The Final Countdown: Do’s & Don’ts In The Last 24 Hours Before The Wedding

After months, sometimes years, of planning, the big day has almost arrived. With the “I do’s” merely hours away, what should couple do — and not do — the day before the wedding to help ensure that all goes as planned?

For starters, prospective brides might want to cancel any spa appointments.

“No massages within 24 hours. Your dress that fit one way at the last fitting, might fit another way after the massage when your muscles relax,” said Cindy Sanchez Lark, owner of Detaille Weddings and Events, a wedding and event planning company serving Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts.

Not only that, other spa treatments such as facials or waxes can irritate your skin and result in a rash or breakout on your wedding day.

“You might get allergies or irritations from the oils,” said Sanchez Lark, who also said to avoid tanning, hair dyes or any other type of treatment that falls outside of your normal routine. “Keep it pretty regular. Don’t try anything new within that 24-hour period.”

Other things to avoid in the hours right before the wedding day include drinking too much alcohol, having bachelor or bachelorette parties, staying out too late and last-minute drama.

“I tell my couples within 24 hours is not the time to address family politics.”

Instead, Sanchez Lark said couples should defer any last-minute issues to her to help keep the peace. “I try to be the middle person and deflect the situation.”

What you eat also matters and making mindful food choices the day before, along with the day of the wedding, can go a long way in helping you feel good throughout the entire celebration.

“Definitely don’t eat something you haven’t had before that can be a potential risk,” she said. “Eat good food and stay away from fast food. Have a good breakfast, nice dinner, and also have some starch to help feed the body the next day.”

On the day of the wedding Sanchez Lark said that it’s important for brides, especially, to drink water and stay hydrated, as well as remembering to eat since many of them tend to forget amid the busyness or skip it due to stress.

“I emphasize food throughout the day. I want them to be alert and aware of what’s going on, not queasy or tipsy.”

Other pre-wedding suggestions include picking up cash to have on hand for any unexpected needs, preparing notecards or thank you’s that need to be given out the next day, breaking in shoes, finalizing vendor payments and gratuities, delivering the rings to whomever is holding them, and ensuring that the wedding license is readily available.

While the big details have likely been squared away weeks in advance, one or two days before the wedding it’s a good idea to connect with each of your vendors a final time to ensure everything is in its place.

“Do a checklist with all the vendors,” said Lisa Kronauer, owner of K&Co., an event planning company based in Madison.

“The photographer, videographer, caterer, rentals, florist, baker, the band, the DJ; the whole checklist. It can be huge but go through it real quick to make sure everybody is where they should be.”

Trying on the wedding dress one last time is also imperative as many brides tend to lose weight in the days leading up to the wedding.

“The dress may not fit,” said Kronauer, “so doublecheck the dress and have a tailor on hand, or their phone number in case you need it altered.”

She also suggests doing whatever necessary to safeguard your home from would-be thieves who specifically peruse society pages for wedding dates. “People often overlook this,” she said. “But if they see the house is going to be empty for a number of hours, it can lead to a potential robbery.”

Finagling the seating chart might be required if there have been any last-minute additions or drop-outs. While it can be a stresser when it happens, Kronauer said that ensuring that everyone feels included is what matters.

“You can always find room for one more person at the table; just squeeze them in.”

If that or any other task becomes too overwhelming for the couple in those final hours before the wedding, she suggests they enlist help from members of the bridal party as supporting the bride and groom comes with the territory.

“The groomsmen and maid of honor are there for the bride and groom and should be looking into details as well. That’s why they’ve asked you as their best friend, because they know you can handle the task.”

According to both Kronauer and Sanchez Lark, the one thing that matters most in the hours just before the wedding is that the bride and groom enjoy themselves and find time to spend with their family and friends.

“Take time out to truly enjoy, bond, spend time, share your love and eat great meals,” said Sanchez Lark. “Often times weddings are the only time you tend to see certain people. Don’t leave anything to do within the last 24-hour period; you want to celebrate.”

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