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15 Important things to do in the week of your wedding

The last week leading up to your wedding will be a whirlwind of activity. This is the time when you have to complete every last detail on your wedding checklist. Since there will be plenty of work to do at this time, it is easy to forget one or more things in all the hurry.

Having seen so many brides over the years, we can understand how exhausting it is when you should finish it all and also get everything right. Fortunately, we know how to make the task easy. Here is a checklist of all the important things you should complete in the week leading up to your wedding.

Use this list to finish your tasks in a planned manner and without hassle.

1.Pick up your wedding dress

Plan your final wedding dress fitting early in the week during your wedding. This will help you ensure that the dress fits perfectly. You needn’t worry about any size changes following this session, and hence can enjoy the best possible fit. In case your dress fitting is over before this, don’t forget to try on your dress during the last week. You can do any necessary alteration if there is any change in measurement at the time. Also try the dress on with the accessories you intend to wear. This will let you see how the overall look comes together, and you can make any necessary changes.

2.Pack or prep your wedding dress

If you plan to get dressed at home, set your wedding dress on a hanger. Steam or iron the belt or sash that comes with the dress, so it looks crisp and clean. In case you should transport your wedding dress, zip it into a garment bag after ensuring all parts are perfectly packed. Check with your wedding dress boutique to find whether there are any likely issues with transporting the dress. Follow their suggestions, if any.

3.Break in your wedding shoes

Don’t wait till your wedding day to first wear your wedding shoes. Unless you break them in, wearing them on the very day can be painful. Brand new shoes pinch, cause blisters or may feel too tight. If the heel height is more than what you usually wear, it won’t be easy to dance in them. So, start using it the month before your wedding and your feet will get accustomed to the fit. In the last week, wear it for a short while every day. Wearing them in short spurts will help you break it in gradually. Get used to the heel height. Also try to dance in them. For more tips and advice on how to break your shoes in effectively, take a look at this article on the Bustle. 

4.Practice your vows

You may have written your vows already. So, now start practicing it as well. Even if you will be reading it off a piece of paper, try it out in advance. This will allow you to modulate your voice and pace your lines for the right effect. Another benefit of doing this is that it will alleviate some stress. After all, many brides become nervous when the moment finally arrives and they have to say their vows in front of all these people. Prepare yourself with the lines and you are less likely to fumble and make mistakes. Thus, you will feel calm and confident when you have to finally say it at your wedding.

5.Check and confirm with those who will speak at your wedding

This is the right time to cross-check and confirm with those who are saying the wedding speeches and toasts. A gentle reminder will be sufficient for them to get their toast ready in time for the wedding. It is a good idea to inform then of when it will be their turn to speak on the day. Long toasts and speeches are boring. So, ask them to keep it short and not longer than 5 minutes. Also limit the wedding speeches to three or four at the most, so your guests don’t feel bored.

6.Put together your wedding emergency kit

There are many things that can go wrong on your wedding day. Get ready to tackle all such issues with an emergency kit with all necessary supplies. You will have to stock items like tissues, blotting paper, chalk, safety pins, thread and needles to handle potential wedding dress issues. Apart from that you should also include your hair and makeup essentials. Smelling salts, plaster and tape are some of the other items that can come in handy. For the full list of items to have in your wedding emergency kit, visit this previous article. If you don’t want to set up your emergency kit by yourself, you can also buy it ready made. Find out all about what our emergency kit contains and how you can order it from Best for Bride here. 

7.Complete all work-related assignments

You will have to run around a lot for your wedding tasks. So, get your work out of the way before that. Complete all pending assignments and delegate responsibilities to your colleagues in-charge during your absence. Send emails to all those concerned, informing them of your non-availability during your wedding and honeymoon. Get your work things organized and in-place. Create easy to access lists and information for your co-workers, boss and subordinates, so they will not have to contact you while you are away.

8.Confirm with vendors and suppliers

Don’t wait till the day before your wedding to get in touch with your wedding vendors. Call them up early and cross-check if everything is progressing as per plan. Confirm that there are no issues and all required ingredients and materials are available. Inquire about any likely changes, and give the go-ahead only after verifying them. Confirm arrival, transportation and pick-up plans for the day. Provide a contact who they can get in touch with in case of any questions on the day. If you have a wedding planner, she will handle all this. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to verify that everything is moving smoothly.

