Wedding Day Checklist: The Complete Guide For Your Big Day

wedding day checklist

Katy Eriks

Published: Jan 7, 2021

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2021

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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! As you’re checking items off your to-do list (invitations sent – check!, wedding hashtag created – check! hotel reserved – check!) don’t forget about what you’ll be doing on the day of. Besides the part where you say, “I Do,” there is a lot to do and keep track of on the day of your wedding. 

Especially if you won’t have a wedding planner keeping you to a strict timeline, we recommend having this link at the ready so you can review this as you prepare for one of the biggest days of your life! The goal of this wedding day checklist is for you to have a stress-free wedding day.

What Is A Wedding Day Checklist?

Planning your big day requires a lot of preparation from booking your venue and other vendors to choosing your decor and wedding attire. However, you’ll also have a good number of tasks to accomplish on the day of your wedding too.

These day-of tasks and reminders should all be included in your wedding day checklist. A wedding checklist will help you organize all the plans and arrangements you’ve put into motion. These final to-dos are the finishing touches for celebrating your big day.

With a printable wedding checklist easily accessible on your wedding day, you’ll be able to actively check off everything you’ve accomplished while remaining aware of those yet to be completed. The items on this wedding day checklist may include practicing your vows, packing all your attire and accessories, and creating your emergency wedding kit.

Why Do You Need A Wedding Day Checklist?

Creating your own wedding checklist or utilizing a printable wedding checklist will be incredibly helpful once your big day arrives. Trying to plan a wedding is stressful enough. A lot of thoughts and emotions will be going through your mind once your wedding day arrives. You’ll want to stay as organized as you can in order for your planning process to be as stress-free as possible.

Having a wedding day checklist by your side will remind you of the wedding day tasks you need to complete as well as the personal tasks you need to remember for your own wellness. While your wedding day will be a busy one, having a checklist reminding you to stay hydrated, eat something, take deep breaths, and soak in your big day are equally important items on your wedding day checklist.

Your Wedding Day Checklist

Before The Big Day

Wedding Day Checklist insta
  1. Make sure you have a timeline and a contact sheet for your entire bridal party as well as all of your vendors. 
  2. Before you leave your house whether it’s the day before or morning of, review your packing list to make sure you have everything you need
  3. Don’t forget comfortable shoes for dancing! 
  4. If you haven’t done so already, pack your marriage license! Your marriage is only legal if the officiant signs.
  5. Be sure to have some cash placed away for easy access. It’s customary to tip vendors and may be helpful to place these aside in labeled envelopes. 
  6. Plan out your first kiss as a married couple. While it may not sound romantic to rehearse your first kiss, your guests will be staring at you and cameras will be flashing so you may not be as comfortable as usual. 
  7. Designate someone to take the cards and wedding gifts from your reception to your home/ hotel room. 
  8. Review your vows and practice saying them out loud. 
  9. Bring your wedding stationary with you so your photographer can include them in detail shots. 
  10. Keep an eye on the forecast and have clear umbrellas on standby in case of rain. 
  11. Prepare to get a good night’s sleep the night before your wedding. Silence your phone. Wear a sleep mask. Consider taking a non-drowsy sleeping aid like ZzzQuil. 

The Morning Of

  1. Take a few moments to meditate and take deep breaths. With this wedding day checklist, your day will go seamlessly!
  2. Carry your clothing in garment bags to the venue, or wherever you will be getting ready, to keep it looking fresh and unwrinkled. Keep in mind that items labeled dry clean only should be steamed instead of ironed. 
  3. Put someone in charge of a getting ready playlist–good vibes only. 
  4. Pass out gifts to your bridal party and parents. 
  5. Have something to eat. Yes, it’s a busy day and there’s a good chance you will be too busy to enjoy the dinner at the reception. Have breakfast or lunch planned and bring snacks. 
  6. Stay hydrated. Along with eating something, water is key, especially when you start drinking champagne in the morning. 
  7. Put someone in charge of a wedding-day emergency kit. Key items to include are: lint roller, stain remover stick, pain relievers, antacids, breath mints, dental floss picks, oil absorbing blotting papers, deodorant, fashion tape, and safety pins. 
  8. Have your best man and/ or maid of honor help you exchange gifts with your soon-to-be spouse prior to your first look. 
  9. Pass off the rings to your best man and make sure he keeps them in the chest pocket on the inside of his jacket. 
Wedding Day Checklist prewedding

Before You Take Wedding Photos

  1. Make sure your engagement ring is sparkling, not only will it be captured in your photos, but your guests will be asking to see it all night. Bling Wipes are really convenient for this.  
  2. Double check that your teeth are lipstick-free. 
  3. Make sure the vents on the back of the men’s jackets have been clipped as well as the chest pocket, but only if you’re using a pocket square. (Pro tip: you can keep the front pockets of your jacket sewn shut as they are not intended for use but are a design feature.)
  4. Place the boutonnières or lapel pins on the lapel on the left side of the jackets over the buttonhole. Also, make sure the flowers are pinned on securely so they don’t bounce while you’re walking down the aisle. 
  5. Double check that the bottom buttons of all suit jackets are unbuttoned, shoe laces are tied, and cell phones aren’t bouncing around in front pants pockets.
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Pro Tip: Don’t forget to get a wedding hashtag and put it on display, so your guests know to tag their photos and they’re easily accessible!

