Wedding Planning 411: Family Friendly Wedding Jobs

A Family Member Can Help Make Dessert


Do you have friends and family simply foaming at the mouth to help you with your wedding in some way? Do you get regular calls from your soon to be sister in law about crafting your guest favors? Do you want to hire professional vendors for your wedding, but don’t know how to refuse your family who has offered to be your catering staff and your valet and decorator all in one? Well, we are here to help you find ways to re-direct their good intentions into tasks they can actually handle – and to ease relations so that you can get back to planning the wedding you want (you know, the one with vendors who know what they’re doing) in peace.

Just because your buddy was a DJ in college and your best gal pal has 28,700 Instagram followers doesn’t mean you should hire them to DJ and photograph your wedding.  Nor should your father in law be cooking up your reception dinner because he used to be a BBQ chef in his college days. Your best friends and your family should enjoy your wedding day with you – and leave the day of tasks to professionals. BUT there are some wonderful tasks that they can help you manage before your wedding day so they can still feel like they contributed to the success of your wedding.

For example, maybe you have an aunt who makes delicious mud pies (your fav since age 5) and she offers to make them for your wedding dessert buffet. Or maybe your type-A cousin offers to help you stuff your invitations the night before they are due in the mail- should you take them up on it?   YES. Yes – we say – as long as you know they can deliver on their promises. Sometimes family just wants to be there for you, and help with your wedding so they feel involved. Sometimes, family can want to over-help, and this can become annoying. We want the wedding planning process to be a peaceful one for you and your mother-in-law to be – so we’ve created this little guide listing some helpful roles that your dearest friends and family (and soon to be family) can fill for your wedding, while leaving the important stuff to the pros, and without driving you bat S*&# crazy.

Enlist your helpful friends and family to fill these roles for you and your sweetie: 

1.Ceremony Ushers, Guest Greeters, and Program Passers. A great way to include a sibling or close friend who may not be in the wedding party. They can still enjoy the ceremony and reception while feeling as if they’ve contributed a little something to your day.

Seattle Garden Wedding Performer


2. Ceremony Readers. An ideal role for a close friend who you did not include in the wedding party. Invite them to the rehearsal to practice their reading and the rehearsal dinner afterwards to make them feel even more included.

3. Ceremony Performer. Maybe you have a cousin who is an incredible violinist or a sorority sister that has pipes like Adele. Ask them to perform during your ceremony to add a personal touch to your day. As performers, they will be stoked to share their talent and can relax and have fun for the rest of the festivities.

4. Photo Wrangler. Delegate one of your more assertive family members to herd your families for photos. This will allow for the photographer to spend more time focused on taking the photos and less time worried about where everyone is! A pro-tip of ours is to make sure this person has a cheat sheet of who’s who including cell numbers just in case.

Seattle Waterfront Wedding Photos

PHOTO CREDIT: Aya Sato Photography

5. Blessing Giver. Some couples like to start the dinner reception with a prayer or a blessing. This is a fantastic task to delegate to the right person who would be honored to lead the blessing with a few words.

Homemade Favors by Erin and Michael + Friends

Salt and Pine Photography

6. Taking Home Centerpieces. First, find out if your florist is ok with you taking home the centerpieces. (Some centerpiece containers are rented – others you might purchase – be sure to clarify) If you are cleared to take home the flowers, pre-assign family members and friends that you’d like to give the flowers too.  Make a list of the people you want to take flowers so that your wedding planner (with the help of your family) can distribute them to guests are they are departing from the reception. This will make them feel extra special and allow your florals to be enjoyed beyond the event! Pro tip: If you’re renting your floral containers from your florist (which is most common) ask them if they would be willing to a) come back an hour before the reception ends and repackage the flowers into disposable containers for guests, or b) if your style of centerpiece can be built with a  disposable container placed inside the pretty rented container, so its easy to grab the flowers, and not the containers at the end of the night.

7. Favors and Crafty Projects. This is a great way to get your bridal party and moms, aunts, cousins, etc involved without having too much responsibility. Good group projects include favors, seating cards, and welcome kits for out of town guests. Open up a bottle of wine, turn up some Janelle Monae, and you’ll be glad to spend some quality down time bonding over crafty projects with the ladies.

8. Invitation Stuffer/Addressers. This is another great opportunity for you to pop open a bottle of wine and spend time with friends or family members that want a chance to help you without major commitment. To you it’s a tedious task, but to them, it’s a chance to be a part of the planning process!  Or – even better, if you have a friend who has excellent handwriting – or even calligraphy skills, ask them for help addressing your outer envelopes if you think they would enjoy the task with you.

Stuffing Envelopes is fun!

Love Song Photo

9. Dessert Maker. This is one of the only critical parts of your wedding day that we feel is okay to have your family involved with.  We’ve had many couples who prefer something other than a traditional wedding cake and we’re all for homemade special recipes and creations from Grandma Unice or Uncle Tony. Examples: assorted cookie display, assorted mini desserts, cupcakes, pies, tarts or even a traditional dessert customary to your ancestors. These can mostly be made ahead of time, hopefully don’t require too much attention from your friend or family member on your  wedding day (we want them to enjoy the party with you!) and often, your wedding coordinator or sometimes your caterer will be willing to help get these displayed in time for dessert on a pretty table. Note: If you do have a traditional wedding cake, we advise that if its made by a professional baker or bakery, you should have it delivered by and set up by that bakery. This should not be a DIY task. There is nothing worse than having Uncle Bob pick up your wedding cake in his van and having it arrive smashed in a box because he had to make a sudden stop at an intersection. Leave the cake handling to the cake bakers. We’ve seen too many cake pick ups gone awry when pros are not involved.

10. Marriage License Calligrapher. Maybe you have a sister that has impeccable handwriting, invite her to create a pretty version of your marriage license before you sign it, then have it framed or added to the photo album. It’s always a little more special and unique to have a loved one involved.

Now that you know what to do, go delegate, delegate, delegate! (Pro Tip:  While they’re busy helping, you can have a date night with your boo and not talk about the wedding!)

Have some other great roles for family and friends that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you.


The  Wonderstruck Gals

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