In all my years of being a bridesmaid, attending and planning weddings, and polling over 50 brides and 30 bridesmaids, I’ve come to a realization. What’s that you ask? There is a very fine line between asking your friends and family to help with a few things and having them essentially be your wedding planner. This can also help you when dealing with the over-zealous and ‘helpful’ family member.
So where is the balance? Where do you draw the line? How do you stop the overwhelm?
Make a list of what needs to be done
I’m a list-lover, so this is where we’ll start. Get out your wedding planner or notebook with a pen and begin writing down everything you need to do. (you can grab my quick checklist here). If you’re DIYing a lot of your wedding, write down everything you plan to make yourself (invites, place cards, table numbers, etc) and then put a star by things your friends and family can help you with. If you know there is something that you’ll be super particular about (the lettering on a mirror / glass for seat assignments) I recommend putting your name beside that to-do. Another thing to list out is when you need each task completed by; this will come in handy in the next step!
Outline expectations and ask for help
When you go to your friends and family to ask them for their help, I want you to be aware of a few things –
- you are asking them to help, not demanding it
- they may not do things exactly the way you do, as long as it turns out right in the end, let them do it their way
- they may say no and that’s okay – they may have too much on their plate already especially if its a time sensitive task
- you need to provide them with all the tools they need to complete the task – don’t expect them to go buy those things
One of the best things to do is to actually start by asking something like “would you have time to help me with xyz before this date? It should only take us about x hours.” Give them the opportunity to politely decline if they truly can’t help.
Okay, so now let’s chat real quick about those over-zealous loved ones. My suggestion here is to give them one-two very specific but generic tasks they can help you complete. Maybe this is stuffing envelopes instead of addressing them, or packing welcome baskets instead of picking the wedding favors. If they are wanting to be involved in lots of planning, ask them to host your bridesmaid brunch and let them go wild. You will still get to pick your wedding flowers and food, but they can pick your brunch decor and menu.
Thank those who have helped you
Last point here is the biggest one. Thank your people often. It doesn’t have to be a huge gift, but if you’re having a girls night to help with your invitations and programs, order in dinner and wine. A small gift of thanks is appropriate for someone hosting a shower or other event for you.
So how are you feeling about this now? I hope you’re feeling comfortable asking your friends and family to help with your wedding if you need them. If you’re looking for a quick planning checklist, I’ve got one for you!
Oh happy day,