This is it. The big day you’ve been planning for, thinking about, and (probably) losing sleep over is just around the corner.
Sure, it’s exciting. It’s your wedding, after all! The nerves are mixing with anticipation, creating that little knot in your stomach.
But that’s OK.
Or did you forget something?
And that’s the sinking feeling you can’t seem to shake.
A wedding, no matter how organized you are, typically has a few curveballs to throw at you. And with everything you are trying to coordinate, it can be easy to forget those last minute things to check on.
Well, that’s where this wedding day checklist can help you out. Let’s make your big day go as smoothly as possible. (That way you can actually enjoy your wedding!)
The Clutch Wedding Day Checklist
First things first, make sure your Wedding Planner has everything ready to go.
They should be coordinating with all of your vendors and setting time-tables for everything happening at your wedding.
In case you don’t have a wedding planner, make sure you set up a timeline with the vendors yourself so everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when. You don’t want the sun to go down before you realize your sunset photos haven’t been taken yet.
This is also a good time to make sure your final guest counts go out to every vendor that needs it.
Oh, and make sure everyone’s been paid. It’s the little details.
Now that the vendors have been taken care of, it’s time to make sure your crew is ready.
Does everyone have their dresses? Ties? Shoes? Sure, your friends and family are all really responsible, and they would never let their responsibilities fall through the cracks.
But let’s just make sure.
This is also a great time to subtly remind your best man and maid of honor that they have speeches to give. This may sound crazy, but on rare occasion, the best man or maid of honor don’t realize they have a speech.
So, don’t leave this to chance. Let them know when they will be making their speeches. It’s a good way to coordinate with them and a little wink wink, nudge nudge for them to make sure they are getting their speech polished.
Make sure they all know who is exactly responsible for what.
Who’s holding the bouquet during the ceremony?
Who is getting the rings to the venue?
Most importantly, who’s getting you that in-between photos glass of wine?
Now here’s something you may not have even been thinking of.
You stand and wait to walk down the aisle.
You stand at the altar in front of everyone.
You stand while taking photos with family, the bridal party, friends, etc.
Noticing a trend here? You are on your feet for hours on end.
You have your back up shoes ready to hit the dance floor because you know you have to be comfy to bust a move. But…your feet have already put in a full shift by then.
Do future you a favor and start breaking those shoes in early. Wear them around the house. Get used to them. Make sure they are well acquainted with your feet.
Every little bit will help with this one. And when you have no problem smiling for photos because your feet aren’t trying to murder you, you will happy you broke those shoes in.
Of course, you’re going to make sure the rings get there. You have backups if the ring bearer has a pre-ceremony nervous accident.
But how do those rings look? Stunning probably.
Well, except that little smudge there, and some dullness here from rubbing up on something inside the ring box.
Maybe you’ve practiced trying them on…like, a lot.
Get your rings cleaned before the ceremony. A jeweler can do it in no time, and the extra effort goes a long way.
Those rings are going to be shown off time and time again. And they will even get their own photoshoot, more than likely. Make sure they can hold up to the super high-quality close-ups.
You don’t plan on accidents happening on your big day. But you can prepare for them.
Think ahead for anything you might need if one of those curveballs get thrown at you. Have a kit that includes these items just in case:
You know what kind of photos you want and with who. Your photographer might have a general idea of good shots, but this is your wedding, not theirs.
Make sure you make a list that has precisely which photos you want and with the people you want them with.
This does a few things for you.
First, in the hectic rush of the day, you won’t miss that shot with you and grandma. You’ll lose even more sleep after the wedding if you don’t get it.
Second, this helps wrangle all the people up that need to be in these shots. When the ceremony ends, everyone attacks the slices of cheese and mini triangle sandwiches like they haven’t eaten in days. Don’t hope you can get people out of that mess. Get your photographer to pull them before they disappear.
And lastly, this will save you time. When your photographer knows exactly what you want, there’s no deliberation at your wedding. You got that photo with grandma, bam, done, time for grandpa to jump in, moving on.
And if you are struggling to come up with photo ideas, ask your photographer. They are there to make sure you get all the shots you will cherish forever…even if you can’t think of them beforehand by yourself.
As you drive away from your venue to the honeymoon suite, you don’t want the horrible realization to dawn on you that no one is going to clean up that mess.
You may have a venue that does all the clean up for you, and that’s awesome. But, you still want a point person because things fall through the cracks.
Who’s going to get Uncle Fred’s jacket back to him now that he’s already left?
Is someone corralling all your gifts for you?
That amazing food you barely touched in the blur of the day…someone should make a to-go bag for you.
Make sure everything gets home to the right people after the wedding is over. You have earned some relaxation time with the love of your life. Uncle Fred’s missing jacket needs a hero (besides you).
Speaking of time after the wedding, don’t forget the honeymoon.
You are probably thinking there’s no way you are going to forget an entire trip. Still, you would be surprised what planning a wedding can make you capable of forgetting.
Here’s a scenario for you:
The wedding was a blast, and in a dizzying sequence of events, you find yourself finally at your honeymoon suite. You are exhausted and thrilled to be married all at the same time. You go to brush your teeth at the end of this long day and…oh no. No toothbrush. Or toothpaste. Or toiletries at all!
Nope. No. Not gonna let that happen.
You should be just as detailed about your honeymoon checklist as you are your wedding checklist.
Yes, this is a cliche piece of advice at this point.
But…seriously, you need to put it down on your wedding day checklist.
There will be a lot happening and a lot on your mind. But your big day is for YOU . What a tragedy it would be to not stop once in a while, take a deep breath, and let it all sink in for a moment.
You’ve planned and planned for this, and it’s time to reap the benefits of a celebration of you and your brand new spouse.
And a little photography hint: some of the best wedding shots are the ones you can’t plan for. (And you didn’t even know happened.)
The candid shot of you dancing with your friends, sharing a look with the love of your life, or laughing at THAT part of the best man speech, all are best when you are genuinely enjoying your day.
And you absolutely deserve to treasure those little moments forever.
Don’t forget the post-wedding duties:
With this list in mind, hopefully, you can get back to daydreaming of your wedding.
It’s almost here. Don’t drown in anxiety. Instead, revel in this special time.
You got this!
Our work have being featured on
Luis Quintana Studio is a premier Wedding Photography Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
The way we capture the beauty and uniqueness of each wedding is rooted in our experience with wedding photojournalism, fine-art and fashion photography influences. The result of such expertise and broad experience is creative and crisp wedding artistry that is romantic, timeless, and captures the emotion of such a truly memorable day.
We pride ourselves on not just being photographers, but rather artists creating unique imagery. Also, and most importantly, we take pride in creating an amazing experience for you.