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IV   Wedding Manifesto

Team Activation & “Day Of” Coordination

by Judith Rivers-Moore, The WeddingLinks Coach

Wedding planning comes in various waves of activity.  The first two sections keep you hopping.  Just getting used to the lingo, separating the must do from the get to it latter list is vital.  There is a quiet lull in the preparation and then the last two weeks prior to the big day, your life moves at lightning speed. We trust the forms and articles we add to this chapter will assist you greatly with timelines for the rehearsal, day of wedding outline, attendants duties and reception hall setup tips. (Having planned many weddings through the years, the author gives you sound preparation tips.)

This section will bring you into the final stage of your wedding planning structure. Hopefully, you have geared your finances for those last and final payments plus the tips and your honeymoon plans. It will seem like money comes in on one hand and goes out the other! We have some excellent Management Forms for you. Your management lists for the wedding day.

Please Use This Link To Gain The Wedding Planning Articles Listed With This Chapter

Planning The Rehearsal & Dinner

Party Service Tipping

The honeymoon packing lists

Change Your Name” list of things to consider for your legal details

Bridal Assistance On The Wedding Day

Set up for the Ceremony Area

Set up for the Reception Area

 At times there seems to be little time to work on the details of the wedding. It is very important to get the rest you need to feel strong on your wedding day.  Your Overall Timeline is becoming more important, so please check it daily and begin setting the calendar with your last minute appointments. Now is when you also begin turning over duties to your wedding team and utilizing their energy.

The Planning Process Of The Last Three or Four Months

From the bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, doe parties and wedding showers to other events surrounding the wedding, things can sometimes get sidetracked in a fun sort of way. Enjoy those moments and understand many of your friends and co-workers will be asking you some interesting questions if you have not registered somewhere for your wedding gifts. Begin thinking about what you and your financé are interested in receiving. There are many different styles of parties that surround a wedding:  Engagement Parties, Wedding Showers, Girls Day Out, Bachelor Parties, Rehearsal Dinners and often a Breakfast the Morning after the wedding.

So, if someone is inclined to ask if they may host a shower or party for you, we’ve listed a few styles for when they ask what type you would prefer. Sometimes you are asked to:  provide a list of people you would like invite and Invitations should be mailed one in advance of the date.

Wedding Shower Ideas

  • Couples: BBQ equipment camping tools, hobby
  • Ladies: housewares - crystal,  general personals and travel
  • Ladies spa party, makeup, nail, lingerie, wine bar set up
  • Men:  Sports, Golf Games, club tours

There are some really clever party services available in most areas. There are also escorted club tours available for women’s groups.

In response to each gift, a thank you note for gifts goes out within the week of the event.

The Bachelor Party

Things are really changing for bachelor parties. There is still the ritual of the guy thing with nightclubs and dancers, but more guys are opting for golf games, sports ticket events, focusing on the groom’s hobby, or 2 or 3-day trips consisting of everything from fishing to Las Vegas celebrations.

Tip: The bachelor party, bachelorette party ore doe party should not be planned the night before the wedding. People sometimes do not feel very well the next day after a guys or gals night out. Guys don’t always send written notes, but a phone call of appreciation to the host and the buddies is very important. The ladies usually always send thank you notes out to express their gratitude to each who attended the bachelorette party and also call the hostess.

Honeymoon Planning

Sometimes I meet couples who have their honeymoon planned before their wedding. This is often a gift parents enjoy giving and it is also a situation where a honeymoon gift registry may work well to assist in completing the trip of your dreams. We see couples use a variety of methods to arrange their honeymoon.

Some are:

• Involved in a great deal of research to come up with something exotic

• Computer savvy and go onto travel websites to access every type of travel and explore their options before booking their trip

• Seeking a bonded travel expert so they can feel more secure about their trip

• Couples who want all inclusive and a laid back situation

• Couples who want adventure

There are honeymoon components most couples want:

• Rest time

• Great food and bar

• Scenery

• Sports or activities

If you are traveling outside the borders of your country, you will need a passport and possibly a travel visa. These must be applied for months in advance of your trip. What is a Honeymoon Gift Registry?  You decide on where you want to go for your honeymoon. You will deposit and continue to pay towards your trip. You announce to your friends and family this would be a much appreciated gift and the company will send out cards if you choose. When gifts are given, it lowers the fee on your travel.  Knowledge of the travel itinerary and the unique things that are possible to do while on the trip are placed on your list of travel gifts. People can contribute to the trip fund or they can purchase a unique experience for you, such as a snorkeling trip, dinner on a yacht, snow or water ski day, a theater experience or tour while you are on your honeymoon. When someone contributes, you are sent a card announcing their gift and the company will

send a “Thank You” to the contributor.  

