As the big day approaches, engaged couples are faced with managing dozens of final details, all of which need to go off without a hitch to achieve the beautiful storybook wedding every bride envisions.
Getting the look just right
Let’s face it: The bride (and secondarily, her attendants) are the wedding’s main focus. Therefore, hairstyles and makeup need to be decided on and practiced at least a month prior to the wedding day, with help from professionals who know just how to put together a picture-perfect look. A day or two before the ceremony is the best time to get manicures and pedicures. If the bridal party is getting ready together, their styling order should be communicated in advance to avoid confusion or squabbles. Grooms also should get a haircut about one week before the ceremony.
Another essential detail is, of course, the wedding gown. Brides should do one last fitting in the bridal shop before taking the dress home, in case last-minute alterations are needed, and attendants should do the same. Assembling an emergency kit for the wedding that includes fashion tape, scissors, needles and thread to match the dresses is a good idea. The groom and groomsmen also should check their tuxedos and shoes at pickup to make sure they’ve received the correct sizes.
Planning the perfect ceremony
A lot has to happen in the final days before the bride walks down the aisle. One last check with the florist, clergy person or officiant, and musicians is essential. If fees, gifts or tips are needed, those should be assembled and transported to the wedding venue along with ceremony programs. The couple should let their ushers know which family members should sit where to help seating the guests go smoothly. Vows, readings, songs and other special ceremony details must be finalized as well.
Just as important as the ceremony itself is making sure it is recorded perfectly for posterity. The photographer and videographer should have a list of all the shots, angles and special moments the couple wants documented. Alternate plans also should be communicated in case bad weather threatens.
Assuring a joyful celebration
The wedding reception probably involves the greatest number of details requiring last minute follow-up. If some invited guests have missed the RSVP deadline, they need to be contacted by phone to get a final headcount for the reception venue and caterer; that number usually must be provided no less than 72 hours before the event. Likewise, every reception vendor should get a call to re-confirm every last detail including date, time, location and cost. Each of them should have a designated point person (other than the bride and groom) to contact in case any issues arise.
All of those vendors need to be paid, so payments and tips should be placed in envelopes and transported to the reception venue along with special items including place cards, seating charts, table numbers and centerpieces, just to name a few.
With so many specifics to attend to, it’s common for couples to feel overwhelmed in the last days before they become husband and wife. Of all the details they need to remember, though, perhaps the most important is to plan to relax and enjoy their special day, no matter what happens.