The final countdown is officially on! In seven days, you'll be walking down the aisle, getting ready to marry the love of your life. There are so many last-minute details that must be taken care of before your big day. We asked Emily McMahon of Soiree Wedding Planning to share the seven things she thinks brides and grooms should do a week before the wedding. Follow her advice to ensure your special day goes according to plan.
Double-check your seating arrangements.
Depending on your vendors, your final guest count could be due up to a week before the wedding, so it's important to make sure everyone has the information they need. Even if you've already handed over this information, you should double-check your list for any last-minute changes and review your seating assignments to ensure everything still make sense. If you haven't already, share both the total headcount and the reception seating assignments with your wedding planner or venue coordinator now, says McMahon.
Make sure your marriage license is set.
Depending on your state, your marriage license will be valid for 30 to 90 days after it's issued. McMahon says you should double-check that your marriage license is still valid (and will be on the day of your wedding, too), then "give it to a parent or member of the bridal party so that it can be accounted for."
Check in with your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Whether you have a two people in your bridal party or two dozen, you want to make sure everyone is prepared for the event. "Make sure they've all got their dresses, tuxes, and all accessories accounted for and that the girls have their beauty plans set," says McMahon. If your bridesmaids will be having their hair and makeup done, now is a great time to finalize and distribute that getting-ready schedule.
Prepare envelopes containing the tips for your vendors.
You'll be so happy with yourself that you thought to do this ahead of time and not when the party is actually happening. "Tip envelopes are a sure way to save yourself from running around like a chicken with your head cut off on your wedding day," says McMahon. "Prepare and label the envelopes ahead of time so that tipping your vendors is quick and painless."
Send your shot list to your photographer.
Create a list of must-get group photos to share with your photographer, and let them know if there are any details that are incredibly important to you. Your photographer is a pro, but if no one tells him or her that you're wearing your great-grandmother's necklace, they may not realize how important snapping a few photos of your accessories alone is to you. As for your list of group photos, spell out who should be in them—your photographer won't know who makes up your mom's side of the family or which women at the wedding are your high school friends. McMahon adds that you should share this list with your maid of honor and best man so that they can help round guests up for the appropriate photos.
Practice your vows.
Say them loud and proud! If you can, try to practice your vows out loud in front of a mirror or even with a trusted friend. McMahon says that it's important to practice these words until you feel ready to say them in front of a room full of your friends and family.
Write thank-you letters to your wedding party.
Carve out a few minutes to pen thank-you notes to your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents. You can give them to the bridal party on the morning of the wedding. McMahon says, "Let them know you love and appreciate them. This small task can be so meaningful."