Tip: Cruises are a value, but you will need at least $700 to $2,000 on your credit card for tips and possible purchases or beverages while on board.

Set up your Gift Registries

Yes, you can set up more than one. This is where the two of you will choose various items that you would like to receive for your wedding. Discussing and knowing your personal preferences regarding gifts will help you greatly. Some couples feel they have no need for china nor crystal because they will never entertain that way, while others know it will be a significant part of their lives.  Wedding industry trends indicate that couples receive more gift cards, and checks today than physical gifts, and that honeymoon gift registries or unique gift registries are becoming increasingly popular. Couples are also forgoing gifts in lieu of donations being given to a charity of their choice.

Tip: There is a growing trend for couples to place their gift registries with stores who will donate a portion of the funds to charity on any gift items purchased.

The Rehearsal Dinner

Whoever is handling the rehearsal dinner plans will need the exact date of the rehearsal, the time you will need, the location booked and your number of guests before they can book the location. Sometimes the mother and father of the groom will ask your preferences on what type of rehearsal dinner you would prefer, but etiquette dictates this is their decision for the style and location. The closer to the site of the rehearsal, the better it is for everyone. The rehearsal dinners can be very casual to very elaborate.  Who Is Invited To The Rehearsal Dinner?  Even your rehearsal participants who are single, are invited to attend with a guest.

• Your wedding attendants and each a guest

• The flower girl(s), and parents

• The ring bearer and their parents

• The wedding officiant and a guest

• The coordinator and a guest

• Parents of the bride and groom

• Person taking you down the aisle and their guest (if not your father)

• Grandparents or godparents

• Sponsors are often invited, along with long time family friends in town for the wedding.

This space of time requires its own management list (if you are the one handling it).  Invitations out to those involved at least 4 weeks in advance with maps and phone numbers. You’ll need to know the time you will enter the site, available menus, and time to do some thank you’s and toasts to those attending and toward the happy couple. It is a great opportunity for families to get-to-know one another better.

Tip: For a destination wedding with children, you will require a bonded babysitter for the children or possibly some people bring a nanny along.  Calendar The Date - Eight Weeks Before the Wedding, the Rehearsal Invitations Must Be in the Mail

Rehearsal Dinner

The following must be complete by the eighth week prior to the wedding:

1. All invitations addressed and mailed (foreign counties by 8 weeks) others by 6 weeks ahead. Double check cost of postage to other countries with the postal clerk.

2. Rehearsal dinner plans outlined with the host/hostess of the evening

• regarding when you believe you will arrive for the meal

• how long you have space

• map to the dinner location from where the rehearsal is held

• concerns with menus or entry for special needs

Receiving the Gifts and Invitation RSVPs  

3. Set up an area in your home to place gifts that arrive and keep your gift log nearby along with tape to keep cards and gifts together.

4. Yes, open the gifts and get your thank you notes off early if you can.

5. None of these need be transported to the wedding for any reason. Please, never put your wedding date or physical address in a newspaper engagement announcement. Crooks look for this and may take your gifts while you are away.

Meeting with the Clergy

6. If possible meet with your clergy and complete the outline for the rehearsal and the day of the wedding.

Decide on your Wedding Area Leaders

The larger the wedding, the more people you need to assist you in each area. Print or text from your smartphone all the names and phone & email/text of each person working in each specific area of the wedding day. From your wedding team, decide and ask each person you want to be head of specific areas for the wedding day. We will give you the “Management Lists” for these in your gifts. Purchase three-1/2 inch, 3-ring white binders, 8.5 x 11.  Use the printouts in the Article's Page for your wedding team: 

Prior to the ceremony - keep these with you and always have on hand the vendor list and the wedding party list of names, phone numbers and contact info.   Give out the following prepared binders:

• Setting up the ceremony area -- receives binder #1

• Setting up the reception room – receives binder #2

• Keeping the reception flowing – receives binder #3

• Clean-up – list

It is a very good idea to give each of these people one another's phone numbers. You may want to put indicator flowers or a pin on them to indicate to guests who to direct questions toward.  Prepare the binders for them a week or more ahead. Set a group appointment and walk them through everything with their binders. This way you can illustrate many of the concerns and dynamics of the day ahead of time.  Realizing how busy people are, this is not readily conveyed by just telling them or handing them a binder.  Binder #1 Binder #2 Binder #3

