No matter how ultra-prepared you may have been for the year or so until now you’ve been planning your wedding (you’re the queen of spreadsheets and everyone knows it), in our experience there are always just a handful of tasks brides and grooms are always leaving until the last minute. Avoid eleventh-hour stress by tackling this wedmin checklist at least a few weeks before, so you can enjoy your final exciting weeks!
Cue it Up
This is the time to really go through your timeline with a fine tooth comb and make sure you have every key timing covered and that everyone knows what their signals will be. From asking one of your bridesmaids to text the venue manager when you are pulling up in the car, to knowing what the cues will be for speeches and who is introducing who, asking someone to coordinate the confetti moment, and more. People will always need a bit of shepherding, so make sure you delegate to the right people to make sure everything runs smoothly and without awkward silences where no one knows what they are meant to be doing next!
Get the Digits
Now this is something that we usually handle on a couple’s behalf, but if you don’t have a planner or a super-organised, Monica Gellar-Bing-esque maid of honour to delegate to on the day, make sure everyone has all the important numbers for on the day. That includes all your suppliers having contact numbers for the venue, the venue having contact numbers for one of your bridesmaids (see aforementioned ‘signal system’!), and your bridal party all having each other’s numbers.
Don’t forget to keep a note of your transport companies too, a number for the drivers you have booked to get you and your bridal party from your prep location to the ceremony. Plus a local cab company number - just in case!
Don’t forget to update your caterer with the final headcount - inevitably people change their plans last minute, and you end up adding new guests on (cousin Pete can make it after all, brilliant), taking some guests off (a uni pals ill-timed skiing injury, well done Katy) and new allergies/intolerances suddenly crop up. Make sure you give your caterer the final numbers and seating chart at least a few weeks before as not only will they need to order the right amounts, but it will also affect your final bill.
On the Day Stationery
We’d hope by the two week mark you’d have sorted out the majority of your on-the-day stationery like table numbers, place cards and a table plan (though we’ve learned never to assume anything) but little things like guest books, pens, menus, orders of service - some of these bits get forgotten until the last minute.
It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of your wedding invitations for your photographer to shoot it. You spent a lot of time, energy and budget on those invites, it’s nice to get a few professional shots of it along with everything else!
Getting Your Shots In
Make a list of must-have shots to give to your photographer - that includes groups you want photographed, details you want captured, key moments you have lined up. If you have a surprise musical performance planned or an outfit change mid-evening - let your photographer know otherwise she might miss it!
Always make sure you let your photographer and videographer know about any possible awkward family situations - any divorced parents, new partners, siblings who aren’t speaking, etc. We’ve heard many a horror story about parents who have kicked off because the photographer asked them to pose with an ex, and put a damper on the whole afternoon!
One thing that couples always forget to do is have a few playlists lined up for background music. Whether it’s for the time pre-ceremony as guests file in and take their seats, during dinner or in between band sets, have a few playlists up your sleeve and ensure you have designated someone to be in charge of cuing it up.
Oh yeah, that holiday you’ve got planned as a reward for all your hard work getting married! You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget about prep for your honeymoon as you enter the final weeks of wedding prep. Start packing a bag, order your currency and buy your travel insurance!
A Little Thank You
Some couples choose to buy gifts for parents and bridal party members to hand out during the speeches or on the morning of the wedding. Make sure you order anything in good time, especially if you want to ask your florist to add on a few bouquets for mums. Oh darling you shouldn’t have!
Even if you’ve registered for gifts, rest assured there will always be a few rebel guests who wrap something up as a little surprise to leave on the gift table (spoiler alert, it’s usually champagne or a photo frame). Ask your venue ahead of time whether there is anywhere you can leave important items overnight, or until the Monday. If not, ask a friend or family member to take things with them at the end of the night.
Don’t forget about any decor you have at the location too - don’t assume your venue will keep everything just in case, let them know what they can throw away and what you’ll be coming back for later.
Most importantly, if you’re getting legally wed on the day, don’t lose that marriage certificate! You would be shocked at how many couples come thisclose to the it ending up in a bin bag at the end of the night along with paper rubbish because they didn’t ask someone to look after it. Nightmare!
Photo credits: Christopher Ian Photography, Maryanne Weddings and Ben Moore Wedding Photography