It’s our final week(s)! Doesn’t that feel nice? I truly can’t believe it’s finally here.
I remember when I first got engaged having high hopes and delusional dreams of having all wedding details taken care of two weeks before the wedding so I could just relax… And the reality happened. Sometimes I have to realize I can’t control every detail, and sometimes things have to get done on other people’s timelines. And sometimes there are unexpected snags in the cloth of wedding planning… or wedding dress fittings (but that’s another story!)
I am excited to share with you our final list. And because I truly want (need!) to relax the week of my wedding – to enjoy out of town family and friends, to be present with my fiancé – I will also include a short list for things we will finish up the week of the wedding!
how to plan a wedding in 6 months flat: week 24
- finalize all paper goods: ceremony programs, dinner menus, bar menus, blank cards! finalize any details (i.e. getting the programs scored. I had lofty goals of doing this myself before some blessed friends in my Bible study told me you could pay to have it done! sometimes I think it’s truly worth a small price for sanity and peace! and best of both worlds – I found a mom and pop print shop who will score my programs (3 creases each!) for a whopping $23. cue sigh of relief.
- decide on photos to print for wedding: I feel like I have been to so many weddings that are so similar, I wanted to have as many personalized touches as possible that makes this our wedding. I love photos. I love the story they tell. I love getting to look back on a moment captured in time. And I absolutely love getting to retell our story (thus far) through photos we’ve taken.
- email wedding week itinerary: send out your finalized itinerary for week-of festivities, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and day-of timeline to all bridal party and family members. include addresses and contact info, especially that of your wedding coordinator for day-of questions!
- pay all final balances: give your final headcount to your caterer who will then give you a final balance. pay all remaining vendor balances (DJ, security, valet, bar service, videographer, etc. etc!)
- prep bridesmaids gifts: assemble/wrap bridesmaids gifts and write cards
- final DJ planning meeting: meet with DJ to review all final DJ-related details (song choices, order of events, announcements you want him to make, etc!)
- finalize music playlists: our DJ has an amazing online planning system. we are required to have all our song choices and details locked down one week out from the wedding.
- shot lists and must-take photos to photographers: compile a list of pre-ceremony photos to get, family photos to get immediately following the reception, and ideas for photos with your bridal party and also solo shots with your new hubby! include Pinterest boards or other images as inspiration for your photographers to make sure you are on the same page about your vision.
Congratulations! You did it! You made it! You survived! Kidding. I hope you found joy in this process, in the creating of a day that is a beautiful, tangible reflection of your love. One that Clay calls “a foretaste of Heaven.” Weddings truly are such a picture of what I think Heaven will look like – full of love, grace, joy, family, friends, food, drinks and dancing…
I know it can seem like the “to do” list never ends, but it does! It ends here! Just a few more final tasks to complete, and then it’s on to your wedding, on to your honeymoon, and on to your lives together as a married couple! Hopefully that thought will propel you through these final tasks! It is with bittersweet feelings (mostly sweet) that I present to you:
how to plan your wedding in 6 months flat: the final week!
- final dress fitting: so we may have had a minor dress fiasco. it involved overnighting some fabric from Canada. I am crossing my fingers it all works out. deep down I am sure it will, but these are the things that bring on the pressure for brides in the “crunch time” leading up to the wedding!
- prep groom’s gift: wrap your groomie’s gift, write him a sweet note… the planning has finally come to an end, and now you get to begin the best part – being together forever. my heart feels so at peace just at the thought of it!
- move in groom’s stuff! Clay will be moving in the rest of his stuff – mainly clothes and essentials he has needed over the past few months at his place. I’m excited to get settled, get organize and get to our lives together as a married couple… to live in the same home, to fall asleep and wake up next to each other every day… oh, have I started to ramble? you’ll have to excuse me.
- pick up wedding dress: (and pray it’s perfect!)
- get veil steamed
- vendor tips to envelopes: go ahead and put cash into envelopes for each vendor as their tip for the day of.
- wedding coordinator drop off: give all wedding goods, decor, signage, favors, tips, etc. to wedding coordinator to bring to the venue on the morning of.
- pack up all items for wedding day: dress, shoes, jewelry, veil, bridesmaids gifts, groom’s gift, etc. etc. etc. make a list and check it twice. or thrice.
- pack for the honeymoon!! need I say more? I must admit packing stresses me out at times, but the thought of being on a beach with a cocktail in one hand and my husband’s hand holding the other is maybe just the best thought in the world right now.
- relax and enjoy friends and family: drink coffee, drink cocktails, have good conversation. soak up every minute.
- enjoy your wedding day! again: drink coffee, drink cocktails, have good conversation. soak up every minute. every second. every single moment. this is the day you’ve been dreaming of your entire life. this is the day you’ve been planning for 6 months. this is the day you get to marry your best friend and live happily ever after.
Thank you all for joining me on this crazy rollercoaster of a journey. I must admit I have often not done this well. I have allowed the stress of wedding planning to get to me at times. I have even had tiny moments of bridezilla I’ve had to get in check. And quickly!
I must thank my sweet fiancé for all his help with the planning (where I allowed him!), for the back rubs, the endless encouragement, and incredible outpouring of grace. I am so grateful for the constant reminders that I was doing a great job when I felt as if I was failing, that I was enough when I felt I was coming up short, and that no matter what went wrong or what went unfinished, at the end of it all we would be making covenant vows to each other on April 23 and become husband and wife… and ultimately that’s all that really matters. Clay, I am so humbled and blessed to be marrying you. I can’t wait to be your wife, to love you and cherish you for the rest of my days. I choose you, only you, and always you, my Rock.
And to all you brides out there, I join in your joy of this long-awaited, much-anticipated day. In the midst of hard days in the thick of the chaos of wedding planning/balancing/crisis-managing, remember to pause and look into the eyes of the man you love. It will help you to remember exactly why you are doing this. It will help bring everything into perspective. And it will make every difficult moment all the more manageable. Best of luck to each of you. I hope this guide has/is/will be a great help to you. And I truly wish you a lifetime of happiness with your new husband!
“Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby. So glad we got the real thing…” – Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing