You might have imagined the week before your big day to be blissfully serene – all beauty treatments, eating well, a quest for glowing wedding-day skin the only thing afflicting your mind. The reality – for some of us, at least, is quite different. Suddenly your caterer, venue, florist, cake-maker, band, DJ, lighting specialist and furniture hire company all need paying at once. Pre-honeymoon work stress has soared to an all-time high, and greasy takeaways have swiftly become a semi-regular fixture at dinnertime.
Step away from the comfort food, settle your blood pressure and try to enjoy this last week as a bride-to-be. Simply follow these simple prep steps and you'll reach that glorious finishing post – your wedding day.
1. Sign off on work
Ensure that the wedding is all you’ve got to worry about on the couple of days prior to your wedding. Finish up any last dregs of work – like signing off for a well-earned holiday, you’ll feel a burden lift when you finally schedule in that ‘out of office’.
2. Clean that sparkler
Drop your engagement ring into the jewellers to get it professionally cleaned (some vendors offer a complimentary service) or give it an at-home spruce. A 45-minute soak in warm water with a little detergent ought to revive that sparkler. You’ll want it to look every bit as good as your brand new wedding band, after all.
3. Decide décor
Decant those fairy lights, tealights and any other decorations into boxes, ready to take to your venue. If you have, somewhat innocently, accrued an immense volume of super-fiddly paper pompoms, don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to assemble them all.
4. Pack day-of essentials
That rucksack you haul to work every day might not be so compatible with your wedding ensemble. If you feel weirded out by the idea of being sans your usual handbag detritus, consider packing some essentials to leave with your mum or best friend.
5. Sit pretty
Dull but necessary – now that you have a final headcount, get that seating plan set in stone and organise table numbers and place card holders.
6. Let them eat cake
The wedding cake may be low on your escalating list of wedding-day priorities, but don’t forget about it altogether. Make sure you have a knife for that time-honored cutting ritual, and figure out exactly where the darn thing is going to go in your venue. Decorating your showstopper with flowers? Make sure to research non-toxic blooms.
7. Arm your photographer with a comprehensive shot list
While of course you’ll be thrilled to see all your guests, make sure those key players – best friends, close family - are the stars of your wedding photo album. Fire over a shot list to your photographer ahead of the big day.
8. Make a smooth exit
You’re already leaving the church in style, but what about the reception? Particularly crucial if you’re getting married in a remote venue, have a transport plan in place so you’re not trying to hail down a taxi at midnight in your wedding dress.
9. Hit the right notes
The disco is many a wedding guest’s favourite part of the entire day, so make sure your list of tunes is up to scratch. Send any absolute must-haves to your DJ to avoid winding up with a forlornly empty dance floor.
10. Balance the books
Deposits were paid long ago with a sigh of relief. But now it’s time to foot the bill, pay the piper, face the music. Whichever way you want to put it, bills must be settled before the big day, so grit your teeth and get out the cheque book.