If you’re anything like us, you started dreaming up your wedding day checklist the moment that ring was slipped onto your finger.
We love a good list and normally can’t get through 24 hours without writing down all of our tasks for the day. Some may call it crazy, but we just like to be prepared.
And preparation, alongside a solid checklist, is key if you want to pull off a (nearly) stress-free, and successful wedding day!
Your wedding day will be a whirlwind. You’ll be experiencing emotions never felt before. Massive highs and pumping stress levels combined with morning champagne and flower girls. It’s one hell of a crazy day, in all the best ways.
With so much going on, it can be difficult to rein in your thoughts and navigate the day without mishaps.
Preparing a checklist during the planning process will help you effortlessly stroll from one big day event to another, and avoid any crunch time panic.
Plus, if your wedding party has been briefed on your wedding day timeline, they’ll be able to follow and tick off the tasks too, leaving you free to really enjoy the day.
“But I have a wedding planner, I don’t need to prepare my own checklist.” Well, actually you should!
A personal wedding day checklist is dedicated to the tasks your planner simply won’t be involved in. Your dress, bridal accessories, bridesmaid hairstyles, and vendor payments to name a few!
Take a look at our tips, timelines, and checklists below and start creating your personal, printable wedding checklist.
Top Tips to Keep Your Wedding Timeline on Track
Give Yourself Ample Time
When putting together your wedding checklist, be sure to give yourself plenty of time for each on-the-day task.
If you think something will take 10 minutes, give yourself 15-20.
On the day, things often take longer than expected, and if not prepared for, can ruin even the best-laid plans.
Putting a buffer of extra time between each task will remove the stress of sticking to an impossible timeline.
Let’s not forget that this is your wedding day and not a trip into outer space. Wedding planning and the big day itself should be joyous. However, sometimes it can be hard to enjoy yourself with so many things going on at once.
Solution: schedule some vital “me time.”
Be it early on the morning of your wedding day, or the night before, it doesn’t matter. Arrange something relaxing that’s just for you. Maybe a long bubble bath, a meditation session, or a beauty treatment. Anything that will help you center yourself and better prepare you for the day ahead.
Enlist a Designated End of Night/Next Day Helper
If you’ve hired a planner or wedding coordinator, many tasks will have been taken out of your hands and put into their reassuringly capable ones.
However, there will be some things, especially at the end of the night, that they just won’t do. For instance, you’ll require someone to gather leftover favors, important items from the reception, or any pieces of decor you want to keep.
This is especially true if you’re responsible for clearing up your reception room the next day. You’ll need a small team of heroes all willing to wake up and fight through the hangover to take down and pack up your decorations with/for you.
Your Wedding Eve Checklist
To make things easier, we thought we’d break down the big wedding planning checklist into smaller and less overwhelming lists!
And we’re starting with the list you’ll need to follow the day before your big day.
- Deliver your wedding stationery to your coordinator, or go to your venue and arrange the place cards, favors, table plan, guest book, cake knife, non-fresh centerpieces, etc.
- If you’re not doing this yourself, take plenty of pictures of the set-up at home so your loved ones can easily re-create your wedding theme on-site.
- Give a list of emergency contacts to each of your wedding vendors. They’ll need the phone numbers of responsible people who’ll be able to help with any minor problems.
- Prepare envelopes for the vendors that need to be paid on the day of your wedding, and also arrange tips for everyone you see fit. Be sure to assign someone in your wedding party the job of handing out these envelopes, and save yourself time.
- Chase up any deliveries that are due to be made on the day, such as the wedding cake or fresh flowers.
- Don’t drink too much at your rehearsal dinner! And try to get a good night’s sleep.
What to Pack in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit
We’re here to remind you that many annoying wedding day situations can be solved, or even prevented by preparing an emergency kit ahead of time!
- Blotting papers
- Eye drops
- Hairstyling products
- Bobby pins
- Moisturizer (hand/body)
- Lip balm
- Hair ties
- The makeup used to create your look.
- Sanitary products
- Stain remover
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Safety pins
- Extra earring backs
- Pair of contact lenses
- First aid kit
- Pain relievers
- Snacks (healthy & unhealthy)
- Sewing kit
- Flat shoes
- Gel inserts or insoles for heels
- Fashion Tape
- Phone charger for iPhone and Android
What to Include in Your Wedding Day Bag
Packing a good emergency kit is significant, but the bag you pack for your wedding day is critical since you’d struggle to marry without it.
- Wedding rings
- Wedding vows
- Marriage license
- Alternative wedding shoes and/or extra pair of comfortable shoes for after the ceremony
- Vendor tips & payments
- Multiple copies of the printable wedding checklist!
Your Wedding Morning Checklist
The morning of your wedding will be one hell of a ride, and without careful preparation, it could go off the rails!
Thankfully, you have your favorite people in the world around you, and a full-proof wedding planning checklist to see you through. What could go wrong?!
- Start the day with a quality breakfast that isn’t super high in caffeine or sugar. You don’t want to experience a massive drop in energy later on in the day.
- Hydrate with more than just prosecco and coffee. The whole day will become a blur, and your skin will suffer if you don’t drink plenty of water during your morning prep.
- Make sure your wedding party keeps the “getting ready room” tidy and clean for the photographer.
- Have someone either at home or your venue on-hand to receive last-minute deliveries of flowers and decor, etc.
- Hand over the cash envelopes to a trusted member of your wedding party; ready to be given to vendors throughout the day.
- Have someone keep an eye on the time and ensure you’re all keeping more or less to the wedding checklist timeline.
- Put on your favorite tunes!
Your Wedding Ceremony Checklist
This is the big moment, the one you have both been waiting so long for. So don’t screw up months of planning by forgetting the wedding rings!
- Wedding rings. Give them to the best man/woman ahead of the ceremony, along with the payment envelope for the celebrant.
- Decide on a super responsible person who will keep hold of the marriage certificate.
- Send an organized person down to the ceremony before you arrive to make sure everything is in order.
- Grab your wedding vows from the essential wedding day bag we told you to pack. Even if you’ve memorized them!
- If you’re not having live music during your ceremony, make sure the venue has your playlist.
Your Wedding Reception Checklist
You’ve officially tied the knot! Yay! And now it’s time to celebrate! From here on out, you can pretty much relax and let your carefully coiffured hair down.
As long as you’ve taken care of the important tasks below that is.
- Assign someone the task of paying and tipping each of your vendors and employees of the wedding venue, where applicable.
- Have someone take care of all the wedding registry items received at the reception, and make sure there is a place for them to be stored.
- Make sure that you are only bothered with emergencies during this time. Introduce your on-the-day coordinator to your planner and share their contact details. Or have a member of your bridal party act as the main contact.
- Introduce someone responsible to your wedding photographer, so they can arrange any shots that don’t involve the marrying couple.
- Bring notes for your wedding speech if you’re making one.
- Prepare wedding insurance policies for all the vendors you pay on the big day. You’ll need some kind of note that can be signed by each wedding professional, stating that they’ve received the money.
- Double-check that your wedding band or DJ has the correct versions of the tunes for your first dance, father-daughter dance, and mother-son dance.
- Bring along your formal wedding invitations and any other wedding details you want your photographer to capture.
- If you have chosen a large style wedding gown, such as a ballgown, then let your wedding party know that you’ll probably need some assistance when going to the bathroom. Maybe even organize a practice run before the reception…
- Take a few moments out of the madness to just be with your partner. Go for a walk together, chat, don’t chat, just be with each other and enjoy the moment before the whole day flies by.