Setting Up Helper Stations for DIY Wedding

by Melissa on November 7, 2011

Yesterday, my wedding week to-do list included tasks like “get things organized at venue.”  Well, what the hell does that actually mean?

Anticipating that family and friends will ask what they can help with after they arrive, I’ve created a list of some of the more “menial” tasks that will need to get done as Ken and I focus on some of the bigger picture items. We’ll set up “helping stations” that include the boxes or bins related to each of the below tasks. Then we’ll ask them to cross it off our list as it’s completed. Although the helping stations will take a bit of time to set up, in the end it will save us time and preserve our sanity so that our friends and family aren’t interrupting us every two minutes to ask what they can help with and we won’t have to waste time showing them where the supplies are.

So, here’s our list of things family and friends can help us with on Wednesday and Thursday:

  • Put sand in bags for luminaries
  • Take cellophane off of board games
  • Assemble centerpieces
  • Keep fireplaces burning
  • Put batteries and SD cards into digital cameras
  • Fold and assemble ceremony programs
  • Assemble coffee supplies in wooden carrier (creamer, stirrers, napkins, tea bags, hot chocolate packets etc.)
  • Take plates, cups, napkins, etc. out of plastic wrappers (but not all in case we can return some)
  • Dishes to wash:
    • Cake stands
    • galvanized buckets
  • Break apart pieces of chocolate and put in bucket and cover with saran wrap
  • Open graham cracker packages and put in bucket and cover with saran wrap
  • Make coffee pot-sized portions of coffee grounds
  • Pour sand ceremony sand into the jars
  • Put postcards in table number holders
  • Assemble patio heaters (pack toolkit for park, including drill and chargers)
  • Organize “kids table” items (combine all crayons into one jar, take toys out of packaging, etc.)
  • Put “reserved” tape for on seats for family at ceremony site
  • Set up guest book items (including putting markers and pens in cups, putting cardstock in baskets, etc.)
  • Put empty boxes and bins in kitchen (the small room with the freezers). Stack or nest them neatly if possible

Tasks for our day of coordinator the morning of wedding


  • Decorate tables (tablecloths, table runners)
  • Steam/Dewrinkle tablecloths and table runners
  • Put centerpieces, pumpkins, favors, and table “numbers” on the tables
  • Move television to pavilion?
  • Set up easels with seating charts
  • Make sure fireplaces are going strong
  • Turn on patio heaters
  • Set up dessert table with (mockup of dessert table will be on a table in mess hall)
  • Put up family wedding photos
  • Set up guest book items
  • Set up games table (small folding table with ivory tablecloth). Mockup of games table will be in mess hall

Ceremony site:

  • Put tablecloths/fabric on hay bales
  • Put out table for sand ceremony
  • Set up sand ceremony kit on table
  • Move speakers equipment to the ceremony site
  • Put out chair for classical guitarist
  • Put out table with programs