Aside from your schedule or running order for the day, let’s review all the other lists and information I suggest you ensure someone has with them for your wedding – hopefully not you!
The more communication and clarity there is in the final run up and indeed post wedding, the more smoothly everything will run.
Your venue, your suppliers and your wedding team of friends and family may get stressed if they don’t know what’s happening or where to go to find out, so make sure someone has everything with them to avoid confusion.
You may well wish to divvy responsibility up amongst your wedding team or bridal party for having certain bits of information to hand.
These lists may look like a lot of paper, but they need not be hard copies and, as is so often they way, the more information you have to hand, the less likely it is anyone will need to refer to it at all.
I like to have two contact lists for the wedding day.
Supplier Contact List
Over the months, as you confirm suppliers, ask for their contact details. Naturally you will have some, as you have been communicating, and you can enter these into your list as you go along.
When you come to send suppliers your draft schedule – probably around 3 weeks before the wedding – this is the perfect time to double check mobile numbers and key staff for the wedding day.
With larger companies you may have been dealing via email with one person, but in fact another will be the key contact for the day itself.
For example a cake designer may have one staff member who does the deliveries and set ups for weddings; the entertainment agency will need to give you the band leader’s number and the manager of the catering company may have allocated one of his or her front of house managers to oversee your day.
Some contacts won’t be allocated until the very last few days, so it’s important to ask for the names, direct lines (where appropriate) and mobile numbers of your in house banqueting manager, your chauffeur/s and your coach drivers, for exampl
Wedding Team/ Bridal Party Contact List
It’s also extremely useful to have a similar list of those around you who are helping out and playing big roles on your day.
Anyone delivering, collecting or driving members of the bridal party should be on this list, along with team members involved in set up and de-rig.
Below is a list of those who sometimes appear on my clients’ wedding team lists. This might kick start your list which can then be fine tuned in the Template provided.
Many couples choose to have a reportage or candid style of photography for the majority of their wedding, preferring this less intrusive approach. That said, most couples will want at least a handful of line-ups or staged shots, to ensure they have the perfect wedding photo for the mantelpiece, some family line-ups for elderly or unwell family members who could not attend, etc.
Always discuss your shot list with your photographer, who will have their own expert suggestions and experience.
I recommend breaking the list into venues or spaces, if you have more than one, for example:
- Shots at Church
- Shots of couple at beauty spot on way to venue
- Shots at venue
Make sure your photographer has the list and has either met, or at least has the name and number of a friend or family member who can help them gather the groups quietly and efficiently. This person will also need a copy of the list.
Your photographer will likely work out who all the bridesmaids are, but will find it far more difficult to gather say all the Aunties on Mum’s side.
Importantly, if you have people who cannot, or will not, be photographed together, discreetly let both your photographer and their allocated assistant aware.
You will probably have spent a long time, and often substantial budget, deciding on your flowers, so make sure someone has a list of everything you booked and where each arrangement, bouquet, buttonhole etc. needs to be delivered or set up.
I recommend asking the florist to name buttonholes and corsages, simply Groom, Andy, James, Fred, Sarah etc as sometimes early arrivals at Church may mistakenly take one, or the Groom’s special one might end up on the wrong chap. Many florists will do this as a matter of course.
If you are planning to give some of your flowers away as gifts, perhaps some of the table centres for example, have a list of who is to receive one and make sure you have cellophane and string or raffia, and some scissors, for ladies to take them home, if they are not already in vessels they may keep.
As flowers can be very expensive, many brides choose to reuse flowers from the Ceremony for the Reception.
This may involve moving arrangements from Church or Licensed Venue Room to the room where your wedding breakfast will be held.
Work out in advance which arrangements you wish to reuse and who will lift, or transport, them from one space to the next.
Do note that, occasionally, a Minister will not allow arrangements from Church to be moved from the Church.
There is a lot to remember both in planning your wedding and in making it happen the way you want.
Another list I recommend building up over the months is a kit list: by this I mean a list or lists of all the items which need bringing to the wedding. For example we discussed cellophane, string and scissors for flowers.
Keep adding to your list as you go through your planning, then nearer the time you can work out who will bring what.
Think about this in sections, such as ‘emergency’ kit, feminine hygiene, baby change etc.
The more DIY your wedding is, the more you will be likely to have on your lists.
Your venue makes a difference. If you are in a marquee in the middle of nowhere, you will want to be 100% sure you don’t run out of toilet rolls, whereas in a hotel in town this would not cross your mind.
So does the guest list. If you have no babies or young children coming, baby change facilities and high chairs will be irrelevant, for example.
Some couples choose not to have a formal seating plan, however if you are having one, make sure whoever is laying out the place names knows exactly which seat is for which person, along with any spaces which will be filled by a wheelchair or high chair not a standard one.
If you are having round tables, I suggest putting all the place cards for that table in the order you want them. Ideally put the person you want to have the clearest view of the top table first, then the rest in order clockwise.
If the seating plan guests will look at is in the exact order per table you can simply tell your caterer, or wedding team member responsible, to follow the plan, but I would still put the cards in order to save time.
If you are having escort cards instead, the order per table is irrelevant.
Once the invitations have gone out I start an RSVP List, on which I also note:
- Dietary Requirements
- Menu Choices (if offered)
- Transportation (if offered)
However you have asked your guests to RSVP, be it via a website, traditional mail or something different, there are always people who ‘thought they’d told you’ or who simply don’t respond, so keeping a list is really helpful and allows you to chase once your initial ‘RSVP by’ date is passed.
These days many people have food allergies, some of which can be really severe, so make sure you brief your caterer fully on exactly who has what in terms of allergies and other dietary requirements, along with menu choices if you have given guests a choice.
Some couples choose to offer a simple child meal for children: others not. If you are offering a child meal, make it clear to your caterer which guests require one.
Most caterers will need this information, along with final numbers, at least 2 weeks prior to the wedding.
If you are offering coach spaces, make sure someone has the lists, especially if the coaches are fairly full.
Layouts/ Room Plans
Your venue or marquee company will usually provide room plans for you.
If you are not following their norm, hiring in any furniture etc, make sure everyone involved knows, for example, how you want your chill out area set up.
If you are in a dry hire space and doing more of your own thing, make sure whoever is setting up, if not you, knows exactly where everything is to go, including:
- Tables and chairs
- Top table
- Table plan
- Gift and card table
- Cake table
- Service stations/ Bar
- Chill out furniture
- Mobile toilets
- Stage blocks
- Coat racks
Two Key Contacts
I always recommend that your main suppliers, along of course with your wedding team, be furnished with two key contacts for the wedding day and evening.
To whom should anyone go if a financial issue crops up?
Particularly if you are supplying your own drinks or are in a dry hire space, sometimes the bar or catering company will need to restock something which they will otherwise unexpectedly run out of.
It’s useful to know who to go to for authority to spend an agreed amount restocking before the shops shut and indeed for any other money related occurences.
Sadly all sorts of things can happen on one’s wedding day which we have no control over and which often don’t affect us personally.
I remember being involved in a wedding the day a famous pop star died whose work made up a substantial amount of the bride’s playlist. It was good to know who to go to for a decision whether to tell the DJ to play through as a tribute, or not.
People become ill; people get bad news; indeed anything can happen, so it’s great to know who to go to for a decision, a pointer or just a helping hand.
Include these contact details on your Wedding Team Contact List and inform key Suppliers.
If you’re planning your own wedding and found this useful, I’d love to help you more. You can sign up for my free online mini-course for brides here.
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