Your wedding day should be one of the most wonderful experiences in your life. You no doubt have worked very hard to make perfect plans for your big day, but there are a few steps you must not forget to take before you head off to the wedding chapel.
1. Obtain a Marriage License
In every state, you need to have a marriage license to be legally married. Requirements vary by state, so it’s important to visit your city clerk’s office to find out for sure what your state requires. In general, you will need several items of personal documentation when you apply for a marriage license such as your driver’s license or other photo identification, birth certificate and proof of citizenship or residence. If you have been married before, then you may need to show a divorce decree or death certificate of your former spouse. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your marriage license as some states require a waiting period or blood tests. You may also want to check and see if your state is one that allows you to begin the application process online at sites like Registrations Are Us.
2. Determine Who Pays for What
It is often accepted practice to pay the balance owed to the catering company, photographer, DJ and various other vendors the day before or even the day of the wedding. This isn’t the old days when the bride’s family paid for everything or the man just naturally picks up the tab. You both work, so don’t end up standing there looking at each other totally confused when it’s time to pay the bills.
3. Avoid Honeymoon Disaster
After your wedding comes off without a hitch, you can happily leave for your honeymoon. Many couples choose exotic destinations but fail to do their research. Nothing can ruin the completion of your wedding quite like showing up at your honeymoon destination to find out it’s monsoon season or the country has gone to war.
4. Wedding Party
Take the time to check out the dresses, suits and everything in between that you have planned for your entire wedding party. You want to make sure everyone is matched up and not wait until the last second to see a cousin who decided she wanted to wear a white dress instead of the pink one assigned to her or chose to die her hair green.
5. Approve the Speeches
The best man and others may want to make speeches at your wedding reception. That’s really nice and will no doubt be caught on video, but you should approve the speeches before the wedding. Too many brides have been brought to tears when a best man thinks it’s funny to talk about how many women his buddy the groom has gone through in the last few years.
6. Plan to Limit Alcohol
Don’t let your perfect wedding day be ruined by a bunch of drunken idiots running wild at the after-wedding celebration party. A celebration is in order and it’s natural to serve alcohol, but you should choose some responsible parties to look out for trouble makers and get them home safely if they’ve had too much.
7. Pay Attention to Detail
You don’t want to have your wedding day upset by missing out on a few relatively small details that can make a big difference. Make sure your DJ has the correct music lineup, have your guestbook ready with more than one pen, have bags of birdseed ready to be thrown rather than rice, designate someone to keep track of gifts so you can write appropriate thank-you cards and have people appointed to clean up after you have gone.
These few tips should help you be fully ready for your wedding day. Get all the necessary things done and out of the way, so you can enjoy your special day and your new life happily ever after.