So you've read our previous article on what to do after getting engaged, and have made it all the way to the 1 month before wedding stage! Well done ... hopefully a lot of the hard work is done, but these final few weeks are where emotions can run high if things aren't kept under control. Remember, nothing is ever as bad as it seems, and with a little forward planning, a calm approach and support from your friends and family, you can glide through this month like a pro!
So here you go ...
1 month before
- Have your final wedding dress fitting and make sure it all fits well
- Make sure all your wedding suppliers are booked and happy
2 weeks before
- Check your invite list against responses. Tally up numbers, and call anyone who has not responded or has given a vague response
- Let your photographer have lists of specific important group photos that you want taken on the day. It’s also a good idea to let someone in your wedding party have this list and take responsibility for gathering these groups of people together on the day. They should aim to inform everyone involved early on so they stick around at the right time
- Design your table plan, table names, and placeholders - decide who is sitting together and keep ready as a draft
- It’s nice to give your wedding and table cards a theme – it could be rivers, mountains, places you’ve visited, films you love etc.
- Prepare your photobook, and slideshows of photos/videos if you are displaying on screens at the venue – make sure you have this in the format they require (usually USB or CD)
1 week before
- Update your table plan with any late changes – unfortunately there are always people that cancel or accept right until the last minute!
- Print your table plan - You can get a high street printing shop to print on A1 5mm foam board which looks great on an easel which your wedding venue should be able to provide
- Print table name cards and placeholders
- Let your wedding caterer have final numbers – they will be preparing and charging you per person, so make sure you adjust for any late changes. Try splitting out the number of small children under 5, as some caterers do not charge for them
- Create a timetable for the full day – with plenty of contingency time (as things can easily get delayed for reasons out of your control)
- Let all your wedding suppliers have the timetable and ask them to feed back if they have any problems so you can tweak it & redistribute as necessary. Give all of them a call as it can be easier to speak in person
- Give the venue and your wedding coordinator a summary of all your supplier contact details, access requirements, and delivery times
- Gather all your key family, friends, ushers etc. to run through your timetable and key arrangements on the day. It might be nice to order some pizza and drinks to thank them and make it into an enjoyable evening. Many of them will have helped with other weddings, so take good note of more experienced people’s advice. They may be able to anticipate & avoid issues that could arise if you do things a certain way
- Cover off all supplier requests for the day for example if they have asked you to provide anything
- Get together any money you need to pay your suppliers (especially if you need to collect from parents etc. that are kindly contributing)
- Pack for your wedding day, reception night and honeymoon if you are leaving straight away
- Try on all your wedding outfits to make sure you aren’t missing anything, and it all fits correctly
- Rehearse the full ceremony with key participant e.g. readers, and the wedding officiant
2-3 days before
- Have your beauty treatments – hair, manicure, pedicure, waxing, massage etc.
- If you are the groom, pick up your and your best men formalwear
- Deliver your seating plan, menus, table cards, gifts for parents & favours to the venue
- Give all your wedding supplies two ‘point of contact’ numbers – this is someone they can speak to on the day to resolve any queries, questions or problems. You will not be able to deal with them on the day, so it’s really important they have someone else to rely on
- Several of your suppliers will require a further installment of their fees on or just before the wedding day. Make sure you’ve made online payment in time or have envelopes of cash/cheques etc. ready for them clearly marked and counted
- Check that the cake supplier is on track and confirm delivery and timing details
- Re-confirm timings and arrangements with your wedding car company, or anyone you have arranged to collect you
- Give your best man/bridesmaids your wedding bands to look after and bring to the venue with them
- Check on wedding guests that are coming from far away to make sure they have accommodation and other arrangements sorted
1 Day before
- This is always best kept as a contingency day. There are always some last minute panics that will crop up. Don’t stress these are natural and nearly always resolvable without too much sweat!
- Try and have a few of your closest friends and family keep this day clear to help you sort anything out that needs sorting
- Collect your fresh flowers and deliver them to the venue/décor company & bridesmaid’s house as required
- If you are the groom, use this day to practice delivery of your speech – remember practice makes perfect! Even though you may find it uncomfortable at first, have someone listen to you speak, and give you honest feedback … usually you’ll find that you’re speaking too fast … try slowing down – it makes a huge difference to your stage presence!
- Go to bed early and make sure you have a decent night’s sleep
The Wedding Day!
- You have done all the hard work and devolved responsibility to others for the running of the day so focus on yourself today – you need to be fresh and calm for your big day!
- Smile, relax, enjoy and go with the flow
After the Wedding
- Relax, smile and enjoy your new found status as a married couple – it takes a little time to get used to calling each other husband and wife!
- Make sure you don’t miss the flight for your honeymoon
- Have a friend or family member return borrowed items especially to your suppliers who may be holding a deposit e.g. hired suits, cake stand etc.
- Have your dress dry-cleaned and stored away safely as your life long memento
- Make any final payments
- Write and send your thank you cards to your suppliers, bridesmaids, best men, people that helped you and all guests who gave you a gift – It can be nice (and not too expensive) to get personalised thank you cards made with a few nice pictures from the day. Ask your wedding photographer to send you some early shots to use
- Go through all the photos taken by your photographer, and select your favourite ones for them to make an album or slideshow for you (depending on what you have agreed with them). They will normally tell you how many photos to select
- Go through your wedding video, and feedback any comments to your videographer so that they can make the changes and produce the final cut
- Make sure you keep all your photos and video footage in a safe place, and back up in a couple of different places so that there is no chance you ever lose these lifelong memories!
So hopefully our quick fire guide to planning your dream wedding has given you some helpful and insightful tips and helped you stay calm throughout. We wish you lots of happiness, health and prosperity together as a couple .... On to the next exciting stage of your life!