  • Ceremony Area Reception Setup Reception Flow
  • Who is helping list Who is helping list Who’s helping list
  • Vendor List Wedding vendor list Reception vendor list
  • Wedding timeline Wedding timeline Wedding reception timeline
  • Room drawing Room drawing List of music requests
  • Wedding programs Location contact name List of family groupings
  • Location contact name Drawing of table designs local EMR numbers            


Three Weeks - set these appointments

7. Meetings to finalize the flowers, party rentals, and caterer

8. Review with the location, details of the room designs. This can be accomplished with your wedding team member who will be setting up either the ceremony area or the reception room plus the florist, party rental person and/or professional room designer. Bring your drawings of what you want.

9. Purchase attendant gifts

10. Men’s tuxedo fittings

11. Gown fittings for all the wedding and bridesmaids dresses that have arrived

12. Hair and nails appointments

13. Especially important to keep your excise program going right now.

Two Weeks Prior to The Wedding - Ask for help from your Wedding Team on this:

1. For the guest list - review the RSVPs that have not come in. E-mail and ask for their consideration to let you know ASAP. If no reply by the 10th day before your wedding, then please call them for their response and write down their count. The caterer will need these several days ahead of the wedding. 2. Call each of the wedding vendors you have hired and go over your requests, make any changes or additions at this time. Discuss their set-up time and give them the name of the person they are to direct their questions to during setup and the wedding day.

3. The gifts and the invitations will begin coming in. They require tracking. You do this by using the invitation list you began the program with. There is a section to add gifts received and if you have sent a thank you note out to them.

4. The invitation list is also set up to help you track the number of guests each RSVP card indicates. You will use this sheet repeatedly over the next two weeks. It is important to keep track of it. Tip: When the gifts and the RSVP cards are coming into two different addresses, have copies of the invitation list made for the other person in charge.

Complete Your Attendant Gift Purchases

It has been a tradition to give your attendants a special gift to thank them for participating in your wedding. There are many items that work beautifully for mementos of your wedding day. If possible, to save you time and energy, purchase where they might be wrapped for you. You may want to make something yourself, but your time frame will best dictate this. 


• Monogrammed or initialed items such as cufflinks, bracelets, key chains, handkerchiefs, ties, compacts

• Matching jewelry to accessorize the bridesmaid dress or tuxedos

• Gloves, shawls or matching evening purses for the dresses

• Silver Tussie Mussies (for Victorian style weddings)

• Spa and nail day appointments

• Individual items

• Tote bags

• Barware sets, grooming cases, cigars and clipper

When is the best time to give these gifts?

• A brief time prior to the wedding

• Bachelor or bachelorette party

• The rehearsal dinner

The Special Wedding Gift that Brides and Grooms Exchange

Tradition dictates couples will often give a special treasure to one another on their wedding day or the night before the wedding. This can be a simple or elaborate gift, but it is generally in line with being a memento or something meaningful.

• Special signed books, jewelry to wear on the wedding day, Bibles or religious mementos, luggage, logo designer items, collector's items, matching sleepwear and an item toward their special collection.

Plan How You Will Leave The Ceremony Area

Your location for the ceremony may be quite a distance from the reception room. Some of the greatest photos are taken from leaving the ceremony area as you walk down the aisle and leave the site to move on to your reception.  Well wishers want to be there to send you on your way

with tossing of confetti, rose petals, marigolds, rice or bird seed. Environmentally, most of these have proved a burden and are no longer welcome by most wedding sites. Some alternatives are:

• Dove releases

• Butterfly releases

• Bubbles in the air from bottled favors handed out earlier

Often these well-wishers have to wait until your photos are completed, but this gives time to prepare for your departure. (If it is very warm weather, it is a welcome gesture to have bottled or pitchers of water near the entry to be served.) Your best man or new husband should have transportation waiting for you.

Plan How You Will Leave Your Reception

Couples can create this with much fun or tradition as your heritage claims or how to want people to enjoy it. Everything from fancy cars

to motorcycles, to environmental green rickshaw transportation for carrying the couple off into their future.  As the reception moves toward the end and the newlyweds complete the traditional actions planned during the event, you will see the couple make the decision to leave the reception. It really is up to the couple. Couples can leave before the booked time is up for the location, or wait until everyone is out the door. Most

people will miss a fun-filled “send off” by the guests and the waves of goodbye. Whatever you do, plan it, and tell the best man and the maid of honor what you intend to do.  If you are leaving directly for the airport to go on your honeymoon this must be timed out exactly because of traffic

delays. You will need to be pre-packed and have everything there at the reception site to move with you to your bus, train or flight.  If you are going to a local hotel, then your leaving may be less hurried and you can plan to have some fun with people following in a car parade, with much vehicle horn honking.

