Have a theme in mind, and use it to guide your decisions. You want everything to flow.
Choose where each part of the wedding will take place. Is there a picturesque location on your property that is perfect for the ceremony? Does your land have levels that can separate dining from dancing?
Think about whether it would be worth it to do some renovations. You may want to put some of your wedding budget to good use by painting your home or landscaping your yard. Regardless, have your lawn freshly mowed, your hedges trimmed, and your stonework cleaned and repaired.
Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to clean before and after the wedding so you can enjoy the days leading up to it as well as the days that follow.
Arrange to board pets and store excess furniture out of the way.
Don’t forget to factor in electric for a sound system and extra bathroom facilities.
Decide which items you can borrow or DIY, then rent the rest. You may need tables, chairs, or a dance floor. Also consider what services you will require, like catering and photography.
Find out in advance what kind of permits you may need for things like amplified music or a bonfire. If you want to use your indoor fireplace, make sure your chimney is clean.
Check for parking permits too, and make sure no construction is planned that may affect access.
Delegate ahead of time. Since you will be busy the day of the wedding, ask family or bridal party members to help out by picking up supplies or collecting out-of-town guests from the airport. Use a Facebook group or online task organizer to keep everyone on the same page, and host a gathering to go over everything during the week prior to the wedding. Be sure to provide food!
Appoint a relative or close friend as your assistant coordinator. This person can help you keep track of details and serve as the go-to person for any questions that arise on the big day.
Consider the neighbors. If you are not planning to invite them, advance warning (and perhaps a little gift) will help avoid fuss.
If families are bringing children to your wedding, consider setting up a kids’ area stocked with coloring books, bubbles, and other play supplies.
Rehearse your ceremony, even if you think you don’t need to.
Have a timeline. Aim for having all of your preparations complete at least one week in advance so you will be relaxed and happy on the big day.