I had a spreadsheet with all of the guests, whether they were kids or adults, and which of the wedding events they were attending. Since there were 5 separate events that weekend, keeping track of this was no mean feat! (The funny thing is that I had guests call me on Thursday and Friday and say, "Which things am I coming to?" and I would go to my spreadsheet and tell them what they had RSVPed for.)
I also had a "Wedding Plan" spreadsheet where I kept track of everything that had to be done between the time guests arrived on Wednesday night and the time we left for our honeymoon on Monday morning. This included the boring stuff like dropping the dog off at the kennel and loading the used dishes and wine glasses into the rental cases, as well as fun stuff like getting family photos taken. It had columns for the day, the time, what needed to be done, who needed to do it, and a "needed" column, for what needed to be taken. For example, this column reminded me that we needed water bottles, sunscreen, phones, and camera for the scavenger hunt.
I used the minute detail of the Wedding Plan spreadsheet to make lists for everyone who had a part to play in the weekend. Guests who were just guests didn't get one, but friends who were helping in any capacity and family members each got their own personalized list. It's true that this took a ton of time and people laughed at me for doing it (my dad even mentioned his list when he was making his toast at the reception) but I can tell you that this was probably the most important thing I did to make sure that the weekend was a success. I can say unequivocally that the few things that didn't go smoothly got screwed up when people deviated from their lists.
This personalized list thing wasn't invented by me. When my friend Erin found out that I was getting married, she emailed me a bunch of her wedding plans and the text of her ceremony. I found this immensely helpful, and the most helpful part was seeing the lists that she gave to the members of her wedding party (yeah, she's a teacher, too!) They were similar to my lists, except totally different, since her wedding was totally different from ours.
I've read a ton of wedding blogs, but I've never seen anyone write about making lists for people with a part to play, and so I'm including samples here. Just passing along Erin's fabulous idea...prolly boring if you're not planning a wedding, but invaluable if you are.
Here are a couple of representative examples...
This was my dad's list:
3:30 – Rehearsal at
5:30 – Barbeque at
He is notorious for refusing to eat anything prepared by people who aren't my mom
Play kickball if you want
SUNDAY, JUNE 7
And my sister's list:
My friend Danita's list included:
Set up chairs, set out jars, turn on twinkle lights, re-set up outdoor speakers (Justin will mostly do this), hang backdrop, check everything inside, light candles, set up food and drinks
Anyway, you get the idea.
Lists = good.