For most couples it may feel like an eternity until your wedding day, but as the day draws closer suddenly someone puts the finger on the fast forward button and you may find yourself frantically trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done. And as much planning as you can do in advance, there is still so much rushing around to do the week of the wedding – and it’s really hard to anticipate just how busy you will be. So before you can bring your delusions of having the most relaxing wedding week full of massage and fanning yourself by the pool, we’ve supplied you with a host of different scenarios and how to manage them in advance so you can be the most relaxed human you possibly can be!
Confirming all your wedding vendors in the lead up.
This is kind of a big one! Each event we work on takes days to put all the final preparations in place. Do not leave this job until the week of the wedding. Manage it by either hiring a professional (read about our coordination packages here) or make sure you start this process at least 3-4 weeks out. Get in touch with your vendors in writing and figure out what they still need from you: song choices, final payments, floral delivery times etc. Some vendors won’t be able to contact you with delivery or bump in times until a week out, but at least you can cover off any major issues in advance. Circulate your timings to all your vendors in one email as a PDF. Chances are some of your vendors have already worked together in the past (it’s a small industry!). If they have any problems they may be able to contact each other instead of you.
The drop off.
No matter how little decor you plan on having at your reception, chances are that there will be something that you have to drop off to your reception venue. For the simplest of weddings it may be something as little as place cards. For the handmade bride, it may involve boxes of table decor, candles, photos, vases – you name it. Manage it weeks in advance by documenting exactly what is in each box and where it needs to go. Send it to the venue. Label each box clearly with your name and wedding date. Seems so obvious, but you’d be surprised how many fail this! Delegate the drop job to a bridesmaid or groomsmen, or talk to us about our planning services by the hour, and we’ll come pick up your materials and drop them to the venue for you.
The place cards and seating chart.
Guests who don’t RSVP on time just don’t realise how everything hinges off whether they attend or not, like floor plans, seating placement and place cards. Manage it by asking for help from your parents and siblings to chase things up to you. Running around printing place cards and fiddling with Excel spreadsheets is not something you want to be doing before the wedding. One work around (if you only have a small number of non RSVPs) is to print all place cards, and just remove the non attendees closer to the day. The same goes with the seating chart. You also don’t necessarily need to seat everyone in a specific seat, you could just allocate your guests to a table – completely eliminating the need for a place card. Or you can speak to us and get us to quote you for your place cards and seating chart. We’ll manage the whole thing from start to finish, and deliver the end result to your venue.
The wedding rehearsal.
Many celebrants these days are not including a rehearsal in part of their package price. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There is something sweet and spontaneous about a wedding which hasn’t been rehearsed. Your guests are looking for raw emotion which is exactly what they’ll get on the day. But if you really want that rehearsal, manage it by having it a few days out to the wedding. Just invite your bridal party and parents. That’s it! Anything else is superfluous (including readers). Ask partners of the bridal party and any other entourage to meet with you later on. The additional background noise, goofing around (because understandably everyone IS very excited!) can be really distracting and chew through unnecessary time. Think about having a rehearsal dinner later on where you can catch up with friends from out of town as well and kill a few birds with one stone. If you needed a hand with planning your rehearsal dinner, ask us and we’d be delighted to assist.
The wedding night and honeymoon luggage.
Many couples will tell you right before the wedding they are looking forward more to the wedding night and the honeymoon than the wedding day itself just because of all the hard work and pressure. It may seem ridiculous but start getting yourself organised early. Manage it by grabbing your luggage two weeks out, and placing it in the corner of the room. Pack as much as you can well in advance. And once your suitcases are open, you’ll be able to throw things in as you think about them. Keep a notepad next to your suitcase and jot down any items you need to buy before the day. 3 days out, do an online shop and have everything delivered to your front door. Simple.
These are just the big things that need covering off top of mind. Nothing is ever as straight forward as it seems. And the week leading up to the wedding is really just that. Without a planner, manage it as best you can and seek help from your family and bridal party. If you are really a person who hates to delegate, wants someone to be accountable for the job, or just hates burdening others, then have a chat to us about how we can help. Offsetting this anxiety on to a team of professionals is really worth its weight in gold, and it’s too late for regrets once the day is over.