Ultimate Wedding Day Checklist
May 30, 2024

Ultimate Wedding Day Checklist

Looking for ultimate wedding day checklist? The years of dreaming, months of planning, all that spending (let’s call it investing) and countless hours of researching, have finally led to this moment. Your wedding day is almost here! Only a few hours away. Who would’ve thought? What started off as a wonderful love story will soon become the wedding of your dreams! The question is: are you ready for what is about to happen? Do you have all your paperwork in order? Have you packed your bags? You might not be travelling, but there are some essentials you need to bring with you every step of the way. Have you confirmed with your vendors? Do you have a back-up plan? Is your beautiful bridal outfit, including that stunning wedding dress, ready for the aisle?

We don’t mean to stress you out with all of these questions, but there are some things you must take into account on your big day. It’s all about the prep work and thinking like a chef. Consider this list your ally and think of it as a mise-en-place. We want to ensure you have everything you need for the best day of your life, and it all starts with much-needed beauty sleep. Experts recommend having all elements of your wedding day in place, the sooner the better, and it all starts the night before.


Mise-en-place is a concept commonly known in the culinary world. Chefs need to make sure everything is in its place, prepped, and ready to be used at a moment’s notice. Think of your wedding day like a perfectly orchestrated four-course meal. In order for one thing to happen, certain elements need to be available for you. You and your dashing significant other are the main courses. The entire day will revolve around you. Thus, the best way to avoid mishaps is by being prepared for every stage and any mishaps.


What to do to make sure you, the beautiful bride, and everyone else in the wedding party stays on track with all your duties? Starting from early in the morning, create a detailed itinerary for all the wedding day activities. You can get assistance from your trusted wedding planner. In case you did all the planning on your own with the help of your wonderful maid of honor, bridesmaids, and loving family. It’s a good idea to assign a point person to supervise that everyone is sticking to the schedule.


Another thing you should make to stay on top of all your wedding day duties is making a bride’s checklist and a groom’s checklist. Your head will be all over the place on your wedding day with all the excitement and emotions and so many things going on at once. Thus, a checklist is the best way to ensure you cover all your bases. This way, you can also know which items on your list can be done with the help of one of your wonderful bridesmaids.

Wedding Day Checklist - Loretta

@@lanecarolinephotography of Loretta 122249 from Calla Blanche


You can’t let the rain mess up your perfectly planned special day. It’s the most important day of your life, and it will happen come hell or high water. You and your fiancé didn’t spend these many months planning every single element to a “t” to let the weather rain on your parade. You want to know what kind of weather you’re dealing with whether your ceremony and reception are taking place indoors, in a beautiful garden or right on the beach.

There are certain things you can arrange for at least 24 hours in advance. For example, get a tent or an awning or buy some umbrellas for your guests. If there is one thing meteorologists aren’t the best at predicting for weeks ahead is the weather. That’s why it is better to be safe than sorry and look into what the next day has in store for you and your fabulous guests.


As many bridal consultants, fashion experts and loving moms might have mentioned by now, one thing to be careful with is the types of food you need to avoid if you wish to fit into your wedding dress and not be bloated in the hours preceding your reception. It’s more about your comfort than for vanity purposes.


You need to pack the shapewear and underwear you’ll be wearing with your beautiful wedding dress. Don’t forget the veil, jewelry, accessories, and shoes. Most importantly, that stunning gown that stole your heart and you said “yes!” to a few months ago. Don’t forget to bring other things you may need while getting ready to walk down the aisle and also throughout the day. For example, a phone charger and a pair of comfortable shoes to change into.


Whether you're having a destination wedding, jetting off to your honeymoon right after the reception, or you just want to enjoy the perks of a honeymoon suite at your local 5-star hotel, you lovebirds will probably be spending your wedding night at a hotel. Pack a bag with all your beauty essentials. Don’t forget some sexy lingerie and a cute outfit for the next day.

Most importantly, in case you have a hotel room booked for your wedding day for you and your bridesmaids to get beautified, keep all the legal documents you’ll be needing in a briefcase or a bag with all your getting ready essentials. Things like your marriage license, vendor contracts and insurance policies must be at hand at all times.


