“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
I know what you’re thinking, “Brooke, how hard can packing wedding decor possibly be? You throw some stuff in a box, put it in a car, take it to your wedding, and you set it up.” Seems simple, right? But when you are setting up your wedding decor, getting all your items together and then realizing you missed a few things it can become super stressful. Not to mention trying to explain to people where to put things or answering a million questions from your friends and family. This system for packing wedding decor is going to help you get super organized and know exactly what you need.
What you need:
- Clear storage bins – I recommend waterproof bins so you don’t take a chance on your wedding decor getting wet or damaged. But if you don’t have clear bins or if you don’t have waterproof/resistant bins, just use what you have.
- Painter’s tape
- A black marker
- The Stellaluna Shop Setup and Décor List – use the code BLOG10 to get 10% off your order
#1 Organize By Category
First, organize your decor by category and where they’re going. For example, let’s pretend someone is having their ceremony outside, hosting cocktail hour in a pavilion and then having the reception in a barn. Then put all the outside ceremony decor in a pile, pavilion cocktail decor in a pile and barn reception decor in a pile. Don’t mix them unless there are items that are going to be used in multiple locations.
Doing this will help to get you super organized when you are setting up and not wasting time running around looking for your unity candle when it was in the reception bin.
#2 Prep Your Decor
The second thing you need to do is prep your wedding decor and get rid of little clutter ahead of time. That means getting rid of anything that is not important or not needed for your wedding day ahead of time. Some of the things you can do (but are not limited to) are..
- Cutting tags off things
- Removing stickers
- Taking items out of the plastic and throwing it away
- Putting candles in the candle holders
- Organizing your escort cards alphabetically or by table (whichever you prefer)
By doing these small things in advance you will save yourself SO MUCH time and stress when you, your friends, family, coordinator or someone else is setting up your wedding decor.
#3 Pack Your Bins
Now that we have all of our décor items organized, prepped and clutter-free it is time to start loading them into the bins by category (i.e. ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, etc.) As you are doing this, make sure you are checking the items off your Setup and Décor List so you know that they got packed away and nothing is forgotten.
As you are packing wedding decor in the large bins you may come across smaller boxes or bags that are unmarked (i.e. cardboard candle boxes) for those my recommendation is to take a piece of your painter’s tape and label what exactly is in there (i.e. 12 votive candles). That way someone doesn’t have to open them to see what is in there.
Make sure you are not packing the bins too full or you may not be able to carry them or the plastic may break.
#4 Label The Bins
Next step is to label the bins. There are two ways you can go about this.
- If you are using clear bins with clear lids you can take a spare sheet of paper and write down all of the contents that are in that bin (i.e. 12 votive candles, 2 table runners, 1 unity candle, etc.). Then tape that piece of paper on the inside of the lid with the writing facing upwards so if you have the lid locked on the bin you can read what is in there, but the paper is protected from the elements.Once you have the piece of paper taped in you are going to take your Setup and Décor List and tape it on the inside of the lid over top of the piece of paper with the contents written on it. When you are done with this, from the outside of the bin you should only be able to see the piece of paper with the contents written on it, but from the inside you will see the set-up and decor list. If you need a visual watch this video and skip to 3:11.
2. Another way you can do it if you don’t have clear lids is tape your Setup and Décor List on the inside like we did with the last one. Then take a piece of painters tape, tape it to the outside lid, and write all the contents of the bin on the piece of tape. If you need a visual watch this video and skip to 4:30.
What both of these methods do is allow you, your helpers and yourself to know what the contents are of each bin and then with having the Set-Up and Decor List in each box everyone knows how to set the decor up.
That is our system of packing wedding decor! If you want a more visual representation then watch our video explaining this system in more detail:
Photography: Ashely Slater Photography
Stationary: Third Clover
*Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase