By Keisha Jennette
With your wedding quickly approaching, you’re probably scrambling to make sure that those final wedding details have been taken care of. As a wedding planner, I offer the following suggestions to keep your wedding spirits high and your stress-levels low.
Remember What’s Important
Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful as well as time-consuming. Many brides get to the final month and start wondering if eloping would have been a better idea. Relax! Remember what’s most important about this day, the marriage. You should not allow the details of your wedding to outweigh the importance of making a covenant with the one you love. It’s about the love the two of you have for one another and sharing that love with those close to you. Make sure you take at least one day each week up until your wedding to spend with your beloved. Make an agreement not to discuss seating charts or late RSVPS. Set aside time for just the two of you to enjoy one another’s company.
Make a List
Make and list and check it twice. I always suggest to my clients the importance of making a list. It helps you stay organized while getting everything done in a timely manner. Write down everything the needs to be taken care of. Each day your goal should be to mark at least one thing off your list. It makes you feel better to know that you are chipping away at your list without feeling completely overwhelmed.
Now is the time to rally your troops and put them to work. Your maid of honor should be your biggest ally. Gather everyone who has volunteered to assist you with your wedding and assign them a task. Make sure you are only giving out tasks that you know they can handle and only to those you trust. If not, all you’ll end up doing is stressing about whether they will get it done. And to you controlling brides, I know you like to do things yourself, but if your have a large to do list and only a month to accomplish them, you might have to relinquish some of your control. Just close your eyes, and jump!
If the florist has been unable to find the exact flowers you want, maybe it’s time for a compromise. Sit down with your fiancé and check your priorities. They may have changed throughout the wedding process. If something is not turning out exactly the way your want it, maybe it’s time for plan B.
Time for a Change
A name change, that is. If you are planning to change your name, you should begin getting your documents in order. Places you would want to change your name include Social Security office, DMV, banks, credit cards, passports, investments, and insurance policies. If you are a member of a professional association, make sure to send them your name change information also.
Don’t Forget the License
As your wedding day approached, don’t forget to pick up your license. You should call your local courthouse to find out what documents you will require. I suggest that you and your fiancé go at least two weeks before the wedding, just in case you need more time. I know of a bride who waited to the last minute (the day before) to pick up her marriage license and because she had been adopted, her birth certificate was not in her local courthouse. Luckily for her things worked out okay, but don’t take those unnecessary chances.
Call your reserved hotel and make sure everything is ready for your guest. If you have planned any activities for your out-of-town guests, make sure you have put together an itinerary and designate someone to make sure they are delivered to the hotel along with a welcome pack.
Make sure you have followed up with all of your vendors. Go over any last minute details and make sure those who need a final count (such as your caterer) has that number. Make sure that all your vendors know where they are to be and at what time. This final check can help eliminate mix-ups on your wedding day. Make sure to follow-up at least two weeks before your wedding.
Go to the bridal shop and make sure all your attire is ready for the big day. Do your final fittings and make sure all your bridesmaid dresses are in and paid for. Check with the seamstress to find out when all alterations will be ready and make sure all the guys have been measured and all tuxes have been ordered. Make sure the best man knows what day to pick up the tuxes and when they should be returned.
Take a Seat
Once you have all your RSVPs completed and have given your final count to your caterer, it’s time to sit down with the families and work on the seating chart. Give yourself a couple of weeks to get this done. Here’s a tip to help with the seating chart dilemma; on a large poster board, draw a layout of all of your tables, then get small post-its and write all of your guest names on it. This way, you can move your guests around until you are satisfied without frustration.
Pretty in Pink
I always stress to my clients to make sure they get all beauty treatments done at least a week before the wedding, especially if you are trying a new treatment. You don’t want redness or heaven forbid, a breakout, to keep you pictures from being picture-perfect.
Meet with your officiant and go over the layout of your ceremony. Make sure your wedding party knows when the rehearsal will be and emphasize the importance of their attendance. Make a wedding day schedule and make sure your wedding party, vendors as well as close family and friends have a copy of the schedule. You will also want to make out a schedule for your reception, especially if you are on a time crunch at your particular venue. When renting a venue, time is money. So use your time wisely.
Pack it up
The two weeks prior to your wedding, you should start packing for your honeymoon, especially if you are leaving right after the reception. Designate a trusted friend to make sure the luggage gets where it needs to for your takeoff. If you are going out of the country, make sure you have your passports.
Forget- Me- Nots
Forget-me- nots are those last minute items that are important to your wedding day. Make sure you have your wedding guest book, wedding glasses for your toast, as well as your knife for the cake cutting ceremony. Designate someone to take the favors to the reception site. Make sure your maid of honor has taken care of tradition, something old, new, borrowed and blue. And don’t forget that sexy garter!
Just in case
Ask your bridesmaids to put together an emergency kit. They should prepare at least two, one for you and your girls, and the groom and his guys. The kits should contain at least the basics; aspirin, bath clothe, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, talc powder (for makeup smudges), clear nail polish, breathe mints, white masking tape (for hems), comb and brush, Krazy glue, facial tissue, tampons, snacks, static-sling spray, hair accessories, and an extra pair of pantyhose/socks.
Of course this list is in no way all-inclusive. It’s just a reminder. As the final days of your engagement approach, the most important thing to remember is that the marriage is key. As a wedding planner, and a slight control freak, I’ve discovered that guests never know what didn’t happen or what mistakes occurred if the bride and groom are enjoying the moment. So relax, and enjoy the moment.