I don’t know about you, but logic says to me that if I have planned, if I have prepared the final days leading up to a trip, event, or something important in my life should be a breeze, BUT experience tells me not the case. Just the opposite happens.
It is almost time for my dream trip I have saved for, asked for friend’s experiences, have passport ready and SURPRISE a little “wreak havoc gremlin” knocks on my door and something goes wrong. Stress and maybe even panic ensue and I’m sent scrambling.
Your wedding and the last month or so leading up to it probably will not be different. I like to think of myself as a positive person and believe in the old adage the ‘glass is half full’, but I am a realist and if something can go wrong, it will. You are getting married and I was told a few years ago by a respected planner for a venue…it is a wedding, something will go wrong!
So what can you do to prepare during the final few weeks leading up to your wedding day? I like to think of the last 30 days as ‘The Countdown’. Here are some of the ways I would approach this time
- Make a to do list. I’m a big fan of list making. What needs to be done and what really does not matter, put whatever you think of on your list.
- Prioritize the items on your list. Tackle the “these have to be done no matter what” first. If you can multi-task, do. Just don’t take on too much to send you even further into stress overload!
- Ask for help! Anyone who knows me knows I like to be in control, but sometimes we just have to say…HELP!
- Check your vendor contracts…yes again. While we all strive to deliver the perfection, mistakes and misunderstandings can happen.
- Know your due dates for remaining items like final payments, head count, menu selection for catering.
- Weddings can be expensive, so try to have your money put away ahead of time if you can. That way you are not stressing to figure out how to pay for something. If you are able, pay ahead and then you have just one more thing crossed off that might stress you during ‘The Countdown’.
- If someone else is paying for your wedding or helping you, make sure everyone involved knows amounts and due dates.
- Call your vendors or if you are too busy, use email. Make sure you have contact numbers, timing for arrival/delivery etc. Make sure they have someone to contact (preferably not you for your wedding day). When I am planning a wedding I check, double check, and sometimes even restate the obvious so there are no misunderstandings. Some may think this is a bit excessive, but I strive for perfection for you and I’d rather have people wonder a bit rather than something be missed!
- Make sure your Plan B is in place. Weather, vendor emergencies, illness just normal life happens. Try to have your Plan B in place early and know your vendor plans as well.
- Your hotel reservation if you have one, limo service, ‘designated’ driver, and any help you need for your day should be confirmed (just like bullet 3, but you may be using a friend or family member to help with some of these).
- Start gathering ‘items’ you want with you for your wedding day and if you are heading for your honeymoon right after, those items too. Packing early really reduces last minute stress.
- Take time for you. Spend time with your fiancé too…don’t forget date night. This is so important right now. You have been immersed in wedding ‘stuff’ for months or maybe even longer, time for you two with no wedding plan discussion is very important.
- Don’t stop exercising whatever that might be for you. If you don’t exercise, go for a walk. This could be part of your date night. Walking in a beautiful park with your fiancé at dusk is so romantic and a good stress reliever.
- Schedule a massage the week before your wedding. Who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing massage? Same with a facial. Schedule it a week or so ahead of time just in case your skin reacts.
- Plan your day before your wedding day and your wedding day morning to be relaxing and fun. This is time with your close friends and family. Nails, massage, breakfast out are great ways to relax. Laughter and friendship are so important!
These suggestions may seem simple and very logical and really they are. Human nature is to forget about taking care of ourselves, we don’t like to ask for help, and some of us are just so busy with normal life we can’t do the final organization and details. Start earlier than 30 days if you are very busy. If you have a wedding planner helping you, most of these items will be handled for you with only a message of ‘I have this handled’ from your planner so you don’t have to worry or stress.
Remember this is a wedding and something will go wrong. I tell my couples, with me as your planner unless it is something totally out of my control (like the groomsman fainting on the altar last May), you shouldn’t know about it unless it is pretty funny and I tell you after your honeymoon.
Prepare, over prepare and finish early and then ‘The Countdown’ will be semi-stress free and just an exciting time in your life.