You have been planning your wedding day since the childhood years.
Of course, back then planning was more like daydreaming when we would try to imagine our wedding dress and a beautiful ceremony to the love of our life.
Now you're an adult woman who is about to get married and the big day is just around the corner.
Wedding planning is not the easiest endeavour in the world; a lot of organisation, preparation, and other pretty technical stuff are involved.
Every detail counts and regardless of how seemingly unimportant it may seem it still plays a huge role in our wedding day.
To make sure everything goes smooth and the day of the wedding is memorable you have dedicated a lot of time to plan and turn every idea into reality, a true testimony of love you two share.
Preparations for the wedding last several months or even a year or longer for some couples.
While you’re pretty sure everything’s arranged and organised you do need to bear in mind that “pretty sure” isn’t exactly good enough. Something can always go wrong, particularly when emotions are involved.
In order to create a seamless experience and to ensure your wedding day is precisely what you’ve imagined it to be we made the ultimate checklist that you can use.
This wedding day checklist will help you avoid stress, frustrations, and you will not end up forgetting something.
Thanks to this guide the wedding day will be only about you, your future spouse, and the love you share. So, let’s get it started, shall we?
Lack of proper organisation is always a major source of stress for the bride, groom, their family, and everyone involved.
It’s always good to have a checklist at hand in order to make sure you do not forget anything.
Wedding day checklist starts before the big day even approaches.
For a stress-free ceremony and reception, we are going to provide wedding day checklist divided into three periods: pre-wedding, wedding day itself, and post-wedding.
That way you can easily organise your big day and avoid all the hassle that would otherwise occur.
Below, you can take a look at the checklist of things to do from the moment you get engaged up until the wedding day.
Once you get engaged
All couples and their love stories are different, just like their wedding is going to be.
Some couples decide to wait for a while after engagement before they start planning the wedding.
Others begin with their wedding plans right away. Regardless of your situation, this is the checklist to follow:
Discuss wedding ideas – the first thing to do is to sit down with your future spouse and discuss ideas or visions of your big day. Many brides have a tendency to make wedding plans without taking into account the groom’s ideas.
Sure, grooms allow their future wives to take over planning as they want to make them happy, but it’s still important to make sure you’re on the same page.
Set a date – now that you have shared your wedding ideas it's time to take things to a whole new level.
Yes, it's time to set the date. Based on wedding day ideas you can determine the ideal season or month of your nuptials.
Again, there is no rule of when you should start this process, and every couple has a different pace.
Draw up a budget – before you start making precise plans for the wedding, you need to determine the budget. Otherwise, it would be difficult to turn plans into reality.
If you don't know how much money you're willing to spend on the nuptials you're at a higher risk of going overboard. In the end, the wallet suffers while many of your plans fail.
To draw up a budget, you need to put everything on the paper starting with a wedding dress to catering. Sum up all the costs, and you'll get the budget for your wedding.
Choose wedding invitations – they are not just a decorated piece of paper but a symbol of love, an indication of the wedding atmosphere, and what not. It's not that easy to choose wedding invitations mainly because options are endless.
Always go for the kind that matches your wedding vibe and represents both you and the groom. It's way better to pick wedding invites early than to rush and choose wrong ones later one.
This is particularly important if you don't plan to wait for a long time to get married after engagement.
Research wedding venues – we all know brides and grooms who wanted to get married in a certain church or wedding venue only to find out it wasn't available on their wedding date.
These things usually happen if you wait too long to start researching venues, churches, and chapels. Decide whether you want a ceremony and reception at different locations or you would prefer having both things in the same room.
Then, start looking for venues, contact them, schedule a meeting to check them out.
Wedding day planning checklist
As your wedding day is getting closer, the checklist becomes larger and more structured. Here's what to do next:
Book the wedding venue – after researching venues, churches, and other locations where you want ceremony/reception, it's time to make a decision. Both the bride and the groom should be involved in this process.
