You’ve spent months and months planning, and you’re counting down the final days until your wedding. It’s almost time for the big day! And now all that’s left to do is show up, right? Well, not so fast. According to Mindy Weiss, expert wedding planner to the stars with more than 20 years of experience planning weddings, the week before your wedding is sure to be a bit hectic with a few last-minute tasks to check off your list. But where do you start? Luckily, after years and years of planning weddings, Weiss has thought of it all.
Meet the Expert
Mindy Weiss is a wedding planner to the stars with more than 20 years of experience planning weddings and events for top Hollywood personalities (think Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, as well as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi). With her best-seller, The Wedding Book, and specialized jewelry line, Mindy is the ultimate authority on planning an unforgettable wedding.
Whether you've left these tasks to the last minute because of the specific timing they require, or they've totally slipped your mind, Weiss’s last-minute wedding checklist will serve as an important reminder of what's left to do. “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 any unforeseen wedding dress emergency," she says. “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!”
Feel free to keep track of this master checklist, but delegate tasks as needed. Trust us, you’ll need all the support you can get.
To be sure you're not missing a beat, continue reading for the ultimate last-minute wedding checklist of things you need to do the week before the big day.
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, to finalize your look. Practice that walk down the aisle and make sure everything looks and feels comfortable.
Break in Your Shoes
Your wedding shoes are likely brand new, and you’ll be wearing them for a while on the big day. Wear them for a short period of time each day around the house and walk around on a few different surfaces to really test them out.
Clear Your Work To-Do List
Take care of any big projects or assignments at work early on that week so that you don't have a to-do list of work tasks floating around in your head. Work is the last thing you want to think about as you head into your wedding weekend.
Clean Your Ring
Head to your jeweler to get your rings professionally cleaned so they're extra sparkly on your wedding day.
Meet With Your Planner or Day-Of Coordinator
If you have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, have a final meeting with them to go over any last-minute details.
Confirm Last-Minute RSVPs
Now is the time to call anyone who hasn’t sent an RSVP 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.
Deliver the Final Headcount
You’ll want to give the final headcount to your hotel or caterer on the Monday before the wedding (or whenever required by your contract).
Finalize the Seating Chart
Most of the RSVPs should be in by now, so sit down with your spouse-to-be and finalize the seating arrangements. Be sure to send a copy to those who need it, such as the wedding planner, photographer, and designated bridesmaid.
Submit Your Final Shot List
Send this off to your photographer and designate a family member or member of the wedding party to regularly check in with the photographer on the wedding day.
Check on the Marriage License
You want this thing to be legal, right? Make sure your marriage license is in order and assign someone to keep track of it on the day-of to ensure it’s signed correctly and doesn’t get lost in all of the excitement.
Answer Last-Minute Emails
If your inbox is crowded with questions from guests or vendors, be sure to give it one last read through and answer any emails that are filled with pressing wedding questions before you go MIA and straight into a weekend of wedding fun.
Confirm Honeymoon Logistics
Double-check your flight times and confirm your hotel bookings and any other activity or dinner reservations you might have.
Send all of your vendors an email or give them a quick call on the Monday before the event. Be sure to confirm arrival times. This includes your florist, baker, caterer, and hair and makeup team.
Get any checks or final payments ready for vendors, and check your contracts for payment deadlines to be extra sure you're on time.
Finalize Your Post-Wedding Escape Route
Whether you plan to go home after the wedding or to an after-party, plan ahead your transportation for the end of the night so you're not caught hailing a cab in your wedding dress.
Contact the Hotel and Ask for an Upgrade
If you're staying in a hotel during your 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, they'll often 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 to 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.
Organize Wedding Boxes
Prepare boxes of things you’ll need for the wedding—things like the guest book, cake knife, toasting glasses, and any other little things you're bringing to the venue. Deliver them to whoever will be in charge of getting those items to the right place.
Check on the Rehearsal Dinner
If another family member is putting together the rehearsal dinner, confirm all the details with them. If you’re in charge, give the venue or restaurant a ring to go over the timing, menu, and any other details one last time.
