It’s easy to feel overwhelmed the closer you get to your day. Keep calm and marry on with this common-sense checklist for the last month before “I do.”
4 weeks out
Send rehearsal-dinner invites You want to give your VIPs plenty of notice so they can clear their schedules.
Write vows Allow yourself the time to write from the heart. Things will only get busier from here, and your ceremony isn’t the moment to speak on the fly.
Deliver playlists A band may need to learn your first-dance songs and any special requests. While you’re at it, share any do-no-tor must-play songs with your DJ.
Buy attendant and parent gifts It’s not a must, but giving your supporting cast a token of appreciation is always a good move.
3 weeks out
Nail down ceremony Discuss the details of the service with your officiant. Also, make sure the people doing readings have a copy of the text so they can practice.
Buy (or make) guest book Don’t forget to pick up pens, too. (We love the color options from Marvy Uchida LePen.)
Contact outstanding R.S.V.P. s Phone or e-mail invitees who missed the deadline; you’ll need this info to pass on to your caterer and to devise a seating chart for the reception.
Apply for marriage license State laws differ, but typically a license is valid for at least 30 days; check usmarriagelaws.com to find the requirement for yours.
Prepare a day-of shot list Be sure to ID who’s who in your families and the wedding party so your photographer and videographer know whom to capture.
Finalize day-of printed pieces Print ceremony programs, escort and place cards, menus, signaturedrink signs, and the like (or commission someone else to do it).
2 weeks out
Create seating chart Make life easier by managing seating assignments online; try allseated.com.
Put together welcome bags Care packages for out-of-town guests can be simple or elaborate. Be sure to include a schedule of events.
Make favors Get them ready now unless you’re giving edibles; those should wait until a day or two before the wedding.
Attend final dress fitting Think of this as a dress rehearsal, and bring along your veil, accessories, shoes, and day-of undergarments.
Break-in shoes Practice wearing your kicks around the house for a few hours at a time.
Get hair cut and colored Book this early enough that your hair can settle into its new shape, but not so early that roots have time to grow out.
1 week out
Pick up your dress Keep it on a padded hanger in a breathable muslin garment bag.
Pick up wedding bands And then promptly hand them off to your best man for safekeeping.
Get a spray tan If you need some extra color, do this 48 hours before donning your dress to avoid stains. (We also suggest a test run a month ahead.)
Confirm day-of timeline with vendors And provide directions to any transportation you’ve booked.
Give final head count to caterer Caterers have their own guidelines, but most will need the exact number about three days out.
Drop off welcome bags Leave them with the hotel’s concierge. There may be a fee (around $7 per bag) to deliver them to guests’ rooms; you might avoid the charge if desk clerks hand them out as guests check in.
Gather all extras for your venue Give your coordinator any favors, place cards, cake servers, toasting glasses, and whatever else has been in your charge up to now.
the day before!
Assign someone to collect gifts/cards Designating a point person before your wedding means no present will be left behind.
Give itineraries to wedding party This extra step is well worth it to ensure everyone is where they need to be at the right time.
Go for a mani-pedi It’s a smart idea to buy the polishes, too, for any last-minute fixes.
Pack wedding-night bag And ask a friend or attendant to make sure it gets to the right place.
Prepare tips for vendors Check contracts to see if gratuities are included; if not, place each tip in a marked envelope, and enlist your MOH or best man to deliver them. (For more on tipping, visit marthastewart weddings.com/tippingwedding-vendors.)
Get your beauty sleep A well-rested bride is a beautiful and happy bride.