Take some time to decide where you would want your big day to happen. Location is not just a mere venue, walls, or something like that; it's the place where wedding bliss will start so choose wisely.
Once you make a decision, it's time to book it.
Research wedding services and suppliers – catering, cake, photography, flower arrangements, décor, music, hair, makeup play a huge role on your wedding day, but you cannot opt for the first service or supplier you come across.
First, you need to keep wedding theme in mind, budget, and other factors before you make the final call. Take some time to research in order to find services and suppliers that will match your needs and preferences.
Entertainment – there are no rules when it comes to entertainment at weddings. It all comes down to your preferences, wedding theme, and of course likes and dislikes of bride and groom.
The best thing to do is to make sure entertainment like a band or DJ features songs that both of you like. Decide what type of entertainment you'll have on the wedding day, research available options.
Besides DJ or a band, entertainment can also include drinks, reception, and dancing. Lately, many couples decide to include a photo booth into their wedding as a means of entertainment and good memories for their guests.
Book photographer and videographer – after researching all services, suppliers, and other options it’s time to start with a decision-making and booking process.
The reason why it’s good to explore various options for each service is that you want to make a whole wedding planning process a seamless experience. It’s always useful to pick services that complement one another.
When you’re happy with the choice you have made go ahead and book photographer and videographer. Some people do both, so you can actually save up.
Décor – the venue is booked, but your work isn't over. Now you have to choose décor that will depict the wedding theme and love that you two share. Ideally, décor should represent your style, and it needs to be something that both newlyweds will like.
If you don't want to or have no time for this process you can hire a venue stylist or a wedding planner who will take care of this subject.
Wedding dress search/buying – you probably have a few wedding dress ideas on your mind. Although you probably can't wait to start searching for a wedding dress this whole process can be stressful too.
Be open-minded and try out different dresses, not only those that you've imagined. Sometimes the most perfect dress is the one that seemed like it's not your style at all.
Before you start browsing for wedding dresses, make sure you determine the budget you're willing to spend. Once you find the ideal dress to go ahead and buy or order it.
Send save the date cards, wedding invitations together with RSVP cards – make sure you don’t send these cards too close to the wedding. You want the guests to make arrangements, see if they can join, and organise their time.
Choose bridesmaids, groomsmen, and helpers – if you haven't done it already now is the perfect time for bride and groom to choose their bridesmaids, groomsmen.
This is also the time for the bride to enlist helpers who will assist her in preparation for the wedding day.
Accommodation for guests – if you're having a destination wedding or some guests don't live nearby make sure you book hotel rooms where they can stay.
Book your honeymoon – decide with your loved one where would you like to go once the wedding is over. Honeymoon destination should be a place where both people want to go.
Book your honeymoon once you reach a decision. Also, check passports to make sure they are valid or order new ones if necessary.
Plan your honeymoon – being on a honeymoon isn’t really about spending a week in a hotel room. You want to make it a memorable experience which is why it’s practical to plan excursions and other activities.
Plan hag parties – don't forget traditional parties where the bride and groom can celebrate and have fun with their friends.
Of course, this is a job for bridesmaid or maid of honour and a best man, but you can also give a few pointers, particularly about time and date.
Choose bridesmaids dresses and groom’s suit – picking out a wedding dress is a demanding task for every bride so you shouldn't feel pressured to choose and buy bridesmaid dresses at the same time.
Allow yourself a few weeks or so to rest and dedicate to other activities and preparations before you choose dresses for your bridesmaids or maid of honour.
This is also the period before the wedding when the groom should pick his own suit.
Organise the legalities – this isn’t something you should leave for the last moment. Try to organise priest, registrar, or any other wedding service celebrant at least three months before the wedding day.
Decide on prayers and readings for the wedding ceremony + write down your vows – consult priest or registrar about this subject
Hair trial – book a hairdresser and set up an appointment where you’ll try out different hairstyles for the big day.
Makeup – same as with hairstyle, book an appointment at some beauty salon or with a makeup artist privately and check out different options for your nuptials.
