Planning and preparing for the big day itself is a monumental task. There are so many vital elements to take into consideration, from cake decor to ordering corsages for the mothers. The list can go on and on but today on the blog we want to share our 5 things we often see that brides forget when planning their wedding.
At The Wright House we do what we call “The Final Review” appointment. In this appointment, we meet with our couples two weeks prior to wedding to day to cover from top to bottom all wedding details. Its an opportunity for our couples to sit back and let us make sure there are not missing items or pieces to the puzzle. We know our couples have been deep into planning and fresh eyes with a wide perspective is always helpful. Here is are the most common things that are overlooked.
1. Legal Preparations
Yes, the boring part. Technically, however, you won’t be officially married if the legal aspects of your marriage aren’t fulfilled. Depending on where you are in the world, different laws govern the details of what’s needed to get married legally. To get married in Arizona, you’ll need to get visit one of the following Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court locations:
Downtown Customer Service Center - 601 W. Jackson St., Phoenix, AZ 85003
Southeast Court Complex - 222 E Javelina Dr., Mesa, AZ 85210, Suite 1650
Northeast Regional Court - 18380 N. 40th St., Phoenix, AZ 85032
Northwest Regional Court - 14264 W. Tierra Buena Ln., Surprise, AZ 85374
Both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license. Each individual is required to provide a valid government-issued photo I.D., such as a driver's license, passport, etc. to show proof of age and confirm identity. A marriage license must be issued prior to the ceremony taking place, signed at completion of the ceremony, and returned by the officiator not more than 30 days after the ceremony has taken place in order for the license to be recorded. You will receive your marriage license on the same day you apply for the license, and can be married on the same day, if you have made arrangements with an officiator of your choice to perform the ceremony. However, you have up to one (1) year from the date the marriage license was issued to get married, as the license expires one (1) year from the date of purchase.
Let’s be honest, wedding details like the guestbook table decor is something every bride is so excited about, but some how its a week before the wedding and you just realize you have not chosen anything. Remember, we want to put a little thought into this table as it will be the first thing your guest see as they walk into the wedding.
Be sure to arrange a book for all your guests to leave their comments and well-wishes throughout the day, as well as plenty of pens for them to write with. DON’T FORGET THE PEN! From thoughtful messages to hilarious anecdotes, you’ll delight in looking back on all the beautiful massages after the wedding is over.
Also, get creative and have guest sign a globe, a canvas photo, or even a Jenga game piece. You’ve got options, our favorite is to choose something you will use or see regularly in your home after the wedding to remind you of the beautiful day.
3. Final Number
By now your food is already arranged but what the caterer needs to know to make the night successful, is how many guests you’re expecting on the day. For any sit down meal, a buffet, or served, your catering staff needs it final number! The week of the wedding your catering staff will be doing most of the shopping and at that point they are shopping for the number you gave them. If needed, make calls, emails and text messages to find out from those last guest who have not RSVP. Usually catering staff will make a little extra food but you should not count on that being enough to serve 10 extra guest.
Also the final number will help your venue and any other vendors prepare to set up the correct amount of items, and seats for your guest. We always tell our couples, that some guest that RSVP might not make it that night due to an emergency and a guest that brought a plus one will show up.
Please know your final number is what every vendor uses to plan, but we are all professional and it’s OKAY, we are ready to make things work the day of the wedding!
4. A Timeline
You will need to have a broad overview of everything that needs to be done to pull off your perfect wedding. Having a timeline is essential for making the wedding day flow with no or less hiccups. Typically, you will build a timeline with your DJ of how the evening will go. It will include ceremony beginning and end time, ceremony music, cocktail hour, grand entrance, all the way to the end of the night with a last dance and grand exit. We always suggest adding a few items to the Timeline such as, hair and make (with location), arrival time to the venue, flower drop off time with who the flowers are for (example grandma Betty gets a corsage , etc.) Photography details, and don’t forget to add a list of name and numbers of all of your vendors.
After your timeline is set, send it out to all of the vendors! Everyone should be working on the same timeline.
Consider adding a point person, a mother or bridal party member to be the day of contact. You most likely will not be taking calls the day of the wedding, and it is always best to have a liaison set before the day of the wedding to answer small questions or concerns.
Ensure your phones are charged and you bring your charger. Now think of bringing all the correct cables for any technology you might need, such as chargers for cameras, music speakers, and other gadgets.
HDMI, Dongle and AUX - oh so many cord options. If you are planning a video, did you bring your computer with a HDMI cord to mirror on to the large TV? Or maybe bring a back up in DVD form.
Do you have an iphone and want to play a special song but didn’t bring the DONGLE to connect to the music speakers.
There are many situations you can have but we suggest speaking with your vendors, especially the venue and DJ about any special technology needs you might have or want to do.
6. Take Care of You
You’ll need all the energy and brain power you can get, so it’s important to eat a hearty breakfast before you set off to get married. PLAN AHEAD, have a family member or friend either make you breakfast or pick up food.
An extra pair of shoes can go a long way. Make the selection a comfortable one. If you've ever spent any time in heels, you know that dancing at your wedding reception in them is not a sustainable activity! You’ll be glad you brought a backup pair!
Last but certainly not least, this day is about you! Ensuring you have all the small details planned out helps to reduce stress and keep you calm. Yes, there’s a ton of stuff to take into consideration to make your wedding memorable for all the right reasons, but remember at some point you need to sit back and enjoy the day!