Consider choosing a rehearsal date two days before your wedding day, not one day before. Many brides choose to hold their rehearsal the night before the wedding to accommodate friends flying or driving in, but two days in advance will allow you time for a relaxed rehearsal dinner and then a free day before the wedding. Also, you can then keep your rehearsal dinner small, and on the night before the wedding host a cocktail party for out of town guests.
Clean Up the Details
You’ve worked hard for months, now comes the week when the small things can really count. Try to complete your reception table assignments, write most of your final payment checks, and review the timing of your wedding day at least one week in advance. Each time you check another detail off your list, you will be one step closer to enjoying your wedding with a clear mind.
Free yourself from your professional obligations three days prior to your rehearsal day. Avoid traffic. Make it easier to enjoy your feelings by scheduling stress-reducing activities, such as spa services, workouts, journal writing, long lunches with friends, shopping, yoga and leisurely walks.
Allow a Few Indulgences
A relaxed and well-rested bride is a beautiful bride. Have a massage the night before your wedding. Splurge for a hotel suite so that on your wedding day, you wake up to room service and maid service. Also, try to have your beauty stylists bring the salon to you. You and your wedding party can relax and enjoy room service and laughs. These moments with your bridal party are often some of the most precious and memorable of a wedding experience.
Delegate a Friend
You will make guests feel special if you assign them tasks that are meaningful to you. The photographer often does not know your special aunt from New York, uncle from Florida or the members of your college clan, so designate one “photo contact” person from each side of the family. It is not often that all your favorite people get together for a celebration, so make the best of it while you can; pictures are forever.
Assign a creative friend responsibility for the guest book. You might share the project or you might simply offer your ideas and then let the chosen artist bring her vision to the task. One interactive idea is to have index cards available for guests to offer their advice and wisdom. These cards can later be used in a beautiful book along with wedding and honeymoon photos. If you prefer a guest book, consider using one with blank pages. This will invite your guests to be creative and to write more than their names. Keep several types of colored pens available for guests to add a little artwork. Whatever type of guest book you select, have a friendly guest book attendant to welcome guests and invite them to write something special.
Delegate a Professional
Avoid the temptation to have a friend or family member be your “day-of” coordinator. A professional coordinator will follow through on your detailed timeline/wish list and make sure your vision is executed without fail; this service is priceless. Unlike an efficient friend or a favorite aunt, a coordinator is not a guest and will be completely focused on the needs of your wedding.
You’ve prepared so well. You’ve done so much. Now, with one week to go, a little careful attention to detail can help assure that your wedding will be everything you dreamed of.
Opening photograph by Simone & Martin Photography