To the sweet, nervous, one-week-from-your-wedding-day bride (or groom!), I am going to exit wedding planner mode and take you back to when I was getting married, just like you. I remember arriving at the week of my wedding and thinking, “What do I do now?" I knew I had a ton of little tasks to wrap up, but my brain was busy (and mushy) and my emotions were high. Even the most organized people can feel lost during their wedding week! I had those bridal nightmares about forgetting to pay a vendor who then didn't show up, or that I showed up on the day of the wedding without my gown or another basic necessity. Basically, I needed a step by step checklist to make sure I was prepared and could relax during the day of my wedding. One that took the guesswork out of that final week and could allow me to organize those last minute to-dos.
Thankfully, I have your back. It is wedding season, and I know there are some brides and grooms out there who are reaching the end of planning and are in need of a little guidance about what to do during that last week of their engagement. This post is for you! If you are still a few months, or even up to a year, away from the wedding, tuck this list away and keep it in mind for when you reach the finish line. It will be here before you know it, and you will be thankful that you printed it now! And if you are newly engaged, CLICK HERE to access your totally free Getting Started Guide! It's a gift from my heart to yours, and will help you get started on the right foot.
Now, here is your week-before-the-wedding, keep-it-all-together checklist. Enjoy!
Prepare final vendor payments and any gratuities that you wish to give. Seal each one up in an envelope with the vendor’s name on the front, and give to your wedding planner or to a trusted family member to distribute on the day of the wedding.
If you don’t have a wedding planner who provides an emergency kit, put one together for the day of the wedding with some essentials that you might need! This is a great job for the maid of honor.
Deliver any welcome baskets for out of town guests to the hotels, or have your planner do this. Be sure to give the hotel staff specific, written instructions about how you want them to be delivered or passed out.
Pack for your wedding night and honeymoon, and determine how your suitcases/overnight bags/carry ons...etc. are going to get to the hotel you will be staying in on the night of your wedding. I won’t bore you with the long story, but my sweet husband was in a taxi at 3am on our wedding night trying to locate the carry-on he had packed with our passports and travel documents before our 6am flight the next day. So make a plan and delegate this task to someone who can follow that plan!
Take a video of the seamstress bustling your dress and send it to your wedding planner or to a bridesmaid. You can also take someone with you to learn how to bustle it, but be sure that person shows your wedding planner before everyone starts drinking at the cocktail hour. Chances are, the wedding planner will be the one bustling, and if there are any special tricks involved we want to make sure we do it right.
For the Bride: Have your dress & veil pressed, and pick up your dress, veil, and accessories. Let the dress air out and hang loose in a room where nothing can happen to it to avoid wrinkling. Put all of your accessories (including undergarments) in one location to be easily transported to your getting ready location.
- For the Groom: Pick up your suit or tux, and your accessories. Make sure you have dress socks that match your suit or tux, and that you bring them with you to get ready (this one is also from personal experience). Also, double check that all of the groomsmen have the same colored buttons, cufflinks, and that everything fits before you leave the store with your suit/tux! Do the thing that I told the bride to do in step 6 where you put all of these things in one location for easy transport on the day of your wedding.
Organize your wedding day stationery to give it to your planner. This includes alphabetizing escort cards, organizing place cards by table, and separating ceremony stationery (programs, welcome signs, etc.) from reception stationery (place cards, menus, specialty cocktail signs, etc). Put all of this in labeled boxes for your planner to set out on the day of the wedding. Put aside a complete invitation suite if you want your photographer to take a styled photo of it and keep it with your personal items (like your jewelry and perfume). Be sure to include a sample of the calligraphy on the envelopes and any little details you sent to the guests or had printed for the wedding!
Pack all other personal items that you need your planner to set out on the wedding day in labeled boxes (champagne flutes, cake knife & server, tossing items, etc.). Deliver these to your planner or have them ready for he/she to take off of your hands at the rehearsal.
Send your vows and any final ceremony details to your officiant. Do a last minute check in with your officiant to make sure you all are ready for the ceremony.
Send your photographer and videographer your new address (if you are moving) where they can ship your photos/video when they are done.
Wrap gifts and write cards. This week is a great time to wrap your thank you gifts and write notes for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents for all they have done and will do to make your weekend special. If you are gifting each other, wrap those presents and write your personal notes for your soon to be husband/wife to read on the wedding day.
Assemble your wedding favors (if you haven’t already) or drop off the materials to your planner, and give them to your planner to set out at the wedding.
Go on your last date as an engaged couple. This will be so special and a great way to reset, put your mind at ease, and remember why this crazy event is happening in the first place. After all, in less than a week, you will be married!
Get a massage, get your nails done, have a facial (not too close to the wedding--about a week before), exercise… anything to relax, take care of yourself, and enjoy the week!
- Get lots of sleep, eat healthy foods, stay hydrated--I know I sound a little like your mother here! Speaking from experience, the healthier you feel, the happier you will be on your wedding day.
If you are looking for a planner who will keep you checking those items off of your list throughout the entire planning process, I may be your gal! I service couples in the Southeast (and beyond) who are looking to plan boldly designed, completely custom, and sweetly sentimental weddings. Click on the button below to get in touch!