We’ll spend this week wrapping up final details and making sure everyone knows what you’ll need of them on the big day. As the days inch closer, your job is to take stuff off or your plate and put it on others! “Delegate to family and friends and have everything done the week before your wedding,” suggests event planner and stylist Camden Chitwood of Emerson Events. “If you have a planner, they will make sure everything behind the scenes is taken care of. If you don’t have a planner, then follow up with your vendors the week before your wedding to finalize their delivery times, set up, etc. That way you aren’t getting a million calls the week of your wedding!”
GETTING YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE
Arrange a time to visit your County Clerk’s office and apply for your marriage license. Bring the documents that you compiled earlier and call ahead get an estimate as to how much time you should allow for your appointment.
The marriage license itself doesn’t make you legally married, but it does give you the legal grounds to hold a marriage ceremony. Your officiant will sign the license alongside you and your new spouse following your wedding ceremony, and he or she will be responsible for submitting it to the county as proof of marriage. Within a few weeks of your wedding, you’ll be able to request certified copies of your marriage certificate, which will act as legal proof of your marriage.
Use this week to hand off your important people contact list, your day-of schedule, and your seating chart if you haven’t done so already. Grab the star of your bridal party and make that person your decision making proxy for the entirety of your wedding week. Give her unbridled ability to say yes or no on your behalf and trust her to do it well. Resist the temptation to take on new projects or be involved in all the details.
While you’re at it, make a plan to give your cell phone and purse to your Maid of Honor or designated point person. Scrap together the final payment and gratuity envelopes and arrange to hand them to the Best Man before your wedding. Take a deep breath. Relax. And remember you’re almost there.
If you don’t have a day-of coordinator or an involved venue manager, ask your wedding party to be on site the morning of your wedding day to make sure all deliveries are successful. If you’re working on a tight budget, you may have already designated your wedding party as your decorating team. It takes a village to pull off your special event, and these are the people who will make sure it goes off without a hitch.
Remember your thank you’s. Remember to be good to your people and good to yourself.
SHARING YOUR HONEYMOON INFO
Type up the basic honeymoon itinerary (flight numbers and schedules, accommodations, contact information) before wedding excitement is in full swing and share it with your close friends or family members, as well as anyone who will be house-sitting, pet-sitting, or baby-sitting if you have children.
Bring your shoes, undergarments, hosiery, and accessories to your final fitting and inspect the dress in a 360-degree mirror to make sure no pantylines are showing and the hem is even. Walk around for a minute to make sure you can move well. If you plan on changing after the ceremony or reception, talk to you mom or Maid of Honor about taking your wedding dress to be cleaned while you’re on your honeymoon (and don’t forget to thank her like crazy afterward!).
TIPPING YOUR VENDORS
As you’re preparing your vendor payment envelopes, look back at your contracts to see if tip is included with the balances due. If not, slip a little something extra into the appropriate envelopes and hand them off to your Best Man to distribute after your ceremony or at the end of the night. Below is a quick cheat sheet of suggested tips for your vendors:
- Bartenders: 10% of the liquor bill
- Catering: Gift the manager a cash tip of 1-2% of the total fee or a personal gift, like a nice bottle of champagne
- Chef: $100 or more
- Coat attendants: $1.00-$2.00 per guest
- Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: 15-20%
- Transportation & Valet: 15%
- DJ or Band: 15% or $25.00-$50.00 per musician
- Waiters: Leave an envelope with $20.00 per waiter with the catering manager
Even if you’re not including an extra tip on top of what was agreed to, this is where a thank you can go a long way. Keep the thanks going after the honeymoon with a thank you note by mail and a review of their services for future couples to refer to.
GIVING STATIONERY TO YOUR CALLIGRAPHER
If your calligrapher or handwriting artist will be working with any of the additional stationery (such as your guest book, menu, escort or place cards, or table numbers) make sure he or she has those items at this time.