(1 Month to 2 Months before the Wedding)
At about the one month mark and again at the one week mark before your wedding you want to touch base with all your wedding vendors. This serves as a reminder to the wedding vendors that they need to start making you a priority and give you status of where they are at and you can answer any questions they may have such as delivery and timetables.
If you are working but are able, you would be smart to take a few days off of work the few days before your wedding day, if you can, sleep in a little late so you are well rested for your wedding day, during this period concentrate on eating light and healthy meals, get in some light exercising (jogging, health club, yoga), get a massage and soak in a hot tub. Your goal is to eliminate stress, be well rested and energetic for your big day.
Your last month before the wedding, tends to be one of the most hectic times of your life. You need to pack for your honeymoon, pack for a house move, pack an emergency bridal kit, prepare wedding favors for your wedding guests, prepare special favors for all the bridesmaids, prepare special favors for the groomsmen, attend bridal showers, attend bachelorette parties and touch base with about two dozen wedding vendors. All this happens along with friends popping in your home unexpectantly and trying to do a little extra and staying ahead so you can enjoy your vacation honeymoon time from from work. It seems like an impossible undertaking but it always comes miraculously together if you stayed organized in your wedding planning.
The key for your final month of wedding planning is formulate a checklist of all the things that have to be done and mark them off once you have completed the task. If the bride is using a wedding planner, she should get status of where things are at with all the wedding vendors. Most wedding planners are top notch but occasionally talking through things with wedding planners, your discussions help remind them to check on wedding vendors and have them do things the way you want. Talking through all the wedding vendors and what their status helps put the bride's mind at ease and takes away any worry.
If the bride is planning the wedding herself there are a number of wedding vendors, bridal party members, and future in-laws she needs to touch base with, at about the one month mark before the wedding and the week before the wedding. She need to make contact with the officiant, the ceremony site location or the church, the wedding reception venue, the caterer of the food, the beverage company if there are any, party store or rental services company, the photographer, the videographer, all musicians, disc jockeys, any places that are providing accommodations such as hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, your wedding cake baker and any places providing sweets and treats for your wedding, your florist, any decorators, your limousine company, any special needs your calligrapher is providing for your wedding reception, any bridal registries, the place you are ordering your wedding favors from, your hair stylist for your wedding, and makeup artist, whew! You are likely to have other vendors not even mentioned in this list!
If you don't think of all the wedding vendors to contact, with all that has to be done you can very easily miss someone and something may be missed, it may be that the limousine forgot to pick up the groomsmen, the wedding rings were left at the house or something other. During the last month as you talk to all the wedding vendors take notes on all that is talked about, what time are you expecting deliveries, who is doing what, when, and where and at what time. At the end of the day move the notes to your wedding planner if you don't already have a wedding planner binder or device following you throughout the day. Don't forget to take names and phone numbers of people you haven't marked as contacts with, such as delivery people or assistants to wedding vendors.
First make contact with vendors related to your wedding ceremony, arrange to meet with them with ceremony musicians to check out the acoustics of the ceremony site, plus where they will perform and do they have equipment needs such as access to an electrical outlet and when will they play their music and how will they get cued. You need to discuss the ceremony and is there a way for flowers to get shared with other weddings and decorations you can use or rent for the wedding.
You need to contact the wedding reception facility and caterer, make sure you firm up the food count for entrees, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and other needs such as coffee. At what times should food go out and who is the contact for when food should go out and identify an emcee to give cues when the bridal party arrives, the cutting of the wedding cake, when the music begins, and when to dance. Are there enough wait staff to handle the event or are more needed and who will clean the wedding reception and what to do with the extra food. Bartender arrangements need to be discussed too, is there enough bartenders and wait staff and enough bar ware and how much liquor and the type of liquor along with embellishments.
