What you should do within the month before your wedding

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Hey Fam! Welcome! Spring is about to finish, summer is about to start, so you know what that means right? Wedding season is around the corner and I can just feel the romance in the air…

“CAN YOU FEEL IT? CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE?

NOTHING FEELS BETTER THAN FEELING THE LOVE…”

I couldn’t resist… as I was writing, the lyrics of this catchy, silly song just poured out of me. It took me a minute to remember where and when I first heard this song. Let’s see who can remember this song as well without researching it? Comment below and let me know.

Seriously though, I love weddings, what it stands for and the excuse to get dolled up. I have been a guest, I have been a flower girl, I have been bridesmaid more than once and I have planned my own wedding.  So I think I can dish out some advice on what you need to put in place in a month or less before saying ‘I do’. From my experiences these steps will make your wedding an overall success. So here are some last minute things that you can do to ensure your wedding day is drama free and the centre of attention is cementing you and your beau’s relationship as husband and wife.

Picturesque moment of a Bridal Party standing outside a gazebo at the Hope Botanical Gardens, St. Andrew Jamaica

Picturesque moment of the Bridal Party standing outside a gazebo at the Hope Botanical Gardens, St. Andrew Jamaica

In the month before the big day each person in the bridal party needs to get at least one fitting done. To each fitting, wear the shoes and undergarments or something similar to what you will be wearing on the day of the wedding. This is to ensure that there will be no surprises regarding your wedding attire on the special day. It also ensures that everyone feels confident and that the bridal party is not fidgety in their attire because it doesn’t fit, it’s uncomfortable or they are self conscious. After all the entire party will be on display for the duration of the day; so get as close to perfection as possible.

Have a pre-wedding day and a wedding day schedule so that everything, as much as possible, goes according to plan. Since you only have one shot at this event I advise you to plan well. Having everything listed out according to its time will allow you to be able to work out the logistics for those tasks that are not flowing well into other tasks, move things around and solidify the tasks that are sorted out. Transportation is a key element that supports your schedule so organize how family and the wedding party will be getting around on the day.

Photo courtesy of pexel.com

Photo courtesy of pexel.com

The pre-wedding schedule may include, picking up the bouquets, tuxedos or gowns,  doing manicures and pedicures, and whatever else needs to unavoidably get done on the day before the wedding.

For the wedding day, schedule from the moment you wake up to when the groom’s and bride’s parties should be arriving at their destinations to get dressed, to when the make-up artist, hair stylist, photographer etc. needs to arrive, to the start of the wedding, to the symbolic couple’s ceremony, to the end of the wedding and so on. You get the picture.

Do this with one or two persons who are meticulous in nature as they may be able to see overlooked items. Use your wedding program(draft or final) to help with scheduling as well. Once the schedule is finalized ensure that you inform the persons driving as soon as possible as they may have different arrangements than what you have in mind and share the schedule with the wedding party and family.

View of guests at a wedding Captured by Hasini Bryan

View of Guests at my Wedding
Captured by Hasini Bryan

Try to finalize who will be attending your special day a month before you tie the knot, and please don’t forget to include the photographer, videographer and DJ on your final guest list. They also should be treated as guests because at some point they need to sit around a table and get some food in their system as well; unless other arrangements were made.

This is the list you will give to certain vendors who are interested in the name and number of persons attending your wedding. Be as strict as possible with the final tally of guests. This could potentially save you money as you will not have to pay for favours, seating, decorations and food for persons not attending or who failed to confirm their presence. Delegate this responsibility to someone in your wedding party or a family member.

Guests at reception with photobooth in the background Captured by Hasini Bryan

Guests at reception with photobooth in the background
Captured by Hasini Bryan

Now that you know who is coming, work out accommodation for those who need it. This can be easily handled by a family member. Just make the family member assisting aware of your position, whether you will be helping to find your guests accommodations or whether you expected the guests to find their own. I have often witnessed confusion about this. Out-of-town guests attending sometimes assume that the couple will automatically arrange accommodation for them because they live far away and the couple chose to invite them. On the other hand the couple assumes that since guests rsvp’d they already worked out their temporary living arrangements. Ensure the family member contacts all out-of town guests who rsvp’d to avoid any confusion.

With the final guest list also work on seating arrangements. Allowing guests to chose where to sit at the wedding ceremony is usually ok as there is not a lot of talking and mingling happening at this time but allowing guests to choose at the reception may create some friction. Some guests may not be familiar with anyone at your wedding and if allowed to choose may end up sitting at a table or beside a person that is the wrong fit for their personality and be uncomfortable for the rest of the night. Help your guests out and ensure that they are aesthetically arranged and placed next to someone they can be relatively comfortable around. Don’t worry if someone shows up at your ceremony or reception unexpectedly, your overseer can handle it. I describe the role of an overseer and why you should have one next…

Designate someone who is very close to you, who is not in the wedding party and who knows you very well to be your overseer for the wedding day even if you have a wedding planner. This is to ensure that if anything goes wrong that person will be able to handle the matter. Give this person the wedding day schedule, seating arrangement, a contact list of all the key persons in the wedding and all the vendors. Go through a final checklist of the items that you should have paid for with your overseer, and give him/her a copy of all receipts. Designate the overseer to also handle payments for those people who require payment on the day of the wedding, such as your make-up artist and hair stylist. As best as possible no one should be coming to you on your wedding day about any stressful matters.

