By Stefania Sainato for Bridal Guide
I’m getting married this weekend — it feels so strange to type that out! — and now that all of the final arrangements have been confirmed, it’s been a nonstop party. I took a happy hour cruise with my relatives from Italy who flew in for my wedding and I was treated to massages, brunch and cupcakes with my favorite ladies for my "spa-chelorette" party. Up next: My rehearsal dinner and final fitting with my MOHs.
I could get used to this... in fact, I got so carried away with the revelry that I forgot to do a few things. I neglected to include my fiancé, Jason, and myself in the final headcount (our maître d' couldn’t stop laughing) and finalize our transportation itinerary. Oops.
Since I’m suffering from a bad case of "wedding brain," I asked Valerie Gernhauser from Sapphire Events to share the most common tasks/items that brides either forget entirely or handle at the last minute before getting hitched. Follow her advice below, and try not to be too hard on yourself; after all, the most important thing is that you both successfully complete your vows. Everything else is just icing on top of the cake, as far as I'm concerned.
Photo Credit: Larsen's Photography
1. Bring your marriage license: "An important part of making it ‘official!’ Check with the jurisdiction where your ceremony will take place about any deadlines for applying for your marriage license well in advance of your wedding date and also whether a blood test or special documentation is required to complete your application. Start gathering your documents early so that when it comes time to get your license, you have everything you need and can make the process as efficient as possible."
2. Vendor meals: "Be sure you remember to feed the people that are working nonstop to make your day flawless! You’ll be expected to give your final guest count to your caterer within two weeks of your day, but don’t forget to include the number of vendors you’ll have so that the caterer can prepare simple meals for them, separate from your guests. Most caterers will count your vendor meals as half-price, so be sure to include your band members, photographer, videographer (and any second shooters), as well as your planner and their assistants."
Photo Credit: Erica Ferrone
3. Favors: "By no means are favors required, but they are a fantastic detail that each of your guests will appreciate! So don’t make your favors an afterthought — think about what you’ll present your guests as a ‘thank-you’ for coming at least two months in advance of your wedding date, so that you can place the bulk order of the items in time, and also personalize each one for that finishing touch." (Check out 10 Edible Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Love.)
4. Guestbook and pens: "Include something for your guests to leave their well-wishes for you upon arriving at your reception…Many brides that leave this to the last minute might make a trip to a local book store for a coffee table book that’s characteristic of the place where they’re getting married or something that is special to the couple. This could be a favorite recipe book for cocktails or a book of historic mansions in the city where your nuptials take place. Also, don’t forget the pens!" (Check out 10 Unique Wedding Guest Book Picks.)
5. Invitation suite: "This is one of my favorite details to style and have photographed on the day of the wedding! Brides should remember to pack at least one full invitation suite and any other stationery details (rehearsal dinner invites, shower invites, save-the-dates) that were mailed out during the engagement to bring with them in the bridal prep suite the day of the wedding. If you have beautiful calligraphy and/or special envelope liners, bring more than one set — I always recommend two sets — so that your photographer can shoot the front and back of the invitation in the same frame."
6. Cake knife and toasting flutes: "You may receive these as a gift at your shower, opt to purchase your special set on your own, or use ones that have been handed down to you by parents or family members. When packing up your items to be placed at the reception, be sure to remember to pack your cake knife and toasting flutes (and keep the original packaging to avoid breakage) so that this detail will not be overlooked. Once this item is off your to-do list, you can focus on other things to pack — like your trousseau for the honeymoon!"
7. Tech chargers: "When it comes time to get ready in your bridal suite on the day of the wedding, have your electronics charged and ready to go! If you’re planning on using your iPod for any part of the reception music (i.e. your favorite recording of the first dance you and your groom will sway to), make sure you have the right charger and the correct connection to your band’s or DJ’s sound system. Also, keep your phone charged overnight. You’ll want to have it ready to go as soon as you leave for the honeymoon."
Photo Credit: Ashley Mauldin Photography
8. Passport and identification: "Speaking of the honeymoon, be sure your passport and driver’s license are up to date and packed safely in your carry-on luggage. Airport security will not let you get on the plane with expired identification, so be sure you have taken care of this detail one month before your wedding."
After the Wedding
9. Thank-you notes: "It's easy to let things fall by the wayside in the aftermath of your big day as the dust begins to settle, but your thank-you notes to your guests should be sent out no later than two months after your big day. Carve out fifteen minutes each day to dedicate to writing these notes, so that you don't get overwhelmed...Also, don't forget the important people in your life, including your parents, family members, and bridal party that were there with you through the planning from the beginning.
Photo Credit: Angel Canary Photography Inc.
10. Online reviews: "The people that have worked so hard to make your wedding day dreams come to fruition are often forgotten once the big day has passed. The best thank-you you can give your vendors is an honest review online and an email follow up. That is the only way that your vendors can continue to improve the level of service they provide to future brides, so your feedback is very important! Plan to carve out time to review your vendors within six months of the big day."
Tell us: Newlyweds, what did you forget to do before the wedding?