First up, congrats for getting yourself here. It can feel like a marathon, not a sprint planning a wedding – but we can certainly say one of the BEST days of your lives is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more pumped for you.
We know first-hand how intense that last week of the wedding can be – even despite the best intentions, the to-do list has a tendency to suddenly fill right up. We’re here to help provide some recommendations on things that should be done in those last seven or so days.
Photography by WedShed photographer Alex Marks Photography.
THE WEDDING ‘STUFF’
- Meet with your planner or venue manager
Touch base with your planner, whether it’s a wedding planner or venue manager, and chat through final numbers, the seating chart, and any last-minute requirements.
- Confirm your accommodation, flights and hire car if required
Triple check any transport, accommodation and logistics on getting to the venue – whether it’s local or a destination wedding.
- Submit the final shot list to your photographer and videographer
Pop onto a one-pager the kind of shots you really want your photographer to nail. We’re talking bridal party getting ready, to first look and vow backdrops. Also, if you want to have specific family group photos taken, a list of who needs to be present should be provided to your photographer. We’d highly recommend helping your photographer out by nominating a friend or family member to help gather the people required in photos – coordinating different groups of happy people mingling with champers in hand can be like herding cats. It’s best to knock off these pictures shortly after the ceremony while everyone is still close by.
- Check on your marriage certificate
Before you get married, you must choose a marriage celebrant for your wedding, give them enough time to lodge a “notice of intended marriage” (the period is one month before the wedding) and prove your identity to them. If you’ve been married before, you’ll also need to prove that your prior marriage has ended. You celebrant should be all over this.
- Confirm any last-minute details with vendors
Make sure you’re all on the same page, so your day can be left to just the business of having a good time. Have your wedding planner re-confirm everything with each vendor, or touch base with them if you’re doing it all yourself. We’re talking final headcount for caterers, any song requests for the DJ, or setup space needed for the florist.
- Drop off anything required on the day to the venue
We’re talking signage, any styling items, menus, table numbers, etc. If you’re dropping them off for a planner or the venue manager, leave any special instructions alongside each item of what goes where, including what needs to be kept after the wedding and returned to you.
- Finalise your wedding runsheet
Or, put one together if you haven’t already (PS, we’ve got a template for you here). This is the hour-by-hour, event-by-event master list of all the things that are happening on your wedding day. It should include when suppliers are arriving, what they’re doing, timings for the wedding (ceremony, speeches, first dance etc) and all the contact details for everyone important on the day. Share this with all the people involved in bringing your wedding together so everyone is on the same page and can contact one another if need be.
- Do a virtual walk-through of the day and analyse everything
Thankfully, this can be done together in bed or on the couch with a wine. Visualise the entire day, piece by piece to search for any gaps that need to be filled. You wake up… have breakfast at your accommodation – oh but wait, who’s organising brekky goods? You’re filling up the ice buckets at your DIY wedding venue – hold up, who’s bringing the ice? You get the drill.
- Get your engagement ring cleaned
Your jeweller will be able to do this for you – or any local jeweller too if it’s more convenient. If you get really stuck for time, soak your ring in detergent water (not toothpaste) and then gently scrub with a toothbrush. Nothing will make it sparklier than a spin in a professional cleaning box though.
- Head to the nail salon
Goes without saying but make sure you’ve got an appointment booked in, and pay a visit to your nail salon.
- Get a fake tan, if that’s your jam
If fake tan is your thing (it’s totally ours) then you might be considering getting some extra glow on for the big day, which is both exciting and bloody nervy to be completely honest – especially if you’re heading to a new tanning salon. We’ve put together this handy blog on a bunch of tanning tips to read through before your appointment.
- Chug water like there. Is. No. Tomorrow.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! We literally chant this in our office before any wedding, because it really makes a difference. So many benefits come with hydrating your body – it does bloody wonders for your skin, flushes out toxins in your body, boosts your energy, and can help you feel fuller. Roughly 8-10 cups per day should do it. Hydrate, guys. Enough said.
- Get plenty of sleep
The week before your wedding can be ultra-overwhelming, but getting enough zzz’s will ensure you’re well-rested for the big day, more relaxed and looking fresh. Plus, there’s all sorts of scientific benefits and you can’t argue with science.
