How to Delegate Wedding Planning Tasks Effectively
— By Lorna Urwin
10 May 2017
Wedding planning is a lot of work. Depending on what else you have going on in your life, it can even get overwhelming. One powerful way to reduce the workload to delegate, but sometimes it can be hard to let go, or even know how to ask for help. That's where this article comes in! Read on for our tips on the kind of tasks you should delegate and tips for delegating effectively.
Which tasks should you delegate?
There are plenty of wedding planning tasks that aren’t well suited to being delegated. Things that involve a lot of judgement or are personal to you, like budgeting, or writing your vows, are good examples! But there are plenty of administrative or organisational tasks that can wholly or partly be left to someone else. Consider rallying some of your trusted friends and family for the following tasks:
Research vendors and ideas
Image by Lauren Mancke
Unless you’re very particular about what you’re looking for, giving someone a research task with a rough specification (e.g. search for folk wedding bands in the Wellington area within this price range) can help save you heaps of time narrowing down the field and creating shortlists!
Organising invitations, multi-part favours or welcome baskets
Image by Jessica Lorren Photography
Any part of the wedding that involves gathering different pieces together is an ideal task for helpful friends with a good eye for detail. These tasks can get menial, so are best enjoyed in a small group with a music or movie accompaniment!
Image by Jose Villa Photography
Once your invitations are in the post, it can feel like a weight has been lifted! But there's still the task of tracking each reply as it comes in and logging dietary or other requirements. Though not particularly glamorous, this is a job with high importance. Assuming you already have a tracking system in place (often a spreadsheet or similar), collect all the RSVPs together and ask someone else to help with data entry.
Pick-ups and deliveries
Over the course of the planning, there will be plenty of movement of various items from A to B! Dropping off welcome baskets at hotels, picking up dresses and suits or fetching stationery proofs from the printer…for any situations where this legwork falls to you, see if you can engage a friend to help. This is a task that's hard to get wrong. So long as they know who they’re meeting, what they're collecting/delivering, where from, where to and at what time, they're golden!
Vendor point of contact
Image by Matthew Kane
Touching base with vendors to double check arrangements can be a great task to delegate to a responsible friend. (Preferably someone who is up to date on the plans and therefore able to provide a useful check. They can always defer to you with any issues or questions.)
If you don't have an on-the-day coordinator, this role can extend to vendor liaison on the wedding day itself. This would involve fielding questions and providing direction to prevent you from getting too bogged down in “wedmin” on the day. Exercise caution, though. If there are a lot of moving parts to coordinate you may be better hiring a professional. Both to ensure things run smoothly and that you don’t overwork your friend or family member!
Corralling items ready to transport to the venue
Image by Jose Villa Photography
A few days before the wedding you'll have a raft of things that need shipping off to the venue. Many items - like place cards, escort cards or labelled favours - require a bit more preparation to get them ready for arrival (sorting alphabetically or by table, for instance). Other items – like the guestbook, menus and programs - just need packing up in an organised fashion. Ideally, you won’t be stuck doing this work alone. Have an organised friend step in to assist and help keep you sane in those final hours!
Tips for delegating effectively
Asking for help
Image by Jodee Debes
Trust that many of your closest friends and family, and certainly the bridal party, will be genuine when they ask, “How can I help?” Once you have a task in mind, approach those people, specify the task and ask if that's something they feel able/willing to do, giving them the opportunity to refuse if they don’t feel they can do it.
Delegating shouldn’t cause more problems than it solves
Delegation is a strategy for getting things done and making your life easier. If delegating a task to someone else will increase your stress levels (which could in turn take up just as much time as doing it yourself!), then delegating is likely a bad idea!
Enlist trusted friends and/or family
Image by D'Arcy Benincosa Photography
Whether a task is delegated or not, there are always risks that things won’t go to plan. Issues may be miscommunicated and mistakes made. Reduce the risk by only delegating to people you really trust and maintaining a good level of communication about the task.
Give clear instructions and expectations
Anyone willing to help you out will want to do a good job and meet your expectations. But they'll struggle to do that if it's not clear what exactly those expectations are! Specify what you would like done, how and when for each task.
Show your gratitude
Image by Jodee Debes
If people are volunteering their time and energy to help the wedding run smoothly, the least you can do is show them plenty of gratitude and love in return. Tell them how much their help has meant to you, thank them publicly in a toast at the wedding and/or consider sending a handwritten thank you card and gift after the wedding is over!