Your wedding day will be one of the most remarkable days of your life. It’s a profoundly beautiful and intimate celebration of love. This is a day that you want to relish in and be fully present for. It’s also a day with a lot of details and at times, some uncommon details can show up last minute and distract the Bride. That is where this post comes in!
Here is a list of the things that you don’t want to forget for your special day. If you think through and plan for all of these before your wedding day happens, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the day in all of its beauty.
Often times, couples don’t think about their marriage license until the week before the wedding. However, this is something you want to make sure you have done ahead of time so that you receive it in time for the ceremony. A marriage license typically takes 3-4 days to receive. In Texas, you can apply for it up to 90 days in advance for it to remain valid, but some states only allow you to apply 30 days in advance. Because each state’s timeframe varies make sure to check out what your guidelines will be. Checking this off of your list early will ease your stress and guarantee you have it in time.
Once you have it, you’ll want to make sure and decide who will mail it in after the wedding. This is most commonly done by the officiant and needs to happen within 10 days of the wedding to have it be valid
This one is important! You’ll probably spend a lot of time deciding what meal to serve your guests and what hors d’oeuvre , desserts and drinks to offer. But, you can’t forget about the pre-ceremony food. You don’t want to skip breakfast or lunch on your wedding day. Think about where the bridal party and family will be getting ready and at what time. Then, ask someone to pick up breakfast or lunch for the whole group to eat while you are all getting ready!
You’ll want to make sure and remember to feed the everyone who is making your day happen! When you are making the final count of guests for your reception, make sure an include any vendors who will be there for the evening and need to eat. This would include event coordinators, wedding planners, the officiant, musicians, photographers, videographers, etc. You can easily accommodate them by seating them all together.
Guestbook and Sharpies
One of the most commonly forgotten items at weddings are the sharpie markers you need for the guestbook. If you decide to have your guests write on your engagement session guestbook make sure and buy sharpie markers for it (pens or any other kind of markers won’t work on them). Purchase these ahead of time and keep them stored with your guestbook so they are easy to locate and don’t get forgotten.
Invitations are one of my favorite details to photograph. Having photos of every part of your wedding journey, from the beginning to end will be something you cherish and appreciate as you look back on the day. But, more often than not, my bride’s forget to pack them. I always suggest packing at least one full invitation suite or any other stationery like rehearsal dinner invites, save the dates, etc. However, I prefer and recommend that you bring two sets so I can photograph the front and back of the invitation at the same time. This is something you can ask a bridesmaid or personal attendant to take care of and bring if you think you’ll forget.
Heirlooms add such a beautiful touch to any wedding day. They are full of depth, meaning, and story. It’s an item you don’t want to forget to bring or have lost/damaged during the day. Make sure you have someone specific be in charge of them and keep them in a safe place while in transit. You can also have that person make sure they are by the dress while everyone is getting ready so that the photographer has access to them and can photograph them with all the getting ready details.
Cake Knife and Toasting Flutes
These are items you may receive at a bridal party or have handed down to you. Either way, make sure and bring them to your reception because you’ll want them there. If you are able to set up your reception area the day before, then just bring them along at that time and they’ll be set and ready to go. If you can’t set up early, make sure and pass them off to an individual who will be helping with the reception prep. Since you’ll have them beforehand, you can pass them off early and check it off your list so it’s one less thing to think about.
Make sure and bring chargers for any devices that you’ll use during the day so that everything can be charged and ready to go. If you’re planning to use your iPod, laptop, or phone for a slideshow or music…. make sure they are fully charged. You’ll also want to make sure you have the device and a charger for it ready to give to your DJ.
A Game Plan for the Kids
Having something to help entertain the younger guests is really helpful but often not thought of. Usually every Bride has a family member or bridal party member who would enjoy taking care of this kind of task. Nothing elaborate has to be planned. Simple coloring sheets and crayons or books to read are great for the younger kids, while I SPY sheets or wedding crosswords are fun for the older kids. Keeping them happy and settled during the ceremony benefits everyone.
These aren’t necessary, but it is a nice way to thank all your guest for coming. If you decide to do favors, you can make them as easy or elaborate as you want. Often something as simple as a tin of mints for guests to eat after their meal is enough. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that can be done ahead of time so that you don’t need to prep anything on the actual wedding day.
Having a point person who can direct or corral family members is a smart. Often times this is a wedding planner, but if you don’t have one, a bridesmaid, family member or friend can help just as well. As a photographer, one place I really find this handy is during family photos. I recommend having a family member from each side be in charge of getting everyone ready for whoever is in the next photo. This will help everything run more smoothly and faster.
Gratuities may be something you want to hand out yourself. You may also choose to have your wedding planner or a bridal party member hand out gratuities. Regardless of who hands them out, you’ll want to make sure that the tips are organized, labeled and ready to go in separate envelopes. Also, make sure and bring extra envelopes in case you forgot someone.
Ask someone, perhaps a bridesmaid, to help you out on this. Emergency kits are something that you’ll want to have handy on your wedding day. They usually include a sewing kit, Bandaids, deodorant, stain remover, double sided tape, extra bobby pins, floss, Tylenol, extra lip gloss, tissues, etc. You can either buy one pre-made, have a friend make you one or put one together yourself. Either way, it will give you peace of mind to have it on hand.
Once your wedding is complete, take time to sit back, relax, enjoy being newly married and remember the day! Also set a reminder for yourself to take some time to leave all your vendors an honest review. It’s great to send them an email follow-up as well. This is how vendors can continue to improve their level of service. Your feedback is very important and valued by your vendors. Plan a day to do this within 3 months of your wedding date.
I hope you found all of this helpful. These are just a few things I have noticed are important to have on your wedding day. If you have these things ready before hand and assign someone in charge of it you will have a much more relaxed wedding day!
Happy Wedding Planning!
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