These concerns are more difficult for the bride who does not have the wedding team there to support them by taking care of the following. So either she, her new husband or parents must complete these:

• The payment of any extra bar bill should be completed prior to the couple leaving or the person who will handle this is advised.

• If there are any, the wedding tipping envelopes are handed out by the best man to the wedding service providers.

• The gifts, cards and various decorations are transported carefully to homes for lock-up.

• The top layer of the cake is wrapped, boxed carefully, and saved (frozen) for the couple to eat on their first year anniversary.

• Flowers are given away or transported out.

• Decorations packed safely and trucked back to the owner.

• Party rental company comes to pick up items or they are delivered back according to an agreement.

• Depending on the agreement for the location’s use, there may be major cleaning of the floors, kitchens, and bathrooms. Caterers should be responsible for their cleaning of the kitchen and have this written into their agreement.

• Some locations require that your trash be hauled away. The Wedding Day Process Western Style-Traditional and Non-Traditional

Pre-Ceremony TIMELINE - depends on the time of day:

Dynamics of where your attendants and wedding team are reflects on this as you plan it.

• The ceremony area completed one hour prior to wedding start

• The reception room completed prior to wedding start

• The bride and bridesmaids ready for formal photos a two hours prior to ceremony

• The groom and groomsmen ready for formal photos an hour prior to ceremony

Decide what time and where everyone is to meet, whether the ceremony site or elsewhere. For some weddings, the bride and groom get dressed at his or her home, hotel room or at the location. If at the location of the wedding ceremony location, you will need to be there at least 2 hours ahead.

• Everyone up, on-time and eat a high protein breakfast or lunch. Have lots of water.

• Hair, makeup appointments or someone comes in to assist you.

• Photographer arrives for pre-photos.

• Videographer arrives for pre-photos.

• Transported to the ceremony site - if in a wedding dress, this vehicle must be very clean so your dress does not get dirty.

• When the wedding is at a hotel, it is important to have signed for the room the event is being held.

• Groomsmen need to be ready to seat guests 45 minutes to a half hour prior to the start of the wedding. The entry is prepared for the weather and doors opened.

• Photographer and videographer are set up with their equipment to record pictures.

• The mother of the groom walks down the aisle 10 minutes prior to the mother of the bride who begins the wedding ceremony on time or when the bride is completely ready to walk down the aisle. • The wedding processional lines up in the order they will stand up front with the maid of honor closest to the bride (unless the flower girl and ring bearer walk between she and the bride (optional to walking prior to the processional).

• Bride’s train is straightened behind her as she steps to the entrance and she does not walk until her specified piece of music is played. (If musicians are having difficulty viewing her entry, the best man can turn and indicate that she is in position).

• Doors are closed behind the bride by the extra usher.

• The father or presenter of the bride kisses her on the check (some raise the veil her to do so) and places

her hand on the groom’s arm as a sign of giving the bride away. The father/presenter then seats himself/herself.

• The groom takes his bride forward to the officiant (Sometimes there is a special short music presentation here).

• The officiant welcomes everyone to the ceremony.

• The maid of honor takes the brides bouquet to hold and gives hers to the 2nd bridesmaid.

• The ceremony takes place with various readings, music, symbols presented.

• The couple is officially pronounced married and presented to the guests.

• Sometimes the couple stops to shake hands and hug the family.

• Other times, the couple heads down the aisle with heads up and smiles.

• Photos may be taken immediately after the ceremony

• The legal documents are signed and witnessed.

• The couple then leaves for the reception and often this is where the petals, bubbles, etc., are thrown at the couple.

The Reception

Occasionally, this is a grand entry for the couple with the announcer giving them a welcome, and other times the couple is there in place welcoming the guests as they arrive through the door. Reception rooms can be set up with hors-d'oeuvres and cocktails, seated tables, buffet lines, or guests mingling for just punch and cake. However you have decided on the reception flow, you should make an effort to pose for photos and do specific traditional parts of the reception. This is arranged with your D.J, announcer or musicians in the order you desire.

• Begin the dancing - first dance - father/daughter - groom and mother etc.

• Honor the bride and groom with the toasting

• The cake cutting and dessert serving

• The bouquet toss

• The garter pull and toss

People reverse these and add to them…and you can too.

