First of all, you've heard it before and you'll hear it again: don't fret over the small things. If the cake topper is different than you remember or the napkins are the wrong shade of blue, your guests won't notice. Relax, take a deep breath and remember your goal…getting married to the person you love. That said, you can take a few advance precautions to stress-proof your wedding day.
1. For your bridal party, select dependable attendants and give each one a copy of the tentative timeline for the day. Avoid asking children under three years old to be in the wedding party. If you must, let one of the attendants walk with the child or pair them with an older child.
2. Get all your vendor service agreements in writing, in the form of a standard contract. Spell out exactly what you want and don't want when you make the bookings. Don't wait until the wedding day to make major changes.
3. Learning to delegate is vital, especially the day of the wedding. Put someone else in charge of paying the vendors, moving the guest book from the ceremony to the reception site, double checking with the caterers, or any other small task. Read through your list and assign everything!
4. Pack and bring along a bride's emergency kit which includes, extra panty hose, clear nail polish for runs, Kleenex, aspirin, spot remover, static cling spray, hemming tape, band-aids, a sewing kit with safety pins. For the groom's kit include: mouthwash, breath mints, razor, cologne and comb.
5. Have attendants arrive early to get dressed so there is no delay when the photographer arrives and no worry about making the wedding on time.
6. Fasten fake rings to the ring pillow, so they won't fall off. Have an adult carry the real ones. Also, don't give the pillow to the youngster until about two minutes before they start down the aisle.
7. Practice walking and turning in your gown. Make sure it fits properly before the ceremony. Find the easiest way to walk and turn with the train, so you're not tripping over it or having to hike it up. Get a feel for how the dress moves. Don't eat, drink, smoke or apply make-up after you've put the gown on for the ceremony. If you do drink, use a straw and be very careful.
8. In the week prior to the wedding, phone all your vendors and verify everything. Have them read back to you the date, time, location and exactly what they will be doing. Make sure they know the directions to the site. Bring a list of phone numbers so someone can call them if they don't show up on time.
9. Nervous stomach or not, eat something before the wedding. Have someone pick up a sandwich or veggie tray to share with the bridesmaids. You don't want to faint before all your friends and family!
10. Order enough food, drinks and place settings for everyone who RSVP'ed, plus some additional in case of last minute arrivals.
11. Decide on your order of events at the reception in advance of the wedding day and be sure the wedding coordinator or DJ also has the information ahead of time.
12. Beware of asking friends or family to provide music, food, official photography or any other service at the wedding. They may have good intentions, but an awkward situation can arise if you aren't happy with the results. Also, never let a friend or relative serve as bartender, as they may give generous portions and deplete the supply or get inebriated themselves.
Article by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer