#63 Set-up & Breakdown
About This Episode
This is an educational episode! We are zooming in on two specifics parts of the wedding day timeline - the set-up and the breakdown. How much time do you need to allocate for these parts of the day? What exactly happens during set-up anyway? Can’t we ‘breakdown’ in 10 minutes if we get all of our friends to help at midnight? (NO.) We answer these and many more questions as we address two important parts of your wedding day. Don’t forget about these details...they start to add up and being organized as you go will help relieve some wedding planning stress!
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Can we talk about how awesome ugly UGGs are? So comfy. So warm. Ok - that’s all we have to say about that.
In the most basic terms: you need at least 2 hours for set-up and 1 hour for breakdown is pretty standard. Some venues will give you a 12 hour block, some venues will make their clients cram everything into a 5 hour window - hard stop. Make sure you carefully read this part of the venue rental contract, or the venue package contract. Some venues let couples add (pay for) extra hours. This may even be a negotiable term.
A tiny set-up window can cost you extra money because vendors may raise prices in order to load in during that small, specific window. Staffing, trucks, parking, traffic...vendors have to consider a lot of factors when they book an event with a ‘tricky’ set-up policy.
‘Getting Ready’ is a big part of the wedding day timeline. Hair, Makeup, First Look, Family Portraits...lots goes on in the couple of hours before your ceremony begins. And none of this fun stuff counts as ‘set-up’! If your venue lets you get ready there, you will be getting ready while vendors are taking care of the set-up of the venue. If you don’t have a planner, you will need someone to lead the charge. If you are getting your makeup done in the dressing room while the DJ is setting up the ceremony speakers, you don’t want to be the one answering the DJ’s questions!
Tables have to be set on the floor before the linens can be set up. Linens have to be on the tables before the florist can set up. The cake baker needs her cake table in place, dressed and needs the flowers from the florist ready to go when the she arrives with the cake. Lots of moving parts, y’all! This is a strategically timed event. Hiring a wedding planner will make scheduling all of this infinitely easier.
You are going to have many tangible items that you want set up at your wedding ceremony or reception. Start a list! For example: escort cards, table numbers, chuppah, toasting flutes, pictures, cake knife and server, flowers, decorations, linens, favors, programs, signage, lawn games… Consider how long it will take to set these up. Make sure every item has a plan - who, where, when. And make sure you designate which items you want back at the end of the night.
If your DJ or musicians or AV company recommend you book a dedicated sound technician for a couple hours, do it. Consider it insurance.
Links we referenced
Our Podcast, Eps 17, 18, 20 - the 3-part Timeline Series - listen to this for a greater scope of how to create your wedding day timeline
“We’re just happy that we are helping people here! And that people are listening.” - Michelle, giddy from another iTunes review!
“There was no rush and no stress for these two brides, because we just had so much time.” - Christy
“What time does everything have to be out at the end of the night? You need to know that before you get all these grand ideas about what visuals you want happening at the wedding.” - Michelle
“You can do it in 2 hours. But it’s a lot easier to do it in 5 or 6 hours!” - Christy
“I’m doing a lot of lawn games for cocktail hours. And those are a bitch to set up and they can’t just be thrown out ready to play.” - Christy
“Put on your Type-A hat and just solve the problems.” - Christy
“You’re going to have multiple timelines that layer over each other.” - Christy
Get In Touch
Let us know if you have any questions you need answered on the show or if you want to share your own wedding planning experiences!