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Recently, I came across my wedding binder while looking through my memorabilia. Page after page of information, it was fantastic that we were able to get it all done in time. I couldn't believe it. It was super organized. And at that point, I just started organizing for clients and didn't know what I was doing. But looking back now, I realized that it was super helpful for me, my mom, and everyone involved that I was that organized. This post shares wedding tips that I found helpful to reduce stress on the big day.
While my immediate family wasn't huge, we had several relatives coming from other countries, like Australia, Italy, and Canada. The house was bursting at the seams. While it was exciting, it also was stressful having everyone nearby. But, I realized it was important to be organized, or it could have been a lot worse.
To help you get ready for your big day, I have put together these tips.
Take your time and pick the right places.
Whether you are going to a church or an excursion, you will need to plan and do your research before committing to a location. It's going to take time, so allowing at least one to one and a half years for planning and scheduling will really help out when you get closer to the big day.
The place you have your wedding is important and will help you focus on what you want to do with all the details. One of my clients got married in the woods because they had a King Arthur-themed wedding. Their wedding was lovely, and they were able to rent large tents to protect them and their guests if it rained.
How to find a venue?
Do your research and visit the Venue ASAP
Visit each of their websites and always visit the venue to get a tour. Call them as soon as possible, ask them a few questions, and check to make sure they have your date available. If everything sounds good, schedule a tour. This is not the time to procrastinate. The venue is the one place that will go fast.
What to do on the venue tour?
When you are at the venue, take pictures of the ceremony area and the party area. This will help you remember and be able to decide after you visit all the places.
After you have decided on a venue, be sure to get a copy of the floor plan from the owner. This task will help you visualize how they will be laying out the hall for the reception and/or the wedding. Below are some tips on how to pick a venue
Set up a binder to hold all your papers
Print Out All The Agreements. Digital copies of contracts are great to have on hand, but paper is always better. You can quickly lose emails or forget you even got the email.
Divide the sections in your binder into the following tabs.
- Rehearsal dinner
- Dress and Logistics
- Bride's clothing details
- Groom's clothing details
- Bridesmaids and groom's men's clothing
- Wedding ceremony
- Gift Registry and other parties
- Bridal Shower
- Bachelorette Party
- Bachelor party
- Wedding party
- Favor gifts
If you prefer to organize this digitally on your phone or laptop, use the above titles for your folders and label all your digital files with the name payee receipt, the date (i.e., 12-12-2024-hair-styling-appt-for-party) so that you can easily find them. You can also fill out the tag and description information on the file to make it easier to find in a search.
I like using spreadsheets. It is easy to create and will allow me to list things that I need to know, like the timeframe of each activity for the day. Start out with a time for arrival at the bride's and groom's house to get ready. The time for the hairstylist and makeup artist to arrive, etc... Adding the time to the first column and the activity to the second column gives you a clear understanding of what is happening and when. And it is all on one sheet.
|9 AM||bridesmaids arriving at the house|
Use an app if you feel it works for you.
Instead of doing a binder or a spreadsheet, it may be best for you to purchase an app. It is ideal for reminders of what needs to be done next. There are lots of apps out there; here are the most popular in the Apple Store. Below are a variety of Apps you can check out to help you organize your Wedding.
- Wedding Happy - Wedding Planner from WeddingHappy Inc.
- Wedding Planner
- The Big Day: Wedding Planner
- Bridebook - #1 Wedding Planner
- Wedding Planner by WeddingWire
- My Dream Wedding Planner
- Honeyfund Wedding Registry
If you want to save money, you can have people in your party drive their own car and pick up the other wedding party members. Decorating the cars with streamers and other car decors will give them a unified look without breaking the bank.
How to make a car driver list for the bridal party
If you have several cars transporting people, as I did, make a drawing or list of every individual and their vehicle assignment. Something like this is below.
|Car Driven||Name of Driver||Name of Passengers||Time to Pick Up|
It helped immensely on the day of our wedding. Below are some car decorations I found on Amazon for your wedding.
