The last thing any bride or groom wants to be doing after a wedding rehearsal is pulling an all-night seating chart planning session, or hand-lettering 200 place cards. This often happens when one or both pushes off important tasks until the last-minute, not realizing that when it comes down to the wire, no matter how tired you are, or how ready you are to put the planning stage behind you, certain things must get done. But how can you have a stress-free wedding day?
You can plan for months or years, but how magical your wedding feels to you generally comes down to the hours between the start of your rehearsal and your grand departure. Happiness is directly proportional to the number of those hours spent scrambling to do what should have already been done.
The best way to make sure those hours are stress-free, relaxing and enjoyable is to follow our four simple tips for avoiding last-minute wedding planning nightmares:
- Set and Respect Deadlines
This one sounds so simple, but is ultimately critical. During your planning, choose dates of completion for all important tasks, and stick to those dates!
- Follow Up in a Timely Manner
Once your RSVP date arrives, immediately divvy up the list of non-responses and start making courtesy calls. So many important details such as vendor guarantees, rental counts, seating charts and more depend on knowing exactly who is attending and who is not. Share the responsibility with your close family or friends, or handle all the calls on your own; but start the follow up right away.
- Complete and Distribute a Thorough Timeline
If you have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, he or she will walk you through the process of committing all of your details to paper for easy reference. If
you are on your own, you’ll want to invest a good chunk of time during the weeks before the wedding to finalize your thoughts and preferences on how things should go on the wedding day. What are the important times? Who are the key players? Where does everyone need to be, and when?
A wedding timeline is an important and helpful document that is necessary for the smooth operations of your event. Its most important role, however, is to limit the number of questions folks have to ask you at the rehearsal and on the wedding day, and that equals minimal stress.
- Prepare Final Payments in Advance
Check all of your contracts and refresh yourselves on the agreements; especially concentrate on the deadlines. Wherever possible, and if you’re comfortable with your professionals, try to make the final payments before the day of the wedding. Otherwise, make out checks for any final payments due on the wedding day (often your officiant, DJ, and other entertainers), put them in individual envelopes, and hand them off to your most reliable family member or friend to ensure your contracted professionals get paid. You won’t have to worry about squeezing your wallet into your tiny bridal purse, or stopping in the middle of your first dance to pay the officiant, and you’ll rest much easier knowing everything is ready and entrusted to good hands.
These four suggestions probably seem like no-brainers to you now, but couples commonly sweep them under the rug until it’s almost too late. Don’t be that couple sitting around the kitchen table at 2:00 AM on the wedding day, negotiating their seating chart details instead of enjoying their beauty sleep. Be the relaxed, prepared couple with no cares in the world, ready to embark on their journey down the aisle.
Drop us a line if you would like extra help making your big day relaxing and stress-free!