Prepping for a Wedding

We had two daughters marry in the space of nine months. While preparing for a wedding does not typically fall into self-sufficiency and preparedness, many of the principles for accomplishing any preparedness task without breaking the bank are the same as those needed to plan for any major event.  

Here are three tips that will help:

1. Plan Carefully

Make lists of tasks to accomplish (such as shopping for the wedding dress, choosing flowers, and decorating the reception venue) and materials you need (such as decorations, food, and drinks for the reception).  Write them down on paper or type a list on your phone, computer, etc. and prioritize them by the date by which they need to be accomplished.  Add the tasks to your calendar to be sure you set aside time to accomplish them and so that you do not forget anything. Be sure to also add a day or two to your calendar to dedicate to gathering materials for the reception, whether this means shopping for food items, gathering decorations from your attic, or picking up items to be borrowed from a friend's house.

Ask for help!  Remember that one person can't do everything, so assign tasks to people you trust and keep a list of who will be doing what.  This will keep people from wasting time by doubling up on the same task and will keep things from being missed.  Keeping a list will be crucial for when you need to call to verify that people who agreed to do a task are still available to help and for when your friends call you to ask what it was they had agreed to do.

2. Repurpose

Use what you have.  If you have decorations from other events or items around the house that can be re-used or modified for the wedding, don't hesitate to do so. One daughter used hardback books from our library shelves and teacups from the cupboard in her wedding decorations.  We also used teapots, teacups, and candlesticks from our homes to decorate for her bridal shower.  Faux flowers she purchased for the wedding were used for both the shower and the wedding reception. Flower garlands we had on hand were included for both wedding receptions.

Borrow what you don't have, use what others are discarding, or search the second-hand stores. One daughter borrowed the reception greenery from her boss, who was gracious enough to loan her the greenery from her own wedding that took place a few months prior. Flower girl baskets and card baskets came from the second hand store and a family member who was getting rid of her extras. Ribbon wrapped around the handle and a few flowers glued to the side added elegance and beauty to an otherwise plain basket.

3. Involve Your Community

Let people help.  This can save you time, stress, and money. People who like you are happy to be involved and many will offer to help you with whatever you need without you even asking. Don't be afraid to accept help when it is offered.

Capitalize on people's skills. When people offer to help, let them help where they have the interest and skill.  Each of our daughters had a friend that is a fabulous baker.  Their friends made them a homemade wedding cake as a wedding gift.  Another friend put together the bouquets as a wedding gift (after the bride bought in-season flowers at a local store). Others friends who love baking made cupcakes for the dessert table.  One friend offered to make her delicious pasta salad for the reception dinner.  Each of these wedding gifts saved the couple money and allowed their friends to gift their time and talent in lieu of a gift to be wrapped.

A Parting Thought

Remember to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Family, friends, and community are important. When our daughter's friend married, we made salad and desserts for the reception dinner and passed out the champagne before the toast. Before another friend's wedding, we were honored to be asked to serve the rehearsal dinner. When your family or friends have a big event, offer to give a helping hand.  It may be more appreciated than you will ever know!

A November Wedding

A July Wedding