Does your aunt really know how to make a wedding cake?

By Nancy Mattia
September 10, 2020

Even if you're planning a small wedding, you could probably use some extra helping hands organizing the details before and on the day of your nuptials. That's where family comes in. You know who you can lean on and who you can't. And that's okay. Not everyone wants to be involved in the prep work, but there are bound to be a number of loved ones who will be glad to assist. Still, before you ask anyone to lick 100 invitation envelopes or to cook a meal for 150 guests, take a look at the following dos and don'ts to ensure you're staying on the right side of the etiquette rules.

Do: Ask people who are reliable.

If your cousin agrees to come over your place on Tuesday night at 7:30 to address invitations, she shouldn't show up at 8:15, pizza in hand, ready to sit down and chat. You want the cousin who arrives at 7:30 sharp and with her own pen.

Do: Choose those who have a calming influence on you.

The days leading up to the wedding are both happy and stressful for most brides. If your sister wants to help you do last-minute tasks but history says you'll spend more time arguing with each other than being productive, assign her something that doesn't involve you, like picking up guests from the airport.

Do: Give them enough time to get the job done.

Many of your loved ones will generously offer to help you. Take them up on their offers but be fair. Don't give impossible deadlines. Get organized early on so you can pass out assignments that can be executed in a reasonable amount of time. If that goes well, they may volunteer for more!

Don't: Ask for things beyond their skill set.

Just because Aunt Kim is an excellent baker it doesn't mean she knows how to put together a multi-tiered, decorated wedding cake. It takes special equipment, more hours that you thought possible, and (practically) an engineering degree to build a stable interior support system, which is required of a tiered cake. A better use of your aunt's talents: baking her signature caramel brownies for the favors.

Don't: Pass over young helpers.

There are plenty of kid-friendly jobs that children can do if they want to help like tying ribbons to the place cards or folding wedding programs.

Don't: Expect too much from one person.

Your mother may be the exception to this rule, but anyone else shouldn't be expected to give up their lives to help with your wedding.  Spread the love—and the workload!


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