des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

Sweet Beginnings: Tips to prepare for your Wedding Day

For Brides

Hello, lovely brides! Today I am so excited to share a few tips today on how to lessen your wedding day stress, even without a planner.


Of course, I would love to meet and work with you to bring your day to life and highly recommend that you meet with a planner at the beginning of your planning process. However, we all know that sometimes a planner isn’t one of your budget priorities and that is ok. Regardless, I truly believe that every bride deserves to have a smooth and amazing wedding day.  As much as I would adore working with every bride that comes my way, I know that is not always possible and I want to help you in any way I can.

If you have a planner, whether they are full service, month of or something in between, they will help guide you through these steps. If not, these are the main points to think through as you plan your marriage day!

Be sure to have a full list of your vendors, their contact information and when they will be delivering to your venues. Many venue coordinators will ask you this, but think through that as you envision the flow of your day. This will also be handy when you start building your timeline. There is a timeline builder in the final prep worksheet below (yay downloads!) that will help you nail down the big items, then you can fill in from there with your photographer’s and DJ’s help.

It is true that not everyone is organization minded, but making the extra effort a month or two before your wedding will help you immensely. Try to pack all of your decor by use and have labels on each box. If you have a more detailed design, do a set up of what you’d like and take a photo to put on the box. Even if you are not an artist, sketches are also helpful for set up and layouts. This will help whomever is doing your set up to be efficient and know exactly what you envision.

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Your photographer will likely ask you for a list of shots you would like taken. If you have certain details or paper goods that you want photographed, be sure to pack those separately and have that list prepared. This will make your photographer’s job easier as well, because they can go down the list and know that all of the pieces you are looking for are in one place.

Lastly, this is a BIG one. Make sure you have an exit plan! When you are planning, it feels like the big event is the end of things. Well, how does it all get cleaned up? Will everything fit in your families’ cars? Do you incur costs for leaving things overnight if not? This is the aspect that couples forget the most often. Know who is taking left over food, flowers, decor and any other items that were brought into the venue.

I was so honored to guest post about this topic on Emily Crall’s blog a few weeks ago. Check out that post here for many more tips.

BONUS: Here is a downloadable PDF of the HHE Final Prep worksheet. I use a very similar version with all of my HHE couples to be sure nothing is left out. This is a great resource to give to all of your vendors and whomever is on your day of crew, as well!

As always, focus on the love you will be surrounded with and the fact you will be embarking on the next chapter of your life with your best friend.

xoxo, Jenn

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