit. It's adding up. With under a month to go until our wedding, the time has come to concentrate on the little details. My mom and I collaborated on a giant list (109 items!) of stuff we need to…

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    8/23

    If you're anything like me, you've been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that's why I'm hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod…

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    5/26

    I cooked this fun little geometric garland project up for Little Wedding Extras, but this has all the makings of a great DIY or DIE project: A.) It's super easy. You trace, cut, fold and glue or tape. Painting is totally optional. B.) It doesn't have to be wedding-specific. I love a project that can be recycled for home use later. (Christen is using this for #babything's…

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  • 3/17

    Now that I've made my transition from Broke-Ass Bride to living the broke-ass married life, our BAB editor Christen and I have been helping couples in our area unlock their DIY potential while planning a wedding with sanity through Little Wedding Extras. Hoping to find a way to spruce up my home decor for the summer months, I tried and failed a few times until…

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    11/25

    Last time, I shared some of the DIY Details of my elegant, jewel-toned wedding, so now I'm back to give you the low down on how you can make some of those projects work for you. One of the easiest (promise!) and most fun projects I tackled was turning plain, inexpensive wine glasses into gorgeous, favor-worthy works of art with alcohol ink. Actually, I used this…

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    11/13

    Happy Friday, Broke-Asses! It's starting to get a little chilly in my little corner of North Texas, but that just means nights around the fire pit with good friends, good beer and good music, plus some super cute and cozy outfits. But I digress. I've been thinking a lot about small, fairly inexpensive ways to ultra-personalize your wedding day. From rubber stamps to complementing your…

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  • 8/27

    I’ve always been a sucker for details. Little extras. Special additions. Something nice turns into something great with a little extra oomph and as I prepared to send out my formal wedding invitations, I needed that little something extra, so I armed myself with another calligraphy pen, some awesome vintage stamps I purchased on eBay and the sweetest little way to add an extra personal…

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