You’ve planned the big day down to the hour and you know exactly when your due to have a glass of fizz in hand and when you’re due to be heading to the dance floor to shake your grove thing…All your suppliers know exactly where they need to be when but have you put as much thought into the day before? It’s worth giving it some or you might find yourself still at the venue when you should be enjoying cocktails with the girls and getting those nails nailed! Hopefully this little guide will leave you with more time to spare to enjoy the build up on your last night as a free woman…

Getting ahead : Be sure to start a list a few weeks before with everything you’ll need at the venue and start allocating helpers; get some muscles around but also maybe a mum with some patience for fiddly jobs.
From irons for the linen to scissors, tape, pins and more, get those bags pre-packed. Check that the venue has a ladder that you can use if you need one. Also ask about any extension cables for electrics too if you have light or sound to go in. And don’t forget to pack gaffer tape for unsightly cables.


Unloading cars : Well I’m kind of a pro now at packing and unloading vehicles! Try to pack as much as possible before the morning into stackable boxes for the car. Leave yourselves at least 30 minutes for each car load (with one person) or get as many people as poss to grab a box to take in if you’re doing multiple car loads to the venue.

Hanging things first : This always take longer than you think, allow 1-2 hours. Always do this first as you don’t want to be doing it around the furniture later. Put two people on this so they’re not going up and down ladders as much. Maybe ask your venue if it’s something that can be done the day before the day before.


Gazaebos and Structures : Seriously, leave these for the boys to do! Allow 1-2 hours. Make sure they have the instructions (although, if they’re anything like my boy they won’t read it any way!) Again, ask if your venue would let this go up before the day before if you’re doing it yourselves. If it’s a ceremony structure think about guy ropes if it’s going to be up overnight.


People : Make sure you have enough hands on deck. It’s important to leave yourself free to check everything over and give direction (I loved this bit!) Leave others to pop out and get anything so you’re always around. I would have about 5-6 people around to help on the day, any more you’ll find people aren’t that helpful and just getting under your toes. Use people to put items in the right areas in the morning or near the tables they will be going onto.


Prepare Stations : Sweet tables, cake table, cards and gift book table – take your time on these layering the props you have and creating height and interest. Allow 1-2 hours. If your florist needs to add to these and they’re coming down on the day of the wedding then leave a note on the specific stations for them, it’s not always possible to decide on flower placement until the you see the set up.


Table Tops : The last thing to decorate. Put the linen on tables last to keep them looking crisp. Your venue might have dust sheets but some people/catering companies like to dress tables on the morning even. Do one table setting with favours etc for your caterer to follow, will save you loads of time!

Styling your aisle : If your getting married at a church or another place to your reception and you’re adding extra decor here leave this until most of the venue is already set by the afternoon to give you peace of mind. Leave yourself an hour for this.

Lighting : Add this after your main table centres once all decor is done (unless it’s hanging lighting of course) it’s easier to fit in afterwards and see where you’d like a little candle light.

Before you head off : Cover everything with a dust sheet. Pack away all the packaging and boxes from out of sight (you’ll still need quite a few people around for this.) If anything needs to be set up outside on the day leave it all together by the doors for your venue staff with a picture or sketch even so that it’s spot on.

If you’re styling your own wedding be sure to check out our A-Z guide on ‘How to style your own wedding‘ or ask about our styling services to help make your day before less of a chore…

Images via Wedding chicks, 100 layer cake.

Too excited for all our Lenders this summer…
Penny @ The Little Lending Co. X


Don't be so hard on yourself

As an ex-bride (Oh I wish I could be a bride every year) and having gone though all the planning myself I now know when things actually need to get booked.
There are lots of scary timelines out there, and yes if you love a venue or have your heart set on a photographer then I’d say get right onto it as soon as you can as they can get booked up to 2 years in advance…

But there are some things that really you do have a little more time to think about and research well and buy, beg, steal or borrow for the day!

Here’s our rough guide line for 12 months of planning. But i’ve known friends do it in 5 and planning a wedding day really does depend on the couple – if you’re super laid back then half a year may be too long but if you’ve been dreaming of this day since you we’re knee high you may want to take 2 years to get it just right and make the most of being a bride-to-be.

-Chat to your hubby-to-be about the type of day you’d like and start heading round some of the venues. You may have to compromise on your dream date if the wedding is looking pretty busy, or wait a little longer to marry just where you want.
-If your having a church wedding then make arrangements there. If the church isn’t in your parish you may need to speak to the vicar about joining the congregation for at least 6 months to be allowed to marry there if you have no other connections to the church.
-Start looking at photographers as soon as poss and get in touch to arrange meetings to see how they work and if you connect.
-Set that budget and start saving! (You will go over)
-Email caterers and get costings together for the food you’ll be wanting.

-Book the caterer.
-Ask your wedding party if they will do the honours; bridesmaids, best man, maid-of-honour and ushers. Might be a good time to ask family or friends if they’d like to read at the service too.
-Write the guest list!
-Send out save the date cards (if you we’re going to)
-Start looking for THE dress, try on as many as you need – the shops don’t mind, really.
-Research you cake maker, great to pop along to local wedding fairs to find some inspiration and try a few tasters!
-Think about the invites and stationery you’ll be needing.
-Wedding music/band/DJ’s, book them in!

-Book transport, not only for getting there but for getting back to the hotel too!
-Think about your decor and details at the ceremony and venue and the vibe you want to create for the day.
-Look for Bridesmaids and Groomsmens’ attire and accessories.
-Book your Honeymoon! Woop!
-Go to another dress fitting.
-Reserve your hotel for the wedding night.
-If you’re having hair and make-up done, find your pro now!
-Send out the invites. That’s when it will all feel very real.

-Buy the wedding rings
-Think about your wedding favours.
-Start the dreaded seating plan (it will change 100x’s before the day!)
-Finalise Table Decoration and Venue decor – Star to source or hire. (We’re happy to help for last minute detail if we have the items even with 3 weeks notice we can help!)

-Confirm the menu with caterers and rough run through of times for the day with them.
-Choose music for the ceremony and night, and that important First Dance!
-Confirm everything with your registrar.

-Stay off the do-nuts now as its last fitting time and picking up the dress!
-Run through with everyone involved in the day their roles and what they need to bring.
-Write your place settings up for the final seating plan – caterers and venues like a copy about now.

-Check all the details with all you suppliers and make sure they have full addresses and phone numbers. Pay anyone that hasn’t already been, the less hassle the week before the better.
-Practice your hair and make-up at least once.
-Buy your thankyou gifts for people that played a part to hand out on the day.

-Re-confirm times with the venue and co-ordinator.
-Have your run-though of the ceremony.
-Have a massage or really long bath and a large glass of wine. It’s about now everything starts to go 100 miles an hour. Take it all in, this is going to be the best week ever.

-Stay calm!
-Have your nails done.
-Set up the tables and decor at your venue, if anything needs to be put out in the morning show the caterer/co-orinator where things are to go.
-Try and get an early night or if not stay up and watch Bridesmaids with the girls.

I downloaded a checklist on my phone, there are some great free app’s out there and as my phone was rarely out of my hand it was perfect for checking things on the go or before bed.

There is alot to do and think about all for one day so from time to time forget about the ‘to do’ list and give your favourite a hug. If things don’t go to plan don’t beat yourself up – there will still be a beautiful wedding and thats what its all about.

Happy Planning,
The Little Lending Co. x