Your last-minute wedding checklist

July 14 | bijouxandbits  
Photos by: Oh, Karina Photography
Last minute wedding checklist from @offbeatbride
Photo by Oh, Karina Photography

You've already printed out the official Offbeat Bride checklist, and you're finishing up all your final wedding plans, but maybe you need a list of last-minute things to remember. Here's what you'll want to be handling a few days before your wedding, including paying vendors, breaking in shoes, packing your "oh shit kit," and doing a lot of last-minute make-outs with your partner. Hey, it's not all work work work, right? It's the big last-minute wedding checklist!

Check in with your beloved vendors

Give everyone a check-in to make sure you're all on the same page, they have the exact directions, they have your designated go-to person's contact information, and that you know how much is left to pay. Also confirm that all of your vendors know how long they need to stay and/or when everything is over.

Prepare final payments and get receipts

Make arrangements to get all your vendors the payments they need. You don't want to risk any no-shows this late in the game. If you're planning to tip all your vendors, create tip envelopes for each one so you can easily pay them without having to count any money out. Seal them to make sure none of the money goes missing.

Drop your luggage and wedding day outfits off early

If you're staying at a hotel, ask if you can drop off your luggage early, or have someone drop it off the day of. Make sure to get your jewelry, accessories, shoes, etc., ready in one place and see how early you can get all of that delivered ahead of time. Don't forget to have any going-away outfits/reception changes delivered to your reception by someone, too.

Have decor and venue items in place as soon as you can

Similar to the tip above, see how early you're allowed to start delivering decor items (wedding favors, toasting glasses, cake knife, etc.) to your venue, if you have any. Take advantage of any extra time. Don't forget your ceremony items, too. Designate someone for this haul.

Pack for your honeymoon early

Taking a honeymoon? Have your passports, airline tickets, hotel reservations, and travel documents in one place and ready for when you're heading out.

Break in your wedding shoes

Try on your wedding shoes on various surfaces and walk around in them for awhile. Pack a back-up pair of flats even if your first choice feel okay beforehand. Trust us on that one.

Arrange for a plant sitter and critter wrangler

All those plants and pets in your life will still be sitting around while you're busting a move or traveling on your honeymoon. Make sure someone is around to give them some love while you're gone.

Bring back-ups of your vows, music, speeches, photo shot list

Even if you print out your vows, bring a back-up on your smart phone or with a wedding party member just in case. The same goes for all your itineraries and lists.

Create a day-of itinerary

Oh, you haven't made any lists? Here's where you'll want to map out any decor plans, photography schedule, getting ready plans, and who needs to be where and when and what they should bring. Plan to pass this out during your rehearsal if you're having one — or at least when most of your crew is together and not tipsy.

Pack your "Oh shit" kits

You'll want a kit of all the emergency and convenience items you could ever need with you. Here are some ideas:

Plan what you'll eat and drink

Oh, we're not just talking about at the reception, although that's important. We're talking who's feeding you and when all day long. Preorder breakfast in your hotel, ask a friend to bring up some take-out, or have someone bring a bunch of healthy snacks, and above all, have someone on hand with water at all times.

Review printed materials

Give your program, menu, signs, and other printed material a look-see to make sure there isn't anything glaringly wrong a week ahead of time. Don't stress if there's something really minor, but make sure there's no misleading information like a mislabled map.

Ready your welcome gifts

If you're planning to gift up your crew with something fun, get those ready and wrapped well ahead of time and have them included in your supplies for wherever you'll gift them.

Designate a gift hauler

Speaking of gifts, no matter what you ask, you're going to get cards and gifts. Designate someone to collect and deliver these to your house or at least somewhere safe. Make sure they have a key!

Arrange transportation home for you and your bridal party

Make sure there's a plan in place to get you and your posse home after the festivities. Trust us, we've heard stories of not being able to snag a cab in a busy city late at night. Don't get stranded!

Program your transportation into your phone

Getting a cab? Using a limo? Someone is picking you up in a VW bus? Make sure you have their number in your phone. In fact, make a list of all your vendor numbers and put them into your phone or the phone of someone you trust.

Give your legal documents to someone responsible

Have someone guard your marriage license and save it for you after the wedding.

Take a few tips from a wedding coordinator and wedding veterans

Relax and enjoy some alone time with your partner

We'll leave this part up to your imagination. Eyebrow waggle…

What last-minute wedding checklist tips did we miss? Let us know in the comments!

Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME

  1. It's important to plan what you will eat and drink but it's also important to make time for it. I stayed at a B&B the night before to ensure I would eat breakfast. My sister and I went out for a late morning snack before hair and makeup. We also bought food to eat while getting ready. The food was all laid out in the dressing room and it was barely touched because we were so busy. Then by supper time I was starving (and our reception started late because a couple of important people were missing).

    We didn't have a designated person to take out legal stuff but out officiant gave it to someone she thought was responsible. At one point after the ceremony (during pictures) I was wondering what happened to it but I figured someone had it. I found out the next day at brunch that our officiant gave it to my brother (guys in kilts are always responsible, right?) who put it in the door of his car and his wife found it.

    We also didn't have a specific plan for transportation back to the hotel after our reception. We knew that we would not be driving and figured if it came down to it we'd call a taxi. We ended up getting a ride with a relative so that worked out (though a taxi ride with just my hubby, instead of a car packed full of people, would have been nice too).

  2. This is a great list! I'm bookmarking it to refer back to in a couple weeks as we get closer to our big day (eek!)

  3. I never think of myself as someone who will forget to eat, but my recent shower changed my mind about that! I had plenty of time – we were having a sit-down luncheon in a nice restaurant – but my adrenaline levels were so high that I could barely choke down one of my delicious fish tacos. It was a good lesson. I've designated my sister to make sure I get a plate of food at some point, especially with the alcohol flowing freely. I'm also placing a room service order the night before, so it'll come to my room automatically the morning of the wedding. I am not the kind of person who does well emotionally when I skip breakfast, so it is extra important for me to make sure I eat something that morning!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.