There are so many elements of a wedding to plan for. Although I'm sure you've remembered the key ingredients like you dress, whose going to take photos, and what song your first dance will be to there may be a few factors that have slipped your mind. I'm here to make sure you've got everything covered so there are no surprises on your big day! Here are some of the most commonly forgotten details on the wedding day and the weeks leading up to it:
Marriage License- You’ll need to obtain your marriage license within 30 days of your wedding. Bring it to your officiant on the day of your rehearsal. Sign after the ceremony and entrust to someone for safe keeping.
Reserved Seating- The first two rows of seats at the ceremony are meant for family of the Bride & Groom. Place “reserved seating” signs in those rows so guests know not to take those spots.
Transportation- There’s a lot of logistics to consider for the big day. You’ll need to ensure that all members of the wedding party have transportation from hotel or their home to the getting ready locations, from the getting ready locations to where the ceremony will take place, then from the ceremony to the reception venue (if at a separate location). If pictures will be taken off site that will need to be considered, as well as, transportation at the end of the night.
Food & Water- The wedding day is a long day for all involved. It is essential that you have plenty of food and water throughout the day for you and your bridal party. It’s a great idea to assign a family member or friend the task of bringing breakfast and/or lunch to where you’ll be getting ready and actually eat it. It is very common for members of the bridal party to get faint while standing during the ceremony. This will go a long way in preventing that from happening. No one wants to be a fainting bride!
* Tip- Drink lots of water the days leading up to your big day. Your skin will be glowing and you will start the day well hydrated.
Bustle Video- Bustling a dress can be difficult and varies for different gowns. Even if someone close to you was instructed on how to put your bustle up it may be a good idea to have an instructional video on hand the day-of in case any difficulties arise.
Hair & Makeup- Allow plenty of time for hair & makeup, more than you may think. Keep on hand supplies you need for touching up throughout the day. See below.
Day-Of Kit- Prepare a bag with essentials- makeup for touch ups, hairspray, static spray, eyelash glue (the glue is water soluble and lashes may come off if you cry), tissues, pain killers, mint, chap-stick/lip gloss, first aid supplies and anything else you think you may need. Assign Maid-Of-Honor to keep the bag handy for you throughout the day.
Shoes- Break in your shoes ahead of time, your feet will thank you. And remember to bring flats for later in the night!
Overnight Bag- Don’t forget to pack and transport your overnight bags to the location you’ll be staying the night of your wedding. Or have someone responsible for getting it to the vehicle you will be taking after the reception.
Cash & IDs- Keep these items on you. Hotels require identification to confirm reservations. Your cards may not work that day. It’s best to be prepared for anything that may arise.
Gratuity- If you choose to give tips to your service providers & vendors it’s a good idea to have that money in envelopes with each company’s name on it. Assign a family member to pass the envelopes out near the end of the reception.
Vendor Meals- Along with your wedding party, vendors also spend a good part of the day working on your event. Please remember to include them in the head count you give to your caterer.
Vendor Overtime- Some reception parties are such a hit that the couple decides to extend the party. If you think this might be the case at your event look over your vendors contracts carefully. You don’t want to get slapped with a large fee you were not anticipating.
Photography- There are several aspects to keep in mind in regards to photography.
If you’d like pictures of your invitations, set aside a set, including all the elements, and bring with you the day-of.
Plan with your photographer the photo-shoots you’d like- getting ready photos, first look, family photos, bridal party & reception photos. Discuss locations, timeline, poses, items you want captured (shoes, dress, invitations...), groupings, etc.
Assign a photo wrangler for family photos, someone who knows both sides of the Bride & Groom’s family. They can help point out members of the family for the photographer and gather those required for each photo.
Music- Forethought must be given as to what songs you want played at perfunctory moments of your wedding day. If you have a DJ, you’ll arrange with them what songs you have chosen. If you are making a playlist for your wedding day, take time to rehearse with whoever is in charge of the music which songs are supposed to be played at which moments.
Point Person- Even if you have a wedding coordinator it’s a good idea to have a close friend or family member who knows your wishes for the day to be the go-to person and be the decision maker for the day on your behalf. Having a point person as well as a wedding planner or day-of coordinator will insure that you can fully enjoy your day with minimal interruptions.
Reception Decor & Must Haves-
*Cake topper, knife & serving utensil
*Guest book pens/markers
*Signage- directional signs to lead guests in the right direction, welcome sign, seating chart if you have a seating arrangement, reserved signs for family tables, drink menu at bar.
*If you’d like to display pictures at the venue make sure you print, frame or provide a way to display them and note where you’d like them to be placed.
*Make a list of all your personal items and decor and where you’d like them to be placed. Doing so will make set up simple and ensure everything is placed exactly where you’d like it to be. Having a list also insures your belongings will find their way back to you.
*Ice! If your venue or drink provider doesn’t provide it you will need a lot of ice, about 1 lb per person or more for an outdoor or summer wedding.
Tear Down/Clean Up- Venues can charge lofty fees if the reception hall is not cleaned up to their requirements. Keep these things in mind:
*Discuss with each vendor what is involved in the clean up of their services.
*Hire a clean up crew or assign friends and family to specific tasks.
*Have a plan for how your gifts and personal items will be transported from the venue and get back to you. Who is in charge of collecting, which vehicle will they be loaded into, who will keep them until you can pick up?
Stop, Breathe & Take It All In- Your wedding day is busy, busy, busy but it will be one of the most special days of your life. Make time to take it all in and cherish the precious moments that will turn into lifelong memories.
I hope you've picked up some helpful reminders. I wish you the best of luck on your wedding day and in the years to come!