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If you’re getting married this summer, at the beginning of May you’re probably beginning to feel the crunch of the last-minute items & questions. It can be suffocating. It can feel like you have too many decisions to make in one day, and none the next. Is there no spacing this stress out?!?!?!?!
In a word…no. Unfortunately. HOWEVER, there are many things that you should know & do as you juggle this ‘crunch time’ of your wedding-planning process:
#1. It’s OK. I promise it is. Even if you are the ++ in an A++ personality — these last-minute planning crunches are going to happen. So the best advice I can give you is to allow for the last-minute things to happen, and to NOT beat yourself up and/or think that you somehow were not prepared. There is no getting around the little last items that come up.
#2. OK, Kati, you’ve made me nervous– what ARE these last-minute items & things I have looming in my future potentially? Well, here’s a few ideas on what I typically see & hear about:
RSVPs — You send our your invitations well in advance, and request the 1 month RSVP deadline. You receive tons of little cards & numbers and check marks on who is/who isn’t able to attend. This number will be passed along to your ceremony & reception facilities, your rental companies, your caterers, cake makers, wedding planners, parents/family members, and wedding party. There’s no getting around this step in the process if you requested RSVPs — but you can make it easier upon yourself. Set up a spreadsheet on your computer where you can easily plug in the responses as they come in. Names, number attending, and make a separate page in your spreadsheet for declines. While it may not seem important to track declines, that can come in handy if for some reason someone says, ‘Hey how about so-and-so — did you hear from them?’ Then you can flip to your handy-dandy decline sheet and see that yes, indeed they are there. Helps to sort out whose invitation or reply may be lost in the mail too. And it can come in handy for those questions that no one ever saw coming. (And MUCH easier than flipping through a stack of cards!)
TABLE FAVORS — Many table favors just can’t be made ahead of time. If you’re not doing flowers through your florist, you may be tackling those yourselves. If these table favors can be assembled over time in chunks, schedule yourself ‘crafting time’ — this may be time when you’re watching your favorite show on TV, when you’re talking to your grandparents on the phone, when you’re having the girls over for a bottle of wine, or just when you need some time to unwind. Sometimes crafting can be very therapeutic — and it helps when you are combining therapy with a to-do list item!
LODGING BLOCKS & ARRANGEMENTS — If you have out of town family/friends attending your wedding, setting up lodging, transportation, and other items can be very stressful and time consuming. You may not be taking care of this yourself — but they may still contact you with LOTS of questions. “Where is the closest hotel to the ceremony/reception?” “How far is the drive to the airport?” “What type of clothes should we pack?” and so on. Solutions?
Use your wedding website: If you set up a wedding website, put this information there. You’ll still have to direct family and friends that call to the website to find the info, but it’ll be a much quicker and less stressful exchange.
Use your social media: Send group messages to family & friends who plan to attend and link them to your wedding website or sites of lodging & other amenities in your area. Let them know they can find the info they need here.
Designate a Cruise Director: Much likeThe Love Boat, you can have your own Cruise Director whose job is to direct guests to the travel resources and, best part, FUN! This person could be your maid of honor, although she’ll have jobs to do already; perhaps another bridesmaid, a family member, or a non-wedding party friend would be a great option. These people can focus on the information at hand and not feel stressed to be somewhere or be doing something else at the same time. (Hint: Your parents would probably not be the best option — they have a ton to do already, and should be enjoying their day — although your parents may still want to BE that option. Definitely have an open conversation about all that they already have going on, and make sure that’s something they really want to take on.)
THE SMALL ITEMS: Your wedding day is going to be full of little pieces and parts — safety pins, bobby pins, extra tampons (because you never know), small cell phones, makeup items, special markers for the guest book, and so on and so on. Take a little time to set up some systems now that will help you keep all those little items corralled and easy to find on the big day! (And for those small cell phones — make sure you have your charger with you in case your phone dies that morning!)
Ziploc baggies: I cannot sing the praises of gallon-size Ziploc baggies enough. They make my life Heaven as a mom. They keep my pens from exploding all over the insides of important bags. They make great frosting piping bags in a pinch on a cake decorating project. They just rock. Organize your small items into categories, and designate Ziploac baggies for those categories. Be sure to write in large Sharpie marker what those categories are, such as: bride’s makeup; pins; guest book; table decorations; and so on. Then separate your bigger items into totes or boxes that you label with the names of these categories. Zippies of small items go into labeled boxes, and voila! Things are together and categorized.
THE OOPS STUFF: Things just happen. When my husband’s brother got married, we drove past his fiance’s sister on the side of the road, who had picked up the flowers for the wedding and had the large buckets tip over in her car, spilling water everywhere inside. Some small ring bearer is going to spill something somewhere as people are getting ready. Some flower girl is going to dig into her quick lunch before the ceremony and spill ketchup on her dress. A bridesmaid drops her compact on your aunt’s carpet as you’re getting ready and makeup goes everywhere. It’s just a possibility, but be prepared. In your boxes & baggies that are all nicely categorized for the day, be sure to include some stain out sticks or wipes, antibacterial gel, paper towels, Kleenex, and consider some carpet cleaner just in case. Best thing about Murphy’s Law — if you have it ready, it most likely won’t happen!
These are just a few things that came to mind. Are disasters going to happen? Most likely, no. But if you’re prepared, the small things don’t turn into disasters. Keep your wits about you as you go through this — allow yourself time to be human! Breathe, vent, and take opportunities when you can to decompress and relax. Exercise, eat well, and set limits on your working time so that you can keep up on your sleep. Staying up until 2 AM to finish table decorations will only make you exhausted the next day, and it will not help you stay on top of things. While many things feel huge — and they ARE important — don’t panic or overreact. Take a calm approach and prioritize constantly. What things MUST be handled now — and what crises that your grandma calls you with in a panic are not as panic-causing as she thinks they are? Be kind to those that you need to put on hold and let them know that they’re important — but that you have other things that must be tended to at the moment. Or, put another wedding party person in charge of helping out the situation while you tend to urgent matters. It’ll all be fine in the end — and the stress will come down again. I promise!
You can do it! Keep going and remember that this most important day is going to be BEAUTIFUL — and one that you’ll remember forever! You’re getting married!
Kati Hime, Editor
VISIT OUR WEBSITE & FIND A WY VENDOR: www.wyoweddings.com