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. Make sure you take care of these small (yet crucial!) bridal to-dos before you walk down the aisle

Updated 04/30/15

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You've saved, budgeted, researched, and planned, and now your wedding day is almost here. But that doesn't mean you can kick your feet up just yet. Despite your wedding date inching ever closer, there are some very important details you still have to take care of before you walk down the aisle. Luckily, it's nothing you can't handle! (After all, you have already planned an entire wedding.)

We'll be the first to say it: These tasks aren't as fun as all the others you've completed so far. Cake tastings, wedding-dress appointments, floral meetings, and hair and makeup trials are filled with excitement, so when it comes time to tackle these last-minute to-dos, like making a day-of timeline and coordinating deliveries, we can understand why you might be significantly less overjoyed. But despite being somewhat less glamorous and fun, these details simply can't be overlooked!

From packing for the honeymoon and assigning a point person to field questions and help you avoid day-of stress to finalizing your ceremony and picking up your marriage license, we've outlined the 20 last-minute things you have to do before the big day and why. Reference this handy list 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

Harwell Photography

Along with making a list of your favorite tunes for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing, you should also come up with a list of songs you absolutely do not want to hear at any point throughout the night. Remember, these don't have to be set lists of what to play when, but they give your DJ some guidance about what you love and what you don't.

02 of 20

Assign a Point Person

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. Since you don't want to be swarmed while you're prepping for your walk down the aisle, pick a bridesmaid, friend, planner — anyone! — who can field inquiries so you don't feel overwhelmed.

03 of 20

Prepare Tip Envelopes

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 isn't how you'll want to start your first night as a married woman. 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

Final Dress Fitting

Abby Jiu Photography

This one is obvious, right? 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 the Groom

Clane Gessel Photography

Save some time to pen a sweet note to your groom where you can tell him how excited you are to finally become his wife. You'd be surprised by what a big difference this gesture can make in calming your guy's nerves.

06 of 20

Finalize Your Wedding Ceremony and Vows

Matt Blum Photography

Whether you and your groom 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. You'll want to have the finalized order set before your rehearsal.

07 of 20

Confirm Delivery Times

Brumley & Wells

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

08 of 20

Display Extra Decor

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 decor elements, or assigning the task to someone else, have the duty planned out ahead of time.

09 of 20

Hair Removal

Fairchild Digital Archive

It's not the most glamorous pre-wedding task, but 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

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 locale.

11 of 20

Finalize Your Getting-Ready Timeline

Larissa Cleveland Photography

This means confirming arrival times or appointments with your hair and makeup artists, giving a schedule to your bridesmaids, and letting your photographer know when you'd like her to start shooting.

12 of 20

Confirm Any Backup Plans

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.

13 of 20

Ask a Family Member to Bring Home Cards and Gifts

Amy Arrington Photography

At the end of the night, you'll need someone to gather up all of your gifts. Ask someone responsible to do the honors before the big day so nothing gets left behind.

14 of 20

Give Your Caterer a Final Head Count

Lynne Brubaker Photography

To ensure your caterer makes the right amount of food, without too much waste, you'll want to give an accurate head count as close to 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

Greer G. Photography

Avoid pre-rehearsal-dinner panic by packing up wedding-day essentials a few days early. This includes any makeup, hair products, shapeware, and accessories you'll need. We promise that a little planning will add up to tons of relief when the day arrives.

16 of 20

Pick Up Rings

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 cleaned to shiny perfection so it'll sparkle in all of your portraits!

17 of 20

Package Your Favors

Heather Nan Photography

This can mean anything from adding a final tag or bow to literally packing up homemade treats in gift boxes. (For the latter, you'll want to give yourself a little extra time!)

18 of 20

Get Your Marriage License

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

Laura Murray Photography

This is most important if you're having a coordinator or planner but still a good idea even if you're not. 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

Rebecca Yale Portraits

Your hands are photographed a lot when you're an engaged lady, 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.

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