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Help vs. Hire:

Where to Draw The Line In Asking Friends & Family to Help On Your Wedding Day

When you're getting down to the wire, the list of things to be taken care of on your wedding day seems endless, doesn't it?

Who is going to pick up the boutonnieres and take them to the groomsmen before the first look photos?

Who will remember to pick up the marriage certificate after the ceremony and keep it safe for us?

Who will set out the card box and guestbook on the signing table outside at the reception before the guests arrive ?

Who will put the place cards on each place setting (after the reception venue has fully set the table)?

While there is one very simple answer to this question (hire a wedding planner, hi!) one trend I see couples using to try save money on their wedding day is by delegating wedding day tasks to friends and family members outside of the wedding party. 

I am going to tell you that this is not a fair thing to ask of anybody on the day of your wedding.

The time to ask for outside help ends the moment your wedding day starts. Once your special day begins, your friends and family should now be considered guests whose only job is to celebrate your love and have a wonderful time doing so (with excellent food and great music keeping them on the dance floor all night long!)

The exceptions to this rule apply only to the wedding party and to each of your vendors' own responsibilities- they can and should be expected to help you both before and during the wedding day to the best of their ability and as per your contracts with them.

Any family member or friend will be willing to do something for you- it's your wedding and saying no to a bride seems cruel and with some brides, dangerous to your health. But if you've ever been asked to do one of these favours or not, I'll let you in on something: nobody actually wants to help you.

Yep, it's the truth.

General consensus states that by virtue of showering, putting nice clothes on, committing to a whole day's worth of events and buying you a present dictates that as a guest, my obligations end there and your promises of excellent food and great music begin. Also, no one wants to be held responsible for epically failing the precise placement of your framed engagement photograph next to your unity candle and birdcage card box. 

Will they say yes to these tasks? Of course they will. And you know it. But the truth is, your parents should be spending the day getting themselves ready and relaxing (let your mama get her hair and makeup done for her special daughter's day!) instead of driving across town to pick up your flowers. 

NO ONE other than a professional should be held responsible for ensuring the safety of your marriage certificate. Period.

Asking someone to put out the miscellaneous items at your reception means more than you might think- there are factors here that you may not even realize. For one thing, you need to have delivered all of these items to the reception venue in advance. You need to be able to tell that person where they can be found (sometime after you put it there and before you're too busy on the day of the wedding to tell them, which is never). That person needs to know when they can do it- reception venues don't typically finish fully setting tables with linens and place settings until shortly before the reception actually starts and an exact time will never be given to you based on the venues schedule and staffing that day. 

Photo by Hanafoto

Photo by Hanafoto

The short answer is, of course, that a planner can and WILL do these things for you (and be legitimately happy doing so.) So while the small details are being tended to, your guests can simply be that. After all, the best couples just want their day to be a celebration for everybody and nothing but FUN. Giving them a job, whether you mean it to or not, means you expect them to WORK on your wedding day. 

You've put your whole heart (and countless hours) making this day special and you want it to be an enjoyable experience for every single person who has said yes to being there. The biggest favour is the one your can give yourself by hiring the best team of professionals to do the work for you. 

You can count on me to put that photo in exactly the right place, I promise.

To your love,

Chelsea