If you are planning and organising your own wedding - read on. While I consider myself to be a very organised person, I dare say there were a few things I completely forgot about when it came to planning my own wedding. There are a million things to think about and the few days before the wedding can seem like a bit of a blur. So, to save you any last minute stress, here is a short checklist that may help you on your day.
Leave enough time and budget for alterations. Also make sure to have a great seamstress or tailor contact - they are worth their weight in gold!
When making your own invites make sure to factor in thank you cards, save the dates and rsvp cards and envelopes if you're choosing to have them. Also don't forget about menus, place cards, programmes etc. Buy enough card, envelopes, stamps etc. to cover all of the items you're making. Make sure to factor in signs, if you want to have them. Planning in advance will save you a lot of time further down the track.
We were incredibly relaxed about this, but probably good to plan ahead and make sure you have a lift organised to and from the reception venue if need be. Also make sure that your family are looked after, as well as bridal party (if you're choosing to have one.)
Research your team and choose people who will get you. Once you have selected your vendors, step back and let them do what they do best! Having trust in your vendors makes all the difference and will make your experience pretty relaxed.
Side Note - Things will go 'wrong' and not to plan. And this is perfectly ok. This is why having a great team and trusting them is so important. Let them problem solve and trust that they'll come up with a killer plan B. This will allow you to focus on far more important things on the day - i.e marrying your partner.
If you are getting ready anywhere else but home, put on your entire outfit before you leave (including shoes, jewellery, lingerie, veil etc.) and place every.single.item. in your suitcase ready to go. (This is particularly important if you have more than one outfit also!)
Make sure to start packing other items a few days before, that way you're far less likely to forget something!
Day Of - Get yourself an Emergency Kit (I promise this is brilliant to have!). You will be thinking of 5 million other things so it's just handy to have everything is one place. Pack a small bag or clutch with essentials that you can give to a family member or friend. Also factor in a snack break before hair and makeup starts, or pack something you can nibble on during this time.
If you are having something other than an elopement, or micro-wedding you may want to choose a day-of contact for your vendors, or get a day-of-coordinator to take care of all the last minute details.
Make sure to consider your elderly and/or disabled guests with your choice of venue and prioritise these guests for seating both at your ceremony and reception.
Have a Plan B for weather and embrace it if you need to change ceremony space at the last minute.
Organise where you will sign your marriage certificate, where you will have your rings (and who will have them) and where you will put your bouquet.
Make sure to give your celebrant (or bridal party) some face wipes, lipstick, tissues and any other bits and pieces you may need after the ceremony and before photos.
If you are setting the tables yourself, make sure to remember all the individual items that you would like to have (ie place cards, menu, favours etc).
Check if the venue have a cake knife, or organise one prior (if you're having cake).
Count yourself in the headcount for catering and final numbers. Make sure that the venue knows about any guests with allergies or dietary needs. Also, don't forget to feed your vendors and ask them about any dietary needs.
Organise a guest book if you are wishing to have one. (I left this out and regret it a little, as it is a nice memory to have in years to come.)
Organise a box for your wedding cards/gifts and have a designated person help you take these home at the end of the evening.
Designate a person to do a sweep of the venue at the end of the night also.
AFTER THE EVENT:
When opening presents, write down the name and gift of each guest, so that you can you can personalise your thank you cards after.