Create Your Wedding Day Game Plan
You've done all the planning and paid all the vendors, don't let the the execution of your wedding day be any less planned than the rest. Let's get your game plan together for how to run your wedding like a broadway production.
1. Write down everything
For each section of the wedding write down all of the decor needed for that area. Include all of the little things that you may need and the obvious stuff, absolutely every item needed for that space. Make note of if anything is being moved from another area of the wedding to the new space.
This is going to be a very long list and may be best put into several tabs/pages or columns.
This is going to be used by your team as a set up & tear down checklist; additionally it can be helpful as a packing checklist and to remind yourself of items you still need to collect.
Bar Menu x2 >
100 Wine glasses
100 Water goblets
50 Highball glasses
Lime & Lemon wedges
8 Sav blanc
50 pale ale
Mixers (2L) >
Plastic cups (150)
2. Put set up & tear down into the timeline
Now that you have a nauseating list of the items needed for every area of your reception, put the game plan into a timeline so your team knows what needs to be happening at what time. They will be able to follow this and check in easily to know what's happening next.
I suggest making this separate from your overall timeline to make it less busy, and so it can be attached to the game plan when printed.
I will continue to use the bar example, but you would incorporate everything that needed to be done into one timeline for the entire wedding venue (bar, guest tables, ceremony etc). If you have several people helping you set up & tear down you may give each person/group their own timeline. Such as if there is a bartending team that will be doing set up, tear down and service on their own like this example.
11am - access to venue
11:05 - put drinks into fridge and ice into freezers
set up bar table & linen
Check glassware for cracks & count (rental)
Pre-batch signature cocktails
2:15 - Set up rest of decor
Napkins, menu, straws, jiggers etc
Fill well and coolers with Ice and drinks behind bar
3:10 - Start pouring champagne
3:30 - Put champagne on trays & stand at entrance
Guests enter reception area and served champagne
5:00 - Bar closed for grand entrance & Dinner
Restock ice, drink coolers and napkins/ Straws
6:30 - Bar open and guests getting drinks for speeches
8:00 - Place chilled waters in bucket on Bar
9:00 - Switch to plastic cups
One bartender to go collect empty glassware
10:30 - Last Call
Start putting away napkins, straws, menu etc
11:00 - Bar closed - water in bucket available
Unopened drinks into Brian's truck
Dump ice & open mixers
Glassware, table and decor into storage room
11:30 Tear down done
3. Assign people to tasks
Once you have the timelines for your game plan in place it's time to assign them. If you have specific vendors or designated help for certain aspects of the day this is easier.
Such as a dedicated bartending team in the example above.
Ask individuals ahead of time if they will be able to do XYZ for set up & tear down. Give them an idea of what will be expected and the time commitment so they can make an informed decision about if they can commit to the time required to handle the set up & tear down. If you have already done the first two steps, show them the game plan!
If you have a smaller team that will be handling all of the set up & tear down for the entirety of the event, have them join you to go over the game plan for an opportunity to ask and answer any questions.
** If you have pictures of what you want certain decor items to look like (centrepieces) attach those to the game plan or send them to your set up team. **
4. Sort & label decor - prep makes everything better
Just like with many projects, the prep takes 10x longer than the execution. Weddings are no different! The more detailed and thought out your prep is, the easier it is to execute the set up & tear down efficiently and ensure the event looks the way you imagined.
Start by separating all your decor and items into boxes that are labelled for the area they will be in (guest table, bar etc). Create an inventory list that will go on the outside or the top of the inside so your team can easily Identify what is in there and if anything is missing using the game plan checklist.
For guest tables you may want to use baggies to put everything together for a table (the table number, centrepiece items, place cards) so they can be place onto tables easily and are already sorted.
If you have multiple boxes for an area number them (bar 1/3) to ensure all your decor gets to where it needs to be.
Enclose photos of centrepieces and inspiration photos your team can recreate to get the vision right.
5. Have a go to person
You've done all the planning, but you don't want to be the one answering a million questions and phone calls the morning of your wedding. Designate a go to 'day of coordinator' if you haven't hired on or your venue doesn't provide one.
(It cannot be someone in your wedding party of immediate family. They are too busy getting ready, being in photos etc)
This person will be in charge of overseeing the set up, tear down and execution of the day. Any questions about the decor or dealing with issues and changes that need to be made will go to them.
Once you've handed off the game plan to them it's time relax!