The last few days leading up to your wedding can be a complete whirlwind. You’re going to be distracted by the arrival of friends and family and last-minute questions from your vendors. But before you settle into celebration mode completely, there are few final details you’re going need to cross off your to-do list to help ensure nothing goes overlooked. Here are 10 essential things you need to remember to do the week before your wedding…you’re in the final countdown, after all.
1. Pick up your dress. If don’t already have your dress in hand, you want to do so at least a few days before your wedding to give yourself some time for any last-minute alterations. Before you leave the store, do one last fitting just to make sure everything looks the way it should. Ask the seamstress if she’ll do one last steam of your dress before she packs it up for the trip. Traveling with your dress? Here are some tips for making sure it arrives to its final destination in style.
2. Confirm the day-of timeline with your vendors. A few days before the big day, reach out to your vendors to make sure you’re still on the same page. Contact your hair and makeup artists to make sure they have the correct starting time, an accurate headcount, and any special instructions. Finalize the schedule with your photographers and videographers to ensure they get a few getting ready shots, and remind them if you’re planning on doing a first look. Give yourself some peace of mind as you head into the wedding weekend by checking in and re-confirming all of the small details. Your vendors will appreciate this extra effort as well!
3. Communicate the schedule with any VIPs. Make sure your anyone playing a large role in the day knows exactly where they need to be and when by sending them a detailed day-of schedule. Don’t overwhelm them with too many specifics, but make sure you provide any important addresses, phone numbers, and details that will help keep things on schedule. You want to enjoy your wedding day, not stress over whether everyone is where they should be, so plan ahead and provide the key players with the appropriate call-times.
4. Make a checklist of everything you need to bring. Whether you’re flying from Boston to Los Angeles for your nuptials or just hitching a cab downtown, you want to make sure you have everything you need when you walk out the door the first time. There’s going to be a LOT to keep track of — from your shoes to your jewelry to all of your thank you gifts — and a list will help keep you organized. Think through all of the events you need to dress for, and make sure you have a complete outfit for each…including all the necessary accessories!
5. Write out your thank your notes. By the time your wedding weekend rolls around, there are going to be a lot of people to thank, from your mom who helped you plan every little detail to your BFF who showed up with ice cream whenever you were having a wedding-related meltdown. If you’re planning to give out thank you gifts to a few special people at your rehearsal dinner or the morning of your wedding, it’s a nice idea to include a hand-written note of appreciation as well. Make a list of you want to thank, and write those notes out a few days before the weekend’s festivities kick off; you’ll want some time to put a little thought into each card rather than rushing through.
6. Get your engagement ring cleaned. Everyone is going to be looking at the new bling on your ring finger after you tie the knot, so make sure your engagement ring sparkles just as brightly by getting it professionally cleaned right before the big day. If your fiancé bought the ring locally, head back to that jeweler and ask if they’ll do a quick cleaning. If your jeweler is from out of town, try walking into any jewelry store to see if they can help your ring sparkle. Most places will do a complimentary cleaning, but some might have a nominal charge. If you’ve never been to the store before, make sure you can wait while they take care of business.
7. Plan ahead for the end of the night. You’ve already thought through all of the weekend’s details, but one last thing to plan for? What will happen at the end of the reception. After the last dance is over, you’re probably going to want to head to your after-party (or to bed), and the last thing you’re going to want to do is tidy everything up. Check in with your venue to see if they require you clear everything out immediately, if they have the ability to store your wedding presents, and if they’ll help you get rid of any extra décor items. If necessary, have your wedding planner or a trusty relative collect all the gifts and keepsake items and transport them back to your hotel room or home on your behalf. Putting this plan in place BEFORE your big day will ensure a stress-free end to the night.
8. Get a manicure and pedicure. One of the last things you should take care of is your bridal beauty. About a week before the wedding, get your hair trimmed and your eyebrows tidied up (you want them to be fresh but not too fresh). Your nail pampering can wait until you only have a day or two to go…you don’t want to chip them while running around town dropping off your welcome bags! Be sure to buy whatever color you end up using so you can fix any chipping on the big day.
9. Break in your shoes. Your shoes will probably come off by the end of the night, but you’re going to need to wear them for at least a few hours, so make sure you give them a few spins before the big day comes around. Wear them around the house as you’re packing your day-of bag and making last-minute phone calls to make sure they’re not too slippery or too tight around your toes. Stretch them out and scuff them up a bit to ensure the most comfortable walk down the aisle possible.
10. Pack your honeymoon bags. If you’re planning to head to the airport the morning after your nuptials, make sure you pack your suitcase BEFORE you head into the wedding weekend. After a night of celebrating your everlasting love with all of your nearest and dearest, the last thing you’re going to want to do is get up early to figure out where your flip flops are stored, where the extra camera batteries are, and where that cute jacket you bought last year is hiding. Also consider doing laundry a day or two before your wedding day so that you have enough clean laundry to get through those first few days of marriage.
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