The wedding day is a hurricane of activity: It starts first thing in the morning and doesn't end until the reception winds down. If you're not a wedding planner in your professional life (i.e., you don't deal with brides and bridesmaids and vendors on a weekly basis), you could find yourself feeling as though you've forgotten something, and not realizing what it is until you arrive in church without your corsage. One way to minimize the possibility of this happening? Make a list — and check it many, many times.The List
Dealing with multiple vendors can be a head-spinning experience. You'll need to touch base with each of them in the weeks prior to the wedding to confirm your order. (Do this even if you've already been assured that everything will be as promised. The MOB who keeps vendors on their toes has every right to complain if things go wrong.) It's in your best interest to start assembling a list of vendors and services at least a week prior to the wedding. The list should include:
Flowers: How many of each type (bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, baskets for flower girls, the bride's bouquet, arrangements for the church and/or reception), what extras (any accessories for the ring bearer, runner for the aisle), what time they should be delivered, and to which location.
Transportation: How many limos have you hired? What color? What style? What time are they arriving? If you've hired a luxury car instead, you'll need the same information at your fingertips.
Ceremony programs: Are they at the church, or on their way? Who's in charge of them?
The photographer and/or videographer: When will they be arriving at the house? Any special instructions?
Musicians: When will they set up for the ceremony? For the reception?
The cake: What time will the bakers arrive to assemble the confection at the reception site?
Reception: Which appetizers should be laid out for the cocktail hour? What's for dinner? You need to have a grasp on these details on the off chance that something is missing or just isn't right.
Obviously, if there is another area of concern specific to your situation (someone needs to pick Uncle Al up at the airport, for example), this should go on your list, as well. Keep a separate folder within easy reach containing contracts and phone numbers — just in case.Help!
Now, you can make all the lists you want — you might be a champ at whipping them off, in fact — but you can't be in three places at once. You'll probably need to enlist help at some point, just to cover all of your bases. Don't try to simultaneously deal with the photographer and the florist when they both arrive at your house at the same time. Don't attempt to count baskets of flowers in the church while you're handing out ceremony programs.
Handle the larger chores yourself, but recruit a friend or a family member to help with some of the smaller tasks. Let someone else dole out the programs at the door of the church. Trust your husband to peek out the window and make sure that two black limos are in the driveway; he'll tell you if they're pink.
The photographer may want you to pose for some pictures with the bride before the ceremony, so you'll have to make sure that you're prepared when he's ready for you. Everything should be under control at that point, but you'll want to have someone on standby to help just in case phone calls need to be made, or a last-minute run to the corner store (you forgot to buy film for your camera!) is necessary.
Be sure to keep an eye on the clock. If the flowers are supposed to arrive at noon, call that florist if they aren't in your home by ten past. Know when things should be happening, and do your best to keep everything — and everyone — on track.