displaying your wedding hashtag
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Before The Ceremony

  1. Leave your wallet and phone in your bag, the party bus, or with a designated friend, all notifications can wait until later. 
  2. If you’re including kids in your wedding, give them some extra attention before they walk down the aisle. Kids are often either too nervous to walk or overly excited and make a mad dash to the “finish line.” Make sure they know they’re a special part of the day and that they mean a lot to you. 
  3. Take a few deep breaths, the moment you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! 

For extra help, we asked wedding planner Colin Cowle for his best tip when it comes to preparing and planning for your wedding day:

“What makes or breaks a wedding is the least expensive item on the entire budget: TIMING.

The biggest mistake of all is to keep guests waiting. I have a pact with every bride that the ceremony starts 15 minutes after the printed invitation time. Cocktails last 45 minutes. By the time people get moving, it’s an hour. I try to serve a three-course dinner in a concise 90 minutes so guests dance the whole night.

Timing is absolutely essential. It can make or break any wedding—and guess what? It does not cost a single cent. “

Colin Cowle

outdoor wedding

At The Reception

  1. After your ceremony take a few moments just the two of you to celebrate together and let it sink in that you’re actually married now! This is also a great time to have a quick snack and drink before taking additional photos and mingling with your guests. 
  2. Before the bridal party announcements, make sure your DJ knows how to pronounce everyone’s names. 
  3. The cake cutting is a major photo op at your wedding. Review ahead of time how to properly cut your wedding cake. And, no surprise cake smashing. Discuss that ahead of time! 
  4. Change into your comfortable dancing shoes.
  5. Make a toast to thank your guests for attending and for their support.  
  6. Task your most social media savvy friend with taking tons of photos and making sure your guests use your custom wedding hashtag so you can scroll through the memories right away. 
  7. Remember those previously prepared envelopes of cash? Now is the time to tip your vendors. 
  8. Enjoy some drinks, but not too many, and dance the night away! 

Before Bed [After The Wedding]

  1. If you’re heading out on your honeymoon the next day, check into your flight and double check you have everything you need. 
  2. Take a shower. It’s almost guaranteed that your stylist will use 10x the amount of hairspray on your updo because it’s your big day and they can’t risk your hair falling. 
  3. Don’t worry about expectations to consummate your marriage on the wedding night. Every couple has a different story of what actually went down at the end of the night and there is no right or wrong way to spend your first night together as a married couple. 
  4. Set your phones and the door tag to “do not disturb.” 
Wedding Day Checklist after reception

Printable Wedding Day Checklist

We hope this wedding day checklist helps you out on the big day so you can enjoy every well-deserved moment. And don’t forget to print this checklist to ensure you don’t forget a thing!


Wedding Day Checklist: Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I Need For My Wedding Day?

On the day of your wedding, you’ll need to organize your complete wedding day look from your dress, shoes, wedding rings, undergarments, hair accessories, veil, and jewelry for the bride and a suit, pants, dress shoes, socks, belt, bowtie, and other accessories like a watch or cufflinks for the groom. You may even want an extra change of clothes should you have separate attire or shoes for your reception. Don’t forget a bag including deodorant, perfume, makeup, cologne, floss, and a toothbrush if you need to freshen up throughout the day.

What Are 5 Things A Bride Needs?

There are certain items that if you happen to forget, won’t ruin your big day. However, there are definitely other items every bride needs to remember on their wedding day. This includes your wedding dress carefully transported to your ceremony, your wedding shoes, and you and your partner’s wedding bands. You also won’t want to forget your marriage license and your photo ID in order to ensure the legality of your ceremony goes off without a hitch.

What Should I Do Before My Wedding Day?

Leading up to your big day is the perfect time to start anticipating your wedding day checklist. What accessories are applicable to your wedding day look? What legal forms do you need? Do you have your emergency kit prepared with beauty products, medicine, band-aids, a sewing kit, bobby pins, hair products, and a to-go stain remover?

What Do Most Brides Forget?

Planning every aspect of your wedding day is no simple feat, and many brides forget or overlook the smaller details such as printing out your wedding vows or your printable wedding checklist, getting pens for the guest book, and having a thank you speech prepared for the reception. Brides also may forget to have a bathrobe or buttoned shirt for hair and makeup or to get nice hangers for their wedding dress photos.

Author Bio

Katy is the Brand Development Manager at The Suit Shop and before joining the team was one of TGS’s first brides. When she’s not writing a blog, posting on social media, or providing customer service at TGS, she’s teaching yoga, caring for her three rescue dogs, and hanging out with her husband and baby boy.  


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