Welcome back to the AOC Wedding series! So far I’ve covered the coveted role of Maid of Honor and the underestimated role of the reader, but what about a role in your friend’s wedding that’s not so easily defined? Maybe your girl is doing something non-traditional. Maybe she’s not having a wedding party, maybe she’s having a destination wedding, or maybe she’s going completely DIY. In today’s modern world (and economy), more and more couples are opting for something outside the box, making your role in their big day equally atypical. In this installment of the AOC Wedding Series, I’ll be sharing my experience of serving as a stylist turned wedding coordinator for one of my girl’s weddings.
My friend had her non-traditional/DIY wedding all mapped out: a bonfire on the beach in lieu of a rehearsal dinner, a ceremony and reception at a friend’s private Hampton’s home, and a Christmas song for their first dance. She knew exactly what she wanted and was ready to take it on all by herself, from baking desserts for the bonfire to visiting a local flower market to compose her own bouquets. Not surprisingly, she had also picked out her dress, but she had casually enlisted me for some styling help in accessorizing herself and selecting dresses for her wedding party. Then, like many other brides who opt for the DIY route, she quickly realized she was in over her head and asked if she could hire me to help her coordinate all the moving parts. The beauty of being a freelancer is the ability to take on random projects like this, so I happily agreed. And that’s how I got a crash course in styling and executing a non-traditional/DIY wedding.
4 MONTHS BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:
When you and your friend are doing it all, there are a lot of components to research in order for all the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. Keep in mind factors like price comparing to fit within budget and availability for the desired date and time. Below is a sample list of items to research:
- Food/Drink for Rehearsal Dinner and Reception
- Flowers for Wedding Party and Reception
- Music for Ceremony and Reception
- Décor for Ceremony and Reception
- Hair/Makeup for the Bride
- Rentals for tables, chairs, etc.
- Permits for parking, etc.
3 MONTHS BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:
Now that you’ve done your research and the bride has made her decisions, it’s time to order, book, and secure all necessary arrangements.
2 MONTHS BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:
Pause with your girl for a much needed moment of laughter and celebration – don’t forget to head to the registry and get a gift!
1 MONTH BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:
It’s crunch time! Now’s the time to check in with the bride on what details still need to be finalized. It’s also time to follow up on all the orders and appointments you booked a couple months prior to ensure everything is in place for the big day.
MONTH OF THE DIY WEDDING:
DIY Craft Party
Gather anyone and everyone willing to lend a helping hand at crafting and composing all the DIY décor, playlists, accessories, and so on.
WEEK OF THE DIY WEDDING:
Get the Game Plan in Place
Work with the bride to compose a detailed checklist for yourself and anyone else who has offered to help during the wedding festivities. Make multiple copies and organize them in notebooks or clipboards.
DAY BEFORE THE DIY WEDDING:
Get Your Game Face On
This is it! The fate of your friend’s wedding is in your hands! Get all the goods to the venue, finalize any last minute DIY projects, and ensure you have all the copies of those checklists. Be sure everything is in place before your enjoy the rehearsal dinner (and don’t enjoy it too much!).
DAY OF THE DIY WEDDING:
Breathe! And Be Decisive
Get up early, and find your Zen. Wear comfortable shoes. It’s going to be a long day. There will be hiccups. Be ready to make quick, last-minute decisions. Make the rounds, checking in and coordinating with everyone else who’s helping out. Enjoy the festivities, but don’t forget the tiny details throughout the night – remember to pass out the tips to the vendors before they head out! The bride has trusted you as her right-hand girl – you got this!