Catering Your Own Wedding: Final Week Checklist


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: Part 9 : Final Week Checklist

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This is it; you’re in the final stretch. The marathon is almost done. You’ll be sweating and tired, almost ready to throw in the towel, but you can see the finish line. You’ve worked so hard for so long and it will gone in a flash. You’ll probably be wildly oscillating between wanting to get through these last few days fast so you can finally get to the fun part and wanting everything to go slow so you can enjoy and savor every moment.

Preparing a couple for their union is an event marked in almost every culture throughout time. Experiencing it for yourself, surrounded by your community, can be a very powerful experience. Try to enjoy as much as you can, keep focused on the big picture and don’t get bogged down in too many details. We’ve been as organized as we can be to try and make this last week as easy as possible. The list of things to do for your food isn’t long, but with all the other wedding related things you’ve got going on, you’re still going to be very busy. Try your best to keep your head on straight and your bridezilla under lock and key.

Final Week

    • Schedule and implement all shopping trips
    • Create and implement a schedule for food prep during the week
    • Create and implement a schedule for food prep the day of.
  • Catering Supplies:
    • Acquire any last minute catering supplies.
  • Manpower:
    • Continue to keep volunteers organized with lists and schedules of tasks needed.
    • Prepare day-of lists for each crew so on your wedding day you can relax and let everyone else take over


Here is a rough idea of how your can schedule the food into your week.

Days 6-7:

  • Make a master list of all tasks and schedule your week
  • Complete shopping lists
    • items you need
    • places you’ll purchase them at
    • schedule when you’ll go.
  • Prior to shopping, make sure you have room for your purchases
    • space for perishable items in refrigeration
    • space for non perishable goods in a side room and/or basement
  • Go shopping for all non-perishable goods and as many perishables as you can
  • Confirm final details with your event space.
  • Meet with your Food Foreman
    • confirm your schedules
    • give them lists of all contacts
    • go over your food prep schedule

The first thing you’ll want to do this week is to sit down and write a master list of all the tasks you need to take care of including non-food related items and make a daily schedule which evenly distributes your tasks throughout the week. There may be some last minute things which come up so try to not over schedule yourself so you’ll have time to be flexible. If you’re schedule seems too full, enlist some volunteers and delegate jobs to lighten your load.

You’ll want to get as much shopping done early in the week as possible. Finalize your shopping lists with food/bar items and where you’ll be getting them from. Make sure you’ll have the room to put the items once you’ve bought them. You’re going to need a lot of refrigerator space. Possibly you have access to another refrigerator, or you have a close neighbor who will let you use part of theirs. If worse comes to worse you can use large coolers with ice. You’ll just have to monitor them to make sure everything is kept cool.

You’ll want to meet with your foreman and go over all details of your food/bar shopping and prep, your catering supplies and your volunteer list and schedule so they have all your up to date info.
Ask them questions and make sure they have all they need to keep organized. They may be helping you throughout this week, but their big moment will be taking over the day of the wedding to make sure all the food is prepped and plated. Make sure they know your schedule for the day of and they know when you need all the food out by. Make sure you confirm a handful of volunteers who can help them get the food plated and ready. Depending on your wedding size it may be anywhere from 3-6 helpers.

Days 4-5:

  • confirm final details with your event space
    • when you have access to the space
    • when you can do drop off
    • when you can begin set up
    • when you need to have everything out of the space afterwards
  • confirm delivery/pick up details with vendors
    • alcohol
    • ice
    • bread
    • rental orders for
      • tables/chairs
      • dinnerware/glassware/serving items
      • barware/coolers
  • confirm the borrowing of any platters or serving equipment from friends and family
  • Work on any food prep which can be done this many days in advance
    • caramelize onions
    • cut pickles into spears
    • prep salt and pepper shakers
    • finish roasting any vegetables you have not taken care of yet

Confirm details with your event space. Make sure you know when your people will have access to the space so you can drop your stuff off. The more you can get in before the day of the wedding the better. Confirm when you’ll load stuff in, start the set up, and when you need to have everything out after the event.

