Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Picnic Pavilion to Wedding Venue

We had one hour to turn over the pavilion from a company picnic to a wedding venue and it was tough. Luckily I had lots of help. Here are my tips.

1.) Know the Site Well

Visit the venue as many times as it takes for you to be completely familiar with it. I went 3 times before the wedding day. When we ran into logistical issues, like needing an extra table or getting a huge metal trash can out of sight I knew where unused tables were stashed and good hiding places.

2.) Organize Your Help and Delegate

Know who is helping you and what they are capable of. Figure out who you can trust with more artistic things like flower arranging and who needs to just light the candles. Don't give people more than one thing at a time to do. I found we got a lot more done if people just came back to get their next task after they completed the first one instead of asking one person to do 3 things. This gives you the ability to re-prioritize and keep moving. Be direct with your requests.

3.) Set Up An Example

We had 20 tables to decorate. I set up one and then asked someone to replicate them. It was a big time saver to take 3 minutes of my time to make a visual example in order to take the entire task off my plate.

4.) Pre Light Candles 

Have you lit an brand new candle before? It takes longer than one that has been previously lit. That wax coating has to burn off the wick before the flame actually catches. The day before the wedding, I lit every candle that we were going to use. In a situation where every minute counted, saving a few made a huge difference in not feeling rushed. This is a good tip for anything that can actually be done ahead of time. Sure, cutting a piece of string doesn't take that long, but cutting 30 while standing on a ladder is going to waste valuable time.

5.) Transport The Finished Product

Bring things to the site as completed as possible. It takes more space and you have to be more careful in transit, but it saves a lot of time. We had all of the flowers arranged, all ribbons tied, and all centerpieces ready to go.

6.) Plan And Prioritize

Know your game plan backwards and forwards. I had charts, diagrams, and explanations for every task that needed to be completed. Start with the most important part first. We had one pavilion for the ceremony and one for the reception. This meant that we got to keep working on the reception pavilion during the ceremony for last minute touches. Let things drop off your list if you are running out of time. I wanted to tie back the big plastic weather curtains with decorative ties, but I ran out of time and that was OK. Start with the things that will give you the most visual impact and work down from there.

7.) Stay Calm And Flexible

People are going to need you to do things you weren't planning on. I had to pin boutonnieres and find flowers for the bride's hair. This is why delegating is so important...it frees you up to complete unexpected tasks.

Check out all the pictures from this wedding here!

1 comment:

  1. I took pictures of the center piece (at a few angles) already put together at home. I used them as a model for whoever was going to set them up at the venue.