By planning out your transportation completely and adding it to your app or binder, you will see how your event will come together. It will also help you see if there are any overlaps of time that will result in issues on your wedding day.
Gift Registry Tips
Having a wedding gift registry at a variety of places is recommended so people can see what you need/want. Keep in mind it is recommended to have between two to five registry stores to make sure you have enough options for your guests to choose from; a combo of online and brick-and-mortar stores works best. But, to keep track of these places, you will need to manage them.
Before you create a registry, do this.
Be sure to create a practical registry. Walk around your existing home and determine what you will need when you move in together. If you are already living together, you may want to only pick a few things and then create a honeymoon fund or ask for cash. Visit my post about how to create a practical wedding registry for ideas. On this post, there is a printable registry(Free).
If you are buying a new home and need stuff for it, make sure you make a list before going to set up the registry. This helped us a lot because we needed so much, and having a list helped us know what to look for and add.
Is more than one registry acceptable?
If you plan on having a few different registries, be sure you log in online to make sure your information is correct. Check all the information, like what you picked, what the address is, and what the spelling is on the account. This way, you can make sure nothing gets lost or sent to the wrong address.
Watch out for duplicate items
Also, check to make sure you are not duplicating products from one store to the next. If you need more than one item, you can easily add the quantity to one registry, and then the person can buy one or two of the items instead of the entire quantity. Another option is you can also sign up for The Knot Registry. You can combine all your registries in one list.
Pick enough gifts for people to choose from.
Pick at least twice as many items as your invited guests, so there are plenty of items to choose from.
Cash and Gift Cards Work, too
And, if you are overwhelmed, add gift cards, experience gifts, or cash or honeymoon funds to your registry. Below are five options to create a Honeymoon Fund registry.
There are several more options for the Honeymoon Fund registry, but I only picked five of them. Each one has its own fees and will either be charged to you or the gift giver. Pick the one that is right for you and your guests.
If you have many people who can't make it, have someone record it during the ceremony so they can watch it online. You can also stream the ceremony on your Facebook Live and Zoom (here are instructions and tips) and share the link before the wedding so people can watch. You can livestream anywhere from 40 minutes to 24 hours as Matthew says on Matthewlimphotography.com.
Make sure you have someone who is knowledgeable about doing videos. Bark has a videographer section to help you find one near you.
I wish I was able to do this when I got married. My grandmother, who lived in Europe, couldn't make it, but it would have been wonderful to have her at least watch it.
The Week Before Your Wedding Tips
Now that you have planned and scheduled everything, it's time to do a few more things to get you ready for the big day.
Confirm with everyone.
So there are no issues on your wedding day. Confirm with all the following people. Be sure to review the arrival times with them, the time of the rehearsal dinner, where it is, and what the addresses are for all the events.
- limo driver or who is driving
- The makeup artist
- The hotel (if you are staying in one)
- Your bridesmaids and groom's men
- Church and venue contact
- Entertainment contact
And be sure to pick up the dress and accessories you will be wearing on your wedding day.
Now that all these people are ready and know what to do. You can now relax.
Practice Self Care
Now it is time to take care of yourself. If you can, get a massage, a manicure, and a pedicure with your maid of honor. It's a fun way to end the craziness of planning. I also found going to get a massage or facial a week before the wedding helped keep me calm.
Things to do on your wedding day!
Now that you have planned and written out all your activities, you are now ready for the big day. Below are tips to help you relax and enjoy the moment. It will go fast!
If you have stylists coming over to do people's hair and nails, write up what time each individual has their appointment so they know when to arrive. This tip will help if you have more than a few people getting their hair or nails done. And people are not hanging around waiting for their turn.
Remember, it is your day, and if things go wrong, it will work itself out. It's not all up to you. That is why the bridesmaid and groomsmen are there.
I hope this helps you make your wedding a memorable one and a stress-free one. Now, it's your turn; what is your favorite tip to reduce stress before your wedding day? Please leave a comment below.
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