Here we are, the final stretch! This third blog completes your wedding checklist and talks you through the final 4 months before your wedding day.
4 months to go
Tuck into your menu tasting
This is always a delicious part of the wedding prep and should give you the opportunity to try a variety of dishes before deciding on your set menu. If you’re opting for a choice menu, where your guests can pick what they want, speak to your caterer first to confirm they can do this for you and you may need to get the tasting in earlier so you can order menu choice cards with your invitations. Remember to consider any guests with food allergies or dietary requirements too.
Photo credit: Ferri Photography
Wedding hair and wedding makeup trials
As I said before, this is the perfect excuse for a little pampering so why not tie it in with a night out with the girls? It’s also your chance to get to know your hair stylist and makeup artist so they know exactly what you want, making you feel more relaxed on the day. You can also try a few different looks and settle on a final style. Bring along any hair accessories you’d like to wear and your veil if you’re wearing one.
Your first wedding dress fitting
Your bridal shop should have booked these in when you ordered your dress. This first fitting will make sure they’ve got the most up-to-date measurements including the length – so remember to bring your wedding shoes along. Depending on the changes, the seamstress will advise when you need to come back.
2- 3 months to go
It’s (really) time to give notice
If you haven’t done it yet, you absolutely need to give notice of your intent to marry now!
Send out your wedding invitations
This is it! Everything you’ve been planning for is falling into place and it’s time to share the details with your wedding guests. Your wedding invites and info cards traditionally follow the same style and format as your save the dates and include:
Accommodation and travel suggestions
Food orders or dietary requirements
Whether they have a plus 1
If you are planning a destination wedding I recommend sending them earlier (3-4 months out) in order for your guests to make the travel arrangements.
Deck out your wedding decorations
It’s the little bits that really add those special, personal touches to the day. They’re also the bits you can keep as souvenirs. These tend to include photo props, guest books (with nice pens) or personalised items with your names on. It’s best to get these now so you don’t have to rush around looking for them closer to the date. Most retailers sell lots of wedding accessories so shop around to find the right bits for you.
Select wedding readings and write your wedding vows
It’s time to get sentimental. There’s no right or wrong here, just whatever feels right for you. Pick your favourite poem, a quote from a film or lyrics from a song that mean something to you and ask a friend or family to read it at your wedding. You can stick with the traditional wedding vows but if you want to add your own personal message, take a moment to write down how you really feel and what you’d like to say to your partner. You can always tweak these closer to the date.
Pick your bridal accessories
Whether your bridal party are wearing their own shoes and accessories or if you’re buying them as a gift, now is the time to make sure everyone has everything they need – and that they’ve tried everything on! It might be nice to buy a thank you gift for your bridal party, something such as jewellery or a hair accessory that they could all wear on the day and keep as a memento.
Start building your wedding playlist
This will take longer than you think. Start putting some time aside each day to build a playlist of your favourite songs for your DJ. Think fun, upbeat music that will get your guests on their feet and onto the dance floor. Decide on your first dance too and have a little practice at home to make sure it feels right for both of you.
Collate your final RSVPs
Whether it’s via email, text or through the post, you should be receiving your replies as soon as invites go out. Set up another spreadsheet (they’re handy, right?) where you can keep a list of who’s replied, who’s coming and any food or song requests.
Pick out your pictures
I recommend meeting with your photographer to confirm timings and locations for the day – are they coming to the bride’s room first, the groom's house or both? Also provide a shot list, this’ll include all the pictures you want such as a confetti shot or particular friends and family groupings. If your photographer hasn’t been to your venue before, check that they’ll pop by to familiarise themselves with the best spots beforehand.
1 month to go
Plot out your table plan
Once you know who is coming you can start to plot out where everyone is sitting. Start with your top table and consider who you want by your side. Again, this is your day so you can choose who you want sat next to you. Don’t be afraid to mix up friends and family too, it’s a lovely way to get everyone talking and they’ll all be dancing together by the end of the evening anyway. If you have a lot of children attending, how about a kids table? They’ll love sitting together and you can include games or activity packs, or even a child-minding service to keep them entertained.
Wedding day stationery
Once your table plan is locked in you can send the details to your supplier to have all your on-the-day wedding stationery printed. This includes:
Your table plan
Place cards or Escort cards
Order of the day
Any extra signage
It’s so exciting when you receive all these final bits and everything starts to fall into place.
Final venue walk through
Arrange a final planning meeting with your venue (and your wedding planner) to have a run through of the day and all the final details. It’ll calm any last minute anxieties and reassure you of how the day will flow. Things to discuss would include:
Timings of the day - including speeches and food service times
When everything needs to be set up by (decorations, musicians etc.)
What your wedding party will need to help out with
Who will be in charge of ensuring everything is in place.
I suggest starting from the very beginning of the day and running through every moment to ensure nothing is missed. Think of it as a rehearsal for the big day.
Confirm your wedding day deliveries
Make sure you check-in with all your suppliers to confirm their arrival times and that they have all the information they need. Create a timeline and send to all your suppliers as you don’t want them all arriving at once. Let them know who they need to ask for and where to make their deliveries – if you have a wedding planner or even an on the day co-ordinator, they can help you with this and be point of contact.
Check your supplier payments
Whilst contacting your suppliers, check that you’re up-to-date with all your payments and settle up before the big day – it’ll be one less stress to worry about. Remember to have some cash to hand too as some on-the-day suppliers such as taxis or bars, may only accept cash.
Update your caterer
You need to send all your dietary requirements to your caterer at least 2-3 weeks before your wedding day. Include your seating plan too so the caterers know who has what dietary needs and which table they’re on.
Buy your ‘thank you’ gifts
Your friends, family and bridal party have done a lot over the last 12 months to get you here. Whether that’s monetary support, helping bake or create treats or just simply being a listening ear for you. It doesn’t have to be a big gift, just a little something and a thoughtful note to show how grateful you are for them. How about a gift for your partner too? It could be a lovely start to the wedding morning — just try not to cry!
Break in your wedding shoes
For both the bride and groom, this is an important thing to do! You have probably treated yourself to a gorgeous pair of new shoes and you need to ensure you’ll be comfortable in them. It’s a long day after all and all eyes will be on you. Maybe take some flats for the evening too, so you can kick off your heels and dance the night away!
Collect your wedding dress
If you haven’t yet, it’s time to bring home your wedding gown and any other bridal party outfits. If you don’t want to tempt your partner into having a sneak peek, keep your dress in another room or in someone else’s house. Hang both your dress and suit so they don’t crease before the day.
Create your wedding day checklist
Make a list of everything you need for the day or weekend and tick it off as you pack. This could include things for the wedding such as wedding on the day stationery, alcohol or decorations as well as essentials for you such as hair accessories, makeup, toiletries and clothes.
24 hours to go
By now, you should have ticked everything you need to do off your checklist. Your ‘out of office’ is on, you’re relaxing with your loved ones and getting ready for a good night’s sleep before the best day of your life. Cheers!
Photo credit: Jessica Piazza Photography
I hope this detailed wedding checklist will help you prepare for your big day. If you are a couple with limited time to plan your wedding or are feeling a bit overwhelmed and would like someone to guide you through it, make it fun and stress-free, then I’d love to hear from you and chat about how I can help.