Communicating Reminders, To-Do’s, and Final Plans to Everyone Involved in Your Big Day
In the final days leading up to your wedding weekend, you have a bajillion details floating around in your head that you need to communicate to your bridal party! Your bridesmaids and groomsmen need to know what to pack, where to be, when to be there, ALL OF THE THINGS!
If you take the time to write out all those details taking up all your mind space and share them in advance through a week-of the wedding letter, your friends are going to LOVE you for it. It will also be really helpful for you, not to mention healthy for your sanity! Have you ever noticed that once you write something down, your heart and mind feel a little bit lighter? We know this task probably feels super overwhelming so instead of making you figure out everything you should include from scratch, today I’m sharing OUR letter that we wrote and emailed out to our bridal party three years ago so that you have a solid starting point!
Our wedding was a destination celebration and all-in-all, it included FIVE different “events” or “gatherings” over THREE days that we wanted to share details on!
1. Welcome Party & Ceremony Rehearsal
2. Wedding Day Breakfast
3. The Wedding Day Itself, from Getting Ready to the After Party
4. Day-After Breakfast
5. Day-After Dinner
We had family and friends who flew in from all over the world, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of opportunities to spend real quality time with everyone who had made the trip.
Keep in mind that your letter might end up being a lot shorter because you have less events involved. Or, it might need to include details and logistics that ours didn’t. For example, our ceremony and reception were at the same venue so we didn’t need to include any details about mid-event transportation.
So with all of that said, here is our week-of the wedding letter! Feel free to copy and paste it to make your changes, and even pass it around to your engaged besties! This letter made all the difference for us and everyone involved in our Big Day to have a perfect, smooth sailing weekend.
Hi everyone! As the wedding weekend is going to be here before we know it, we wanted to share some information (some new and some reminders) about the weekend to get everyone is on the same page about what is happening and when. This is really comprehensive, so apologies for the short novel! Hopefully this will be helpful as you plan for what you need to pack, travel arrangements, and answer all of those other little questions you might have.If anything comes up along your travels or while you’re in town, you can call either of us, or our moms, to get in touch (see cell phone numbers below). Also, we’re still finalizing timeline details, but hopefully this gives you a pretty solid idea of how things are going to run…
Emi’s Cell: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Shawn’s Cell: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Trish’s Cell (Emi’s Mom): XXX-XXX-XXXX
Sheryl’s Cell (Shawn’s Mom): XXX-XXX-XXXX
Thursday, October 6
We will be arriving at the Inn along with our families around 3:30pm. As a reminder, check in at the Inn is 4:00pm on Thursday and check out is 11:00am on Saturday. In case you haven’t had a chance to look it up, here’s a video of the Inn / Beach Club property so you can start to wrap your heads around where you’ll be spending your weekend! https://vimeo.com/169450312 (Also, the wedding that you see at the end of the video will give you a sneak peak of our ceremony location and the rooftop for the cocktail hour. Our reception ballroom is directly underneath the rooftop that’s featured.)
6:00pm – 10:00pm Dinner & Fire Pit
- We’re going to pick up Wawa, wine and beer to have around 6:00pm in the Veranda Suite (4th floor of the Inn – the door will be open so just come on in to help yourself!) and there will be plenty to go around for those who are coming in after 6:00 if you don’t feel like stopping for dinner along the way.
- Around 7:00pm, we will head down to the outdoor fire pit at The Inn to visit with incoming guests.
- We’re going to have rehearsal at the Inn by the firepit at 8:00pm.
- Groomsmen / Bridesmaids — when you do arrive at the inn, feel free to bring your tuxes / dresses / shoes, etc. to the suite where you’ll be getting ready so you don’t have to worry about it the next day. The guys are getting ready in the Bay Bridge Suite and the ladies are getting ready in the Veranda Suite (both on the 4th Floor).
- Sarah/Aly – We’ll have print outs with your ceremony readings ready for you. You’ll both have a chance to practice the readings at the rehearsal. Also, you might want to make sure you wear wedges or flats for the ceremony the next day – we’re getting married on a grassy lawn.
IMPORTANT: Don’t feel like you need to get dressy. It’s very casual. We know everyone is traveling and don’t want to add one more thing to your plate. We’ll most likely be wearing jeans, so really, casual all the way.
Friday, October 7
This is going to be a big jam-packed day and we are so excited that you all agreed to be a part of the madness with us. There will plenty of coffee to get us all through it! Have we mentioned that WE LOVE YOU GUYS?!
There are a lot of details below – we tried to break things up so you can focus in on just what is relevant for you.
8:30am – 10:30am Wedding Day Breakfast
- We will be kicking off the day with a wedding day breakfast at the Inn at the Tool Shed venue – we’ll point it out to you the night before. Come hungry!
- Guys – slacks and a button down or polo. I know some of the gents are planning on wearing a tie and/or jacket, but neither are necessary by any means. Really, whatever you’re comfortable wearing
- Ladies – sundress or slacks with a blouse. Bridesmaids/Best Woman and Moms/Aunt Jo – remember that we are going to start getting ready immediately after this so keep that in mind for any hair/makeup choices. The stylists do prefer that we come with clean hair – it can even be blow-dried that morning – but stay away from irons or product.
11:00am – 4:00pm Get Ready / Pre Ceremony Photos
- All – there are some important people who are going to be showing up during this time, and following you around and giving you direction for the rest of the day.
- We’ve hired a wedding coordinator – her name is Rebecca and she is a godsend. She will have an assistant running around helping her out. If you need anything at all, big or small, ask for Rebecca.
