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Who will set up and take down everything on your wedding day?

It isn't your planners job to set up all of your décor or clean everything up at the end of the night as part of "planning & coordination" services...but here's why!

Simply put, decorating and cleaning isn't found in the words "planning" and "coordination" and never has been! Your planners job is to help you plan and coordinate your wedding day, not unpack the plethora of detail boxes your family delivered to the venue or pack it all back up when the party is over.

Why? Glad you asked! Here are the facts...

Misuse of their time & the cost

 

This is the #1 reason planners don't do set up! While many have the unconscious assumption that their wedding planner is there on wedding day to set everything up, so they don't have to...a planner/coordinator is hired for planning the day and coordinating the activities of the day. Fees are based on their time/labor cost to provide those services and operate their business. 

Too much of a distraction from their responsibilities

 

Think about it! If your planner is busy setting up all of the cute centerpieces/accents you brought, unwrapping the boxes of sparklers or doing place settings, what are they distracted from doing?   They are likely not realizing that the caterer still hasn't arrived or that the bouquets the florist brought look nothing like what you asked for. The whole purpose of having a planner/coordinator is to make sure your day is planned leaving no moments out and be there to coordinate and make sure it all goes according to that plan!

A few vs a lot

Most planners (us included) don't mind setting up a few small details like your guest book, prepping the cake table or making minor adjustments to décor already in place. While this is made clear before booking, what the planner deems as a few details and what the client deems as a few details are often different. Plus, it almost always happens that a client ends up having a lot more than just a few details on wedding day than previously discussed. 

 

So what are your options?

Most planners will offer set up or production services that you can add to your planning & coordination package but there is a fee involved. Why? To cover the cost of additional staff to handle the set up so the planner/coordinator can focus on actual planning/coordination to make sure your day goes smoothly...and stress free for you and your family!

Hire someone! Most decorators and florists offer detail décor items for rent and include the set up of those items as part of their fee. Some decorators even offer additional services for the set up of your personal décor items.

Enlist friends and family that aren't part of the wedding day activities to set up. We do not recommend parents or anyone from the wedding party.

Rental companies often offer set up services for an additional fee for placing things such as table linens or tables and chairs. 

Caterers can be contracted to set up place settings! Caterers will also bus tables and take out the trash....but they are never there until the end of your event so there will be more bussing and trash removal needed at the end of the night.

A wedding coordinator is not a janitor

Clean up after a wedding can be designated to a variety of individuals. The venue itself will have some amount of responsibility after an event and what they handle internally as well as what they expect clients to have taken care of but this will vary by venue and should always spelled out in your venue contract. Things like breaking down chairs and tables, taking out trash or packing/loading décor are never a coordinator's responsibility and generally fall under the responsibility of the client. In an effort to be more budget friendly, many venues state in their contract that these tasks are the responsibility of the client - in which case you should consult with your planner on whether or not they offer an option to provide a team to handle clean up. You can expect this service to come with a fee based on the scope of work, otherwise you should plan to delegate friends or family to take care of clean up/pack up.

If you take away nothing else from this article...remember these tips! 

  • What comes in, must go out! Anything you bring that can't simply be thrown away will still have to be packed and loaded at the end of the night after everyone is exhausted and likely quite intoxicated.

  • You will likely leave with more than you came with! Don't forget that at the end of the night there will also be flowers to take home, leftover food and leftover cake that will need to go with you. 

  • Don't waste money on favors!! 90% of couples who expend wedding budget funds on guest favors end up taking most of them back home. While the etched wine glass or koozies with your and your new spouses names might be cute...nobody outside of your family actually wants those and they will leave them behind. Many times as planners, we have seen them scattered on the floor, in bushes or in the garbage cans.

  • Few guests actually notice or take the time to look at all the little detail décor items. Like all the pictures of you two as babies or when you were dating or the little votive candles you made.

  • Guests pay attention to two things related to your décor! Flowers and their tables! Focus your budget on complete place settings, nicer linens and more elaborate florals for your ceremony and reception. 

  • Less is more! Having too many inconsequential details becomes so much of a distraction that they are ignored and generally makes everything else look cluttered.