9.Verify plans with your wedding party

Get in touch with your bridesmaids, ushers and the rest of the members in the wedding party and inform them of the wedding timeline and plans. Check and confirm that your bridesmaids have collected their dresses after necessary alterations. Also discuss their hair and makeup plans for the day. Delegate the responsibilities to the right people, so everyone is aware of what they are in-charge of. Inform them of where they have to be at different times on the day. Also discuss the details of how, where and when they should do their hair and makeup on the day. Once you do the overall planning, delegate the responsibilities to ensure each aspect is covered to your maid-of-honor, best man and bridal party.

10.Pack your overnight bag

Even if you will be getting dressed at your home, put all that you need together for easy access. Make a list of all the things you need to get ready. This should also include your change of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, your emergency kit and other essentials. Then pack a bag with these items and put it away safely. Once you have this ready, simply pull it out when it is time to go. You need not worry about searching for all you need at the last minute.

11.Pack your honeymoon bag

Pack all that you need for your honeymoon in the week before your wedding. Depending on the location, make a list of the different things you have to carry. Then pack these items into your bag. If your honeymoon is abroad, don’t forget to pack your passport and other travel documents. When you get everything ready in advance, you are less likely to forget any essential detail. For new clothes, shoes and other items, get rid of the tags and price stickers before packing them in.

12.Confirm the guest head count

This is the right time to ensure that your seating arrangement is done properly and that there are no changes to plan. If someone has failed to RSVP, reach out to them to find out if they are attending or not. You can make suitable last-minute changes to the seating plan if there is a difference in head count. Share this information with your caterer, venue manager and wedding planner, once the list is ready. If you have asked guests to make a choice from the menu options, this is also the time to follow up with those who haven’t responded already. Your vendors and caterers will need such information to plan their work for the day.

13.Prep your home

There will be people visiting you during the week before your wedding. So, get it ready for hosting, in advance. Do a deep clean, put everything in its right place and neatly arrange your house. Have your kitchen stocked with easy-to-prepare meals, for days that do not go as planned. Plan your outfits for the week, so you can dress quickly and efficiently. If there are items that are to be stored away safely, put them away now and you needn’t worry about them when you have to lock and go. Hire help if necessary, for the cleaning, maintenance and any other essential tasks. Also identify the zones where you will be taking photographs on the wedding day, and set them up neatly and as preferred so they are ready for pictures.

14.Get your mani/pedi and confirm hair and makeup appointments

You should do your manicure and pedicure closer to the wedding day, for best results. So, schedule your appointment just a day or two before the wedding. Make sure it doesn’t clash with any of the remaining wedding plans. You will have to spend at least an hour at the salon for this purpose. Decide on how you want your nails to look for the occasion. Here are some ideas on the Huffington Post.  This will prevent you from randomly picking it up and later regretting the choice. Book your appointment at the salon in advance. If you will be using a hairdresser or makeup artist for your wedding, double-check your booking details to avoid confusion on the day.

15.Brief your maid-of-honor or wedding planner on wedding day responsibilities

You do not want to spend your time overseeing every detail on your wedding day, when you ought to actually have fun. So, assign all responsibilities to a capable person or persons. Discuss factors like what to do with the décor after the function, how to handle vendor payments, what to do with your wedding dress etc. Give clear instructions on each aspect that is important. You can thus minimize their need to consult you with questions on the day. Do a double check of your wedding checklist and make sure everything has been handled.

Wedding planning is strenuous and can overwhelm every bride at some point or the other. To avoid drowning in the stress, it is wise to chalk out time for yourself during the wedding planning process. Also, don’t forget to enjoy every milestone you cross. Finding the perfect wedding dress is a big achievement in your wedding planning, and we can help you with this. Visit Best for Bride for the latest and most modern as well as classic bridal dress collections. Apart from that, also browse through our bridesmaids dress collections, wedding accessories collection and more to jump start your wedding planning today.