Get Gratuities in Order
Prepare tip envelopes for your vendors by placing cash into marked envelopes. You don’t want to be scrambling around for cash the night of the wedding.
Print out Place Cards
Now that you know exactly who is coming and where they are sitting, you can get these printed and boxed up ready to go for the big day. Deliver them to whoever will be in charge of putting them out.
Say Hello to Your In-Laws
Touch base with your (almost) mother-in-law and father-in-law, and your immediate family as well, and see if they need anything or have any last-minute questions. Once you chat with them, ask them to act as liaisons to the other guests or family members who have questions.
Designate a Social Media Guru
Assign a trusty bridesmaid or groomsman to take care of any social media logistics like testing out your Snapchat filter on the big day or encouraging guests to use your wedding hashtag.
Fill Welcome Bags
Stuff these with candy and goodies for your out-of-town guests and deliver them to the hotel. That way, when they arrive, they have a package of wedding excitement waiting for them.
Package up Gifts for the Bridal Party
Those adorable gifts you bought to thank your bridesmaids for all their hard work? Be sure to wrap them up and include a nice, personalized note with each.
Drop off Items at the Venue
If the venue is okay with it, drop off boxes of decorations or wedding items ahead of time. That way, you don't need to lug a bunch of boxes with you on the day-of.
Put Together a List of Party Songs
Have any favorite songs you want played on your big day? Put together a list of your favorite jams and pass that along to the DJ before the wedding so they can come prepared.
Pack An “Emergency Kit”
You can buy an emergency kit specifically for the occasion or go the DIY route. You’ll want to include things like Band-Aids, a nail file, hair spray, pain killers, tampons, a small sewing kit, and extra makeup.
Make Sure the Groomsmen Are in Order
You or your partner should check in with the guys to make sure they’ve picked up their tuxes and are in-the-know about all wedding day logistics.
Check in With Your Bridesmaids
Reach out to see if your bridesmaids have any last-minute questions and confirm when/where they should meet on the day-of. Bonus points if you can organize a fun ladies brunch or happy hour that week.
Practice Your Vows Out Loud
Whether you’ve written your own or you’re going with traditional 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 them with a steady and slow pace until you feel confident and calm.
Pack for the Honeymoon
If you’re leaving for the honeymoon within two days of the wedding, pack your bags ahead of time. You’ll feel much better having that out of the way, and you won't have to worry about doing laundry or adding last-minute items to your suitcase the morning after your big day.
Clean Your Home
Things are likely to get a little messy in the frenzy of wedding planning so take some time to tidy up. Coming back to a clean home is one of the best feelings.
Write Your Partner a Note
Jot down a couple of words and feelings for your soon-to-be spouse to read on the morning of the wedding. It will help get them excited and emotional for the day ahead of both of you.
Get a Mani-Pedi
This is even better if you can do it with your bridesmaids and/or mom and mother-in-law. Try to get your mani-pedi done day or two before the wedding so your nails are as fresh as possible.
Pack Your Wedding Day Bag
In addition to your wedding day ensemble, remember to pack anything else you’ll need for the weekend such clothes, medications, and lingerie or pjs.
Drink Plenty of Water
Keep a gallon of water close by. Wedding planning keeps you on your toes, so stay hydrated, especially when you're running around the week before your wedding tackling errands and making sure everything is perfect.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Try to crawl into bed a little earlier than usual the week before your wedding. The more rest you get, the better. Once the wedding activities start, it may be harder to get a solid night's sleep.
Check the Weather Forecast
Try to use multiple weather apps for the best accuracy. If there’s any chance of rain in the forecast, start thinking about your contingency plan becoming a reality.
Spend Some Quality Time With Your Future Spouse
Even if it’s just a quick outing for a cup of coffee, find a small window of time to spend one-on-one with your partner.
Relax and Breathe!
You're at the tail end of the wedding planning experience, so treat yourself! Take a brisk walk, get a massage, watch your favorite movie...do whatever you like to do to relax so you can feel fresh for your big day.