Dress fittings – even if you don't feel like going to these fittings still make sure you attend them regularly unless you've found a perfect dress that requires no alterations.
In that case, you just need to try it on a few times especially before the wedding and with your hair and makeup done.
Choose and order wedding rings – fortunately, there are many jewellery stores with tons of options so it shouldn't be too hectic to find an ideal ring that represents you both.
Find gifts for your parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and of course for each other – don’t make a common mistake by leaving this for last because when things become more hectic before wedding day the last thing you want is to think about gifts.
Buy shoes and accessories – your wedding dress should be accompanied by beautiful, elegant accessories or types of jewellery and shoes that match your style.
Choose outfits for page boys and flower girls – remember that little ones also need fittings so plan accordingly, if your wedding will feature them of course.
Food and cake tasting – you’ve found catering service and a baker and now what? It’s time to taste everything that will be on the menu to confirm that food and wedding cake are exactly what you want them to be.
Deliver must-have shot lists to your photographer – once you get all RSVPs to write down a list of all people whose photos and portraits must be taken on your wedding day. Send that list to your photographer.
Inform caterer and venue about the final headcount – things always change when you’re planning a wedding. Some people RSVP yes but are forced to cancel, while others aren’t sure just yet and end up informing you they’ll be attending your wedding.
As the wedding day approaches to make sure you inform venue and catering service about the final headcount.
Create seating arrangements and table plan – carefully create a plan where all guests will be seated in a manner that allows them to small-talk, have fun, and avoid dramatic confrontations with someone they don't really like. Although frustrating, these things happen.
There are always some people who don't like one another, and your job is to make sure they aren't near.
Print place cards – once your table plan is complete you can print place cards that will be featured on each table.
Call all service providers and suppliers to confirm arrangements – the best thing to do is to create a timetable of the whole day to ensure everything develops according to the plan.
Massage and manicure – dedicate a few days before the wedding day to some pampering.
Go with your friends and get a nice, relaxing massage and manicure. You need to be well-rested, with glowing skin when the big day comes.
Full wedding dress rehearsal – you’ve probably tried it on a few times already, but the last one a few days before the wedding is crucial.
Put on the whole outfit from underwear to your veil, makeup, hairstyle, accessories, shoes and see how it looks.
Groom should also try on his suit, shoes, and everything else.
Pack your things for the honeymoon – you don’t want to start packing after the wedding when you’re tired and just want to leave.
Call wedding car company – set up a pickup time and confirm it.
Print service providers’ and suppliers’ contacts – for just in case scenarios print out phone numbers and email addresses of suppliers and service providers.
Hand them to the maid of honour and best man so they can contact them in case something goes wrong.
Rehearsal – to avoid surprises make sure the day or two before the wedding there’s a rehearsal ceremony or dinner with family, friends, and other guests.
- Complete necessary payments – these arrangements depend on services you hired and your contract but make sure you're not behind your payments.
The Wedding Day
Yes! The big day has finally arrived, and you're both over the moon and nervous at the same time.
You're about to start a whole new chapter of your life, and as much as it's exciting, you're still nervous.
Butterflies in your stomach only show how much you care, keep that in mind. By now, you have made all arrangements, booked rooms and honeymoon activities, planned out the whole thing, but there's still a lot you need to cross on your checklist today.
The wedding day is a result of hard work, effort, and thorough planning, so the checklist starts from the moment you get engaged and goes beyond "I do" promises.
Below, you can see a checklist of things that need to be done today.
Make sure you have your bridal emergency kit at the ready – the kit should include breath mints, tweezers, blotting papers, clear polish, lipstick, tissues, hair spray, fragrance, face mist, stain remover, fashion tape, and dental floss.
A backup pair of shoes – high heels can be uncomfortable to wear all day, so it's a good idea to prepare an extra pair or something more comfortable for the wedding reception or the evening.
Check honeymoon bags – if you're heading to your honeymoon right after the reception, then it's crucial to check bags, passports, and everything else you're bringing with you.
