Is it in bad taste to have the wedding guests help set up and decorate the wedding venue?


Wedding guests helping set up and decorate the wedding venue

There are so many moving parts when it comes to wedding planning and prep, especially with so many moving parts that can come with hefty price tags. So, it’s only natural that couples try nipping the bottom line in the bud by doing some DIY work.

Sometimes that DIY work comes in the form of setting up and decorating the venue as well as breaking it down themselves. It’s only natural that when we decide to take on the tasks ourselves that we may ask those closest to us for a little bit of help. But is it a great idea?

Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes the answer is no. Basically, the answer to this question is completely situational. So, let’s explore some of those scenarios, shall we?

Real-Life Scenarios: To Ask or Not To Ask

Asking for help to plan your wedding

When They’ve Already Done A Lot

Lay off your guests – especially the bridal party – when they’ve already put a lot into your wedding. Asking for too much help is in bad taste and they may feel as though you’re taking advantage of the relationship you have with them.

For example, if it’s a destination wedding and your loved ones are already having to book airfare and hotel rooms, allow them to just sit back, relax, enjoy the party, and the open bar.

When It’s Already A Part of the Plan

Are you throwing a wedding or have a theme in mind that is already meant to engage the guests? Are you prepping for a murder mystery dinner party style reception or a carnival celebration? Are you having an intimate, family gathering and everything is participating in a casual potluck? 

If so, it may be just fine for guests to help out with the set up or clean up of the event. This is a great idea when everyone is already really close and has been a part of seeing the relationship develop. It’s a celebration of everyone’s bond and much more of a close-connected event.

When There’s Compensation

If you decide to ask a select few helping hands, you should definitely offer them some sort of small compensation. This is perfect for if those helping hands include the younger guests (AKA: the teenagers).

Of course, close friends and family who may volunteer to help should be given special gift bags or thank you gifts to show your appreciation. They could include anything from specialty gift cards, local snacks, or even a basket filled with everything one could need for a movie night at home.

When You Waive the Wedding Gift

This is a great idea when you’re gathering help from the closest of family. They’re already expected to give you a great gift, but instead of receiving one of those – ask for some of those extra hours of labor instead!

When They Volunteer

You’ll certainly have friends and family that will volunteer to help you during your special day. And that’s wonderful. Just be sure that these are people you know well, trust the most, and are completely comfortable with. 

If you need help, only take up offers that you know are reliable. And remind yourself that just because someone wants to lend a hand, it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to take it.

Real-Life Scenarios: What Else Can They Help With

Any pick of these is a great way to include friends and family who want to give you a little extra love and make your day a bit less stressful.

Bachelorette / Bachelor Parties

Wedding guests helping plan the bachelorette and bachelor parties

Friends outside the bridal party are usually invited, so it’s okay to allow them to help plan things too. If you have close gals or guys that want to be a part of your big day but you weren’t able to have as an actual bridesmaid or groomsmen, give them one of the best tasks there is and allow them to help prep, plan, and execute your last fling before the ring!

Bridal Showers

The same advice for the aforementioned works here too. Give your bridesmaids a bit of a break and allow other friends to help throw this special shindig as well. It’s a way to give everyone special in your life a chance to help out if they’re reaching out and really wanting to lend a helping hand.

Engagement Parties

Planning an engagement party with the help of your friends

The best engagement parties are carefree and simply celebratory. They’re not essential so this is another great way to have extra friends and fam get involved on the big day. Take your loved ones up on any offers to celebrate this season of your lives. They’ll feel special for providing the memory.

DIY Weekends & Invitation Addressing

Instead of asking for help on the day off, nip the budget a bit by doing some extra things with your own two hands (and your family and friends’ hands) sometime before the actual event.

DIY the centerpieces on a weekend with the gals (and some wine) or take an evening to address the invitations with your cousins. You can even take a jab at wording your own reception cards and putting a fun spin on it.