There’s a lot to do to plan for a wedding and as fun as it is, it can feel overwhelming at times. A wedding day checklist helps you prepare and make sure that nothing goes unfinished for your big day.
You’ll likely use a lot of checklists leading up to the wedding day but the most important is your day-of list. Make sure everything gets done leading up to the big day and that nothing is forgotten when it arrives. A list lets you put all of the details on autopilot and helps you relax and bask in all of the special moments.
What Should Be Included on Your Ultimate Wedding Day Checklist?
- Reminder to confirm everything last minute with vendors. Make sure everyone has a day-of contact number and that they have accurate directions to the wedding and reception venues.
- Prepare final payments. If you can pay everyone ahead of time, do so. If you can’t, assign someone to take care of payments and give that person the money in advance. If you do pay in advance, get something in writing that says you’ve paid in full and have someone keep that on-hand just in case you need proof on your wedding day.
- Set up tip envelopes. There are plenty of vendors you’ll want to tip on your wedding day but you won’t want to worry about it while you’re at the reception. Organize the envelopes and put someone in charge of taking care of tipping.
- Set aside extra cash just in case something comes up. The bride or groom can carry it or you can pass it off to a trusted member of the wedding party.
- Deliver your luggage with overnight supplies to your wedding night destination in advance. There’s a checklist below for what to pack.
- Pack for your honeymoon early. Even if you aren’t leaving directly from the reception venue or even the next day, it’s a good idea to pack early so you don’t need to worry about it after the wedding. This way you’ll also have plenty of time to plan your travel wardrobe and buy anything new you’d like to have with you on the trip.
- Make sure the music choices for your reception are organized and have been communicated to the band or DJ. Put everything in writing and confirm it the day before the wedding.
- Have a last-minute meeting with your photographer to go over details and provide a list of must-have shots.
- Set up a wedding day timeline. This should be distributed to the bridal party and honored guests at the rehearsal dinner and should also include the photographer’s schedule. This keeps everything on track and lets the wedding party and honored guests know where and when they are needed for photos.
- Organize gifts, notes, and anything else you have lined up to share with your wedding party, new spouse, or anyone else the day-of the wedding.
- Create a plan for how you’ll transport wedding clothing, flowers, and anything else you’re responsible for getting to the ceremony or reception site. Some of these items require extra care so if you’re assigning transport duty to someone else, make sure they understand what’s expected.
- Contact your driver and get their contact information just in case things don’t go as planned at crunch time. Also, make sure your wedding party has transportation from the venue or has a plan in place for leaving vehicles at a convenient location.
- Decide what you’ll do about rain. Hopefully, the weather will be perfect on your special day but there are no guarantees. Having a backup plan puts your mind at rest and ensures rain won’t ruin your big day.
- Appoint someone to collect and transport the gifts either back to your home or to a safe place until you have time to open them.
- Distribute your legal documents to those who need them. If you’re able to do this in advance – for instance, give the officiant your marriage license at the rehearsal – do so. But if there’s anything left the day-of, assign someone to pass along the required paperwork.
- Appoint a wedding day head honcho. This person is in charge of making sure things don’t fall through the cracks. They aren’t the first point of contact but will arrive at the ceremony and reception venues and any extra photo destinations a few minutes early to make sure everything is accessible and running on schedule. This way, if there are any problems, you’ll get an alert before it gets out of control.
Organize all of your day-of items in advance. Don’t wait until the morning of your wedding to rush around gathering everything you need. Keep reading for what you should have for your big day.
What Should You Include on Your Day-Of Ultimate Wedding Day Checklist?
Getting Ready with the Wedding Party
- Snacks and drinks
- Everything needed to get read that isn’t supplied by professionals
- Phone charger
- Button-down shirt, to wear while getting hair and makeup done
- Dress and veil
- Undergarments and shapewear
- Shoes (wedding and comfortable flats)
- Hair accessories
- Hair and makeup tools (if not supplied by pros)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
- Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
- “Getaway” outfit or second dress
Wedding Day Emergency Kit
- Bobby pins
- Fabric tape and/or double-sided tape
- Travel sewing kit
- Small scissors
- Clear nail polish (and polish in the color of the bride’s manicure)
- Nail file
- Earring backs
- Face powder
- Headache/aches and pains medication
- Eye drops
- Breath mints
- Travel-sized fragrance
- Lip balm
- Bride’s lipstick color and/or neutral lipstick color
Ceremony Supplies (drop off in advance if possible)
- Wedding programs
- Copy of vows
- Marriage license
- Ring bearer and flower girl supplies
- Aisle runner
- Tip or payment for officiant
Reception Supplies (drop off in advance if possible)
- Place cards
- Escort cards
- Table numbers
- Photo booth props
- Cake-cutting knife
- Sun lotion and bug spray for outdoor weddings
- Overnight bag
- Day-after outfit
- Bride’s everyday handbag