Guess who’s getting married today? After a good night’s sleep let’s get this party started! A great way to start your wedding day is by enjoying a nice bubble bath, listening to music, and lighting a candle, which are some of the most helpful tips for staying calm before all the madness ensues.

Next up on your itinerary is breakfast. Keep it light and nutritious, you don’t want to get bloated, but you do want to stay on your toes and soak up every minute of the day. A hangry bride with low glucose levels is far from ideal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you have a sensitive digestive system, avoid foods such as coffee, dairy, chocolate, or anything that might trigger your intolerances and allergies. 

The key to success is to keep your bride’s checklist and itinerary in hand before you dive into prepping.

If you don’t have a wedding planner and managed to plan the wedding of your dreams on your own, all the power to you. Getting this far in the game is a wonderful accomplishment. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little extra help on your wedding day. In order to keep everyone in line and make sure things get done, assign a point person. Whether it’s your fabulous maid of honor, your mom, or your bestie who is the Monica Geller in the group, give the job to someone you know has great organizational skills. They will get everyone to the finish line by sticking to the schedule.


  • Preview the venue(s) and make sure everything is ready on site. Things like your guest book and seating chart should be dropped off at their respective venues.
  • Coordinate with vendors
  • Have their contact info handy
  • Back up plans in case of any mishaps
  • Safeguard the envelopes with tips for your vendors and bring them with her to the venues
  • Confirm transportation for bride, groom, and wedding party

You can also get your point person's help going over your guest list and seating chart. They can double-check your RSVPs and make sure accommodations have been made for guests with special needs.

Consider your point person your guardian angel for the day. You can trust her with the legal documents you packed the night before and the task of getting you down the aisle on time. The to-do list can be a bit long so we suggest distributing the duties among all members of Team Bride so they can all contribute to the cause.


The gang’s all here! Your squad of beautiful bridesmaids and your mom have arrived so you can all get dolled up together. All the ladies have a beautifying schedule they must adhere to. However, being the bride means your time with the beauty gurus takes top priority. Don’t forget, another important piece of the wedding preparations is welcoming your super talented photographer! Pre-wedding photos make for the best addition to your photo album. They always turn out to be so candid! Since, they usually capture the most heartfelt moments that you would otherwise overlook due to pre-wedding jitters.

You want everyone to be comfortable throughout the hair and makeup process so we suggest you provide your wedding party with some cute customized bathrobes and slippers while they’re getting ready. Also, since you will be spending a couple of hours in the beauty department, everyone needs to stay hydrated and properly fed. Your wedding planner or point person can have some healthy snacks, other than fruit, and something to drink, other than mimosas, ready for all of you ladies.

Remember that bag with the essentials we mentioned before? It should include all the things you’ll need for your hair and makeup session.


Your favorite mascara, lipstick, foundation, concealer, the works. Especially if you are allergic to certain ingredients or you know your lashes will fall flat without waterproof mascara. Your makeup artist will have everything you’ll need for that bridal look you have both agreed on. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Be sure to pack your tweezers, nail clippers, and files, the same color nail polish you’re wearing, clear nail polish, double-sided tape, etc.


Have cotton swabs, q-tips, band-aids in different sizes, scotch tape, gauze, and rubbing alcohol ready. You never know when any of you will need them. Another thing your emergency kit should include is a sewing kit. We don’t want any missing buttons or ill-fitting clothes to ruin anybody’s experience.

While you’re sitting on the chair with the hair and makeup artists, don’t hesitate to make your voice known. If the hair/makeup artist wants to try something you didn’t agree with just for the sake of being modern and edgy, and you’re not too sure about the way it looks, just tell them. Yes, they are visionary and professional but they are also there to make your bridal beauty wishes a reality. You can also give your opinion on how your bridesmaids look like. Give some suggestions to your mom for her mother-of-the-bride look.

Don’t forget to bring everything you need before everyone hops in the limo on your way to the ceremony. Your gorgeous bouquets, signage (if not at the venue already), seating chart and guest book, and of course anything you’ll need for the ceremony. Think wedding bands, petals, bubbles or whatever your flower girls and honored guests will be tossing for the newlyweds after you are pronounced husband and wife.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for… it’s time to get dressed up! Make sure you have all the components of your fabulous bridal outfit in hand and ready to be worn.

With the help of the small group of friends who came with you to the appointments with the bridal consultant and seamstress, and know exactly how to tie up all the buttons, ribbons, and laces that make your perfect wedding dress so unique. The last thing we need is for the tulle skirt to get snagged in a zipper or one of the exquisite buttons down the back of your corseted top to be misplaced. It’s all about bridal perfection.


Before putting on your accessories (be it your statement earrings or heirloom tiara) you should put on your wedding shoes. Ask for assistance from one of your bridesmaids. We don’t want any of your fine jewelry to get stuck on your dress.


Earrings, bracelets, necklace, tiara… get your bling on!

The secret to surviving your wedding day is in the bags you pack. Bring a small one with you to both the ceremony and the reception with all the things you might need. A small emergency kit, your phone charger, a little bit of makeup for some touch-ups, a couple of tissues and wipes, water spray to stay refreshed, and some antacids. You need to be prepared for anything. If you have a wedding planner, she’ll take care of all of this for you. You can always kindly ask someone to carry it around for you. You are the bride after all.


The perfect time for a photoshoot with your dashing husband to be is when you both are freshly groomed and dolled up. We have seen some amazing and super emotional photos from the first look between couples. The look on the face of your significant other will make all the expenses and efforts that went into planning your perfect day worth every penny.

wedding day checklist - Jean

Photo: @lyndseyannco of Jean LA23106 from L'Amour


Guests usually will start to arrive around 45 minutes before the ceremony is set to begin. There will be time for some meet & greet for all of them, and they will likely want to greet the parents and wedding party as they start to arrive. That’s when the groomsmen, in their roles as ushers. Need to step in and have everyone seated to keep things on schedule.

  • The groomsmen arrive at the venue first, often along with the groom.
  • Parents and grandparents have reserved seating at the front of the venue tend to arrive second.
  • Last, but not least, it’s Team Bride. You want to keep the best for last and arriving too early will ruin the surprise for all your guests of how stunning you look.

If you chose one of your bridesmaids to be your point person, she should be there about an hour before the ceremony is set to start, supervising and coordinating that:

  • Arrangements have been made
  • Décor is in place
  • The officiant is ready or on his way
  • Music is ready to go
  • Wedding party arrivals

If you wrote your own vows and need someone to hold on to the piece of paper where you wrote them out, just in case you might forget the words, you can ask one of your bridesmaids to keep it in her bouquet and hand it over to you at the altar. They’re all there to support you and more than glad to help whenever you need assistance.

Your wedding planner will likely have an assistant oversee all of these aspects in preparation for your arrival.

Once everyone is seated and ready for the wedding to begin. Cue the music.


The wedding processional marks the entrance of the wedding party on their way to the altar. The order may vary, depending on your religion, taste and traditions, but usually, it goes:

  • Officiant
  • Grandparents of the Groom
  • Grandparents of the Bride
  • Bride’s Mother
  • Groom
  • Best Man
  • Groomsmen
  • Bridesmaids
  • Maid off Honor
  • Flower Girls and Ring Bearers
  • Bride accompanied by her Father


Congratulations to the Bride & Groom!

You have been pronounced Husband and Wife by the officiant. Now you get to walk down the aisle as a married couple, to loud cheers and happy tears from all your dashing guests.


Before everyone leaves for the reception venue, or the two of you go into hiding while the setup is getting flipped to accommodate the banquet, take some time to bask in all the happiness and be congratulated by your guests. You can also take this opportunity to have your photographer snap a few wonderful pics for your album.


As a token of your appreciation for all the dedication, patience, and love they showed to you and your now husband throughout the wedding planning process, now would be the perfect time to give them a gift. There are some wonderful ideas out there! From the most personalized DIY to gift cards for a spa day, cute tote bags filled with goodies… Anything will make them feel like their contribution has been appreciated!


While the newlyweds take off to do their newlywed things, it’s time for the guests to enjoy some fancy treats! Maybe, gush about how stunning you, the blushing bride, look in your fabulous wedding dress. This also gives the staff the opportunity to flip the venue in case both the ceremony and reception are taking place at the same location as there are some things that will need to be set up in order for this stage of the celebration to take place.

Whether you hired a rental service for high-chairs and lounge furniture or regular dining room chairs and tables, there has to be enough seating for everyone to enjoy themselves.


Fabulous canapes and finger food in abundance are the keys to a successful cocktail hour. You don’t want your guests to get drunk ahead of time. They should wait until at least after the toasts.


These are a wonderful idea for cocktail hour. Depending on your wedding theme and venue, if you have the opportunity to hire a couple of food trucks to bring snacks for your guests, you’ll make the whole feel of your wedding a lot more sociable for everyone involved. You could also save a couple of hundred dollars in waiting for staff.


A great bartender can really get the party started. He or she should offer your guests options other than your signature cocktail. We know you love it, but everyone has their own preferences and the trick is to make sure everyone has a great time while they are waiting for the reception venue to be fully setup.


You have a few options. Ask the same DJ who’ll be spinning during the reception to create a more relaxed, lounge music playlist during cocktail hour. You can also hire a small string quartet or a local band to play some tunes. There needs to be some form of entertainment to get them excited about what’s waiting behind the curtain.


What better time than right after the ceremony for your dear guests to start writing down some warm wishes for a lovely couple of newlyweds. There are some very creative ideas for guest books out there. For example, filling out little notes and placing them in a jar, taking a polaroid selfie, among others. Make it personal and heartfelt!


Before the doors to the reception hall are officially open, there are two things that need to be set up at the entrance.


You want to give your guests a sense of direction and uncomplicate things for your ushers and hostesses. It will be their job to guide your guests to their assigned seats. They will also make sure everyone is enjoying the evening.


Once all your guests have their seats and start chitchatting, it’s time for the bride and groom to make their grand entrance! In order to make it a memorable and extra special experience, assign someone you love to be the MC. If you so wish, this fabulous guest will also introduce the toasts from your beloved wedding party later in the evening.

There are some fan-favorite songs that couples love to dance to for the first time as a married couple. Whether one of those speaks to your heart, or there’s one that is even more personal for the two of you, it will be a perfect choice. If you, or your significant other, aren’t the best dancers, one of the best tips we can give you is to consider signing up for some dance lessons in advance.

Following the couple’s first dance, it is customary for you to dance with your father, your new husband to dance with his mom, and then for each of you to dance with your in-laws. Nothing like sharing the dance floor to say welcome to the family!


Whether you are serving an elegant menu with a four-course meal served by full wait staff or a buffet with many options, it’s time to enjoy your meal! Forget about the pre-wedding stress, the jitters, the things you couldn’t eat for days to avoid bloating and discomfort. Enjoy your feast!


Perhaps someone other than your parents, maid of honor, and best man would like to say a few words for the bride and groom. Every single one of your guests has contributed in one way or another to your love story. Give them a chance to express their congratulations and have a little something prepared for your husband too. Once you have the mic in your hands, it would be a wonderful opportunity to show your appreciation for your guests’ attendance and support. Make sure to thank everyone who played a role in making your wedding dreams come true.


After a sumptuous meal comes a delicious dessert. The cake-cutting ceremony might be very traditional, with the newlyweds taking a bite of the cake. Your loving wedding party can surround you snapping pictures. Or you can leave it to your caterers to distribute the even cut slices. There are no rules for how to cut your wedding cake so just go with whatever feels natural to both of you.

wedding day checklist - misty

Photo: @ashergracephotography & @hopeherphotography of Misty LP2204 from La Perle


If some of your guests have special dietary restrictions, such as celiac disease, food allergies or are insensitive to certain ingredients. To accommodate them, it’s a great idea to have a wedding dessert table with an assortment of delicious options. You want everyone to feel welcome.


Time to hit the dance floor! A DJ can get you from the ceremony and cocktail hour all the way through to the reception and farewell. You must have given the DJ a playing list when you first hired him/her for the job. However, they also should have an inkling as to what the vibe of your wedding is like. All your guests will be on their feet and celebrating your love! Let loose and party like a Rockstar!


If there is one trend that has become increasingly popular in the wedding circle in the past few years, it’s photo booths! All you need is to hire a rental company that includes some quirky and fun props. And don’t forget about a booth with enough room for you and your guests to take group photos in. You will have a blast!


As the evening is coming to an end, there are some traditions that you might or might not like to follow. The first one is tossing the bouquet to all the single ladies in attendance, not just your bridesmaids. According to tradition, the lady who catches the bouquet will be the next one to marry. The single men at your wedding won’t feel left out.

That’s what tossing the garter belt is all about! Your groom gets to take it off your leg to a sexy song, either with his hands or, for the more daring couples, with his teeth, and then throws it to the crowd of single male friends standing behind him. Some couples have chosen to forego them for various personal reasons, but there’s no harm in having fun. Whether you decide to go along with these traditions or not, it’s ultimately your choice. It is your wedding after all!

Before your guests start to leave, it’s a good idea to hand out the wedding favors. That little something personal you made for them or had personalized with your initials, well beforehand. There are two ways to go about this. The first one is giving them away personally as you go around the tables with your Mr. Thank them personally for their presence. You can also ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to hand them out in your representation. The second one is to set up a table by the exit of the venue and have one of the ushers give one to each guest. There are some creative wedding favors that brides have fallen in love with. For example, handmade soaps, slippers with your initials (you can give them on the dance floor and your female guest will really appreciate them), a DIY candy bar, mini bottles of tequila with your initials and wedding date on the label, and many more! Think of it as a cute little something to remember you and your groom by.

Just because everyone has had their meal, it doesn’t mean you and your guests will have to starve and have drinks instead. Take care of your guests by giving them something to nibble on. Keep it simple with some snack tables, a stand with many varieties of candy, sliders, fries, pizza… The possibilities are endless!


A spectacular couple like the two of you deserves a spectacular send-off into married life. Bubbles, sparklers, rose petals are some of the most popular ways to cheer the newlyweds one last time. Just how creative and harmless should it be? It’s entirely up to you. One of the perks of being the newlyweds is that you don’t have to stay for the final stage of the event.


What happens after the reception? It’s time for everyone to go home! However, not before the wedding planner/point person goes over a few things to wrap up the celebration:


Beyond the tips and contracts, a thank you goes a long way in showing your appreciation for the services provided. Your perfect wedding wouldn’t have been a success without their expertise.


Unfortunately, you can’t keep an eye on all of your guests. The downside of throwing such an awesome party is that guests can break things without your immediate knowledge. That’s why it’s always a good idea for someone to take a look around the venue so they can take note of what your guests damaged during the day.

Whether you signed up for your wedding registry at your favorite stores or had a creative wedding gift idea in mind involving charitable donations, some guests are more traditional and like to hand out their gifts in person. Someone you trust, such as one of your parents or siblings, can take the gifts home with them and keep them safe for you.

Since you have already paid for everything, it’s time to decide who gets to take home what; from the food and liquor, to the floral arrangements and centerpieces, there are so many things to consider. Always ask your caterer first if they can help you pack them up.  If there are any pieces of décor that actually belong to the venue, you don’t want to get into any legal trouble.

Now you know how things will play out and what needs to be ready in order for every stage of your perfect wedding day to go on without a hitch. All that you need to do, is trust the people around you. There’s a reason why you chose your favorite gals as your bridesmaids and your BFF as your MOH. You are not alone in this. You can lean on them for support not only in the early stages but most importantly on your wedding day. Your only job on the most important day of your life is to look stunning in your perfect wedding dress. Most importantly, embrace every single minute of it.

Click here to download a condensed and printable version of this Wedding Day Checklist.

Header Image Credit: @ashergracephotography & @hopeherphotography