Rainfall is more likely in the second quarter of the year. In October, you have the winds, not to mention the fires. So, first, set a date that you believe will work well, but also have a backup plan. What is your contingency plan if you want an outdoor wedding ceremony and/or reception? Check with the venue of your choice. If they have one, that’s great, but if they don’t and the rain or wind bothers you, you might consider getting one.
2. Your Marriage License
Everyone remembers this in the lead-up to the wedding, but they sometimes forget to include it on the wedding day. Your marriage is not complete unless it is signed by the witnesses and clergy member you designated. Bring it, and make it a priority that you, your new spouse, witnesses, and clergy member sign it right after the ceremony after the guests have left the ceremony area, so you can get on with your photo session and reception.
3. Reserved Seating & Additional Ceremony Seating
It’s always a good idea to include seating in your ceremony rather than cramming everyone in. Allow them some space because no one wants to feel pressed or too intimate with strangers from the time they sit down until your ceremony concludes. Having about 20 extra chairs than guests allows people to spread out and not have to sit right up against another person. Additionally, mark each seat in the front that is reserved for those you specify. It could be as few as the first row or as many as the first three rows. Make sure to notify those who have been designated to sit in the reserved section. If someone is sitting in a section that has not been designated, make sure your wedding coordinator or wedding day point person is notified so they can correct the situation.
4. Correct Lighting
This will depend on the time of day and whether your event is indoors or outdoors. Choose the type of lighting you want. Simple lights, mood lights, hanging lights, and so on. Then, consult with your photographer and/or videographer to see what they recommend to highlight the services they offer. After all, you want your guests to enjoy the atmosphere as well as the photography.
5. Cake Server and Knife
I’m telling you, it’s the small details that get overlooked. The moment has arrived. Everyone is paying attention. The photographer is already there. The DJ is playing the appropriate song, and you begin searching for the cake knife and server. You either forgot about it or left it at home. I’ve been to a wedding where this occurred, and the caterer used a small plastic knife meant for buttering bread. Prepare ahead of time.
6. Plenty of Guestbook Pens
Again, it’s a minor detail, but what good is a guestbook if guests can’t sign it? Bring plenty of pens in case the ink runs out or people start taking them. Also, if you want your guests to sign something other than a book, bring the appropriate writing utensil and plenty of it. Test them ahead of time to ensure that the writing tools will work with the texture of your item, especially if it is made of wood or stone, etc.
7. A message to your spouse
This is one of the more thoughtful things you can do for your spouse. You’re both nervous and haven’t seen each other all day as the ceremony approaches. A nice note and/or gift delivered to the other person may put them at ease, alleviate their concerns, or simply fill their heart with joy. Plan ahead of time and include it with your wedding day attire, best man or maid of honor, parents, and so on. Only someone you know will have it and deliver it on time.
8. Gift Coordinator
The last thing you want to do is gather your gifts and cards and take them on your honeymoon or leave them in your car overnight at a hotel. Assign someone to take all of your gifts and either take them to your home or to theirs until you return. Someone you can rely on, such as your parents or closest friends, is an excellent option.
9. Your wedding gown and tuxedo/suit
You don’t want to leave your wedding gown behind if you bring a change of clothes to change into during the reception or if you are leaving afterward for your honeymoon. Assign someone to look after your dress until you return. Perhaps your Gift Coordinator? As for the groom’s attire, if you rent a suit or tuxedo, assign someone to return your clothing to the shop before the deadline. That’s one less thing to be concerned about.
10. IT’S YOUR WEDDING!
Aside from the guest list and table assignments, one of the most difficult aspects will be all of the advice you will receive from family and friends. Wedding day advice, not marital advice. Some people believe that because their daughter or son is getting married, they should have some say in the matter, especially if they are paying for all or part of it. Try to understand that they have been anticipating this moment for a long time and simply want to be a part of it in some way. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about the Bride and Groom. Stop, breathe, and refocus to ensure you have the best day possible… for yourself.
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.
It’s the perfect time to remind ourselves to plan ahead for the ones we love.