There are some things that you just shouldn’t wait until the last minute to do, and I’ve put together a list of some noteworthy ones. While it may seem like once you have all your vendors booked it will be smooth-sailing into the big day, there are a million loose ends to tie up that month before your wedding. For example, there are dress fittings, dress steaming, shopping for clothes for other wedding functions, picking up wedding bands, having rings cleaned, putting together gift bags, counting RSVPs, picking up wedding programs, packing for the honeymoon, and the list goes on… You will absolutely be busy, so don’t put these off:
Wedding Signage: Everyone wants it, but for some reason, it gets pushed to the last few weeks for a lot of brides. These things take time, so plan out your wedding signage along with your floral décor and design. Whether it’s you, or someone you’ve hired, it takes time to create that chalkboard welcome sign/menu sign/specialty cocktail sign, not to mention sourcing the chalkboard, piece of wood, mirror, glass, etc. And if you’re having something printed, you still need to source the perfect frames.
Marriage license: In Orleans Parish, you need to apply for your marriage license no sooner than a month before your wedding date (it expires at 30 days), and no later than 72 hours before. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait until 30 days before to determine if you have the required documents. Among other things, an original or certified copy of your birth certificate is required for issuance of a license, so if you’ve lost the original, you need to plan time to order a certified copy from your state of birth.
Deciding on a first look: You can find tons of blog articles on the benefits of doing a first look vs. waiting until the ceremony to see each other (and I’m all about a first look). But don’t wait until the last minute to make this decision, because it has a huge impact on the timeline of the day. If you’re doing a first look, you need to have your hair and makeup finished earlier, you need to allot time to take more pre-ceremony photographs, and depending on where you do the first look, it can make a big difference in the timing of your transportation transfers.
Writing Down Your Vows: I’ve been in a few weddings where the couple finishes their vows at the last minute, e-mails the document to themselves, and then panics when they realize they will be holding their cell phone up at the altar. Start drafting your vows a few months in advance, and write them down on nice paper, or hire a calligrapher. Because the vows are pretty much the whole point, right?