Confirm details with any vendors for the delivery or pick up of your large orders. If you’re having your liquor, bread, ice or any rental items delivered, coordinate and confirm delivery details with your event space to ensure a successful delivery. Confirm and schedule any pickups you’ll need to make.

Confirm the borrowing of any platters, bowls, serving equipment with friends and family
. When planning your buffet set up, think about laying things out on different levels to give more visual interest and to make it easier to grab the food items. In addition to platters, ask if people have cake platters you can use to raise platters up a level.

Work on any food prep you can take care of early like caramelizing onions, cutting pickle spears, etc.

Day 3:

  • arrange to have your meat and cheese sliced
  • finalize arrangements of getting food to event space

As the days get closer to your big day, try to have less and less things to take care of, since you’ll probably have more misc. wedding tasks to do.
This is a good day to schedule your meat and cheese to get sliced. You want to wait as long as possible to get this done, but still a few days in advance to get it out of the way. Hopefully, you’ve already made arrangements of how you can get this done, and who can help you with it.
Finalize arrangements of how you’ll get all your food and supplies to your event space. If possible, you’ll want to arrange to have your non-perishable items taken over the day before. Arrange for all perishable items to be taken over the morning of your wedding.

Day 2:

  • prepare side salads
  • take any frozen items out of freezer to thaw
  • purchase any last minute perishables

Coordinate last minute details. Organize the preparation of your side salads with the family and/or friends who have volunteered to take care of this. Take any items which you have pre-roasted and frozen out of the freezer and place in the refrigerator to thaw. Purchase any last minute perishables such as mixed greens.

Day before:

  • organize and supervise the movement of all non-perishable items to your event space
  • coordinate with your food foreman to have all perishable items transported the day of
  • make a check list of all items which need to be picked up at your house and moved
  • make a list of all prep things which will need to be taken care of the day of the wedding
  • confirm clean up with your clean up crew

AHHH!!! Its the final day before the wedding. You’ll want to have two lists written up for the people who will be moving the last minute perishables from your house to the event space the day of. Make sure you have a detailed list of all items which need to be moved and where they are in your house. Make a list of all the last minute things which need to be done the morning of.

You probably have a rehearsal dinner tonight, so if possible try to have all your ducks in a row, so once the rehearsal dinner comes, you’re done with all your prep and planning, and you can relax. This is what your months of organization were for. Hopefully, you can now sit back and let your friends and family take over. You’re about to get on the slide. Once the day starts, it will go by in a blur. Enjoy it. Don’t worry about the food. You’ve done all you can do. Sit back, be the center of attention.

Wedding Day

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  • get your hair did
  • get some make up on your face
  • put on your stuff
  • drink champagne
  • say “I DO”
  • Smooch on your new spouse
  • drink more
  • dance
  • eat cake
  • say hi to everyone
  • Repeat “I’m so glad you were able to come” a million times
  • kiss everybody
  • get pictures taken
  • get drunk
  • destroy yourself with fun

Its time to sit back and let your months of lists and organization kick into autopilot. You’ve worked hard and everyone will appreciate all you’ve done. Its time to celebrate the love you and your partner share with all your friends and family.

The only think you have to do today is look great, have a good time and remember to thank all your helpers profusely. This is going to be one of the most memorable days in you and your partner’s lives. Thanks to all the personal attention and dedication you showed, it will remain very memorable for all your guests as well.

So go get married, party down and get drunk. You’ve both earned it. Hopefully you won’t have to be the one cleaning up tomorrow.

Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions about my plan or about how to plan your own event.

Related posts:

  1. Catering Your Own Wedding: Final Month Check List
  2. Catering Your Own Wedding: 2 Months Ahead Checklist
  3. Catering Your Own Wedding: 6 Month Check List
  4. Catering Your Own Wedding: A Disclaimer
  5. Catering Your Own Wedding: Begin Planning