Wedding Checklist: The Don’t Forgets

courtesy of getmarried.com

I thought I would take a break from wedding trends to give a few other tips. When you’re planning your wedding, you have a thousand things to do. There’s so much to remember that you happen to forget many of the details. Between finding the perfect dress, picking your colors, theme, venue, food, guests to invite, date, and so much more, you will tend to simplify things and leave out a lot of details that will be realized on the day of the wedding or just days before the wedding. That could be very problematic depending on what simple things you forget. Or, planning the wedding itself could become much more stressful than necessary due to the fact that basic things are overlooked. And truth be told, most people have never planned an event this big, or only do so once in their life. So, to save you some hassle and make you a happier bride, I’ve made a list of simple things I think each common (not a wedding expert) bride needs to know.

Set up a website for your wedding. Give all the information about the wedding. It’s a great stop for guests to get everything they need quickly and without having to call around to everyone with the answer “well, his mom told us” or call you constantly. Include hotel information, directions to the ceremony and reception, your gift registry, ability to RSVP online, and anything else you’d like. Other things may be engagement photos, the story of how you met, information about your wedding party and a few favorite hand-picked restaurants and activities from the bride and groom. This will save many mix ups and constant calls from distant relatives and you plenty of stress. A great free site where you can set all of this up is Wedding Wire. Set this up as soon as soon as you can, so you can include the website address on your save the date cards and wedding invitations.

Before you book your venue, find out everything that you will need to rent. If you are having your wedding at home, make sure you have everything supplied, including tables, chair, tents, lighting, bathrooms, a plan in case it rains, set up plan, clean up plan, and parking. You can’t have your neighborhood getting too congested, unless your neighbors are invited.

A lesson learned from weddings in my family, check into your cake maker. Not only taste the cake, but see photos of the cakes they’ve done and more than anything, read reviews from multiple sources such as yelp.com and wedding websites. Lindsey and her husband, my brother (Moviestar as she has named him), had difficulties to say the least, with their cake vendor. The cake barely arrived in time, barley thrown together and the flavors were wrong. To top it off, the cake actually began falling over during the reception. Research thoroughly and choose the right baker. And, if you are nervous at all, call a day or two before your wedding and get a status on it. Have your cake ordered no latter than three months prior to the big day.

Also learned from Lindsey’s & Moviestar’s wedding, the right photographer makes all the difference. Not only check out their portfolio, but check out reviews of them as well. Also, give them a diagram or an idea of the ceremony and reception design, and ask what ideas they have for photos. That way you can see if you’re inspired by what they say and also get an idea of where you want to take your wedding photos. Maybe even ask if he’ll take a few photos of you there to see how they turn out. Spur of the moment will be his job at the wedding after all. Those photos will be the most lasting reminder of your wedding, so you want them to be right. Hire a photographer about three to four months before the wedding. Just in case you change your mind, that gives you plenty of time to find one.

Also learned from another wedding, make sure your DJ or band is good. Don’t just take the word of one or two people. I recommend at least five good reviews. Read reviews about them from multiple people from multiple places and if possible see a video from another wedding. Nothing kills the fun at  a wedding quite like a DJ/band not knowing how to flow music together. Book your DJ about three weeks before the wedding.

This may seem like an obvious one, but it has slipped some. Try all of the food that you will be serving at your wedding ahead of time, no matter how you are serving it. Make sure all the foods mesh, that they’re to your liking and that most of the foods are things everyone will like. Have your food chosen about two months before your wedding.

When you go with your bridesmaids for them to try on dresses, make sure they have the right undergarments. Dress fittings can go amiss when girls wear the wrong bra or underwear, resulting in the wrong sizes or the dress not fitting correctly. Someone I know just had this problem when planning her wedding and another dress fitting was needed adding more stress and another appointment that could easily be avoided. Have the bridesmaid dresses fitted by one month prior to the wedding.

Get a firm headcount for guests one month before the wedding. Don’t take the chance of last minute guests popping up a week before the wedding getting ceremony seating, table set ups, dinner meals, cake slices messed up. Because not only does this confuse you and make the job for each of your vendors more difficult, you have moer duties added to your plate stressing you out more.

Learning from the mistake of my sister Bonnie’s wedding, get your hair done by your stylist before the wedding. Poor Bonnie had it done only on the day of her wedding (very badly) and Lindsey was the one that had to fix it. Make sure your stylist knows exactly what you want and can do it to your liking, so when your wedding day comes, there are no questions or possibilities to go awry. It’s recommended to do this one month before the wedding in case you want to find another stylist. If that happens, you have a month to find another stylist rather than running around looking for the stylist the last week of your wedding.

Along with you hair style, don’t just get an idea of what make-up you want for your wedding. Test out your make-up with your stylist before your wedding, preferably while your hair is done. You will know exactly what you want, and you get to dress up more than once like a bride 🙂 I would recommend doing this one month-two weeks before the wedding.

Along with bridesmaids, groomsmen need help, too. Make sure the groomsmen have everything they need to match. This mean socks, shoes, cufflinks and suits if they are not all rented from the same store. Make sure they have all of their accessories one week before the wedding.

Call each of your vendors and hotels one week before the wedding to make sure all of your arrangements are in order, so there are no last day emergencies or mix ups. Obviously, you want nothing to go wrong the day you need it, such as hotel reservations when your guests arrive.

The day of the wedding will be somewhat hectic. Hopefully, you’ll be able to simply relax while the craziness swirls around you and works itself out, though. To make sure you have extra help if needed, have two people not in the wedding party designated to run errands as needed. This might mean going to the store to pick up spot remover, disposable cameras, pens, or anything that you realized you didn’t get at the last minute. Have two people instead of one, in case one is already busy running another errand.

Have someone, probably a bridesmaid be in charge of holding a clutch for you during the night. In the clutch, keep your mascara, concealer, blush, lipstick, bobby pins, safety pins, aspirin, tissues and a compact mirror. I recommend not having your phone with you, so you can be present at your special today completely and not looking at texts. You can contact the well wishers after your wedding day.

Bring an emergency kit with you on the day of the wedding. Have everything you might need in case anything goes awry. Include things such as a sewing kit, fashion tape, safety pins, bobby pins, deodorant, socks, shoe inserts, wipes, aspirin, tweezers, a razor, bandaids, nail polish, nail polish remover, a nail kit, breath mints, floss and a toothbrush.

Sadly, I’ve heard of many stories where the couple forgets to obtain a marriage license or bring it with them on the day of the wedding. Make sure someone is in charge of this, or just include it in your kit.

Even if you have vendors coming to deconstruct your wedding and have hired a crew to clean up after the reception, ask a few friends and family members to pick up things for you once you’ve left the reception for the wedding night. Make sure things such as the guest book, cake topper, and special silverware, top cake tier, presents, extra programs to preserve, things you used to get ready that morning, etc will be grabbed up before they are thrown away. And if you don’t have hired help to clean up after the wedding, ask your some friends and family if they’d be so kind.

For a complete timeline of what to do for a wedding to help you plan each major element for your wedding, go here.

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