The Final Countdown | 10 Things To Put on Your To-Do List for the Final Weeks of Wedding Planning
They say the devil is in the details, and that’s a big and bold statement when it comes to wedding planning! The beginning stages of planning are full of meetings and budgets, and it’s such a whirlwind.
And just when you think it’s nearly there, there are STILL a few things to be done.
These are the things we talk to in-depth with our clients in the wedding planning process because these items might take a bit more time than you think.
Clear the Decks
From job requirements to finding care for pets and houseplants during the wedding and honeymoon, the sooner you get these things checked off the list, the better you will feel.
Making sure your focus is on your relationship and your wedding day in even as little as a few days before your wedding can mean that your stress level will be significantly reduced.
If you’re taking some time off right after the wedding – and who wouldn’t want to – ensure that your trip itineraries are set, your travel plans are confirmed, and your suitcase is ready.
So get your boss and co-workers on board, get your everyday logistics handled by someone else, and enjoy these last few days as an engaged couple.
Make sure you have touched base with all of your vendors and gotten the final payments in for their services.
Now is also an excellent time to ask any questions you might have or any that you’ve gotten from friends and family. It’s also a time not to be shy. You may think your questions or worries are crazy, but let us assure you that wedding vendors have heard it ALL.
We want to be helpful to you! Better to let us know what you’re concerned about before the wedding than after it when we might not be able to do anything about the concerns.
Timeline to Friends and Family
When everything is finalized for your timeline, send it to all the important players in your day. Don’t forget to send it to anyone who needs to be present for family photos, and even to those people who may be playing a small but important role in your wedding, like readers and ushers.
Ask if they have any questions, concerns, or if there are challenges to the timeline. Doing this well in advance can help you see any gaps or problems you can think of.
And, it doesn’t hurt to send out a gentle reminder via email a few days before the wedding as well; people are natural procrastinators, and sending it twice means a better chance they will read it over.
Seating Chart and The Care and Feeding of your Vendors
It’s inevitable that you’ll get some last-minute RSVPs, so take a moment and make sure that everyone has a place to sit and there are a few backup spaces. It sounds crazy that people would not respond to a wedding invitation and still show up, but we see it all the time. We’ve even heard guests say, “We would have told you if we were not coming!”.
It’s perfectly fine to nudge people a few weeks before the wedding. Sometimes responses get lost in the mail or lost in the intention to return. Don’t take it personally!
As for your vendors, we are happiest when we are fed on long wedding days. Be sure to coordinate this with your venue and find out how and where they feed the vendors who will be with you on the wedding day and let your vendors know the plan.
Get your Marriage License on
Get ready to cross those T’s and dot those I’s for the formal part to make it legal. Each state and municipality has different rules about when and where the license is signed.
Some require it to be signed before the wedding, some after, and sometimes it’s signed during the ceremony itself.
They can even be specific about the type of color of ink needed to use to sign! Make sure you read all about it, so you’re ready for this part of the process.
What about the End, My Friends
After the party’s over, who collects the stuff? If you have a wedding planner, they will have this worked out for you, but you need to assign someone to help you if you don’t.
Gathering the floral, decor, rental items, and returning them is something you do not want to be doing the day after your wedding.
We think the day after a wedding should be reserved for rest, brunch, and perhaps jetting off to a honeymoon.
Trust us; get help with this.
Try it on; Clean it Up
Now is the time to make sure there are no wardrobe malfunctions.
Shoes: Try them on, walk around with them inside for a day. If you notice any discomfort, add pads, blister blockers, or whatever you need to make them comfy. Shine them up, polish them and buff out any scratches afterward.
Jewelry: Get your rings cleaned, find the cufflinks and watches and clean them, lay out all your jewelry and inspect it and clean it up. Put it in an identifiable bag to get to it quickly.
Accessories: iron pocket squares, make sure any specialty items like hankies or sixpence for your shoes are ready to go.
Gown and Suit: Try them on about a week before the wedding with the same undergarments (and shoes!) you plan on wearing to see if any last-minute adjustments are needed.
Vows & Toasts
Some of the most important words of your life to be spoken to another shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re writing these yourself, rehearse them in advance. If you’re repeating your officiant, it’s a good idea to know in advance what’s being said.
A good wedding day toast lasts 2-3 minutes.
While it’s common for the maid of honor, best man, and a parent from each family to speak, there is no obligation for anyone to give a congratulatory toast.
Do what works best for your family! We strongly encourage you to spread out your toasts instead of giving multiples in a row – your guests will really appreciate it! Lastly, decide if you’ll give a thank you speech to your guests and rehearse it.
Gifts and Thank You Gratuities
If you have guests coming in from out of town, you may want to have a small welcome bag made and waiting for them in their hotel room. They always love locally made items; you can’t go wrong with that!
Also, if you’re planning on gifting something to your bridesmaids and groomsmen, now is the time to get those packages wrapped and ready. Most people hand these out at the rehearsal dinner, but there’s no real rule as to when and where.
While giving a gratuity to your vendors for exceptional service is optional (and if you do – thank you!), getting these organized in advance will save time later. It’s easiest to use envelopes labeled for your vendors, so they’re ready to go when their work is complete.
Self Care & Date Night
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the needs of everyone else and forget to take care of yourself. But you still need to drink that water, make good food choices, and get plenty of rest.
Your wedding day will mean so much more if you are healthy, happy, and ready to start the rest of your life with your person.
Last but certainly not least, plan at least one night for the two of you to have a date. Don’t skip this!
It may be challenging, but make it about each other and not the wedding. Stay committed to each other in this way, and remember why you’re about to have the biggest celebration of your life!