The week before your wedding:
? Try on your whole bridal outfit
Practice walking in your complete outfit so you’re not left feeling uncomfortable when you finally walk down the aisle. Trying everything on, including jewellery and accessories, can help you figure out whether any adjustments need to be made. If your outfit is particularly heavy, trying it on also allows you to get used to the weight.
You should try and wear your bridal shoes for at least half an hour every day around the house. This will help break them in, so they’ll be more comfortable when you have to wear them all day. Practice walking on different surfaces—especially going up and down the stairs—but try to avoid wearing them outside, in order to keep them as clean as possible.
Our pro tip: practice going to the bathroom in your wedding dress.
? Check and clean your jewellery
Make sure all your jewellery is spotless, with no broken clasps or missing diamonds, and check that all earrings have their backs. You could also take this opportunity to have your engagement ring professionally cleaned, so it’s extra sparkly on the day.
? Have your hair touched up
Whether you need a trim or a colour top-up, ensure that any hair appointments are made the week before your wedding, so that it’s at its healthiest and brightest for your stylist to work with. Avoid going for any drastic changes of length or colour—if it doesn’t go according to plan, your stylist may need to do some serious wedding day damage control.
? Pack for your honeymoon
If you’re leaving within two days of your wedding, try and pack as much as possible in advance. This gives you the chance to note down and buy any extras you might need, like sunscreen or toiletries. Don’t forget to order any foreign currency, and print off any travel documents and confirmation emails you need.
? Finalise the seating plan
You should have received most of your guests’ RSVPs by now, allowing you to put the finishing touches on your seating plan, and make arrangements for any late responses. Send the final version to anyone who might need it, such as your photographer, wedding planner, or a close friend or relative taking charge on the day. If any invitees haven’t yet RSVP’d, now is the time to chase them up before passing a final head count to your caterer or venue, if necessary.
? Confirm all details with your vendors
You’re likely going to be in contact with a few different vendors and suppliers for your wedding. This might include the venue, caterer, photographer, videographer, hair stylist, makeup artist, florist, band or DJ, as well as any extras like a photo booth or driver (if you’re not organising your own transportation). Confirm all logistics a week ahead to keep track of who you’ve already paid, and who is expecting payment. For one less thing to worry about on the day, hand over your vendors’ contact details to your wedding coordinator or a friend so they can take control for the final stretch.
? Practice your vows and plan speeches
Whether you’re opting for “standard” vows or writing your own, be sure to practice saying them out loud. The more you practice, the more confidence you’ll have making them during the ceremony. Make sure you practice saying them out loud as well as to yourself.
If you, your husband, or anyone in your party is planning on delivering a speech, make sure you have an allocated time slot for it, and that everyone knows how much time they have. This way, you can prevent the speeches from dragging on, and allow the reception to flow easily.
? Find your ‘something old, new, borrowed and blue’
Increase your wedding day luck with the classic bridal items. Ask your mother or grandmother for something old, which can add more sentimental value to your big day and give you the chance to wear a family heirloom. Many brides consider their wedding dress to be their ‘something new’, adding a blue garter belt underneath. For a more visible spark of colour, however, consider blue flowers for your bouquet, or a piece of blue jewellery. Just remember that a silver sixpence in your shoe brings good luck.
? Build your wedding ‘emergency kit’
This should include everything you need for minor emergencies, like plasters or blister patches, a compact mirror, eyelash glue, tissues, face powder, blotting paper, a small atomiser of your perfume, mints, and safety pins. Find out what lipstick your makeup artist will use on the day, and include a spare for any touch-ups throughout the day. Ask your maid of honour to keep hold of this kit so you’re guaranteed quick and easy access, whenever you need it.
? Have your final beauty treatments
The week before your wedding is not the best time to try out a new beauty treatment, just in case you have a bad reaction. If you’ve been having regular facials, time the last one before your wedding to be at least a week prior, giving your skin time to adjust to the treatment. A mild face wash and toner are fine for the days leading up to the ceremony, allowing you to avoid breakouts, but do stick to a brand you’ve used before. Other treatments include lash extensions, eyebrow threading, and teeth whitening—but again, only do these if you’ve had them done previously, and haven’t reacted badly.
? Box up everything you need for the day
Things like guestbooks, the cake knife, and your toasting glasses should be boxed up early, ready to be transported to the venue. It’s best to gather this in advance so you know exactly what you have and where it is. This also makes it much easier if someone else will be in charge of delivering them.
? Gather all the important documents
In order to legally get married, there are certain documents you must present to the registrar, including two forms of ID. Acceptable forms include:
National identity card
Immigration status document (if applicable)
You will also need to have proof of address, such as a paper bank statement or a utility bill issued within the last three months.
Gathering these in advance means that you have time to order any replacement documents if need be.
The day before your wedding:
? Drop off items to the venue
If the venue allows it, it’s best to drop off as much as you can the day before, so you have less to carry with you on the day. This can be anything from decorations to the cake knife, glasses, guest book, centrepieces, and name cards.
? Get a mani-pedi
Minimise the risk of chips and cracks by getting your nails done the day before your wedding, either alone or with your bridal party. Opting for a pamper session with your bridesmaids and/or mother gives you all some time to relax, forget about the wedding stress for an hour or two, and just enjoy being with each other. If you can, buy a bottle of the colour of polish used so you can quickly fix any accidental chips. Otherwise, opt for long-lasting gel polish.
? Check-in with your bridal party
Whether via a phone call or a quick get-together, make sure everyone in your party has everything they need. It’s best to know in advance whether there are any issues instead of finding out on the day, which will only cause stress. Give everyone a reminder to steam or iron their outfits for one final time, to avoid fussing in the morning.
? Do a final run-through with your wedding planner
If you’re working with a planner or coordinator, get in touch with them the day before for a final run-through of times and logistics. Professional planners will have worked on plenty of weddings in the past and will be able to offer any expert advice for the big day if you need it.
? Relax and get a good night’s sleep
Perhaps the most important thing to make sure of the day before your wedding is to stay calm, and enjoy some me-time. It’s a good idea to have an early night in advance of the excitement of your wedding day. A night of restful sleep also means you’re less likely to suffer from dark circles, under-eye-bags, or breakouts, which is excellent news for you and your makeup artist.
The morning of your wedding day:
? Have a nourishing breakfast
While the excitement can make some brides too anxious to eat, it’s important to have breakfast for the energy you’ll need to get through the day. Granola with fresh fruit and yoghurt can provide you with slow-releasing energy to get you through the day, and is a healthy option which shouldn’t leave you feeling bloated. Finish off with a herbal or green tea to calm your nerves, and aid digestion.
? Check the traffic
If you’re not staying at the venue or a nearby hotel, check the traffic so you’re prepared for any potential delays. By discovering any problems early on, you can alert your bridal party and guests, and reschedule your morning as necessary to make sure you still get there on time.
? Lay out your dress and accessories
Don’t forget to take the labels and stickers off your accessories and shoes. Laying out everything you need means it’s all ready for you to slip into following your hair and makeup, while giving the photographer the chance to take those detailed shots without disturbing anyone.
? Leave yourself extra time
We suggest being ready at the venue at least an hour before your ceremony begins, allowing you some extra time to take photos, or spend some quality moments with your parents and bridal party. This also gives you the chance to calm any pre-marital nerves instead of rushing at the last second.
The most important thing for any wedding, however, is to enjoy yourself. The high levels of excitement can make the day fly by, so make sure to give yourself some time to take it all in. After all, your wedding is the result of months of planning with your new partner, and the start of the rest of your life.