Think you've tackled every item on your wedding checklist? Think again with these wedding planning to-dos most couples neglect before their big day.
Planning a wedding seems pretty straightforward, but the unfortunate truth is that the biggest social gathering of your life requires so much more than ironclad vendor contracts and a set of rings. Dozens, if not hundreds, of details are required to transform your wedding dream into a well-executed reality, and all too often, crucial wedding tasks fall off the to-do lists of even the most organized to-be-weds.
Because you deserve to have your wedding day go off without a hitch, we asked top industry pros to weigh in on the tasks you won't want to miss before saying "I do."
Brainstorm the Hashtag Early On
"Think of a creative and catchy wedding hashtag well ahead of time, so you can get it printed on wedding day stationery and signage. You want to make sure it's prominently displayed for all of your guests to use at will." —Andaleeb Firdosy, founder of Azure Invitations and co-founder of Love On Paper
Order Extra Invitations
"Failing to order extra wedding invitations can be a costly and time-consuming mistake. Order 20 percent more invitations than you think you'll need. That way, you'll have enough invites to cover last-minute additions to the guest list. (You'll also want a set for your photographer to photograph and a few keepsakes for you.) It's much more cost effective to order additional invitations from the start rather than having to order a reprint." —Kori Trotter, owner of Lily & Roe Co.
Be Prepared for Tears
"Weddings are full of happy-tear moments. Help your fiancé and family be ready for them with custom-made handkerchiefs that you can embroider with your own handwriting." —Colleen Corcoran, owner and designer of The Handkerchief Shop
Allow Extra Time for Clothing Rentals
Most rental companies allow you to pick up the tux or suit only one day before the wedding. When the fit has to be just right, I recommend renting formalwear from a company that can deliver the looks early. Generation Tux delivers suits and tuxedos 14 days before the event, so any fit issues are handled way before the wedding." —Nathan Bellah, director of marketing at Generation Tux
Set Up a Separate Inbox
"Consider creating a separate email address specifically for your wedding. It's much easier to keep all wedding newsletters, vendor correspondence, and follow-ups in one place—where both you and your fiancé can access it—without having emails clutter up your main inbox." —Jenna Miller, creative director at Here Comes the Guide
Get to Know Your Photographer
"After the initial phone call, vendors you reach out to should be willing to meet up for coffee or an adult beverage to discuss your wedding. During these meetings, galleries can be viewed and questions can be answered in real time. The reality is that your photographer spends as much time with you as your wedding party goes, if not more. That level of comfort comes from these conversations, both virtually and in-person. (If location is a factor, don't be afraid to ask for a call via Skype or Facetime." —Collin Pierson, Collin Pierson Photography
Extra Flowers Are Key
"Order special blooms that can be set aside and used in detailed photos of the rings, invitations, and any other details you'd like to capture. Flowers make every detail shot that much better, and you wouldn't want to take away flowers from your arrangements in order to style those photos." —Euri Wong, lead designer at Bloominous
Bring Your Rings and Marriage License
"Many couples forget one (or both) of these items on the day of. Sure, your wedding is going to be a fun party, but the main point of it is to actually get married. So, don't forget to bring your rings and marriage license to the ceremony, along with a pen for signing." —Jenna Miller, creative director at Here Comes the Guide
Mind Your Officiant
"Before the start of your ceremony, kindly ask your officiant to get out of the frame during your first kiss. Unless they're a seasoned pro, they might hang out awkwardly in the center of the shot and overcrowd your photos." —Jenna Miller, creative director at Here Comes the Guide
Set Up Activities for Kids
"If you're inviting families, don't forget to make special arrangements for kids. Stock kids' tables with child-friendly table settings and coloring books, and seat children over the age of seven away from their parents. (If kids feel like there's a proper place for them at the wedding, they're much more likely to behave.)" —Andaleeb Firdosy, founder of Azure Invitations and co-founder of Love On Paper