One of the most difficult tasks to manage when planning a Massachusetts wedding reception is set-up and clean-up. Getting a team of family or friends together to help with the wedding reception decor can be frustrating. You need to find people that you can really trust to make sure everything is done properly. This is true whether you are planning a budget wedding reception or have unlimited funds to spend. Sure, you can hire a team of professionals to take care of it for you, but they won’t put the time and care into it that you will. When gathering volunteers, make sure you get a group of sharp and reliable individuals on your team.
Some brides prefer to be fully hands-on with the planning and set-up, while others prefer to delegate. Figure out which type you are before you get too far in the process. Once you pick the date, the theme, and select your team, create strategic planning meetings in advance of your New England wedding. This will help to keep everyone informed about what is going on with the wedding reception decor. If you add new elements or need help in other areas, you can add additional volunteers, as needed. Make sure everyone knows what their job will be when they need to arrive, and what they need to bring.
Host these meetings at your home or in a meeting room at a restaurant, depending on the size of your group. Pay for a nice meal, cocktails, or set-up a little buffet to thank them for their time. Even though your group will be made up of family and friends, it is still wise to go out of your way to show your appreciation. On your wedding day, have a special gift or memento to provide to your volunteers. Even if they are helping in other capacities as members of the bridal party, make sure they get a special volunteer gift.
Appoint a Group Leader
This is especially important if you and your groom will be leaving your New England wedding at the end of the reception. You want to know that someone will be in charge and can coordinate the clean-up of the wedding reception decor. Communicate regularly with your group leader about any changes to your plans. Even a budget wedding reception can look like “a million bucks” if you plan everything carefully. The group leader should delegate duties to the rest of the volunteer team and check-in with each member regularly to make sure they are still able to help. Depending on the size of your team, even just one person missing-in-action on your wedding day can make a big difference.
Work with the group leader to make your lists. Lists of things to bring and lists of things that need to be removed from the venue. One list should include phone numbers for all volunteers, wedding party members, vendors, and other essential persons. Another list should include a rundown of everything that will happen before, during, and after the wedding. A countdown schedule in advance of the wedding will help you to stay on-track with everything from cake tasting to menu planning.
Have a “Dry” Run Session
One of the best ways to make sure that each member of your volunteer team knows what to do is to have a practice before the wedding. Invite your team over to go through the lists and tasks that you need to accomplish. Have a “mock” table ready to go so everyone can see how the place settings, centerpieces, favors, and other table elements will be set-up. You can even take turns having volunteers copy the setting that you have chosen so they can be confident on the big day. Include everything from the tablecloth to the silverware, the flowers and the place cards for best results.
Discuss all the items that will need to be transported and who will do it. For example, all of the wedding gifts and gift cards should go with the bride’s parents or the maid of honor. Many couples plan a post-wedding brunch and then meet with parents, grandparents, and wedding party members to open gifts the next day. Make sure that someone who will be attending or hosting this event takes the gifts home so they don’t get misplaced. The same goes with leftover cake or any leftover food that you want to bring home. Some couples have guests that will stay in the area for days after the wedding so that this extra food can come in handy.
Work With the Venue
During the initial planning phase of your New England wedding, make sure to work directly with the venue for set-up and clean-up. Find out how soon you can begin to bring items to the facility and when everything needs to be removed. This is important to the success of your Massachusetts wedding reception. All wedding reception decor needs to be approved, and any DIY items or heirloom pieces should be accounted for to ensure nothing gets lost. Turn your budget wedding reception into a beautiful and memorable event when you host your celebration at The Crystal Room. Contact our coordinator by calling 508-478-7800 and schedule a tour. We can answer any questions that you might have about our venue and assist you in securing a date.