There are a million and one things to plan when it comes to a wedding. So is it any surprise that one or two or even twenty-five wedding details might fall through the cracks? “Planning a wedding — whether big or small — can be extremely overwhelming, especially when juggling full-time job,” explains Meaghan Hurn, owner of Hurn Events Management.
“Planning a wedding is essentially a full time job! There are so many details and so many people, vendors and logistics that have to be managed, so it’s not hard to believe that sometimes a detail here and there gets overlooked.”
Here, expert wedding planners at Hurn Events Managements break down the top things you forget when planning a wedding. With any luck, this list will save you from forgetting these details, too!
The morning of your wedding will be a whirlwind of events. Make sure you and your Wedding Party has something to eat before the festivities start. Something light like salads or sandwiches will help keep everyone fueled throughout the day!
You’re going to need the following Timelines:
-Wedding Party Getting Ready Timeline
-Vendor Setup Timeline
-Décor Setup Timeline
3. Gifts for your Wedding Party and Parents
Little Thank You Gifts will add up if you wait until the last minute. Make sure you purchasing gifts as soon as possible.
4. Photo Shot List
This is an important detail. Take the time to pick out your MUST-HAVE photos from your big day. You’ll be busy with everything going on and everyone wanting a photo. Practicing smiling now, your face will hurt. This list keeps your photographer on task and tells them what shots are important to you.
5. Music list for DJ (Do NOT play list)
You’ve spent hours deciding your Ceremony Music, Reception Songs and decided on important songs for your First Dance and Processional, but don’t forget the OTHER important list. Your DO-NOT PLAY LIST! Everyone has songs they hate, make sure they don’t accidentally show up at your reception. Talking with your DJ will help you build more onto your list. Make sure you find a good one!
6. Wedding Party Accessories
Another often over-looked item is purchasing accessories for your Wedding Party and yourself! Make sure once you purchase them, that you also put these on your Day-Of Checklist, so you don’t accidentally leave them at home!
7. Rent/Buy Your Linens
Whether you’re looking for chair covers, sequin table runners, or chair sashes make sure you find a good linen rental business or purchase your linens. Remember when ordering to allow for extra shipping time.
8. Catering Head-Count
Make your life and your caterers lives easier, make sure you follow up on all the RSVP’s! Yes, it’s a pain, and YES, I wish people would just RSVP and be helpful but it just doesn’t happen. Get an accurate count of guests, kids, don’t forget to add yourself to that number and your VENDORS! You’re required to feed the people making your big day happen, don’t forget to account for it!
9. Wedding Day Emergency Kit
Be Prepared for ANYTHING! It’s a Wedding, so something will go wrong and you will not be running on time. Just go with the flow. Make sure you have your kit handy throughout the whole weekend. On my own wedding weekend I spent one night dying a Bridesmaids Dress because it arrived in the wrong color!
Your wedding should be an event to remember. You’ve planned every minute of your big day and like any production, you need to remember to plan your lighting. Lighting is a great way to create a mood and can enhance your theme. There are many lighting options from which you can choose, from fun and exciting to elegant and formal.
11. Tipping Vendors
Though tipping at weddings has become more of a custom in all service areas, it isn’t mandatory or even expected by most wedding pros. With the exception of the catering staff, tips are considered a nice surprise by almost all vendors.
If you don’t have the money to shell out thousands more on tips, there are a few gestures that will go a long way with your team of wedding pros. Send an email with a review, a handwritten thank-you note or a review on Google are great ways to show appreciation and offer something the vendor can use when booking future clients. Even better, refer your vendors to your friends — this gesture will go much further than a cash tip!
While providing transportation for your wedding guests isn’t a necessity, it’s a thoughtful addition that will make their evening a little bit easier. Instead of worrying about driving time, parking, and having a designated driver to get them home at the end of the night, they’ll be able to follow your schedule, will arrive exactly when you want them to, and will be able to enjoy the evening without worrying about how they’ll be getting home.
Are you required to have Welcome Bags? No.
Is it a thoughtful way to show appreciation to the people who have traveled far to celebrate your day? Totally!
Don’t forget to print off signs to help people find their way, welcome them to your venue, direct them to the areas they should be in. You’ll want Table Numbers and Menus as well. Make these easy decisions and make sure your coordinator has them to put up for you!
