iesha thompson vincent and groom wedding

Photo: Anton Drummond

Hi, my name is Iesha from LivingLesh, a Philadelphia fashion and lifestyle blog. As a recent newlywed, I wanted to share my tips on wedding planning, specifically talking about the tasks that need to be completed closer to your special day.

Wedding planning can be super hectic. And one big thing that I learned in my wedding planning experience is that the earlier that you start, the less stress you’ll have to deal with as the big day arrives. But even if you plan early, there are still some major “to-do’s” that need to be checked off within the few days right before the wedding.


Make sure that your day-of planner has EVERYTHING.

These days, many couples are taking on the bulk of wedding planning themselves—I was one of them. However, I still wanted a day-of wedding planner because there were things that I just couldn’t do that day (such as make sure that everyone arrived at the right time and everything is set at the ceremony location before guests arrive).

On the day before the wedding (the rehearsal), my day-of coordinator had a checklist of everything that she would need to set up for the ceremony and the reception. Since we were unable to set up too early in the church, my day-of coordinator was responsible to handling the ceremony decor. I also made sure that she had all information for the vendors such as the phone number for the limo driver—an important detail that was not provided to us until two days before the wedding.

Go over your wedding timeline with everyone.

Wedding-day schedules are super-important. There needs to be an estimated timeline for when guests are to be picked up, when VIPs should be arriving, and when the ceremony should start. It’s likely that the schedule will not be followed perfectly and things may run late (or early!), but the wedding-day timeline keeps people moving so that at no point in time is someone sitting around, confused about what to do next.

I finalized our timeline a week before our wedding. And when my bridal party was all in one place we went over it together so that everyone understood what was going on. I was glad to share the timeline with a group of people, because if I missed something with all of the chaos, then there were other people there to help keep things on track.

bride walking to ceremony from hotel

Photo: Anton Drummond

Get pampered.

Once my girls had arrived, it was time to head to the salon!

My bridal party and I went to the nail salon the day before the wedding. I considered going earlier than that but not all of my bridal party was in town, and I didn’t want to get your nails done too early in case the paint chips or you break a nail. (Yes, you could break a nail overnight, but a one night risk is better than a whole week risk).

This is also the time to head to the hair salon to have your hair prepped or washed depending on your day-of schedule (talk to your hair stylist to figure out the best plan for your specific timeline and needs).

For my wedding day, I had both my makeup artist and my hair stylist come to our hotel room to get us ready. That meant that we needed to have our hair washed and blow dryed when they arrived so that they were able to begin styling right away.

Create a day-of voicemail message.

One thing that you do not want to do on the day of your wedding is have your phone anywhere near you. People will call with questions that you probably already answered whether it was stated in the invitation or on your wedding website. You don’t want to be stressed out on the day of your wedding by being swarmed with phone calls that someone else can handle.

My advice is to have you and your significant other create a voicemail on your phones that gives people the number to your wedding planner or a day-of contact that can answer all of those questions. It can go like this:

Hi, you’ve reached my phone! It’s my wedding day so I have detached myself from my phone so I can enjoy every single second of this special day. If you are a wedding guest and have a question, please call my __ at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

If this is another caller, please leave me a message and I’ll get back to you [give an appropriate date—perhaps after your honeymoon!]. Thank you.

wedding party

Photo: Anton Drummond

Give your vendor contact information for a member of your wedding party.

There is a chance that your wedding planner may not be with you as you are getting ready to leave to head to your ceremony location. For me, my wedding planner was at the church with the men waiting for us to arrive. My bridesmaids and my mother were with me at the hotel waiting for the limo to come and pick us up. The mistake we made...not giving the limo driver an additional phone number other than mine to contact us when he was unable to find our location, and my phone wasn’t with me.

Always give vendors such as your limo driver or other vendors another phone number other than yours and your wedding planner’s. Yes, the wedding planner is supposed to be charge of all of that, but again he/she may not be with you or they may be on another call or have walked away from their phone to deal with another matter. Having that back-up contact can help with so many things.

Create a checklist for you and your significant other.

Your wedding day will be so busy that there are going to be things that may be forgotten. One thing that you can do to prevent this is to make a checklist for you and your significant other.

This checklist can include things such as: put your engagement ring on, make sure that the best man has the wedding bands, is your garter on, do you have your vows, etc.

As busy people, we tend to forget the small things. And even with our wedding party around us, they may be caught up in the excitement as well and will forget to remind you.

Make a checklist as a safeguard and pin it in the doorway so that you see it before you walk out.

Complete all remaining payments and keep receipts.

In the two days before your wedding, one big thing to do is to check to make sure that you have paid all of your vendors, and if you have not, make sure that the wedding planner or someone has the remaining payments that are supposed to be handed over to the vendors on the day of (including tips!).

My advice is to not wait until the day-of. If there are still vendors that need to be paid a couple of days before the wedding then make those payments right away. You don’t want to be worried about paying for anything the day of, or having a vendor talk to you about how you haven’t paid them. If they are nice about it, they may let you pay days after the wedding—but it’s better to be early than late, particularly when it comes to payments.