The last few days leading up to your wedding can feel like a complete whirlwind. You’re happy, you’re sad, you’re nervous, and excited; all at the same time. The jitters and nerves are probably starting to settle in right now, now that you’re in the final stretch but there are some important devoirs that have to wait until what feels like the last minute, before you can officially check everything off your wedding checklist. Here are 12 essential things you need to remember to do the week before your wedding.

1. Check the forecast

Start off the week of your wedding by checking the weather forecast. That way you have time to create a plan for keeping your guests cool and hydrated if it’s going to be really hot or have time to look into getting a tent or moving your event inside if it looks like it’s going to rain.  Another pro tip: Check the weather radar so you have the most accurate weather info, also check the forecast on multiple weather apps.  Now, if you have hired a wedding planner, this task is something they will do for you. They will have also already discussed a bad weather “Plan B” with you and have started making the arrangements to move forward with Plan B.

2. Obtain your marriage license

Getting a marriage license for a wedding in Ohio is not a difficult process but there are a few requirements you will need to follow, like showing proof of identification, age, proof of divorce or annulment if you were previously married.

Marriage licenses are issued through each county’s Probate Court Office and the cost of your license vary by county. Your marriage license is only valid for 60 days after you receive it. Here’s  a list of all the Probate courts in Ohio.

3. Check in with vendors.

The final week before your wedding, confirm with your suppliers the timings, locations and any last-minute questions you may have, this is also the time to consult with your vendors about any last-minute details, such as entree selections, changes to the guest count, or even weather-related issues.  It’s also important to let your vendors know who their point of contact will be on the day and to finalise payment terms. If you’re starting stress out about the day itself, book a last minute wedding planner to come and do your On The Day Coordination so that you can enjoy the day stress free!

4. Have a final meet or chat with photographer.

You want to make sure you’ll get all the wedding photos your heart desires. That’s hard to coordinate unless you plan ahead.

The week before your wedding — or sooner, if possible — come up with a list of all the shots you’d like to get, including who those shots should include. Communicate with your photographer and see what’s possible.

Keeping in constant contact with your wedding photographer is always helpful and close to the wedding day it is always best to have a final chat with them about shots that you want, new ideas that you have had and just a general brief of how the day is going to go.

5. Test drive the full look

Schedule all of your gown fittings and bring the accessories that you plan to wear from head to toe. This will not only give you a better idea of your overall look, but allow your seamstress to make any necessary modifications.

Try on the full ensemble, including shoes and jewelry, to finalize your look. Practice that walk down the aisle and make sure everything looks and feels comfortable.

6. Present attendants with gifts at the rehearsal dinner.

Most brides and grooms give their gifts to the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner. Following the main course, dessert is served and the toasts begin. Just so you know, it is customary for the best man to start off by toasting the couple, followed by the groom’s father (traditionally the groom’s parents are the hosts of the event). Afterward, you can acknowledge your attendants and give them the gifts.

7. Have Your Wedding Attire Ready to Go.

Make arrangements at your bridal salon or local cleaners to have your wedding dress steamed—and don’t try it on after it’s been steamed or else it’ll wrinkle again. Also have an attendant pick up the groom and groomsmen tuxes.

8. Pack your wedding bag.

Take into account all your plans for the wedding weekend and pack thoughtfully and accordingly. Will you be spending a few days in the hotel prior to the wedding? Or need a change of clothes for your after-party? Leaving directly for your honeymoon? Take the time to think through your plans and everything you might need! Knowing that you have everything packed up ahead of time will give you much needed peace of mind.

9. Practice your vows.

All eyes will be on you at the altar! Take some time to read your vows out loud, whether you’ve written them yourself or will be using the traditional vows. Stand in front of a mirror and practice until you find a steady pace and feel familiar with your words.

10. Break into your shoes

Your wedding is not the time or place for unwanted pain from your shoes! New shoes can sometimes be slippery (we don’t want any first dance fails) or take some time getting used to walking in! Wear them with socks around your house for a few minutes every day to give them a comfortable stretch and get used to walking in them.

Your wedding shoes are likely brand new, and you’ll be wearing them for a while on the big day. 

blue travel luggage

11. Pack your bags for your honeymoon

If you are leaving for your honeymoon within two days of your wedding, pack as much as you can the week before your wedding.  That way you don’t have to worry about doing laundry or packing your suitcase the morning after your wedding.

12. On the day of list

• Give the best man the officiant’s fee envelope to be handed off after the ceremony.

• Hand off place cards, table cards, menus, favors and any other items for setting the tables to the caterer and/or reception site manager.

• Give wedding bands to the best man and the maid of honor to hold during the ceremony.

Relax and Breathe!

This all may seem overwhelming , but in the week leading up to your wedding it’s important to find time to relax. Go on a date night with your future spouse, take in a movie with some friends, or spend time with your family. Whatever you can do to relax and enjoy the moment will help you stay focused on what’s really important: all the love that’s surrounding this event.