The wedding ceremony is the foundation of a marriage, and is typically the most memorable moment for guests. It’s a symbol of the couple’s vows to love each other “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” While there are many optional aspects to a wedding, most couples choose a religious service to symbolize their commitment. Often, the ceremony includes readings, hymns, and prayers. Whether your wedding is secular or religious, there are certain things that every couple should do to prepare for their big day.
Create and share a wedding vision with your partner. The more your partners know about your expectations, the easier it will be for them to support your vision. You’ll also find that having a shared vision will make it easier to avoid surprises later on in the process, which can be very frustrating for both of you. It’s okay to change your mind about your wedding vision a few times throughout the planning process, but having a clear vision from the start is the best way to avoid confusion and frustration later on.
Assign a role to each person in your wedding party. Besides having a bridesmaid or groomsman walk you down the aisle, you can also ask your loved ones to do readings during the ceremony or help with other important tasks at your wedding. For example, a friend could be in charge of finding your perfect dress, while another friend might be the best person to handle guest lists and R.S.V.P. tracking. You should also have a designated contact who’s in charge of communicating with your vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Complete the final touches and order any additional items you’ll need for the big day, such as program cards, place cards, and thank-you cards. During this time, you should also complete any other final details with your venue and confirm the final date with your officiant.
Send out save-the-dates and confirmations to your guests. You should also confirm your invitation wording with the stationer and get all your guest’s current home addresses so you can mail the invitations. (If you opt for digital invitations, you might want to use a tool like Postable or Zola to keep track of R.S.V.P.s).
Obtain your marriage license, which can be a tricky task if you’re getting married in California. Unless you plan to have the celebrant witness your marriage in your home state, it’s usually easiest to take care of this at the local office of your county clerk.
Delegate responsibilities to friends and family members who are eager to help. This is a great way to spread the workload and also ensure that all of your favorite people are included in the festivities. However, remember that too many cooks can spoil the broth, so don’t lean too heavily on a single person. Also, consider enlisting the help of a professional wedding planner, which will ease your stress and guarantee that nothing falls through the cracks.