What to Do the Week Before Your Wedding

In the week before your wedding, you'll have a lot to finalize. From double-checking bookings to making last-minute hairstyle choices, you may find yourself overwhelmed with things to do one week before the wedding. On the other hand, if you think you've taken care of everything good and early, the week before your wedding can be deceptively easy and leave you worrying about what you might have forgotten.

If you're wondering what's left to do, here are a few important things you may have missed on your wedding planning checklist. Make sure you set aside a specific time to take care of each of these tasks, or you might be tempted to procrastinate on them until your dream wedding day is at risk.

Make Sure You Have Your Marriage License

By now, you should have acquired your marriage license. Different states have different waiting periods, and if you live in a state like Minnesota or Wisconsin where you have to wait five or six days respectively, you'll need to allow this amount of time! Some people wait until the day before the wedding and find themselves on the receiving end of a bureaucratic surprise. Many states have a three-day waiting period, and Florida requires a marriage preparation course. If you're not sure how long your state requires you to wait, call your local courthouse or the authority that takes care of issuing marriage licenses to find out.

If you don't already have the marriage license, make sure you get on that today. You will need to apply for it well in advance and pick it up at least a few days early. Most counties give you several weeks or even a month to get married from the time the license is issued to the latest date the wedding can be held. When you first apply, both you and your partner need to be there, so even if you're in a state where there is no waiting period and you can immediately get the license, you will still need to arrange both your schedules around this important detail. Worried about losing the marriage license? Find a super-secure or highly visible place to put it, or delay picking it up until the week before your wedding.

Take a Few Days Off Work or School

If you are going to have any problems pop up, they're bound to happen in the week before the wedding. This is when your caterer will get sick, your cake will take an extra day to make, or you will find out that you forgot to pay a deposit. If possible, take one or two days off work to deal with running all these last-minute errands, fixing crises, and so on. Chances are good you will have friends, family, and visitors in town at this point anyway. You don't have to feel obligated to drive them all around town – sometimes, introducing one friend to another while you take time to do what you need to do can be the best answer.

Is all going according to plan? Great news, but don't head back to work! A day or two at the office won't hurt if everyone wants to throw you a wedding shower, but spending the whole week there and then heading straight into your wedding will tire you out. Instead, on your days off, you can just take "me time" now that the heavy preparation is finished. Consider indulging in a spa visit or another relaxing activity, either by yourself or with your partner. Many newlyweds forget to arrange romance in the time before the wedding, and this is a crucial thing to keep up while you're both stressed and tired. Cranky newlyweds lead to weddings that are much less fun. Take time in the week before the big day to have a date night, enjoy your last time going to the movies as an engaged couple and not a married one, and so on.

Arrange Your Passport Names

If you're changing your name after the wedding, make sure everything is in order. Some newlyweds leave immediately for a honeymoon and find themselves frustrated by explaining name differences to officials. If you need to change your passport name, we can help make the process simple and easy.

The name on your passport should match the one on your airline ticket, so it's important to think about this when you make your reservations. You may be able to send in the name change forms after your wedding or you might have to wait until after your trip to change your passport name, unless you're willing to pay for expedited service fees. Those leaving a few days between the wedding and honeymoon may be able to get the change completed in time, but remember: you will need to send your old passport in with copies of your marriage certificate and other forms to prove the name change, so if it doesn't come back in time, you could be in trouble. You might be able to apply immediately after getting married if you pick up your marriage certificate in enough time, however.

The easiest solution for most newlyweds is to keep using their maiden names for the honeymoon if it is taking place immediately after the wedding. As long as your passport name matches your airline tickets and other reservations, you should be fine. If you have made hotel reservations under a different name, you may still be able to explain the situation and resolve it quickly, but airlines are much more strict about having matching names.

Take Care of All Last-Minute Confirmations

Two or three days before the wedding, you should confirm all the last-minute details with all of your vendors and suppliers. Make sure each and every vendor has the address, delivery time, and date correct. Remember to call for confirmation from the venue, hotels, beauty service providers, and so on, too. If you're taking a honeymoon immediately, any house-sitters, pet-sitters, or childcare providers should also be included in the round of confirmations. If there are any goods you were expecting to have delivered that haven't yet arrived, this will give you a chance to nag the post office about them. Banquet managers and other service providers may also get in touch to give you a preemptive confirmation or ask for information they haven't yet received.

Remember, this is also your chance to ask last-minute questions. In the week leading up to your confirmation calls, keep a scratchpad nearby to write a list of questions or potential problems you might have forgotten about until now. For example, does your hair stylist want you to arrive with freshly-washed hair or unwashed hair? (Updos are usually easier with unwashed hair.) Does your photographer know that the reception is being held somewhere else? Make sure everyone is on the same page. Some confirmations, such as hotel booking confirmations, are fine to conduct via email. For anything urgent, however, make sure you speak to someone on the phone.

The week leading up to your wedding might be full of frantic last-minute changes or confirmations, or it might be a relaxing experience if you have taken care of these details early. Make sure you remember these crucial last-minute tasks when you're planning the week before your wedding.

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