#1 Most important thing: Make sure your prenup is signed and in its final form
Some states require that your prenup is with you in its final form one week before you sign it, in order to give you enough time to seek legal representation if needed. Ideally, your prenup should be finalized and signed at least a month before you tie the knot, but if not (see what we did there?) you’ll want to make sure that it’s finished and signed at least seven days before the wedding.
We cannot stress this enough: Your prenup is the most important aspect of wedding planning, with the most far-reaching consequences. There’s a common misconception that prenups are unromantic divorce-planning documents, but in reality a prenup can and should be so much more. When you write your prenup, you open up the floor for an intimate discussion of what you’d like your financial future as a couple to look like, and then you jumpstart the process of achieving your shared goals by putting pen to paper and negotiating exactly how you’re going to turn dreams into reality. Therefore, you should give yourself enough time to think and work out the details.
A prenup is potentially the most important contract of your life, so it’s crucial that you don’t put yourself in a situation where you’ll need to rush. Taking your time will allow you to thoughtfully lay out the nuances of your financial plans and arrangements, as well as a contingency plan just in case the two of you eventually decide to go in different directions.
We recommend starting to talk about a prenup as early as possible–potentially even before you get engaged, but at least six months before the wedding. After your initial discussions, you should start putting pen to paper at least three months before your big day. If you give yourself enough time to work on the most important part of wedding planning, you’ll be able to get back to focusing on the lighter stuff more quickly and with more peace of mind.
4-7 days before the wedding
- Many couples write one another a note to read on the morning of the wedding (Kellogg, Olson, & DiGiovanna, 2021). If you plan to do that, take a quiet moment during the week before the wedding, make sure you aren’t rushed, and tap into your heart to write something sincere. It doesn’t need to be an amazing piece of literature, but it should be genuine and uniquely ‘you’.
- If you haven’t already, get your vows down in writing…and practice them aloud (Kellogg, Olson, & DiGiovanna, 2021)! Reading your own writing aloud often leads to realizations about details you want to change or additions you’d like to make.
- Have a demanding job? Welcome to the club. Try your best, to whatever extent it’s possible, to get on top of your work to-do list so that you can focus on your wedding without work-related stresses getting in the way (Kellogg, Olson, & DiGiovanna, 2021).
- If you’re using a wedding coordinator, give them an organized list of any final supplier requests. For example, if the DJ needs a table or the florist wants a designated setup space, your wedding coordinator needs to know about and have enough time to plan for these details (Naoise, 2021).
- Print place cards + double-check that all the details are correct, including the seating arrangement and table plans (Naoise, 2021).
- Create a timetable for the day of and share it with everyone involved in making the wedding come together–vendors, suppliers, parents, best man, maid of honor, etc. The timetable should show the details of what will happen when. For example, note at what time food will be served, when the bar will be open, and when the setup times are for each vendor (Naoise, 2021).
- When you share the timetable with them, touch base individually with all your suppliers, vendors, and site managers in order to confirm that you’re on the same page about the day-of action plan (Naoise, 2021).
- Take care of any lingering beauty-related tasks: Get your hair colored and your nails and eyebrows done, if applicable (Kellogg, Olson, & DiGiovanna, 2021).
- If you’re somehow still waiting on any RSVPs, chase them down, scold them for their tardiness, and make sure you have the final head count correct. (Kellogg, Olson, & DiGiovanna, 2021) Then, confirm the number with the venue, caterers, and other relevant vendors and suppliers (Hanlon, 2021).
- Schedule a massage! Planning a major event is exciting, but it’s also stressful. A massage can go a long way towards chilling you out in preparation to get out of your head and live in the moment when the big day comes (Naoise, 2021).
- One of the more fun steps: Conduct an at-home dress rehearsal, including everything–underwear, dress/tux, veil, etc. Make sure that everything fits and is in order (Naoise, 2021).
2-4 days before the wedding
- Pack for your honeymoon + the night after your reception (if you’re staying in a hotel) (Naoise, 2021). If you’ll be leaving the country, double-check that you’ve packed your passport. Then, check again. Then check that your partner has packed theirs, too. And in case you’re reading this when you’re in the beginning phases of wedding planning, check out these five affordable honeymoon destinations you haven’t considered yet.
- Go for any final outfit fittings, if necessary + pick up outfits if you haven’t already (Naoise, 2021).
- Ensure that all groomsmen and bridesmaids go for suit/dress fittings and pick up their outfits, if they haven’t already. This can also be delegated to the best man and maid of honor (Naoise, 2021).
- On a similar note, get your wedding dress and tux pressed and steamed! No wrinkles allowed in the photos (Hanlon, 2021).
- Confirm the pickup times with your wedding car company (Naoise, 2021).
- Have your wedding rings cleaned! Everyone will be looking at them, so get them looking all glossy and shiny (Hanlon, 2021).
The Day Before the Wedding
- If you’re using a reception coordinator, give them the place cards, menus, party favors, and table plan (Naoise, 2021).
- Give all coordinators, vendors, and suppliers an emergency number to call the day of if they can’t reach you (Naoise, 2021).
- If there are any remaining bills to be paid, write cheques, make deposits, or set aside cash as necessary (Naoise, 2021).
- Double-check that the cake will be ready to be delivered to the venue at the appointed time (Naoise, 2021).
- Get your wedding party together and rehearse (Naoise, 2021)!
The importance of delegation
The lists we’ve made above are pretty long and involved, right? You know that old adage about how ‘if you want something done right, you should do it yourself’? Yea, forget about it. In some cases, it’s simply not advisable to do everything yourself. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Your maid of honor and best man are there to help out. So is your family. So are your friends. So are many of the people who are participating in this ritual. Don’t be afraid to ask them for logistical support.
We hope your wedding will be a magical day! If you’re still in the early planning stages, be sure to check out how Hello Prenup works. If this is a topic the two of you haven’t talked about yet, here’s how to bring up a prenup without upsetting your partner. You’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime together, and the prenup is your roadmap. Bon voyage!
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Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected]