It’s finally here: the week of your wedding! All of your preparations (and patience) have paid off. Now it’s time to focus on your wedding day and the joy you will share with your partner, your friends, and your family. When you’re planning a wedding, it can be easy to get super excited and overwhelmed about every last detail. Inevitably, there’s always something that ends up getting overlooked.
In these final hours it is important to set aside a few minutes of your time to double check that you aren’t forgetting anything crucial for your big day. Don’t spend too much time stressing over the small stuff. It is important to jot down some reminders and delegate among your wedding party. Check out these last-minute wedding day essentials to help your weekend run as smoothly as possible.
Did You Pack Water and Snacks?
From beginning to end, your big day can be very long. It doesn’t matter if your wedding is indoors or outdoors. Between your nervous excitement, the layers of clothing, and the overall adrenaline rush during your day, the chance of you or a member of your party becoming fatigued or dehydrated can be pretty high. Make sure that you have the best bottled water on hand so you can stay hydrated especially during hot summer ceremonies. If restroom breaks are a concern, at least have the snacks and water on hand in case any of the party becomes “hangry” or light-headed. It may just save your whole day! You can also pack a cooler or backpack with your drinks and snacks for your honeymoon travel. Just make sure everything stays fresh in the meantime.
Did You Pack for Your Honeymoon?
Packing your bags in advance will make your life a lot less stressful when the big day is over. You’ll probably be tired and ready to relax. If you’re staying overnight at a hotel before leaving on your honeymoon, see if someone can have your bags at your room after the ceremony. This will give you one less thing to worry about when you travel the next morning. If you’re leaving straightaway, make sure everything is packed and with a responsible person who can make sure it is in your getaway ride. No one wants to have to spend extra time after the ceremony making sure that everything is packed and ready to go. This can take hours away from you and your partner’s time. In this case, it’s best to plan ahead.
Did You Finalize Your Photo and Music Requests?
While you’ve likely already booked your wedding photographer and your DJ, make sure your most important memories are captured. Has there been a sudden song change or did you just find out there are multiple versions of the same song? Make sure the DJ is made aware of which songs you’d like for certain moments. Additionally, your photographer will likely have mapped out a plan with you regarding your important photographs. Once you’ve reviewed any notes or resources they’ve shared with you, like this natural light photography guide, you may have thought of an additional shot you’d like captured. Just don’t wait too long to convey any changes or ideas as that can sometimes cause more hassle for you and your photographer or DJ.
Have You Paid Your Vendors, or at Least Prepared to?
While most of your vendors will be paid well ahead of time, there are always some vendors that are paid on the day of the wedding, such as hair and makeup artists. As excited for your big day as you are, your vendors are there to do their best job ensuring you have a smooth and memorable day. If you haven’t paid your vendors yet, or at least worked out who will be paying them and when, take a minute to figure out the best way to do so – especially if multiple bridal party or family members are splitting costs since that always involves calculations and can take a while to figure out. From my experience, the calculations that happen during bride prep often hold up bridesmaid group photos, delaying the time that you can get into your wedding dress. Have a plan in place so that it doesn’t affect your wedding day timeline.
Check the weather… or not.
While you probably have someone in your family that is checking the weather, it might be a good idea for you to check it yourself if only to set your mind at ease and help you prepare. If inclement weather is in the forecast, don’t let it get to you. Instead, communicate your concerns to your partner or someone in your party, and if anything needs to be changed delegate those responsibilities to them. As your photographer, rest assured that I’ll be checking the weather myself to make sure I have a backup plan for outdoor photos in case those can’t happen during the allotted time.
Do You Have a Guest Book?
It’s always a great idea to have a guest book for your guests to write special notes and well wishes. A popular idea is to use your engagement photos to create a guest book. If you’d like to have me create one for you, don’t hesitate to reach out! If you booked our photo booth, we will provide a complimentary guest book for your guests to put their photos and sign next to them. Not into the traditional look? Try these fun guest book alternatives that can make your wedding extra special. Just make sure there is a sign or note clearly visible! The sign will help remind your guests to kindly sign your book before they depart.
Do You Have an Itinerary for Friends and Family?
An additional item that can help your wedding day run smoother is an itinerary for your friends and family. Not only will this keep them in the loop, but it will also help to mitigate some of the chaos that tends to occur, especially for those that are easily distracted. Here are a few free templates that can help you get started. They can be as detailed as you’d like them to be. If you’re not someone who likes to stick to a strict schedule, treat this as more of a guide to help keep your day moving at a steady pace, something your guests will likely appreciate.
Do You Have a Plan to Hang Your Dress Up?
You’ll likely want a photo of your dress, so you may want to have a nice hanger to show it off. If you don’t, I bring a few backups, but if you want something personalized I definitely recommend planning ahead.
While there are certainly countless things that can pop up at the last minute, these essentials should help remind you of anything that may have slipped through the cracks. If you’ve handled all of these and you can’t think of anything else, great! Don’t stress trying to find something. Now you can spend the remainder of your time excitedly anticipating your wedding day and the beautiful future that follows.