Your wedding is just a few weeks away. Woohoo! The final count down has begun!
You have come such a long way from picking your dream venue and hiring your team of vendors, to now tying up all of the loose ends. The last few weeks, there are so many details to finalize, so where do you begin?
We have put together a list of final wedding planning tips to save you the hassle and stress of forgetting the little details as the clock winds down on your wedding.
Final Wedding Planning Tips
You should have a pretty good idea of your final guest count around a month prior to your wedding. You will need to report your final guest count by the required deadline to your caterer, venue & Coordinator. We highly suggest locking this in as close to a month out as possible, because the number of tables needed will affect your floral and rental orders. Your centerpieces and rental counts will need to be updated accordingly.
Getting the best photos requires scheduling and strategy. Here are a few things to prepare:
- Provide a “must have” family photo list to your photographer with specific family member names to make the process go quick and smooth. This allows your photographers assistant or someone else to help gather family members, while your primary photographer quickly moves through the photo list.
- Have your special items ready day-of to pass off to your photographer (invitation suite, rings, shoes, perfume bottle, and any special momentos such as your grandmother’s necklace, etc.). These should be ready to go as soon as your photographer arrives onsite day-of.
You will most likely have a final detail meeting with your DJ during this time to ensure they are up to date on all your specific song selections. Make sure to provide them with a ‘do not play’ list to avoid any awkward moments. Also, this is a great time to talk about whether or not you are okay with them taking requests from your guests. And if there’s anyone who is not allowed on the microphone 😉
BRUNCH/LUNCH FOR YOUR WEDDING PARTY
Wedding days can be super busy, so it is very easy to forget to eat! We don’t want any hangry bridesmaids 😉 To avoid this we suggest that you arrange breakfast/lunch/snacks for the bridesmaids and groomsmen for your wedding day. You can have these items delivered or designate a family member or friend to pick them up. Either way, we recommend setting this up in advance, so it’s not something that gets forgotten on the day of your wedding.
We are happy to incorporate the little decor items that you’ve gathered that make your wedding special and unique to you as a couple. We will handle distributing these items for you on the day of your wedding, and here are a few tips for ensuring it all goes smoothly:
- Make sure to tell your Coordinator about ALL of these items before the wedding, so we can prepare accordingly.
- Have all stickers taken off, all seals broken on boxes, plastic wrappers taken off, etc. to expedite the set up process.
- Any items you would like your Wedding Coordinator to put out, if it isn’t totally obvious, label where you would like each item to be displayed.
- Organize place cards (if you’re doing assigned tables) in alphabetical order if they are going on a display table OR in order of how they should be set out on the tables (if doing assigned seats). Bonus points for having them in bags labeled with the table number!
THE LITTLE THINGS
On the topic of personal decorations, here is a list of things you may need to gather or purchase:
- Ring pillow or box
- Flower girl basket
- Cake cutting set
- Champagne flutes for the couple
- Box or basket for cards
- Frames for engagement photos to be displayed
- Signage- bar menu, table numbers, welcome sign, etc.
- Easels or stands for signage
- Dancing props
- Exit items- like glow sticks, sparklers, bubbles, etc.
Your wedding team has worked hard to ensure that your day runs smoothly and everything looks flawless. A thoughtful tip and a sweet note are the perfect way to say thank you for a job well done.
You can ask your Wedding Coordinator for a gratuity guide that outlines appropriate tipping amounts for each vendor category. Provide gratuities in labelled envelopes to your Coordinator to pass out to your vendors during the event.
This can definitely vary depending on if you are traveling into Austin for your wedding or if your local. We recommend starting your alterations around six to eight weeks before your wedding. The goal should be to have alterations finished two weeks prior to your wedding.
If you’ve booked a venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol, you’ll want to finalize your order a few weeks prior to your wedding. When purchasing the alcohol from a retail store, here are a few tips for keeping things cost conscious while also avoiding running out of alcohol:
- A good rule of thumb is two drinks per person during cocktail hour and one drink per person for every hour after that. (so for a 4 hour cocktail hour and reception, you’d expect 5 drinks per person)
- Beer- If ordering kegs, keep in mind you will need rent or provide keg taps & containers. And you may need someone to return these afterwards. If order bottles or cans, specify if you want beer served in the existing container or in a glass. (this will affect your glassware rental order)
- Wine- Do you want tableside wine service? Or will wine only be available at the bar? This will affect how much wine you order. (table side wine service requires wine glasses preset at each place setting, so keep that in mind with your glassware rental order)
- Champagne- Do you want it available at the bar and passed out for toasting? Then you will need to increase your order if you want both.
- Liquor- Do you want two specialty cocktails or a full bar? Make sure to order the necessary ingredients for the specialty cocktails.
- Don’t forget the mixers- Sodas, juices, garnishes are all needed if your caterer/bartenders don’t provide these.
We hope that these final wedding planning tips give you a manageable task list to work through over the last few weeks leading up to your event. Some of these things can be done much further in advance, so if you’re still several months out, don’t be afraid to knock out a few of these tasks early. Have fun planning!
By: Alana Harrison