Tell everyone providing services exactly
what your requirements are. Put everything in writing
and make sure your vendors sign the agreement. Be sure
to specify items you don't want as well: for example “no
racy rap songs”, or too many posed photos, onion
dip or whatever else.
Two or three days before the wedding,
call all your vendors and verify your bookings. Have them
read back to you the time, date, and location of the wedding
(as they have it noted), as well as confirming the services
or items they'll be providing. That way, you'll know if
they have the right information. Make sure they know how
to get to the site. It's a good idea to send a reminder
letter as well. Bring your list of phone numbers so someone
can make a phone call if they don't show up.
Avoid asking friends or family to provide
food, flowers, or official photography. It will create
an awkward situation if you're not pleased with the results.
It's easier to expect perfection from someone being paid
than a favorite uncle whose feelings may be hurt if you
later complain about his photography. He probably also
doesn't have a spare camera to bring along if his breaks
or an assistant to fill in if he catches the flu and can't
Never let a friend serve as a bartender.
He may pour too much liquor which could quickly deplete
a limited supply, run up the bill, or get guests too drunk.
He might also get drunk, or leave the bar unattended to
Avoid heavy cake tops or too many tiers.
These can make the cake unstable.
Protect your bridal gown. Never iron
it or attempt any kind of touch up. If it is badly wrinkled,
contact the bridal shop for pressing. Do not eat, drink,
or smoke after putting the gown on. Do not apply makeup
and keep pets away. If you're travelling to the wedding
in your gown, avoid exiting the car near dirt or bushes.
When you get your gown, practice putting
it on, walking, turning, and moving like you will during
the ceremony. Get a feel for how the dress moves and how
much extra time you'll need to handle the train.
Avoid having children under age three
in the wedding party. If you do, let one of the attendants
walk with the child or pair them with an older child.
Secure fake rings to the ring pillow
so they won't fall off. Have the Maid/Matron of Honor
and Best Man carry the real ones.
Make sure someone knows of any plans
to use alternate entrances to the ceremony (side doors,
back doors) so they won't be locked for the ceremony.
Accompany the bridesmaids to their fittings
to make sure the dresses are not altered to be too short,
too loose, or too tight.
Advise out of town members of the wedding
party to arrive early on the day before the wedding so
you don't run the risk of missing or delaying the rehearsal.
Have attendants arrive early to get dressed
so there is no delay when the photographer arrives and
no worry about making the wedding on time.
Have a spare tape recorder, batteries,
and extra tape in case the one you're planning to use
to record the vows acts up.
Get your marriage license in advance
of the ceremony and have it with you on the wedding day.
You don't want to discover on your wedding day that you
aren't licensed to be married!
Have someone assigned to take care of
the last minute details and ensure the bridal party is
dressed and ready to go. She can answer the phone, go
on errands, and make sure everyone has something to eat
before the wedding.
Practice driving the route to the ceremony
at the time of day and day of week to check out traffic
patterns. That way you'll know how much time you'll need
to get to the site.
Bring along an emergency bag. Include
a needle and thread, safety pins, nail polish, hairpins,
and extra panty hose. Also tuck in a couple of cookies
and some hard candy in case someone needs a quick pickup.
Try not to stay up late the night before
the wedding. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
so you'll be at your best all day.
If something goes wrong, don't panic.
You'll probably be the only one who notices that the ribbons
in the bridesmaid's bouquets are the wrong color. Don't
let little things ruin your day. Accept the idea that
your wedding may not (and in fact, probably will not)
go as planned. Always keep your sense of humor!