10 Must-Haves for a Smooth Wedding Day
Want to ensure your wedding day goes smoothly? Don’t miss this advice on how to best prepare for a fun and stress-free wedding day.
Throughout your engagement season, we know you have been carefully researching, curating, and planning every aspect of your wedding day. As your celebration nears, you’re likely feeling a complete mixture of emotions – elation that your soiree is almost here and a little trepidation that you have perhaps forgotten to cross something off of your list.
During these final weeks and days before your wedding day, our goal is for you to be able to focus on feeling pure excitement that your celebration has finally arrived. So, we thought we would create a list of 10 things you can do in order to ensure your wedding day goes smoothly, you’re stress-free (or as stress-free as possible!), and you’re able to stay totally present with your love and your guests.
1. Wedding Insurance
Wedding insurance is something you can purchase well in advance of your wedding day. In fact, some couples opt to purchase it right after they celebrate their engagement. Insurance has a few facets to it, but the two most common are cancellation/postponement insurance and liability insurance.
The first helps to protect you from your vendors (and vice versa) should you need to cancel your wedding day due to an Act of God (illness, weather, deployment). The second type of coverage, liability insurance, is most often required by venues because it protects you (and them) from any damage or injury that may occur while you, your love, and your guests are celebrating at your venue’s property.
The cost of wedding insurance is typically not very high in most cases, and the peace of mind it provides is 100% worth it! Learn about other important types of insurance here.
2. Confirmed Vendor Contracts
We’re certain you will be excited to receive and sign contracts from all of your wedding professionals. Before you sign your name, make sure to read each contract carefully. You’ll want to make sure your name(s), wedding date, and venue are correctly noted. You will also want to note that the correct package is printed (hours and price). Once you sign your contract, it’s viewed as a legal document, so if something isn’t correct that may become an issue later on.
Once you’ve deemed everything correct and signed, hold onto your contracts! You will want to make sure you or your wedding coordinator has them on hand throughout your wedding day to reference in case any questions about agreed upon services arise.
3. DIY Projects Completed in Advance
If you’re trying to remain stress-free on your wedding day, one of the things you can do is make sure you complete the majority of your DIY projects in advance. Few things are worse than spending the night before your wedding day knee-deep in projects that need to be completed prior to your wedding day.
Instead of becoming one with your glue gun, opt to wrap things up a week prior (if possible!) or ensure you have built in plenty of time to finish your details, relax with family and friends, and rest before your celebration.
4. A Ceremony Rehearsal
No matter if you, your partner, and your wedding party have been in or attended weddings in the past, it’s helpful to set aside 30-60 minutes the afternoon or night before your wedding day to rehearse your wedding ceremony. Many ceremony spaces and venues include wedding rehearsals in your package, so you won’t need to build in an additional fee.
During this time, your officiant will walk everyone through your wedding ceremony, from how to walk down the aisle and where to stand to what to do while the ceremony is underway and how to recess back down the aisle once. Everyone likes to feel like they’re in the know, especially when all eyes will be on them, and a rehearsal will allow your group’s nerves to be quelled.
5. A Wedding Photo List
A little bit of organization goes a long way in groups to get photos! Inform all family members who you would like to appear in photos in advance of your wedding day. You’ll want to let them know what time and where the photos will take place, so they can be ready.
Then consider working with your photographer to create a list of wedding photos you would like captured. If you complete both steps, your family members will jump in and out of photos quickly so everyone can continue on to the ceremony (if you do photos prior to reciting your vows) or cocktail hour (if photos happen post-ceremony).
6. A Day of Wedding Coordinator
If you want to be present on your wedding day because you’re not the main point of contact (among other things), you may want to consider hiring a day of wedding coordinator.
During the weeks leading up to your wedding day, your coordinator will review your contracts, get and stay in touch with all of your vendors, create your wedding day timeline, organize your details, and run your wedding day from start to finish. In our opinion, the relief you will feel that someone other than you is in charge is worth the cost!
7. A Thorough Wedding Day Timeline
Whether you choose to work with a day of wedding coordinator or not, one of the key things you will want to do is follow a wedding day timeline. Your timeline should note the timing and order that hair and makeup will follow, what time your partner and his or her group should start getting ready when your first look will occur, the details about your ceremony, and everything that will happen during your reception.
Think of a wedding day timeline like a playbook for a big game – it spells out the key players and when every moment will happen! You’ll need timelines for your wedding party as well as your wedding vendors and any other VIPs such as immediate family members or those involved in the ceremony or giving toasts!
8. A First Look
A first look is when both partners agree to see each other prior to their ceremony. And we can assure you it does not take away from any of the emotions that will be seen and felt during the ceremony! Instead, a first look only adds to the day. Plus, this moment allows you and your love to squelch any nerves either of you may feel because your first look will only be shared between both of you and your photographer.
Another great perk is your photographer will often capture your couple’s portraits right after your first look, which means you will likely be able to attend and enjoy your cocktail hour. Make sure to include time for a first look in your wedding photo shot list and day-of timeline!
9. Make Sure to Eat (& Drink Water!)
As you plan ahead for how you will spend your time leading up to your ceremony, make sure both breakfast and lunch are part of your plans for you, your partner, and your entire wedding party. You may even find it helpful to pack some snacks in your wedding day emergency kit– a protein bar can be clutch if you’re hangry.
It’s a big day with lots of big moments, and allow us to be among the many to remind you that there is a lot of time in between when you wake up and when you will enjoy dinner during your reception! While we’re on the topic, make sure to eat dinner during your reception too. Not only have you carefully chosen your menu, but it’s also important to stay fueled for dancing and to counterbalance any cocktails you’re enjoying. P.S. – Hydration is important, so make sure you’re drinking water periodically, friends!
10. A Trusted Love One to Transport Cards & Gifts
Guests will arrive at your wedding with cards and gifts in hand, and they will most likely drop them off at a gift table at your reception. That’s a wonderful first step! After the cards and gifts have been dropped off, they will need to be transported back to your hotel room or home.
So, appoint a trusted family member or friend to take on this task (if you’re not working with a wedding coordinator). We highly recommend choosing someone who will either not be planning to drink or will drink very little during your reception – a clear mind is key to completing this to-do well!
What steps are you taking to make sure you’re able to be present on your wedding day? Is there anything else you would add to our list? Let’s keep the conversation going in our community!