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10 Tips to plan an amazing Rehearsal Dinner

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The rehearsal dinner is typically the first occasion when you get a sneak peek at how your actual wedding day will be. Although it isn’t an essential in the list of wedding-related events, it is quite popular. If you are planning to have one before your wedding, our tips will help you organize it well. Before we get to the tips, let us first try to understand in detail, what the rehearsal dinner is all about.

What you need to know about the rehearsal dinner

The main thing couples should know about planning a rehearsal dinner is that it should be a simple event that shouldn’t further strain their pockets nor nerves. Most couples already have their bank balances stretched thin by the wedding expenses. If this is the case, you can altogether skip the event, or tone it down as you deem suitable.

The rehearsal dinner is usually held close to the wedding date, mostly during the week leading up to the wedding. Both the bride’s and bridegroom’s extended families would be in town to attend the wedding, by this time. So, the rehearsal dinner gives them an opportunity to meet each other in an informal setting, so they are better acquainted in time for the wedding.

This is also when the bride and groom usually meet the rest of their in-laws, and so it is a great opportunity for introductions prior to the wedding. Traditionally, the wedding was hosted by the bride’s family, and so the rehearsal dinner was conducted by the groom’s family. Nowadays, there are no such hard and fast rules. Usually, the bride and groom themselves pitch in for the rehearsal dinner.

Although it is called a wedding rehearsal dinner, the setting for the event doesn’t have to be similar to the wedding. It can be organized in an entirely different venue, and you have the flexibility of planning the menu and event details based on your personal preferences. This article on A Practical Wedding Blog tells us about the actual intentions behind rehearsal dinners. This is perhaps the only time when your folks and your partner’s families will all be together, and you might as well make the most of it by hanging out together. So, host a rehearsal dinner to make the most of this opportunity.

If the wedding attendants and family will not be arriving early, you can even replace the rehearsal dinner with a casual get-together on the wedding morning. Basically, you do not need a huge budget for the rehearsal dinner. The main aim is to just break the ice and help all the main people at the wedding relax and get to know each other, so they can have fun together at the wedding. You can also use this opportunity to discuss wedding day plans and share relevant information regarding arrangements, with the concerned people.

Now that we know the gist of what the rehearsal dinner is all about, let us move on to the interesting part of how to plan this event right.

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Tips to nail the rehearsal dinner

1.Keep it relaxed

You will have enough formality at your wedding, so let your rehearsal dinner be casual. Since there are no steadfast rules to planning this event, try to set the ambiance for the venue and meal in a relaxed style, so everyone enjoys the company. Rather than having a traditional sit-down plated meal, opt for an open buffet or even consider a barbecue. The menu needn’t be too elaborate or expensive. Instead, focus on keeping the company entertained. You can have a semi-formal to casual dress code for the event.

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2.Plan the guest list well

The rehearsal dinner is intended only for those who are really close to the bride, groom and their families. This includes the wedding attendants, extended families and close friends. If there are too many people, the atmosphere will cease to be relaxed and fun. So, try to limit the guest list. If you have any out-of-town guests arriving in time for the dinner, do consider inviting them to it. If your budget doesn’t permit too many guests, you can have an exclusive dinner for those who are very close to you, and host a brief tea party or dessert party for the rest of the people on the list.

3.Get the timing right

Rehearsal dinners are usually held on the wedding eve. This allows the wedding attendants to take time off work the evening before, and be free and relaxed in time for the wedding. It also gave an exciting start to the wedding festivities that they were to be involved in. However, this may not always be the best idea, if your wedding isn’t on a weekend. If so, it is better to plan the wedding rehearsal dinner two days prior to the wedding, so all have time to settle down after this event. It may also be better for the couple, if either of them are easily overwhelmed with organizing or attending an event so close to the actual wedding day. If there aren’t many out-of-town guests in the rehearsal dinner invite list, you can plan it for the weekend before the wedding. The main thing to remember is that it should be convenient for you and leave you enough time to recuperate for the wedding celebration.

