The most overwhelming and stressful part of planning a wedding is realizing just how many moving parts there are! Of course, you know you need to figure out the flowers, catering, music, and venue. But in order for your event to run seamlessly, without any confusion or miscommunication, other details need your attention – such as how guests will find their seats, what to do if your dress rips, and how to keep the reception moving along if the food is taking longer than expected.
Unfortunately, it's tough for brides to remember these little details, or even realize where potential problems may arise. So we asked Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings and Events in South Carolina to share the small details that are easy to forget about, but make a huge difference in keeping your wedding organized and drama free. Take a look at this wedding planning checklist and discover last-minute planning tips that will help you breathe easier on your big day!
1. Organize your escort cards to avoid guest confusion.
Escort cards are the paper goods that tell guests which table to go to (place cards note the individual guest’s name and are found at their seat). These should be displayed alphabetically. Brides tend to want to organize them by table; however, the guests do not know which table at which they are seated yet, so alphabetical organization will be much simpler for guests to find their cards.
If you decide to not have individual escort cards and prefer to have a large signboard made, you may organize the sign by table number. However, when you list names of guests at that table underneath each title, list the guests in alphabetical order. This will help them scan the names more quickly.
2. Prepare for emergencies.
Task your maid of honor to prepare a little emergency kit to have at the ceremony site and reception. Things to include:
• Sewing kit
• All sizes of safety pins
• Emery board
• Bobby pins
• Shout Wipes
• Goo Gone
• Wine Out
• Double-sided tape
• Baby powder
• Breath mints
• Small mirror
• Feminine products
• No-sew iron hem stitch
If a little emergency arrives, an emergency kit will help to keep everyone calm and have a quick solution ready.
3. Be ready to shift the timeline if needed.
Sometimes the exact timing of each part of your event can cause more anxiety than needed. If you don’t have a planner to help keep the event moving, speak to your DJ or band to ensure they are helping to monitor the crowd. For example, if the caterers are running a little slow, it could be a good time to begin the speeches to help fill the time. Keep everyone in their seats so that dinner may be served as soon as possible, and you won’t spend time making toasts after dinner when you could be dancing. You have to have someone there that can keep things moving or buy time if needed, based on the energy in the room. Trusting that person to be able to make changes or shifts within the timeline can be crucial to ensuring a seamless event.
4. Provide out-of-town guests and attendees at a destination wedding with a simple itinerary for weekend festivities.
Ensure that guests have the information about start times, travel times to each destination, and any transportation provided or not provided. If they do have a lot of free time during their visit, share a few local highlights of the area that they can check out during their visit.
5. Also, give the wedding party an itinerary regarding the day.
Let the wedding party know things like when and where they need to be for hair and makeup, photographs, as well as the time you would like the toasts to be made, etc. You can also send them little notes about “forget me nots,” such as shoes, socks, jewelry, and additional information if there are instructions for returning rental tuxes.
6. Don't forget to plan your grand entrance.
If you are getting married at a church and have a grand entrance where double doors need to be closed and opened for the bride’s arrival, be sure to have designated door openers. It’s something so simple and easy to forget that can definitely cause an awkward moment while everyone is waiting for the bride.
7. Confirm pre-existing décor at your venue.
If you are marrying around the holidays, remember to check with the venue to confirm what decorations will be up, what they look like, and if you are able to remove them.
Opening photo by Sara Parker Photography