1. Have a Contingency Plan for Bad Weather
Many couples forget to have a plan B in case of inclement weather. Sometimes this is not taking into account how hot and sunny it will be, severe cold fronts, or even rain. They often get so wrapped up in the beauty of their venue they just forget to have a contingency plan. Brides should find out the historical temperature and weather to have realistic expectations of what to expect, and make arrangements for what will happen if the weather is less than ideal.
2. Know When the Sun Will Set
Sunset is a golden hour for photographs and it might be a time your wedding photographer would like to pull you outside for some magically lit photos. If you know what time the sun will be setting, you can make sure you'll be available rather than say, cutting the cake.
3. Arrange Transportation for Your Bridal Party
They'll often leave the hotel — or wherever they're getting ready — at a different time than the bride and groom, but earlier than the rest of the guests. Make sure you have a bridal party and they are not stranded.
4. Designate Someone to Be the Day-Of Point Person
A first point of contact for your wedding vendors is essential. Brides sometimes forget this because they assume they will (just answer their cell phone) but it's already going to be a whirlwind day for them. There's no need to add more responsibilities to their list. Instead, select a close friend, family member or someone from the wedding party to be the first point of contact. Yes, you may have to be pulled into decisions but let someone else be the one to take the call.
5. Budget for Gratuity
Gratuity is often overlooked during the budget planning process, especially if you don't have a planner to guide you. When looking at the costs of your catering, for example, remember that typically you'd want to include an 18-22 percent gratuity on top of the final bill. You'll also want to be mindful of tips for wedding professionals the day of the event. While it is certainly not required, it is appreciated if someone has gone above and beyond. In this instance, prepare in advance with tips (cash or check are usually both fine) in envelopes and designate someone to distribute them.
6. Designate a Photo Wrangler
Along with a shot list, designate a sister, brother, cousin or aunt who can be the 'photo wrangler'. The photographer is not going to know who your important family members are, so when he gets to the 'photo of the bride with aunts and uncles,' your photo wrangler can easily go grab these family members for you and you can stay on track with timing.
7. Arrange for Transportation for the Bride and Groom After the Reception
Transportation is a must-have for the wedding day, but often times, brides forget that they need to arrange a ride from the reception to their next destination, be it their home, a hotel or even the airport. It's rare that the couple is driving themselves on the wedding day so don't be left calling an Uber in your formalwear because you haven't arranged a car to get you where you need to go.
8. Talk to Vendors About Potential Overtime
Check in with your vendors ahead of time to see if they might be willing to stay later. Even if you don't think you'll want to take advantage of this option, you never know how you'll feel that night! It's better to find out what those fees would be like from vendors, such as your DJ and bartender, ahead of time, as well as giving them the heads up that overtime might be a possibility.
9. Order Vendor Meals
Vendor meals can be easily forgotten if there isn't a wedding planner to coordinate it. Many vendors require meals in their contract and some, like bands, will also need a separate break room altogether. Coordinate this with your venue and caterer early to make sure you have met all of the obligations.
10. Assign Someone to Take Your Wedding Dress
Many couples forget to make arrangements for the wedding dress and tuxedo. If you are leaving for your honeymoon the morning after the wedding, make sure you have a friend or family member to pick up your dress or return a rented tuxedo.
11. Write Out a Do-Not-Play List for Your DJ
Though might have meticulously planned your father-daughter dance song and your cocktail hour songs you should also write out a do-not-play list for your DJ (because no one wants to be surprised with Cool and the Gang at their reception).
12. Craft Wedding Signs
Many couples spend a lot of time and energy picking out the wedding invitations and completely forget signage for the big day. Whether it’s a seating chart, a gift tables sign, or even just a 'Welcome to Our Wedding,' signage can easily be overlooked. Make sure your guests can find the guest book know where to put cards!
13. Designate Someone to Gather Up Gifts, Decor and Personal Items
Assign someone the role of removing personal items at the end of the night. It is important to assign a helper to make sure these items don’t get left. You will also need to assign a team to help tear down the event and package up centerpieces, linens, decorations, etc.
14. Leave Enough Time (and Budget) for Wedding Dress Alterations
When one finds their wedding dress, they think the hard part is over ... but when the dress arrives, you are likely to have something altered. Even if the dress fits you perfectly, you may still have to pay for ties to be added so you can bustle it for the reception. Be mindful of this with your budget and ask your gown shop in advance for pricing.
15. Plan Out Your Accessories
Accessories are another often forgotten detail until the very last minute. A classic veil is lovely but these days, you have a wealth of options. You also want to think about your jewelry, hair pins and a cover up should you expect cooler temperatures.
16. Don't Forget Your Fur Babies
Before you leave for your honeymoon, have you made arrangements for your pets? Will there be someone to stay with your animal at your house or keep them at their house? Are you boarding them? Make sure wherever your baby goes they will be well taken care of and with people they trust, many dogs will refuse food when they experience separation anxiety or new environments. Be sure to send the animal's food in pre-measured baggies and label them. Also send some goodies and wet food if food motivation is lacking. Having a little box of favorite toys and an old shirt from one of you will help ease the anxiety and remember that you are there.
17. Eat Food and Drink Water!
Last but not least among the things brides forget is to eat! Your wedding day is a very busy, overwhelming day! Get a good breakfast and plenty of water! And as you schedule out your wedding day prep, make sure to have snack breaks.