- Our photographer’s name is Natalie. She will also have a second shooter who will spend the majority of her time focusing on the guys.
- We’ll also have a videographer whose name is Curtis popping in and out of our suites while getting ready – he’ll obviously also follow us to the Beach Club to capture the rest of the night.
- Guys – you are free to hang out / keep busy together until 2:30 when you should head up to the Bay Bridge Suite (4th Floor) to get dressed. Guillaume, as the Best Man, I’m not sure if you are planning anything for the guys to do during those few hours, but if you do travel off the island at all, just plan extra time for driving because of the Boat Show happening this weekend across the bridge in Annapolis. If you stay on Kent Island, you shouldn’t have any issues getting around.
- Moms / Aunt Jo – at 11:00 you’ll go directly to the Spa next to the Tool Shed for hair. Your appointments are back to back – Mom V 11:00, Mom H 11:30, Aunt Jo 12:00. When your hair is done, you’ll come up to the Veranda Suite (4th Floor) for make up – Mom H 12:00, Mom V 12:30, Aunt Jo 1:00.
- Bridesmaids/Best Woman – after the breakfast, we’ll head up to the Veranda Suite (4th Floor) where we’ll meet up with our hair and makeup team! We have slotted appointments for everyone so things should run pretty smoothly. Shannon, as the Best Woman, we made sure that your hair and makeup slots were first, so you should be done by noon. At that point, you can either hang with us or go hang with Shawn and the guys – totally up to you! You can make a judgment call day of, just wanted you to know the game plan!
- Guys – Up to you
- Moms / Aunt Jo – For getting ready, bring something comfortable that you can easily pull over your head without messing up your hair. Mom H, you’ll need to be dressed and in the Veranda Suite at 1:30. Mom V and Aunt Jo, you’ll need to be dressed and back at the Veranda Suite at 3:00.
- Bridesmaids – For getting ready, bring a tank top/cami (color doesn’t matter) that you can easily pull over your head without messing up your hair, and black yoga pants/leggings for comfort! Also, if you want, bring some comfy shoes with you – you’ll definitely appreciate having some flip flops when you decide to take your shoes off later in the night and we all walk back to the inn.
4:00pm – 5:30pm Transport to Beach Club / Hide Away
- The bridal party will be getting rides over to the venue from Emi’s Uncles. Rebecca or her assistant will come get us separately and manage all of those logistics. Guests will start to arrive around 5:00.
- Guys / Best Woman – The guys and Shannon will hang out in the reception space downstairs by the bar. There will be what our caterers have called “manly” drinks and snacks at the bar. Once guests start to arrive, the guys (minus Shawn and Shannon) will help to usher people to their seats.
- Ladies – We’ll head upstairs to our area. There will be lovely lady drinks and snacks in the room.
5:30pm – 6:00pm Ceremony
- The ceremony will begin at 5:30pm.
- Sarah/Aly, please sit on an aisle so you can easily get to the front for your readings.
- We are going to have our pastor ask guests not to have cell phones out during the ceremony. If you all could do us a favor and help spread the word amongst family/friends that would be awesome. We know people get excited in the moment and can easily forget something like this!
6:00pm – 7:00pm Cocktail Hour / Pictures
- After the ceremony, the bridal party and family will go into the Ballroom while guests are directed to the rooftop. We have a really short window to get family photos and bridal party photos so if you all can help us out by making sure people needed for pictures don’t wander during this time we’d be really grateful!
7:00pm – 11:00pm Reception
- Bridal Party: Everyone and their dates will be seated at one head table for dinner.
- Last dance will be at 11:00.
11:00pm – 1:00am After Party
- After the reception, we’ll head back to the inn for an after party at Knoxie’s outdoor bar and fire pit.
Saturday, October 8
8:00am – 10:00am Breakfast
If you can make it out of bed in the morning, you’re welcome to join us at the Hampton Inn & Suites Annapolis for a continental breakfast. It is about 20 minutes away from the Inn, in the area where the majority of our guests are staying. We really won’t be offended if you don’t want to come out that way. If you do want to come hang, the breakfast is casual (think: sweatpants) and you can come and go as you please.
4:30pm – ?? Dinner
Finally, a visit to Annapolis would not be complete without a crab dinner! We will head over to Harris Crab House on Kent Island around 4:30 pm and would love to see everyone who is still in town. (They have plenty of non-seafood options on their menu). We’ll be hanging out there for a few hours. This will be a no-host dinner. Entrees range from $11-$30.
If you’re planning on sticking around Annapolis for the rest of the holiday weekend, there’s a lot to do! Here are some of our recommendations for how to spend your extended visit…
- Enjoy the United States Sailboat Show, recognized as the largest, most prestigious, and oldest in-water sailboat show in the world. http://www.annapolisboatshows.com/united-states-sailboat-show/
- Tour the United States Naval Academy (valid Driver’s License / ID required at entry). https://www.usna.edu/Visit/
- Stroll through the many boutiques, galleries and antique & specialty shops in Historic Downtown Annapolis. http://www.visitannapolis.org/discover/experiences/shopping
- Grab a bite on Main Street. Many restaurants here have been featured on The Food Network. There are also a number of walking food and beer/wine tours that you can hop in on. http://foodieannapolis.com
- See the bay by kayak, canoe or paddle board. http://annapolissailing.com —http://capitalsupbiz.com
- Explore the Annapolis Maritime Museum. https://www.amaritime.org
See you soon!
All our love,
Emi and Shawn
Check out more of our wedding planning tips HERE.