So. Rumor has it you're in the final countdown to The Big Day. If I could hug you and tell you, “You got this!” I would, but instead this blog will be my virtual encouragement to you. As an officiant, relationship coach and a forever newlywed, I know that the most challenging part of weddings is that last-minute list. This list isn't because you’re procrastinating or have planned poorly. It happens because there are things you simply cannot do until the very last minute. Sorry, Type A brides and grooms!
Here’s the thing. Despite the last-minute tasks, you’re supposed to be doing this blushing bride and besotted groom thing. You know, the feeling where you just can’t wait to lock eyes with your love, share your vows, and dance the night away while starting your life together. It’s a glorious feeling that everyone deserves to have, and my job as your officiant and personal cheerleader is to help you feel that despite the to-do tasks.
Grab your wedding binders one last time. We've compiled a list of a few wedding planning things that require you to save the rest for last.
1. Pay the People
I’m going out on a limb and guessing that your least favorite part of planning a wedding has been the dollar sign that appears with everything. Although we would LOVE to ignore the money, the fact of the matter is, we have to pay the people. Write out checks or grab cash at least one week in advance for those remainder balances to be paid on the wedding day. Divide amongst envelopes and label each of them with the vendor name and service provided.
Writing out checks the night before the wedding (or the day of) takes a little shimmer out of your wedding day shine. Let’s not let that task harsh your vibe. Hand over the envelopes to your day-of coordinator, personal attendant or reliable friend to handle the payments so you two can focus on being newlyweds.
2. Musical Chairs
As I’m writing this list, I’m wondering if up until now I should have changed the title of the blog to, “Most Dreaded Wedding Tasks”. Although the seating chart can be daunting, as a bride or groom you may need to accept one thing…it probably isn’t going to be perfect for everyone. Table eight won’t miss the two cousins who didn’t show up, and you can put all of your parents' friends at the same table if need be. All you need to do is make sure you and your love have a seat at the headtable.
After you've confirmed final RSVPs, it's time to review your seating chart and finalize the plan. Number those escort cards or place cards and move on!
A common thing that is easy to overlook is seating at the ceremony. If you have difficult family situations, you should have a seating chart for the wedding day as well so that at the rehearsal you can communicate where everyone should expect to sit on the big day. Don't forget aunts, readers, musicians and ushers.
3. Give a Welcome-y Welcome
While I am a big proponent of not taking on too many “extras”, I am also a hostess at heart (Just come over for Happiest Hour sometime and see me in my element.) Give your guests a “howdy doody”, “thanks for comin'”, “glad you made it”, welcome when they check into their hotel!
No, you don’t need to spend hours in the lobby greeting everyone. Instead, drop off goodie bags or a simple bottle of water with a greeting for the concierge to hand to your guests when they check in. It’s a simple thank you for those that have traveled some distance to celebrate with you! Did you know that many cities will assemble welcome kit information for you for free to provide guests ideas of what to do during their visit?
4. Honeymoon Haversack
This one is simple. Start getting excited about the honeymoon while also preparing! It’s NEVER too early to start packing a bag! Put out your suitcase a month in advance and start filling it as you think of things! Every day you can wake up and look at that bag as a reminder of the excitement to come while also feeling ready to zip up and jet off!
5. Nail Your Zen
This is the part of the blog where a wedding professional (that’s me) tells you that you have to go get your nails done (both ladies and gents!), or at least have a friend do them for you. While this might just appear as an unnecessary pampering measure, think of it as a necessary time for unwinding and reflection.
In fact, although it is popular to go to the nail salon with a group of friends, maybe consider going alone to have quiet time and to reflect on what is yet to come not just in the coming days, but in the coming years of your marriage. It’s easy to get lost in the list, but at the end of the day, you will have the love of your life no matter where Aunt Shirley is sitting. Zen it out y’all.
Do you have some last-minute advice for your fellow nearlyweds? Let us know!
XO, S. and MJ