15. Day-Of Coordinator or Planner
Naturally, I’m going to caution you to get a coordinator for the day of your wedding. Even if you don’t book with us. I hear from so many couples how unhappy they were relying on family to put their day together.
Most of the time, those family members get worked to the bone and don’t get to enjoy the day. I had a bride tell me that her mom took care of everything and she didn’t get to see her at all throughout the day. The mom? She was busy working the wedding and missed all the big ceremonies throughout the day. Both we upset and wished they had hired a coordinator for the day of. Coordinators & Planners come with a team of professionals who can make magic happen.
Let them do the dirty work.
If you still don’t get a coordinator for the day make sure you assign people to tasks. Most importantly, make sure you have someone (if not your planner) appointed to return all your items: Tuxedos, Linens, Decor, etc.
Tell everyone who that person is, so everyone knows who is doing what and your Groomsmen know who to give their Tuxedos to!
17. Marriage License
Make sure you’ve gotten your Marriage License 60 days BEFORE your wedding. Give yourself plenty of time, in case you run into any complications. Additionally, put this on your Day-Of Checklist so you remember to bring it with you!
If you’ve hired a planner, this is something they can do for you.
The easiest place to get your marriage license is the county clerk’s office or the court clerk in the state where you are getting married. It’s a good idea to go to the local county clerk in the city where you are getting married.
18. Wedding Rings
Picking out your wedding bands can take several months to complete, depending on budget, if you need to resize it, or if you’re having them customized. Make sure to look into this early on. Additionally, once you’ve assigned this to your Best Man, make sure he has them and remind them the day of as well.
19. Honeymoon (packing, tickets, booking, passports)
If you’re leaving shortly after your wedding day (2-3 days afterwards), then it’s best to pack beforehand. You’ll still be busy the following days. Get your passport early and the sooner you book that trip, the cheaper it will be.
Not sure where to go?
Take this quiz!
20. Wedding Vows
This is the Number 1 thing on the huge list of planning your wedding that couples put off until the last minute. I think it’s because it seems like such a daunting task. Follow these 10 Tips for How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows.
A nice extra step is to write them in a Vow Book so that you aren’t up there in your gorgeous gown holding a piece of paper. Plus they make the perfect keepsake!
21. Pet Sitter
Remember all your family pets on your wedding day! You’ll be busy with everything that is going on, and most of the people who could help you will be at your wedding, so hire someone reliable to feed/water/ and take your pets out to the bathroom while you’re celebrating your wedding day!
Find a Pet Sitter Near You!
22. Escort Cards & Seating Chart
This is often debated topic is another that gets over-looked, and I think it’s because people just don’t want to do it. I hear this one a lot, “They’re all adults, let them figure it out.” Nothing could be more disrespectful and flippant to the people coming to celebrate your day. Take the time to assign tables for families and friends so that your guests and their dates or families attending together all have seats together and don’t get stuck being spread out. It’s comforting to your guests to know that they have a space reserved for them instead of hoping to find seats together.
Pro-Tip: When placing your Escort Cards out, make sure they’re in alphabetical order so that the flow is easy and fast.
23. Guest Book
Put this on your Day-Of Checklist so you don’t forget to bring it! There are so many ways to choose your Wedding Guest Book. The popular one still is having a Photo-booth at your wedding and having their photos be your guest book. Pictured above is another creative idea (just make sure to provide wipes!). Regardless what you choose, just remember to bring it with you on your wedding day.
You don’t have to break the bank to provide awesome and unique gifts. Sometimes something as simple as handmade artisan soap is a great way to give back. You support a small business and your guests get something amazing and organic.
Choose something that showcases you as a couple or that goes along with your theme!
25. Grand Exit
Not everyone has a Grand Exit, and that’s totally normal! Think about it, it’s the end of the day, usually late in the evening, your photographer might not even be booked for that late and the guests that are still there are most likely a little passed tipsy.
If you’re still determined to have one, make sure you check with your venue first. A lot of them no longer allow Sparklers, Fireworks, Rose Petals(fake or real), Confetti or Rice/Bird Seeds. So you’ll have to get creative. Pro Tip: Glow-sticks!!