After many months of planning, the big day is almost here! You have your dress, check. All your hired help, check. The RSVPs are pouring in, check… all that’s left is you showing up, right? Not exactly. The week before a wedding is always a roller coster ride. There are so many little things to get done, and not very much time left to spare. Thankfully, after eleven years of photographing weddings, I have seen it all, and can luckily help brides in the process of their planning.
The list provided below is not to overwhelm you, but to help you in your last week before the special day. Take note, that you’re not alone in this adventure. When things start to get a bit hectic, you have friends and family there to delegate tasks that are needed to get done.
- TRY ON YOUR DRESS AGAIN, WITH EVERYTHING
It’s so important that everything fits the day of. You’ll want to put everything on, including jewelry, shoes, and vail if you’re wearing one. Also, a little practice walking down the aisle helps figure out if you’ll be stepping all over the front of your dress. I would love to trip down the aisle… says no one ever.
2. BREAK IN THOSE AWESOME SHOES
Most brides buy brand new shoes. Whether they are heels or cowgirl boots, they need to be broken in if you plan to wear them all day. Wear them around the house for a bit instead of going out and getting them dirty.
3. CLEAN THAT GORGEOUS RING OF YOURS
Make sure to take your ring into the local jeweler for a professional cleaning. It will make your ring sparkle on the day of and look extra glam in your detailed ring photos.
4. GET IN TOUCH WITH THOSE WHO HAVE NOT RSVP’D
The last thing you want at your reception, is guests not having anywhere to sit, because a few decided to show up without notifying you first. It seems like common sense to RSVP to a wedding, but let me tell you… it happens.
5. CONTACT ALL YOUR VENDORS
It’s so important that you and your vendors are all on the same page. If you have a hired coordinator, this will most likely be their job. But, in most cases, brides are doing this themselves. So make sure to reach out to each one, get them paid off, and get those last minute details in place.
6. GET YOUR FINAL SHOT LIST TO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
In my case, I provide my brides with forms a couple months before the wedding to fill out. These forms consist of all the information I need to prepare for their wedding day. The shot list is basically, all the combinations the couple wants during formal picture time.
7. MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS GOOD WITH YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE
You want this marriage to be legal, right? Delegate and friend or family member to keep track of this the day of to ensure it gets taken care of.
8. CONFIRM THE HONEYMOON LOGISTICS
Make sure to double check the details of your honeymoon plans. Flight times, hotel bookings, and any other reservations you might have.
9. PLAN YOUR WEDDING DAY EXIT
Some couples like an epic exit from their party, and some like a more relaxed approached. Plan ahead to have a get-away car to take you to your hotel, or possibly a ride from a friend or family member to drop you off.
10. WRAPPING GIFTS FOR YOUR BRIDAL PARTY
It is such a sweet gesture to give your bridesmaids and groomsmen a little something special for being by your side.
11. DROP OFF ALL ITEMS AT THE RECEPTION VENUE
The less you have to tote around on your wedding day, the better. Ask your venue if you can drop off some items the day before.
12. PUT TOGETHER A LIST OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS FOR THE PARTY
Everyone wants their guests to be dancing and enjoying the party, right? Start a list of some of your favorite songs as a couple, and give it to your DJ or MC. This could be the key to avoiding the chicken dance.
13. PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT!
With my experience, about 80% of the weddings I have photographed, the bride needed something because of an emergency. This could be something very simple, like scissors, small sewing kit, tampons, pain killers, extra makeup, bobby pins, and even hair spray.
14. MAKE SURE THE GROOMSMEN HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED
Your future husband to be should check with his guys to make sure they have picked up their tuxes, and are in-the-know about all the wedding day logistics.
15. WRITE YOUR PARTNER A NOTE
Take some time to think about what you want to say to your future spouse. It’s best for each of you to read them separately the morning of the wedding day, which makes for great pictures and video.
16. SPEND SOME TIME TOGETHER
The days leading up to the big event can make things overwhelming and hectic. Take some time out of your week to spend some alone time together.
17. RELAX AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH
You’re at the end of your planning and it’s time to relax and enjoy everything. Now is the time to go out with your girls for a nice mani and pedi or get a massage. Whatever will make you feel fresh for your big day.