It’s finally here! The month of your wedding is such an exciting time – even though you may feel a little overwhelmed with the final details, the final guest count, and all the other fun things that go into wedding planning. Not to add to what I’m sure is already an impressive to-do list, but here’s a quick-and-easy checklist of a few things you may not have thought about!
01. Get the marriage license
If you and your fiancé haven’t applied for the marriage license yet, this is the time! Make sure to find out all of the requirements for the state that you’re getting married in beforehand so there aren’t any surprises near the day of your wedding.
02. Arrange for a final fitting
You won’t want to have to worry about your dress in the days leading up to your wedding, so the month before is the time to make all of the final adjustments.
03. Go over final details with your vendors
Reach out to all of your vendors if they haven’t reached out to you and make sure that you’re on the same page about everything, so that your wedding day goes smoothly and without anyone needing anything from you. This is also probably the time, per your contract, that final balances will be due. Go back through your records to makes sure that everyone has been paid in full, so that you can go into your wedding day without anything to worry about!
04. Follow up with guests who haven’t RSVPed
This one can be a little annoying, but it’s necessary to get a final headcount. You can ask your mom or maid of honor with help on this one, but definitely take the time to call everyone on your guest list who hasn’t yet responded to the invite.
05. Have a final hair and makeup trial
If you didn’t opt for a bridal session, which is an excellent chance to do a trial run of hair and makeup, then it’s a great idea to plan for a hair and makeup trial in the month before your wedding, just to make sure everything is exactly as you want it to be. Pro tip: bring your veil with you if you’re wearing one.
06. Make sure your bridesmaids have their dresses fitted
Touch base with all of your bridesmaids to make sure that they’ve made arrangements for their final fittings and that they have their dresses and the agreed upon accessories all ready to go. I know it’s a little bit of a pain, but trust me, it’s better than showing up on wedding day to find out that your one friend wasn’t quite clear on the shoe requirements.
07. Pamper yourself a little
Get a facial, a massage, take a few days and just relax. This has been a crazy process, and you’ve handled it like a champ. The big planning is done, there’s only so much you can do at this point, so step back and enjoy the process a little bit. Just a reminder, though – you don’t want to get a facial too close to your wedding day, so maybe schedule this one for a week or two before the big day. A massage you can do up to the day before, as long as it’s not a super deep tissue massage. Make sure you’re up-to-date on your highlights, your eyebrow appointments, and your manicure/pedicure appointments.
08. Create a seating chart
And just when you thought you were finished with the tedious things like invitations and guest lists… now, you have to figure out where to seat everyone! Get in contact with your venue, both your rehearsal dinner and your reception venue, to go over the seating layout. From there, start to plan who is going to sit where. Are you planning on having a head table? Or just a sweetheart table? Are there any strained relationships that will cause you to have to seat people separately? Here’s the link to a great selection of resources for creating seating charts, to help you out a bit.
09. Plan some time to sweat
This month is going to get a little hectic, that’s inevitable. While you’ll be working through all of your final to-do lists, spending time with the family members that came to town early, and having daily phone calls with your mother-in-law about last minute details, you need to make sure to make time to keep your mind clear and your body moving. I recommend that all of my brides try to at least get some type of workout in every other day during the month of their wedding – and no, I’m not talking about going crazy with HIIT workouts every day to try and crash diet before your wedding. I’m talking about things that truly keep you sane. Schedule some yoga classes on days that you already know you have something high-stress planned. Get outside and go for a long walk, without a cell phone or a checklist in mind.
10. Break in your wedding shoes!
Probably the last thing on your mind right now, but trust me, you’ll thank me later. Take some time before your wedding day to break in your wedding shoes – walk around the house in them, wear them at your desk while you work, whatever it is, go ahead and make sure that they’re comfortably fitted to your feet. You do NOT want to put them on the morning of your wedding and immediately start to feel a pinch – you should be sipping champagne in celebration on your wedding day, not to mask the pain of your fancy shoes. One thing to note, though, just be careful not to scuff up your shoes too much, your wedding photographer will want them looking fresh for your detail photos!
11. Figure out how to bustle your dress
If you scheduled a bridal session, it’s likely that you’ve already realized that this is a little more of a task than anyone told you it would be! Take the time before your wedding to go over the bustling and un-bustling of your dress with your Maid of Honor, and your mother or mother-in-law as well. As a wedding photographer, I have definitely been the only one in a room who knew how to bustle a dress before – make sure you don’t find yourself in that situation.
12. Set aside all of your wedding details for your photographer
Maybe I’m a little biased, but this is a big one. Make sure all of your day-of details are well organized and set aside to give to your photographer on the morning of your wedding. One huge tip I have is to make sure that all rings are in the same place the night before the wedding – too often, I’ll show up at a wedding and have to run around hunting down the rings from various people so that I can get the detail photos done, and it’s a huge waste of time. If you want everything to move smoothly and efficiently, take some time the week before your wedding to get all of the details organized and set aside.
13. Give you caterer a final headcount, and ensure that you have vendor meals
Reach out to your caterer with a final headcount, since you should have gotten in all RSVPs by this point! While you’re chatting with your caterer, if you haven’t already done this, ensure that they are providing vendor meals for each of your vendors. Most vendors will have this in their contract, but even if they don’t, it’s important to make sure that everyone is well-fed and happy. I’ve seen this get missed from time to time, and it always causes a little last minute panic that is completely avoidable!
14. Set aside tips
If you’re planning on tipping your vendors, I would recommend sitting down the week before your wedding and going ahead and sorting cash into different labeled envelopes for vendor tips. Know that most wedding vendors don’t expect a tip, so if you weren’t planning on giving one then it definitely isn’t necessary.
You’re about to get married! Don’t stress over the little details anymore – what’s finished is finished, and what isn’t finished, no one is going to miss.