20 Last-Minute Wedding Planning Details You Can't Forget About

Your big day is almost here, but that doesn't mean the planning and prepping is done just yet.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

You've saved, budgeted, researched, and planned, and now your wedding day is almost here. But that doesn't mean you can kick up your feet just yet. Despite your wedding date inching ever closer, there are still some very important last-minute wedding details you have to take care of before you walk down the aisle.

We’ll be the first to say that the tasks on this last-minute wedding checklist may not be as fun as all the others you’ve completed so far. But now that wedding planning tasks like cake tastings, floral meetings, and hair and makeup trials are done, all you need to do is check off a few more things before you’re in the home stretch. Luckily, it's nothing you can't handle. After all, you have already planned an entire wedding.

From packing for the honeymoon to finalizing your ceremony and picking up your marriage license, we've outlined the 20 things you have to do before the big day and why. Reference this checklist in your final weeks of wedding planning so you can be sure all of your earlier prepping isn't wasted due to one small mishap.

01 of 20

Make Your Music Playlists

drummer sitting at drum set

Photo by Harwell Photography

Along with making a list of your favorite must-have songs for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing, it's helpful to come up with a list of songs you absolutely do not want to hear at any point throughout the night. Remember, your playlist doesn't have to be a set list of what you want your DJ to play at certain times. However, putting together a list of faves will definitely give your DJ some better guidance about what you love and what you don't.

02 of 20

Assign a Point Person

bride posing with bridesmaid

Photo by Hayley Bray Photography

If there's one thing we can promise you about your wedding day, it's that everyone will have a question for you. To avoid being swarmed while you're prepping for your walk down the aisle, pick a bridesmaid, planner, friend, or family member who can field inquiries so you don't feel overwhelmed.

03 of 20

Prepare Tip Envelopes

bright red wedding cocktails

Getty Images 

You'll want to thank your vendors for their exceptional service after the reception, but whipping out your checkbook or handing out bundles of cash probably isn't how you want to spend your night after tying the knot. Pre-designate envelopes with the appropriate tip and hand them off to a planner or relative who can do the honors at the end of the evening.

04 of 20

Schedule a Final Dress Fitting

two people helping button up a bride's wedding dress

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

A lot can change from when you first picked out your dress and tried it on. Schedule your final dress fitting shortly before your wedding so any last-minute alterations can be made, and you can pick up your gown in ready-to-wear condition.

05 of 20

Write a Note to Your Future Spouse

two hands holding a note to the groom

Photo by Clane Gessel Photography

Save some time to pen a sweet note to your partner, telling them just how excited you are to officially become their other half. You'd be surprised by what a big difference this gesture can make in calming your partner's nerves.

06 of 20

Finalize Your Wedding Ceremony and Vows

bride and groom sharing their first kiss under a blooming flower arch

Photo by Matt Blum Photography

Whether you and your partner are writing your own vows or sticking with something more traditional, check in with your officiant to make sure the ceremony goes off without a hitch. Be sure you have the finalized order set ahead of time before your rehearsal.

07 of 20

Confirm Delivery Times

three-tiered wedding cake with cascading floral

Photo by Brumley & Wells

Most venues give couples an allotted time frame for when the venue is specifically theirs. Make sure all deliveries, including rentals, flowers, and your cake, fall within the correct timeline and will be set up with time to spare.

08 of 20

Make a Plan for Extra Decor

a chalboard a-frame sign with wedding hashtag and flowers

Photo by W&E Photographie

You spent time planning and executing that adorable hashtag sign, so make sure you get it out there. Whether you're planning to set up the finishing touches, like favors, signage, or other small décor elements, or you're assigning the task to someone else, have the duty planned out ahead of time.

09 of 20

Book Hair Removal

applying wax to legs

Fairchild Digital Archive

It's not the most glamorous pre-wedding task, but be sure to book any hair removal sessions to happen at least a few days before the wedding. The last thing you want is a reaction that leaves you red, blotchy, or itchy before your wedding day and honeymoon.

10 of 20

Pack for the Honeymoon

man and woman with suitcases walking down a brick path

Getty Images

We can promise you the last thing you'll want to do after the excitement of your wedding is rush home and pack for your post-wedding vacation. Save yourself the stress by packing before the big day so you can enjoy time with your family and friends before jetting off to your gorgeous destination.

11 of 20

Finalize Your Getting-Ready Timeline

applying wedding makeup

Photo by Larissa Cleveland Photography

Consider your timeline ahead of time, confirming arrivals or appointments with your hair and makeup artists. Once confirmed, give a schedule to your wedding party, and let your photographer know when you'd like them to start shooting.

12 of 20

Confirm a Backup Plan

bride and groom smiling under an umbrella

Photo by Ryan Ray Photography

If inclement weather strikes on your wedding day, the last thing you want is to be left without an alternative plan. Some outdoor venues have a redundant space for you to use, but if not, you'll need to coordinate having a tent on hand for guests to seek shelter in. Better safe than sorry!

13 of 20

Ask a Family Member to Bring Home Cards and Gifts

carriage with a sign for gifts

Photo by Amy Arrington Photography

Designate someone to gather all of your gifts at the end of the night. Ask someone responsible to tackle that task before the big day so you don't have to worry day-of and you can be sure nothing gets left behind.

14 of 20

Give Your Caterer a Final Headcount

navy blue and white wedding menu card

Photo by Lynne Brubaker Photography

To ensure your caterer makes the right amount of food, without too much waste, you'll want to give an accurate headcount as close to the big day as possible. Most vendors want this information a few days before your reception so they can plan accordingly.

15 of 20

Pack Day-Of Essentials

bride getting ready on her wedding day

Photo by Greer G. Photography

Avoid pre-rehearsal-dinner panic by packing up wedding day essentials a few days early. Pack up any makeup, hair products, shapewear, and accessories you'll need ahead of time. We promise that a little planning will add up to a whole lot of relief once the big day arrives.

16 of 20

Pick up the Rings

wedding rings on a white and gold backdrop

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

You'll need to pick up your wedding bands at least a few days before the ceremony. While you're there, have your engagement ring (and any other jewelry you plan on wearing on the big day) cleaned as well so it'll sparkle in all of your portraits!

17 of 20

Package Your Wedding Favors

wedding favors set up with peaches and decorated bags

Photo by Heather Nan Photography

Whether you just need to add a final tag or bow, or you literally need to pack up homemade treats in gift boxes, be sure to give yourself a little extra time to finalize those cute favors you've worked so hard on.

18 of 20

Get Your Marriage License

marriage license with pink flowers and greenery

Courtesy of Jennifer Raichman

You'll have to check the specific requirements for your state, but in general, you'll need to obtain a marriage license between 24 hours and 60 days before your wedding. Find out the specifics before you visit a local clerk to make sure your wedding will be legal.

19 of 20

Create a Day-Of Schedule

bridal party in robes toasting with champagne

Photo by Laura Murray Photography

This step is especially important, whether you're having a day-of coordinator, a planner or you're tackling it all yourself. Map out the times when everything needs to happen, including when the ceremony will start and what time you'll need to wrap up the reception.

20 of 20

Get a Wedding-Ready Manicure and Pedicure

bride's hands with ring

Photo by Rebecca Yale Portraits

Your hands are photographed a lot when you're engaged, and since the wedding day is the last time anyone will really be trying to capture your rock with a camera lens, make it count! Get a good quality manicure and pedicure before the big day in a flattering shade that you'll love looking at in your wedding album for years to come.

Related Stories