42 Things All Brides Should Do the Week of Their Wedding

It's the final countdown!

Updated 01/18/18

Lauren Scotti Photography

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!

Meet the Expert

Mindy Weiss is a wedding planner to the stars 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). With her best-seller, The Wedding Book, and specialized jewelry line, Mindy is the ultimate authority on planning an unforgettable wedding.

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Test Drive the Full Look

Bride close up dress

Photo by Les Amis Photo

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!

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Break In Your Shoes

Carina Skrobecki Photography

They’re 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.

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Clear Your Work To-Do List

Getty Images

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.

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Clean Your Ring

engagement ring

Photo by Rachel Owens

Head to your jeweler to get your engagement ring professionally clean so it’s extra sparkly on your wedding day.

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Meet with Your Planner or Day-Of Coordinator

Getty Images

If you have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, have a final meeting with him or her to go over any last-minute details.

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Chase the Stragglers

Studio 29

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.

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Deliver the Final Head Count

Guests at restaurant reception

Photo by Forged in the North

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).

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Finalize the Seating Chart

Melissa Marshall

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, like the wedding planner, photographer and designated bridesmaid.

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Submit Your Final Shot List

Groom's First Kiss

Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

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.

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Check on the Marriage License

Phil Chester

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 the mix.

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Answer Last-Minute Emails

Woman Using iPhone

Getty Images

If your inbox is crowded with questions from guests or vendors, be sure to give it a last minute 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.

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Confirm Honeymoon Logistics

An aerial view of Oahu's Waikiki Beach

Noe DeWitt / Trunk Archive

Double check your flight times and confirm your hotel bookings and any other activity or dinner reservations you might have.

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Confirm Vendors

Couple Using iPhone Together

Getty Images

Shoot all 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 hair and makeup team!

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Prepare Payments

Stocksy

Get any checks or final payments ready for vendors. Check your contracts for payment deadlines.

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Figure Out Your Post-Wedding Escape Route

Bride and groom standing in front of car

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

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.

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Contact the Hotel and Ask for an Upgrade

The new beach suites at Hotel Esencia, on Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Courtesy of Hotel Esencia

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.

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Confirm Who's Giving the Toast

Toasts

Photo by Edward Winter of Readyluck

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.

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Assign Someone To Grab Gifts and Decorations

table setting

Photo by Tom Leung Photography

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.

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Organize Wedding Boxes

Modern City Map Wedding Guest Book

Dylan & Sara Photography

Prepare boxes of things you’ll need for the wedding—things like the guest book, cake knife, toasting glasses, etc. Deliver them to whoever will be in charge of getting them to the right place.

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Check on the Rehearsal Dinner

Guests at dinner table reception

Photo by Betsy Newman

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, etc. one last time.

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Get Gratuities in Order

Stocksy

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.

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Print Out Place Cards

succulent escort cards

Photo by Amber Gress Photography

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.

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Say Hello To Your In-Laws

Stocksy

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.

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Designate a Social Media Guru

Getty

Assign a trusty bridesmaid or groomsman to take care of any social media logistics like testing out your Snapchat filter on the day of, or encouraging guests to use your wedding hashtag.

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Fill Welcome Bags

Welcome Bags

Photo by Aaron Delesie

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.

26 of 42

Package Up Gifts for the Bridal Party

Melissa Marshall

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.

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Drop Off Items at the Venue

Photo by Elvira Kalviste; Planning & Design by Jove Meyer Events; Flowers by Mimosa Floral Design

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.

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Put Together a List of Party Songs

Ian Challenger Tilghman/The Dart Collective

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 the week before the wedding so he or she can come prepared.

29 of 42

Pack An “Emergency Kit”

Bridesmaid Emergency Kit

Courtesy of BHLDN

You can buy one specifically for the occasion or go the DIY route. You’ll want to include things like band aids, nail file, hair spray, pain killers, tampons, a small sewing kit, and extra makeup.

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Make Sure the Groomsmen Are in Order

Groom with groomsmen

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography

You or your spouse 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.

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Check in with Your Bridesmaids

Stocksy

Reach out to see if they 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.

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Practice Your Vows Out Loud

vow books

Photo by Emmy Lowe

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.

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Pack for the Honeymoon

Getty Images

If you’re leaving for the honeymoon within two days of the wedding, pack your bags. You’ll feel much better having that out of the way. You won't have to worry about doing laundry or adding last-minute items to your suitcase the morning after your big day.

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Clean Your Home

couple in apartment by homepolish

Design by Savannah Grace Metcalf. Photo by Julia Robbs for Homepolish.

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.

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Write Your Partner a Note

Whitney Chamberlin

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.

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Get a Mani Pedi

via @purplenailbox on Instagram

Even better if you can do this with your bridesmaids and/or mom and mother-in-law. Try to get this done a day or two before the wedding so your nails are as fresh as possible.

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Pack your Wedding Day Bag

Courtesy of Away

In addition to your wedding day ensemble, remember to pack anything else you’ll need for the weekend: clothes, medications and lingerie or pjs.

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Chug Some Water

Stocksy

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 running errands and making sure everything is perfect.

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Get Plenty of Sleep

Getty

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 wrap your arms around a solid night's sleep.

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Check the Weather Forecast

beach wedding venue

Olivia Rae James

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.

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Spend Some Quality Time with your Future Spouse

Phil Chester

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.

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Relax and Breathe!

Getty Images

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.

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