Courtesy of pexel.com

Courtesy of pexel.com

Captured by Hasini Bryan

Captured by Hasini Bryan

Finalize the wedding ceremony and the reception program after confirming the guests attending your wedding. Give a copy to the overseer, the pastor or wedding officiant, the ushers, the wedding ceremony musicians, the Master/Mistress of Ceremonies for the reception, the reception DJ, the photographer and videographer with special notes and instructions relating to each role. This is to ensure that there is no confusion as to what is expected of each person on the wedding day and they know what key items on the program relate to their role.

Ensure that every guest has something to eat, especially those with special dietary needs. Find out from the hotel or the caterers if they can prepare certain food options. Then contact the relevant guests you are aware of as well as the ones you are unsure about with the available options. Please do not assume you know. I personally contacted my unique guests via email. The hotel was able to fulfill my unique requests because I gave them enough time. A month before the wedding should be sufficient and convenient for both you and the caterer or hotel because you only want to make special arrangements for those who have rsvp’d.

Examples of persons with a special diet include vegetarians, vegans, carnivores and persons with gluten sensitivity or intolerance as well as other food allergies. Some diets may even be religiously or spiritually motivated, for example some persons may not eat pork. Of course you may not be able to accommodate everyone but your guests will know that you at least made the effort and will be a lot more understanding if something goes wrong on the big day.

These persons are your loved ones that you took the time to invite. The last thing you would want is to send any of your guests to the emergency room or leave your guests ‘hangry’ on your wedding day. Think of your guests, show them that you care and double check their special needs before it gets too late and the caterers cannot adjust.

Captured by Mishannie

Captured by Mishannie

Captured by Hasini Bryan

Captured by Hasini Bryan

Please make time during the last month before your wedding to test out your make-up and hair. This will ensure that the persons you are hiring are competent and you are relaxed and confident about how you will look. During this month also be consistent with your beauty treatments whether it is drinking lots of water, moisturizing your entire body, exfoliation, or hair care.

A captured moment of applying foundation to the bride Captured by Hasini Bryan

A captured moment of the mak-up artist applying foundation 
Captured by Hasini Bryan

Do not do any new beauty treatments in the week of the wedding. Give yourself a couple of weeks to test out how your body will react to certain treatments like getting your face and body waxed, bleaching/colouring your hair, applying a weave or wearing false lashes.

A captured moment of the bride inspecting the finished product Capture by Hasini Bryan

Inspecting the finished product
Captured by Hasini Bryan

However the best beauty tip I can give you is to remain healthy and calm. No matter what beauty treatments you do if your stress level gets too high your body may spaz out on you. Stress gave me mini breakouts, so please do not repeat my mistake and do whatever you need to do to maintain the right kind of adrenaline levels throughout the last few weeks leading up to your big day.

An intimate moment between man and wife, symbolized by a kiss Captured by Hasini Bryan

An intimate moment between man and wife, symbolized by a kiss
Captured by Hasini Bryan

Another tip is to make an emergency wedding kit that will keep you beautiful and feeling fabulous on your wedding day. The kit should include extra money, travel size items such as: spray on deodorant, water, face powder and oil blotting sheets. It can also contain listerine pocket packs, hair pins, safety pins, bobby pins, a fan and whatever else you may need during your ceremony. The kit I used on my wedding day was especially helpful to me; I slipped one of the listerine pocket pack strips under my tongue right before I walked up the aisle and it slowly dissolved in my mouth. It was small enough to not cause any impediments and the moment that we kissed my mouth was minty fresh,I can still remember it now.  I was also able to freshen up after the ceremony on my way to take wedding pictures.

 
Captured by Hasini Bryan

Captured by Hasini Bryan

Write your thank you speech at least one week before the wedding. This is the part of the reception where the married couple gives their response and it should be heart felt and concise. This was a regret of Bibi and I as we waited until the day of the wedding to start writing it and we thought we could get it done with great ease. Don’t get me wrong it was not a complete disaster, we got through it. The first part was actually great because that was the part we managed to write, the rest of it well…let’s just say that whenever I renew my vows I will not make this mistake again.

 

Ensure that you do all your wedding night and honeymoon packing during this month as well, include some of the lingerie or sex toys that you may have received as gifts from the bachelorette or bachelor party. Doing this ensures that your mind does not wander on the wedding day about what needs to be done after the reception and eliminates rushing through items on the program so that you can go home to pack, especially when you leave for the honeymoon immediately following the reception.

On the wedding night clothes should not really be a factor but pack something fashionable and sexy for the morning after. For the honeymoon put together and pack your sexiest outfits appropriate for the location that you are going to.

Captured by Mishannie

Captured by Mishannie

Do not forget essential items like hair combs, clips, brushes and tools. Some of these items may have been used while getting dressed on the wedding day so ensure that they are transferred from that location to where you will spend the wedding night. Some other essential items may include sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, bugspray, painkillers, anithistamines and multivitamins. Try not to overpack.

These tips are by no means exhaustive but I feel they are integral to the smooth progression of your wedding day. Remember that you cannot plan everything so if something unexpected happens, chances are it will not be that important as the plan you have organized from the tips above would have staved off any major issues, so just simply laugh it off and get on with the day. Please share this post with someone getting married soon, you may just be saving their big day.

Captured by Katrina Latije

Captured by Katrina Latije

The wedding day is very special and it is not about creating a fantasy but creating a profound symbolic reality of the start of a journey between man and wife. This day if done in partnership with careful thought, organization, love and creativity, sets a solid precedence for the rest of the marriage. Thanks for stopping by, see you in the next post.

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