The process of preparing for your wedding could be so much more fun when you have a gang of enthusiastic friends by your side who are eager to lend their services. It definitely helps to have readily available hands to fold those myriads of invitations or pull off all those detail-oriented, time consuming DIY projects. But brides, be careful not to take advantage of your friends' generosity too much. You'd be surprised how many times I've seen friendships take a strain during these times because the brides were getting too carried away and taking their families and close friends' efforts for granted . Here are some tips you can consider in asking your friends for help in your wedding preparations.
Make sure . . .
1) the person you want to ask for help is someone that you had kept in touch with within the past two years. If you know that you're probably not going to contact them much after the wedding, then it's also probably best not to call them just to ask for a favor, even if that person's talents/services could save you a lot of money.
2) you ask for their help plenty of time in advance. This shows that you have thought this out carefully and consider them best for the job. I would say one month prior to the wedding is the absolute latest you should ask.
3) you are communicating the job descriptions clearly. Please don't just say "I need your help" without supplying specific guidelines and expect your friends to know what you want. The more you communicate, the more it will also help them acquire a sense of ownership to their responsibilities and produce better outcome.
4) you do have plans to show appreciations for their help. Thank you cards, gifts, or thank you get together after the wedding... You can discuss this with your fiance for ideas and include this to your budget.
And to those of you who ARE the friends who's been asked to help, please don't back out at the last minute when you have agreed to help. Trying to find a replacement for you will cause further stress on the bride and groom, on top of all the other stress they already have. And please, please be ON TIME if you're helping on the day of. I've seen so many friends who agreed to help in ushering & gift attendants that do not make it on time due to their personal reasons. On several occasions I had to frantically find replacements and let me tell you, it's not easy to find replacements at the last minute! For those of you who are helping with putting together a video or a slide show for the wedding, do work on it early and finish it at least one week prior to the wedding so you can go back and revise the work.