Skipping this step isn't practical, especially if you realise you've forgotten something or that you won't need some items.
Check wedding rings – make sure your maid of honour and future husband's best man have wedding rings.
Check venue, food, cake – of course, and you do not have to drive and check everything in person.
What you can do is to have your bridesmaid or wedding planner contact suppliers and service providers to confirm everything's developing according to the plan.
This will minimise surprises and unwanted scenarios later on.
Wedding outfit – bring a nice hanger so that your photographer can take a picture of the wedding dress before you put it on. Your bridesmaids should do the same.
You’ll have a photo with all dresses that you and your friends or sister, cousins wore. It’s a great memory for all of you.
Before you start getting ready go through a checklist to ensure all wedding outfit items are accounted for. These items include a wedding dress, veil and/or hair accessories, jewellery, underwear or Spanx, lingerie, shoes, garter.
Of course, something old, something blue, something borrowed, you know how it goes.
Hand out gifts to your bridesmaids, parents, groom etc.
Give the best man the officiant’s fee envelope that is to be given after the ceremony
Assign a friend or family member to be the photographer’s contact – basically, this person helps photographer understand who’s who. This allows the photographer to plan and take his shots more effectively.
Introduce reception coordinator to wedding planner if you have one, or to best man or bridesmaid for all questions.
Groom’s outfit – before your fiancé gets dressed and heads to the church or the venue he should make sure all parts of his outfit are accounted for.
These elements include a suit or tuxedo, bowtie or tie, socks, shoes, and cufflinks.
Groom’s emergency kit – women aren’t the only ones who need a “survival” kit for the wedding.
Groom’s emergency kit should consist of shaving cream, razor, lint roller, pain reliever (just in case), stain remover, hand lotion, deodorant, cologne, toothpaste and toothbrush, tissues, hair gel, hair spray, and comb.
Guestbook – have someone check whether guestbook is in place to give a chance to every guest to sign up and write something you two will cherish forever.
Wedding favours – some couples opt to hand out gift bags or wedding favours that have a keepsake value. If you've also decided to go down this route, then make sure they're ready in the venue.
Have someone check whether the number of these wedding favours matches the total headcount.
Have an insurance policy – when vendors, suppliers, and service providers collect their final payment you need to hand them a not to sign and indicate they have indeed received money.
That way if someone claims there were problems with a payment you’ll have the proof everything went well.
Umbrella – if you have an outdoor wedding and reception then it's useful to have umbrellas prepared for just in case scenarios when it might rain.
Getting-ready room – you'll spend a few hours in that room while preparing for your wedding, so it's useful to ensure there's water, snacks, music, tissues, and hand wipes or sanitizer.
Before you start thinking there's no way you'd eat a snack on your wedding day bear in mind the last thing you want to do is to get married hungry, with an uncomfortable and frustrating feeling in your stomach.
Groom's room should also have these items.
After the wedding
As mentioned above in the post-wedding day checklist involves everything that happens from the moment you get engaged and even after you say “I do”.
After the wedding day, there are still some things you need to take care of, such as:
- Collect marriage certificate.
- Arrange for someone to return everything that was rented for your wedding. If you’re not going to the honeymoon after the wedding, then you can return all the rentals.
- Arrange for someone to take the wedding dress and tuxedo or suit for cleaning. If you rented these garments, then return them. If not, store them properly in your home.
- Sit down to create and send thank you cards for guests who came with gifts and for friends and family members who were of huge help for your big day
- Collect leftover décor and wedding day from the venue.
- Send thank you cards or handwritten notes to wedding suppliers and vendors to thank them for wonderful service during your big day.
- Double-check to make sure all payments are made.
Before You Go...
Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your entire life. That is why it’s crucial to make sure it’s organised properly.
To make that happen, you need a detailed checklist to stay on top of things.
This post featured an extensive checklist that you can follow for a stress-free and well-planned wedding day.