As for your wedding reception, do you have all the chairs, tables, and serving tables that you need or do you need more? Do you have enough place settings and all that makes a place setting? Make sure you have more than enough plates, dishes, glasses, flatware, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, creamers, sugars, coffee cups and saucers. Verify the linen needs and the design for all the tables. Don't forget the amount of room taken up by table centerpieces and wedding favors, and how should each table placing be put together, does the table layout look extravagant and identify your day of wedding coordinator. Is there enough places and preparation room in the kitchen and do you have all the equipment you need.
Next is checking in with your photographers and videographers and reviewing their timetables for your wedding day. You need to review all the locations and times and photos and videos wanted and all the wedding guests and bridal party that need to be where and when for all the photo shoots. Are there any special needs or outlets needed and what happens in the event of inclement whether and are there any special requests such as a family shoot or a picture with Uncle Charlie.
You also want to check in with your ceremony and reception musicians and your disc jockeys. Do the musicians that are playing the music you requested, have they mastered the special music selections you have requested and can you hear a snippet to insure it's to your liking. Can you hear a little of the wedding reception music and review the disc jockey's wedding selections (good mix of music selections 40% requests from the wedding couple, 30% from bridal party and wedding guest requests, and 30% chosen by the disc jockeys themselves). Are there special equipment needs, high voltage outlets, lighting needs, or a dance floor.
If your guests are staying at a hotel, resort, or bed & breakfast, you want to check in with these places, are their any issues and do you plan on leaving a gift basket and if anything comes up with the rooms, whom should be contacted. Are there enough rooms booked for the wedding couple to get a discount, upgrade, or free room.
You want to check in with the wedding florist too. How many bouquets in total are needed for all the bridesmaid? How many boutonnieres? How many carnations? How many floral centerpieces are needed and any more floral decorations are needed, any for the wedding ceremony? Who delivers the flowers or do we pick them up and when will they be ready? How do you pin flowers on?
What about the wedding cake baker, what is the final count of wedding cake pieces needed for the wedding, what flavors are needed for each layer of the cake and what is the final cake piece count? What will the final design of the cake look like, what decorations will the cake have? When will the cake be baked and when will it be iced and how and who gets the cake to the wedding reception.
How will the decorator design the wedding reception hall? When can the decorator gain access to the reception and how long should the decorations take? Do some of the decorations need to be done when the hall is empty such as fabric draping or updraft flood lighting. Do table centerpieces need to be complete before the tables are set with silverware. Are any decorations being done for the wedding ceremony?
Is the calligrapher providing any additional services for the wedding, providing decorative name cards at each table setting, creating a seating chart at the entrance of the wedding reception, or an alphabetical list of name cards at the reception entrance, is there a guest book sign in, and is the calligrapher creating a wedding day program, or any other special requests and when can you review the material to be sure all the names on all produced is correct. Are the seating arrangements all correct and include any late changes.
You also need to check in with the limousine company, and print out directions of all routes and drop off a copy to the limousine company and make sure you have a copy yourselves in the event there is a change of limousine drivers on the wedding day. You want the limousine have a map from location to location which can be obtained from Mapquest and what times they are expected.
Next you want to check in with your hair stylist and makeup artist and firm up appointments with them, you should have a major appointment with your hair stylist about two weeks before the wedding along with your bridesmaids, hopefully the groomsmen will have their hair cut about one to two weeks before the wedding also. You need to firm up your wedding day schedule also, where are you going to get your hair prepped at the salon or in your home.
You also need to be in touch with your future in-laws for the wedding too, you want to keep them in the loop on all wedding activities. With your in-laws you get one chance to leave a good impression, for them it's not only one impression but about a dozen first impressions, they want their son to be marrying someone special in their eyes. Don't forget to be in contact too with every member of the bridal party.
The last month before your wedding there is so much to do, and in order to stay on top of things it is best to put together a checklist. Just remember, your wedding day is one special day of your life, all the wedding planning to make your wedding day is well worth it, and the month of your wedding with all the chaos in it is the most rewarding and enjoyable time of your life. Do your best at planning, don't stress, and enjoy your wedding period.
See you on the other side!