- Wear in your shoes
You’ll regret keeping your shoes in their box until the minute before walking down an aisle. You don’t have to wear them out every day the week of, and you don’t even have to wear them outside if you’re worried about them getting dirty, but it wouldn’t help to slip them on every so often. The office or house are two great places to do this.
- Try on the dress one last time
You might have a final fitting the week before your wedding, or you might already have the dress. Either way, slip that beauty on and practice a test run of all the things: jewellery, shoes, underwear. Wear it for 10 mins or so – that way, you should find out if there’s any discomfort anywhere or if any jewellery is prone to catching on your dress.
- Pack an emergency kit for the big day
Consider borrowing a steamer off a mate, or buy one for any last-minute dress pressing that might need to happen and put together an emergency kit. We’re talking safety pins, boob tape, deodorant, panadol, phone charger, undies, makeup, and a small sewing kit. Here’s a checklist we’ve put together for you.
- Check in with the wedding party on their outfits
Check-in with the blokes and ladies on their outfits, and remind the ladies that they might need to consider specific undergarments for their dresses or to trial their shoes around the house if they are new too.
- Put together a playlist of party songs to getting ready to (or just use ours)
Woohoo! Nothing better than some fun tunes to get ready to with your gang. We’ve put together a bunch of playlists on Spotify that you can grab right here. Think tunes to play the morning of the wedding, upbeat background music for your reception, dancefloor classics and even music to go out with a bang to (erm, if you know what we mean…).
- Buy some champs or beverages to enjoy while you get ready
Goes without saying, but get your hands on some champagne or your beverage of choice to get ready with your gang!
- Also, organise food for your wedding day (pre-wedding)
While you might be trying to avoid bloat, you’ve still got to eat. Delegate the task of feeding you and your wedding party to someone that loves you very much (e.g. your mum) so you don’t have to think about it on the day. Some fave suggestions: smoked salmon blinis, quiche, little sandwiches, fresh fruit, nuts, muesli, yoghurt.
- Finalise any wedding favours you might be gifting
For those giving wedding favours, get all your ducks in a row and be prepped and ready – the sooner you can get this job out of the way, the better. We’ve pulled a bunch of wedding favour gift ideas, which you can find here.
- Host a pre-wedding family dinner
It’s something nice to do, particularly if you’re having a destination wedding: gather your nearest and dearest for a pre-wedding meal. It’ll help calm the nerves and remind you why you’re doing this whole wedding shebang in the first place – to join your lives and community.
- Organise gifts for the wedding party, if you haven’t already
- Practice your vows (don’t write them the week of, like one of us)
Even for the most confident of writers, penning your vows can be daunting. These are the words you’ll say to your partner in front of your family and friends; the promises you make to each other. It’s a big (and amazing) moment. But don’t be worried – we’ve put together an article on how to write your own vows, which makes this task actually quite enjoyable. Once they’re done, all’s that’s left is to practice them.
- Write your partner a note
It doesn’t have to be prose or poem, rather just a card or handwritten love letter for them to read on the day. You might accompany it with a gift, you might not. Either way, the moment your partner reads it, they’ll be flooded with good feels and that’s exactly how you want to walk into your wedding. Chat to your partner beforehand to remind them to do the same for you if you think it might not be something that crosses their mind.
- Check the weather forecast (but don’t overdo it)
Let’s get real. The week of your wedding, you’ll probably be checking the weather app like it’s Facebook or Instagram. It’s no news that Australia has some of the most unpredictable weather conditions about (especially as of late), and we’d say adverse weather crosses 99.9% of couples’ minds in the lead up to their big day. While you can’t change the forecast, you can make the most of it – rain, hail or shine – and we’ve pulled a bunch of tips to help you handle wet weather, as well as extremely hot weather. This will help to ensure everyone’s prepared and comfortable on the big day.
- Confirm the arrangements of your wedding recovery party (if you’re having one)
Planning on getting together with your guests the day after the wedding? There are so many reasons we advocate for this – you can find them all here. The week before the wedding, confirm final numbers of who will be joining you guys for a recovery session to ensure you’ve got enough food and drink to sustain those hangovers.