4.Plan the venue right

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We’ve seen rehearsal dinners held everywhere—from banquet halls, to country clubs, parks and even in backyards. Although there is no right or wrong location, the chosen venue should be one that appeals to the couple. We loved one idea, where the couple decided to bring back some special memories by planning their rehearsal dinner at a quaint restaurant where they had their first date. The wedding was a huge affair, so this was an entirely different and refreshing experience. Your choice of venue should also be based on how much you want to handle yourself. When you pick a restaurant or club, all the details will be handled by the staff. So, you can relax and not worry too much, especially if you have a lot to do on the wedding day. On the other hand, if you have outsourced most of your wedding planning to a wedding planner, you may like to plan the rehearsal dinner yourself, so you can be involved in this fully. A party held in your home or backyard will require more effort, and you must have the time and bandwidth to set it up and clean up afterwards. However, this will usually be a cheaper option, as you will not have to rent the place, and can plan the décor and theme based on what is economical.

5.Pick a theme

Although this is an informal event, having a theme makes it more interesting. The theme could be as simple as a color combination or pattern, or even a style from an era, depending on your personal taste. Although many brides worry that picking a theme will make it more work, the opposite is actually true. A theme gives you an outline to work with. This is better than looking at hundreds of options and ending up totally confused about whether all that you choose will come together. This rehearsal dinner guide on the Martha Stewart wedding blog suggests that you pick a choose a theme that is entirely different from your wedding. This should be a representation of your personalities, and it is also an opportunity to use those quirky ideas that you love, but were not wedding appropriate.

6.Make it interesting by planning activities and games

Although all the people at your party may have heard of each other, they may not know everyone there, and may not ease up till they do. Get them going, by planning some activities where they get to break the ice and help them mingle. You could pass the mike around and ask them to introduce themselves, or start off with a game or fun activity that they will like to join in. Also serve the drinks up right at the beginning of the party, as this quickly lets guests ease into the party spirit and start conversing. It is also a good idea to plan the seating arrangements so everyone gets to sit with someone they will find interesting. Mix up both sides of the party, so guests do not sit with people they already know. This will also allow you to avoid uncomfortable situations where people who do not get along may end up sitting together.

7.Chat with everyone

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You may be too busy on your wedding day to get in touch with everyone. Although you should acknowledge all your guests on your wedding day as well, it is likely that it may not be practical especially if you have a large wedding. Nevertheless, the people at your rehearsal dinner deserve to be specially acknowledged just for the fact that they are important enough to be a part of this event. So, make sure you find time to greet and meet each and every guest there, both from your side as well as your groom’s. Since the gathering isn’t formal, and you do not have any elaborate time schedule for the event, this shouldn’t be a problem. Also use this opportunity to introduce members of the party to each other, so they can start a conversation. Give these new associations a good start, and you will have many more dear ones to add to your circle.

8.Toasts and roasts are fun

One of the fun parts of rehearsal weddings is that the informal atmosphere allows people who toast the couple, to open up and share more than they can at the wedding. There may be a lot of leg-pulling, but take it in the right spirit and it will also be fun as the crowd there knows either of you very well. You can have a bridesmaid or groomsman to emcee the toast(“or roast”) session, just in case you expect some people to hijack the mike for themselves. Nevertheless, plan this into the time-line, probably during the main course, so everyone enjoys it to the most, and you can also listen comfortably to all that they have to say.

9.Gifts are a great idea

You may have party favors for all the wedding attendees. However, the rehearsal dinner is the right chance for you to give a special token of your love to your extra-special guests. So, plan this in advance, and get the invitees a valuable gift to remember you by. It isn’t necessary to give everyone the same gift, as you would at your wedding. Choose different gifts for different groups, like one for men and another for women, or choose the gifts based on age. If you have a color or pattern theme going on at the wedding, consider getting gifts that are customized to match this theme for more excitement.

10.This is the right time for announcements

Before everyone leaves the party, make sure you share any relevant information or updates about the wedding day. Since many of the guests will be playing active roles on your wedding day, use this opportunity for last-minute instructions and updates. Double-check whether they are all aware of the timings, what they should bring and where they should be at what time. Remember that this is not the time for last-minute changes, you should only use this time to remind everyone of what they already know.

Finally, wind up the day and enjoy your journey home, for it will be soon time for wedding bells to ring.

Just like with the wedding, you should dress to impress at your rehearsal dinner. All eyes will be on you, the bride, and you need a fantastic dress to impress the guests from your groom’s side. Find a fabulous dress that will be perfect for the event, from our evening dress collection at Best for Bride. Check out our collection here.