After months and months of planning, it’s almost time for the big day! The vendors are confirmed, your dress is ready, the RSVPs are pouring in...all that’s left to do is show up, right? Not quite. The week before your wedding is likely to be a tad hectic with some last-minute tasks to get through. But don’t fret! Luckily, after years and years of planning weddings, I’ve just about thought of it all.
This list may seem a bit daunting, but you’re not alone! You have a whole entourage (including that future spouse of yours) to enlist for help. Feel free to keep track of this master checklist, but delegate tasks as needed. Trust me, you’ll need all the support you can get.
With only a few days left in your wedding planning adventure, it's totally understandable that a few things on your growing pre-wedding to-do list might slip your mind. Did I confirm the ceremony musicians? Did my sister ever buy her shoes to go with that maid-of-honor dress? And oh shoot, I still have to pack for my honeymoon! We know these thoughts (and more) are constantly racing through your mind and even sneaking into your dreams in your sleep. It's exhausting—how are you supposed to get any of that bridal beauty sleep?!
More than anything, the week before your wedding you deserve a giant high-five and (while we're at it) a hug too, because the hard part is over. Now, what's left is a wedding weekend celebration that will fly by faster than you can cut your very own wedding cake.
So before the big day arrives and you're off walking down the aisle and into the arms of your life-long love, be sure to take a gander at our grand to-do list for brides-almost-to-be. It's best to get all of your belongings in order, sooner rather than later, so you can kick your feet up and enjoy every second of your wedding celebrations, without making last-minute trips to pick up travel-sized shampoo or texting your bridesmaids at midnight begging them to help you with an unforeseen wedding dress emergency.
And remember to try to stay as flexible as possible during this final countdown. Last minute tweaks will happen, so go with the flow. Just stay on top of things and try to keep your end goal in mind: getting married! You're on the home stretch!
Mindy Weiss, wedding planner to the stars and The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly’s Style Partner, is our go-to expert on all things wedding. With more than 20 years of planning weddings and events for top Hollywood personalities (think Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and so many more), her best-selling The Wedding Book, and specialized jewelry line, Mindy is the ultimate authority on planning an unforgettable wedding.
Test Drive the Full Look
You’ll need to pick up your dress the week of the wedding, but don’t stop there! Try on the full ensemble, including shoes and jewelry. Practice that walk down the aisle and make sure everything looks and feels comfortable. Pro tip: Try going to the bathroom in your dress as well!
Chase the Stragglers
Time to call anyone who hasn’t RSVP'd yet. Reach out to the last-minute stragglers who haven't told you whether or not they're coming to your wedding. While it may feel like you're playing a game of cat and mouse, it's better to know the final count sooner rather than later — otherwise those MIA guests might show up and have nowhere to sit.
Contact the Hotel and Ask for an Upgrade
If you're staying in a hotel for the wedding, check in with the front desk and ask if they can give you a last-minute, discounted or free, upgrade to a bigger suite. If they have availability, and you let them know it's your wedding weekend, maybe they will work their magic for you.
Confirm Who's Giving the Toast
If there are a couple of people who are reading a little something special to you and your significant other at the wedding or rehearsal dinner, check in with them and confirm. You can also let them know the time frame that they should expect to speak, so that they feel calm and ready for their role.
Assign Someone To Grab Gifts and Decorations
Choose a family member to collect the card box, any wedding gifts that guests brought, and any decorations you may want to keep and take them home for you. You may be too busy to remember to do this, or you may be heading to your wedding after-party. Assigning this task to someone else (and someone responsible) will help make sure everything makes it home to you safe and sound.
Practice Your Vows Out Loud
Whether you’ve written your own or you’re going with the more “standard vows” practice what you’ll say and how you’ll say it in front of a mirror. Even if you've silently read the words over and over again, be sure to read your vows out loud to yourself a handful of times. Practice reading it with a steady and slow pace until you feel confident and calm.