The Final 30 Days | Wedding Month Stress

Are your overwhelmed by your regular weekly calendar that consists of your full-time job, household grocery shopping, soul cycle, laundry, and weekly Friday night dinner with friends?  Planning a wedding is another full time job and it takes our team of pros on average 400+ hours before we even get to the wedding weekend.  If you are thinking about tackling planning your wedding by yourself, you may want to weigh the pros and cons first. Planning a wedding can be very stressful, especially in that last month before the big day!

Our Advice: Everything you need to do for the wedding should be 100% complete at least a week before the wedding. Your primary focus that week of the wedding should be spending time with family and friends who have traveled into town to celebrate with you!  Be realistic about deadlines and stick to them! Waiting until the last minute will only lead to pre-wedding meltdowns. The last thing you want to be doing the night before your wedding is tying 200 mini bows or hot gluing all your escort cards… I promise it’s not worth the dark circles from stress and lack of sleep.

What Does the Month Before a Wedding Look Like?

Many things cannot be done until right before the wedding because of the RSVP deadline, which etiquette guidelines dictate should be a minimum of 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding date.  Producing/assembling the escort cards and place cards needs to wait until the seating chart is complete. The bad news is that you really cannot get started on the seating chart until you have all of your RSVPs back, so sometimes production is taking place just a few days before the wedding.  The reason you have to wait to get started on the seating chart is two-fold.  The first reason is to maximize space on the diagram with the correct number of tables so you don’t have empty tables with extra linens and floral centerpieces (wasting space in the room). The second is to appropriately group guests together with people they will enjoy sitting with during dinner and you cannot do that until you know everyone who is/ isn’t coming.  While waiting for the RSVP deadline, you can start to think about your guest list/ family/ friends and begin to mentally group people in groups of 10ish (or the appropriate number for your tables) and carve out time on your calendars at the RSVP deadline to sit down and work on this seating chart.  It is tedious and takes time, so make sure you have multiple days to give yourself a break.  

Additional responsibilities, such as assembling gifts for out of town guests, may sound like fun, but I encourage you to think through the logistics.  Are you planning to include anything perishable that would prevent you from starting this assembly project early? How many gifts do you need to make? Do you have that much table space in your house to line up that many boxes or bags? Where are you going to store these gifts after they are complete? Who is responsible for transporting and distributing to the hotels?  Those are just a few questions for one small component – the welcome gifts.

This is an iPhone shot of a welcome gift assembly project from two years ago that took four of our staff members nearly 8 hours to complete. 

This is an iPhone shot of a welcome gift assembly project from two years ago that took four of our staff members nearly 8 hours to complete. 

After figuring out the details and flow of the day, it is just as important to remind all the key players of what was decided. Timeline distribution and vendor communication can be the most stressful part of the 30 days prior to the wedding.  Your team of vendors likely includes the venue, the photographer, videographer, caterer, band, cake baker, hair and makeup artists, ceremony musicians, rental companies, lighting crew, and anyone else involved. Each of these creative partners needs their own version of the timeline so the can see how their role plays into the broader picture of the day. For example, if the band doesn’t load in during the time they requested, they can see that later on the cake baker will be unloading, followed by a florist and finally followed by the ceremony musicians with instruments. Those details matter tremendously because one late load-in can jeopardize everyone else's production schedule. Someone needs to review those details with each creative partner and serve as their main point of contact during the event. 

Hiring a full service production team can help ease the stress of managing a production schedule of paper details and communicating with vendors. A full service team like ours will design/create, assemble, and produce escort cards, place cards and guest welcome gifts.  We’ll also distribute timelines so that vendors can connect with our team directly with questions or concerns. We check in with vendors upon arrival at the venue and if they don’t arrive at their scheduled time, we’ll call them to anticipate any potential problems. If problems arise (and some almost always do!), we develop a contingency plan to deal with it behind the scenes. Sometimes no one ever has to know the band was stuck in traffic and 4 hours late to unload (yes, that happens - more often than you might imagine)!

We are the first to arrive onsite on a wedding day, and we are the last to leave at the end of the day.  We are the point of contact for all deliveries and are onsite to oversee the installation logistics. Our team directs the wedding ceremony, helps transition guests from ceremony to cocktail hour, then cocktail hour to dinner, then dinner to dancing then dancing to the exit. We make sure the bride and group are announced into the room for their first dances with the attention of their guests. We make sure toasts and cake cutting moments happen flawlessly. Our goal is to keep the day running and make sure not a single family member or member of wedding party has to lift a finger or look at their watch at any point during the day.  We keep things running as close to the original timeline as humanly possible and if we get off course, we make adjustments so that no one (outside the behind the scenes crew!) ever even knows the difference.

Want to know about what’s involved?  Read about Our Process!

BK