Happy Monday, friends!
As we head into the warmer months and so many of you approach your wedding days, I’m sure you are facing a whirlwind of beautiful details to finalize, questionnaires to fill out with your vendors, invitation assembly and stacks and stacks of petite RSVP cards being returned to you in your mailbox! And as important as it is to manage all of these facets of your weddings, it’s just as imperative to have a solid plan and checklist in place for the week of your wedding!
With family and friends arriving in the days leading up to your celebration, your time will be shared between final preparations for your Wedding Day and greeting your guests who have traveled for your remarkable celebration! A wedding week checklist filled with proactive tasks will not only be your guide to a seamless and flawless wedding day, but it will also be a lifeline that will provide you with peace of mind and help you maintain sanity when you are being pulled in different directions your wedding week.
To ensure that you and your fiancé have the flawless and magical wedding day that you so deserve, I’ve shared with you below some of my inside tips and tricks for you to help guide you through your wedding week!
AND, be sure to read all the way to the end for a surprise gift from me to you to help make sure your dream wedding comes to fruition!
As a sidenote — for those couples with a wedding planner, you might find that many of these tasks below are covered by your planner as well!
WHEN YOU THINK OF A TASK, COMPLETE IT
No procrastinating on a wedding week! One of my favorite mantras I share with AYEs brides in the days leading up to their weddings is “only touch a task once.” Proactivity is your best friend during a busy week of preparations, and I’m a firm believer that during a time when the to do list feels neverending you should complete tasks as soon as they come to mind. Brushing your teeth and remember you need to pack your shoes? Take the toothbrush with you and pop your shoebox in your suitcase while brushing. Remember on your morning run that you need to remind your bridesmaids to pick up their dresses at the tailors? Slow to a power-walk and send a quick one sentence group text to the girls. During your wedding week, be a task master by being proactive!
PAY ALL OF YOUR VENDOR PAYMENTS + PREPARE GRATUITIES
I cringe when I think of my couples paying their vendors on their wedding days — you should be enjoying the day to it’s fullest, not passing out envelopes and chasing your vendors in between songs! 7-10 days prior to the wedding, I send all of my AYE couples their final invoices and ask them to either pay them in full, or fill out a credit card authorization form to hand to the vendor for payment upon their arrival and completion of their contract on the Wedding Day. For any vendors who are to be paid after the wedding, I have credit card authorizations prepared and ready to send via email AFTER the wedding is over. And, when it comes to gratuities, AYE couples prepare cash tips in white envelopes of which they give to me as their wedding planner to share with their vendors at the appropriate times throughout the Wedding Day. If you do not have a wedding planner, prepare these envelopes with addresses on the front, and hand to your vendors during the morning of your wedding and pop in the mail in the days after the wedding for those vendors you do not get to see before the end of the evening.
PREPARE YOUR ATTIRE EARLY
Approximately 10 days before your wedding, plan to drop off your dress to be steamed or pressed. Then on the Monday before your wedding, pick up your gown and hang all of your attire in one closet. Have the groom pick up his suit if renting or picking it up from the tailor’s if it’s his own. Send a quick reminder to all of your bridesmaids and groomsmen that they should have their dresses and suits picked up, tailored, pressed and ready at this point.
PROVIDE YOUR BRIDAL PARTY WITH THEIR OWN TIMELINES
To head off any questions or confusion amongst your bridal party during this busy week, send them all their own copies of the wedding timeline so they know where to be and when ahead of time! This will save you receiving additional phone calls and text messages, and keep them in the know at all times!
SEND A FINAL EMAIL TO YOUR VENDORS
On the Tuesday before your wedding, email your vendors one final email with the timeline, floor plan and confirm payment. This will give them one final opportunity to confirm any last minute details and ask any final questions days in advance, and will also provide you with peace of mind that you have spoken to all of your vendors prior to the wedding!
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE WEATHER
On the Sunday before your wedding, begin tracking the weather. If you need to put a rain plan in place, email your vendors in a group email by the Wednesday before the wedding to let them all know that you should be putting into place your contingency plan (ie: indoor photo location, moving ceremony indoors, etc). Keeping all of your vendors on the same page with weather will ensure that they readjust their plans in advance and prepare to make your day perfect despite the forecast.
HAVE AN EMERGENCY KIT AT THE READY
If you don’t have a wedding planner who provides an emergency kit, put together a tote bag of essentials for the bridal suite. Some things to include are hairspray, stain remover sticks, chalk (for covering stains on wedding dresses), double sided tape, nail polish remover, lash glue, scissors, a small sewing kit (including thread that matches the bridesmaids’ dress and groomsmen’s suits), toothbrush, mouthwash, mints, etc!
THE MOST CRUCIAL TASK OF YOUR WEDDING WEEK
Your most important task on your Wedding Day is simple: enjoy it to it’s fullest. Once the day arrives, let go and trust in your vendors! Allow yourself to be fully immersed in your Wedding Day. Remember this day is a milestone that you deserve to be a part of and be nostalgic for the rest of your life!
There you have it, friends! And to go along with these tips and tricks I’ve put together an surprise gift for all of Meredith’s readers and Instagram followers! Click the link to access your exclusive Must Have Wedding Week Checklist. This checklist is filled with tasks as well as these tips and tricks that I’ve shared above to help you achieve your dream wedding while enjoying it to the fullest!
Happy wedding planning, dolls!
Keri Ketterer is the owner, wedding planner and designer of Always Yours Events, an award-winning wedding and celebration planning company based in New England and the South. With an expertise in both tented weddings and those celebrations hosted at elegant established venues, Keri’s wholehearted mission is to create romantic, ethereal and awe-inspiring weddings that leave a gorgeous lasting impression on her couples and their guests. AYE has been featured in national publications including People Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides Magazine, Style Me Pretty and more, and Always Yours Events was honored to have been the official wedding planner for the Bachelor’s Whitney Bischoff.