Leaving the scene is up to you and according to your schedule. It is fun to plan a surprise or two for your guests throughout the day.

How to Stay Tuned In On Your Wedding Day

Life isn’t measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.

By activating and empowering your wedding team to complete many of the tasks you would be called upon to do, you release your mind to enjoy the beauty, romance, and memory of the wonderful wedding you designed and implemented with your fiancé and wedding team. There are some things for brides to remember on the day of their wedding:

• If it did not get done by now, then it must not have been that important

• Everyone will support you and enjoy everything planned

• If something does go wrong, it is just that “some” thing, not everything

• Breath – big deep breaths, and smile

In the flurry of everything, stop now and then, look at what is occurring and take a mental photograph.

• Your friends getting dressed for the wedding

• Your reflection in the mirror

• How lovely your family looks all dressed up

• How wonderful your groom looks as you walk toward him

• The beauty of the reception room as you walk in

• The various guests and taste of the food

• The Signing of your marriage documents

Your mind may not be as good a video camera,  it still will remember those snap shots.

Embarrassing Moments For Some Brides

These are some of the things that can embarrass brides and they are shared to inform you. When you are nervous, you often do not think ahead. Please review the “Bride’s Emergency Bag Ingredients” in the gifts.

• Practice walking in your high heels with a skirt the same length as you have chosen for your wedding dress.

• If you are hanging you dress at home, make certain kittens and dogs do not have access to them. Brides have found pets making shreds of their beautiful dresses.

• Ask your finance to please clean his hands and nails

ahead of time. There are photos of the rings, and he will also be shaking hands, etc.

• If the weather is predicted to be very hot, invest in a mister or handheld fan.

• Your wedding dress will likely be packed from the store with the bustle tied up. Know ahead how to bring your train down before you put it on your body.

• Take someone to the dress shop with you to learn how to bustle your wedding dress after the ceremony. Some ladies like to leave them down until dance time.

• The dressing area can get too relaxed and (late) if there is a lot of wine flowing.

• Don’t put your lipstick on without placing plenty of clean cloths down the front of your dress. Many a lipstick has been known to drop down the fronts of dresses.

• Bride’s sometimes cry, so if you can wear waterproof mascara and ask your groom to carry two hankies, it would be great.

• As much of an effort as it is, go to the bathroom ten minutes prior to the wedding ceremony. Have your assistant lift up the dress so it does not get soiled and get you through this. You may also require her help later.

• Red wine or juice stains are very difficult to cover if you spill a drink.

• Drink water throughout the day. When you are nervous, you are inclined to dehydrate quickly and fainting is not an option.

Planning an After Wedding Day Celebration

Many ethnic traditions have been brought from countries all over the world. One being enjoyed recently is that of a family and friends brunch the day after the wedding. This is held at a friend or family member’s home. The couple comes in and the food is enjoyed, but the excitement is the opening of the wedding gifts the couple received.  This invitation goes out to specific people and should include the attendants and wedding team members for all to join in again with the couple for a relaxed low-key time together.  It is rare that the couple hosts this. The invitations should have gone out by being included in the regular wedding invitation. They can also go as a personal printed note with the address of the gathering. Someone keeps a log of the gifts and who they are from plus another re-tapes the cards to the gift boxes. Casual foods and beverages can be served.

Chasing Away The “After Wedding Day Blues”

There seems to be a great deal of this with brides, “The after wedding blues.” It has likely existed throughout the generations and most people thought it was “the new bride getting adjusted to married life”, but we are now realizing it is because of a number of good reasons:

• The focus of the all-consuming wedding planning is gone.

• The bride is not as busy and dwells on things that did not go right.

• He relationship with relatives and friends went sour.

• She is still very tired from the experience.

• She has a debt to deal with.

The groom is having a difficult time also. Some men deal with a real strong “breadwinner” feeling. They can’t quite understand what it is and distance themselves with the workload to show wives how much they love them.  When all she really wants, is his arms around her to prove his love. Confusing, isn’t it? Here are a few suggestions:

• Set new goals with your time. You’ve just challenged yourself with a major task and you’ve acquired some new management skills.

• Get your photos in albums as quickly as you can to review and enjoy

• Do your best to mend relationships that are torn. Pat yourself on the back if you put things back to where they were.

• Reflect on the great things that happened within the wedding and events leading up to it. With each “Thank You” note you send, reflect on an amazing day.

• Apply energy toward any debt and it will build confidence

• Plan dates and simple fun times with your new husband

Copyright 2017, Judith Rivers-Moore, JR Publications