With your wedding day one week away, it’s safe to assume you’ve done all the big stuff, and now it’s time to button up all the loose ends and coast your way into wedded bliss. If you followed our wedding checklist and utilized all the resources in our planning library, this final week will be a breeze. In this article, we will guide you through all the final to-dos that you want to make sure are checked off your list the week before your wedding and move into the home stretch with ease.
So let’s kick off that wedding countdown – shall we?
Checklist For The Week Before Your Wedding
Break-In Your Wedding Shoes
With your shoes being brand new, the last thing you want on your wedding day is to be in pain with every step you take. Getting used to walking in your pumps and allowing them to acclimate to your foot shape will go a long way in ensuring your comfort. Spend time wearing them around your house whenever you get the chance; you can thank us later.
Double-Check With Anyone Who Has Not RSVP’d
To avoid any last-minute surprises, we suggest attempting to follow up with anyone that has not responded by your RSVP deadline. Even though you most likely already provided your venue with a final headcount based on your contract in days prior, it’s never a bad idea to be sure just in case you need to make a quick adjustment and possibly add a guest or two.
Make Final Adjustments To Your Seating Chart & Table Plan
Once the headcount is finalized, you want to give your seating chart a detailed quality check! Make sure everyone is assigned to a table and compare it to your list of RSVPs. Then, email it off to the venue coordinator and your wedding planner. Also, print out a couple of copies to have just in case you need to share it with anyone else. Have your wedding planner double-check the list to ensure everyone is accounted for.
With your seating chart done, it’s time to inspect and make final adjustments to your table plan and layout. Ensure the tables are adequately spaced, and there is enough room for guests to move around the venue comfortably.
Print Your Place Cards
Email your final guest list to your calligrapher if your seating chart or place cards are being handwritten. In our humble opinion, there is nothing quite like the personal touch of a hand-calligraphed name card. Make sure you give your calligrapher enough time to complete them before the wedding, especially during peak wedding season.
If you are using assigned seating, be sure to have the place cards easily accessible for your venue coordinator on the wedding day. This will help ensure that they are placed in each designated spot without any confusion or misplacement.
Let Your Wedding Dress Breathe!
Shannon from SMS Photo CT suggests that her brides give their gowns some TLC the week before their wedding. “Take it out of the bag and fluff it out and place that baby on a cute hanger. Check that the dress is not bustled, if it is, take it out and give it a steam to freshen up. Leave out for 2-3 days before packing it up to transport to your getting ready location. When you arrive, be sure to take it out of the bag so it is ready for its close-up with the bridal details.”
Meet With Your Wedding Planner or Day-Of-Coordinator
Take some time to go over the final wedding timeline and address any last-minute concerns with your planner. This is also a great time to make sure you have the correct contact number for all of your vendors should an unexpected event arise.
Send An Email to All Your Vendors The Week Before Your Wedding
If you consider yourself to be an over-communicator, now is when that trait will come in handy. Round up all your vendors in an email and send them a final copy of the schedule, directions, and on-site specific instructions. If you have a planner, they will typically take care of this for you.
Finalize Your Music Choices
Make sure any last-minute songs are added to your playlist. Ideally, you want a complete master list of songs for your musician or DJ that they can reference along with identification of special dances like father/daughter and mother/son dances.
Get Your Rings Cleaned & Dipped
To ensure that your wedding rings will be beautiful and shiny, you should get them professionally cleaned by your jeweler in the last few days. If you have a white gold setting, you may also consider getting your engagement ring dipped in rhodium to eliminate any subtle yellowing that can sometimes occur. A clean ring will make all the difference when your photographer gets that stunning up-close ring shot.
Confirm Hotel Arrangements
If you have a block of hotel rooms reserved for you and your guests, call ahead to ensure they are all set for their arrival and that everyone’s reservations were received. Then, work with the hotel manager to get welcome bags delivered to each guest for a fun kickoff to your wedding festivities when they walk into their room.
Confirm Boarding or Daycare for Your Pets
With all the activities going on, you want to make sure you have a plan in place to take care of your pets while you will be away from home, whether it’s for the night of your wedding, if you are staying in a hotel, or for when you leave for your honeymoon.
Pick Up Your Official Marriage License
Depending on your state marriage laws, you and your soon-to-be spouse may need to pick up your wedding license within a specific amount of time. This can range any were from 1 day to 90 days from your actual wedding day. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully read the guidelines to make sure all legal requirements are met.
Prepare Final Payments & Wedding Vendor Tips
Most of your vendor contracts will require final payment before your event, so look over your payment schedule and pay off any outstanding balances. This is also an excellent time to set aside their tips. Put them in an envelope for each of your vendors and give them to a trusty bridesmaid or your wedding planner to hand them out at the end of your wedding. A good rule of thumb is around 10% – 15% of the cost of each service or about $100 at a minimum.
Check-In With Wedding Party
Do a final check-in with your bridal party members to make sure they have picked up their dresses & suits, taken care of alterations that were needed, and make sure they have their shoes and any accessories ready to go. Also, take the time to let them know precisely what time they need to arrive on the big day.
Package Gifts for Wedding Party
If you are going to present your wedding party with gifts, this is the time to package them up and have them ready for when you hand them out at your rehearsal dinner. Remember to include a little personalized note to thank them for being a part of your big day.
Organize and Drop Off Wedding Items at the Venue
If you have a lot of decor or any special items to add at your reception venue, now is the time to have someone help you load them up and drop them off. Be sure to include things like your guest book, card collection box, or ceremony accessories. It’s also a good idea to do a walk-through with your planner and venue manager before the big day to make sure everything is in order and go over last-minute details.
Pack a Wedding Day Emergency Kit
Keep a small clutch or tote bag packed with all your toiletries, makeup, medicine & necessary first aid supplies. Pack it in an overnight bag so that you can grab it as soon as things are wrapping up at the end of the night and head to your hotel room or wherever you plan to spend your wedding night.
Keep an Eye on the Weather Forecast
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the forecast for your big day as well as your honeymoon travel route. You don’t want to be surprised by any last-minute changes in the weather and have to move your outdoor ceremony indoors without giving yourself time to set up a plan b.
Finalize Your Photography Shot List
Give your photographer your final shot list, and make sure you have all the pictures you want to be taken included. If there are any additional photos that you would like to get done at the last minute, let your wedding planner know in addition to your photographer so they can make sure to work the photos into the schedule.
Get a Mani-Pedi During the Last Couple of Days
There is nothing quite like a relaxing manicure and pedicure to help coast into your wedding day. It’s best to get your nails done 1-3 days ahead of time at the maximum to keep that fresh out of the salon look!
Stretch and Hydrate!
“The week before is a high-stress time that will unintentionally wreak havoc on your physical appearance. Two unwelcome photo blunders are dark circles under eyes and looking stiff. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water the night before, especially if you are celebrating. This will leave you looking fresh. Stretching is also very important for releasing the tension and muscles between your ears and your shoulders. The first indicator of feeling stressed and uncomfortable is the amount of space between the two. Hold your hands behind your back and lean your neck gently from side to side. Any shoulder stretching will be truly beneficial for posing for photos. Relax those shoulders to look confident and feel comfortable.” says Shannon.
Spend Quality Time With Family and Friends
As the final countdown nears, remember that this is a very exciting time for family members and friends, too. So, even though you have been really busy this week leading up to your wedding, it’s just as important to take a step back and enjoy the process while looking back at all of the reasons you are on this beautiful journey together as a couple!
A special thanks to our expert contributors:
Shannon Sylvester, SMS Photo CT
Misty James, The Dallas Makeup Team
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