Starting the journey of wedding planning can be overwhelming, with a multitude of details to consider and in the chaos of all the wedding preparations, it’s all too common to overlook crucial elements. To ease the stress and ensure every aspect is flawlessly executed, we’ve crafted the ultimate wedding planning checklist. Whether you find yourself orchestrating the entire event at the eleventh hour or simply seeking the finishing touches, our comprehensive guide is designed to keep you on track.
For those in search of a last-minute wedding venue, we’ve got you covered with our exclusive last-minute wedding package. Dive into our carefully curated checklist below, and let the stress of wedding planning melt away as you prepare for your special day.
Last Minute Wedding Checklist No.1: Venue and Vendors
Find and Confirm the Perfect Last Minute Wedding Venue
If this is something last minute, then you may still be in luck, as many places will have last-minute deals and last minute wedding packages available to make sure that spaces are filled.
Confirm with Your Vendors
You’ll need to make sure that you have in writing exactly what your vendors are providing for you and that you have their contact details just in case anything goes wrong on the day.
You may prefer to sort payments in advance. This will make it easier on the day, as you won’t have to worry about having to pay people on the day or after, you can just enjoy yourself.
Make sure you have a receipt, whether that is a signed piece of paper or via email to say that you have made a payment, as you don’t want anyone chasing you later for a payment that you have already paid.
For those vendors who have gone above and beyond, you may wish to prepare envelopes addressed to the specific people with tips inside. This will stop you having to organise this on the day and you can also hand these to your coordinator to dispense.
If you’d like flowers for your wedding, you can visit your local florist who should be able to help you or you may be able to find artificial ones online.
Send a List of Specific Artists and/or Songs to Your DJ or Band
You don’t want your first dance to be ruined by having the wrong version of your favourite song. Sending a list of songs and artists you want (as well as a list of those you don’t) will make sure that your melodies are in harmony with the rest of your day.
Speak to Your Wedding Photographer and Give them a List of Photos
You may want a few specific shots for a photo album or a wall, particularly if you have relatives who have come from far away to celebrate your big day with you. Give the photographer a list of these photos (and to the best man/maid of honour as well) so that you can get these shots. If you’re after candid and posed or just one type, make sure they know this too.
Get a Contact Number for Any Drivers
If you have cars coming to pick you up to take you to the venue and/or to take you home, make sure you have their numbers, just in case there are any issues with transport on the day.
Do You Need Insurance?
Many vendors will have their insurance but you should find out what they have and whether you will need to get any extra insurance to cover yourself.
Tell Everyone the End and Cleaning Time
Your last minute wedding venue will have a time when the festivities must sadly come to a close so your vendors will need to know what time to stop and pack up so that there are no late fees.
Your caterers and venue will need to know the final headcount in advance so that you are getting the right number of meals and chairs on the day.
Last Minute Wedding Checklist No.2: Things You Will Need
Drop Off Luggage
Drop off your luggage early with the venue staff so that you don’t need to carry it around with you all day. There may be some little bits you’ll keep with you but for the most part, you’ll be okay without it.
Pack for the Honeymoon
If you’re going on your honeymoon straight from the venue, make sure your luggage is all packed and ready to go so that you don’t have to run home trying to pack when you should be off on the best holiday of your life.
Pack a Bag of Emergency Supplies
Hopefully, everything will go smoothly but you may find that packing a needle and thread, extra tights, socks and pants, sanitary products, pain relief and stain remover will come in handy. If you never need them, that’s great but it’ll feel better knowing that you had them waiting for you.
Sort Out Your Favours
Wedding favours aren’t the most important part of the wedding but are a nice touch if you have time. A quick and simple idea is a sweetie cart, as these won’t take much time to organise. If possible, you’ll want to set these up or drop them off in advance so that they can be laid out on the tables or arranged if you are going for a sweet cart or a similar gift.
Deliver Decorations Early
Just as with the favours, you’ll want to drop off your wedding decorations so that you don’t need to worry about them on the day and they will be ready to go by the time the guests arrive. There are many options for decorations if you’re still looking, such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy and you can get delivery to suit you.
Be Ready for Wet Weather
The weather isn’t always predictable so even if you’ve checked the forecast every day and you’ve booked the perfect sunny day, you’re still going to need something for the possibility of bad weather. Umbrellas and somewhere sheltered are always a good idea!
Find Vases to Keep Bouquets Hydrated
You may not be planning to do anything with your bouquet at the end of the day or after it gets tossed but you will need to make sure that your bouquets and boutonnières are still fresh for the ceremony.
You may remember to carry your medication on any normal day but your wedding day is not a normal day so make sure that you have a checklist for any medical items you will need so that you don’t have to run home on the day. Triple-check that you’ve got this sorted on your last-minute wedding to-do list!
Make sure you have something to cut the cake, whether that’s the vintage one your grandmother bought for her wedding or one that the venue or cake maker is providing. That way you’re not waiting around to cut your cake, gazing hungrily at the fabulous confection.
Something for the Little Ones (and Big Ones)
If there are going to be long periods of waiting – for example when the two of you go off for private photos – make sure your little guests have something to do. The big guests too, they might also get restless…
Last Minute Wedding Checklist No.3: Get Organised
Hopefully, you’ve sorted most things on our last-minute wedding planning checklist but it’s important to make sure you’ve thought of everything!
Organise Rides for the Bridal Party at the End of the Day
You don’t want to strand the bridal party at the last minute wedding venue so unless they are staying in your venue’s accommodation, you’ll need to organise them a way home if they came with you.
Make sure that the members of the wedding party have an itinerary, as well as a list of the duties that they have agreed to so that they know exactly what will be needed from them on the day.
Check Printed Materials
If you’ve had stationery made (or even if you’ve done it yourself) make sure that everyone’s names are spelt correctly and that all of the details are as you expected. Preferably before they are printed!
Print/Make a Seating Chart
If people are assigned to tables, give them a nudge in the right direction with a seating chart. It will stop people wandering around trying to work out where they are supposed to go (which could slow down getting to eat).
Make an Order of Service
An Order of Service is great for you, the last minute wedding venue and the vendors to work out the timings but it is also great for the guests, as they will know when they will be eating and how long the ceremony will be.
Find a Responsible Person
Hopefully, someone in your bridal party or your family can be trusted to be the appointed point of contact for vendors and the venue so that anyone with a query can come to them with questions or problems. You may also want to ask them or someone else to take care of the rings. This person should also have the list of contacts that you found when you were completing the last-minute wedding checklist.
Find Someone Who Can Sort Your Gifts
If you’re not going home until after your honeymoon or you won’t have room for all those presents in your car (lucky you!) designate a reliable relative or a faithful friend to take and store them for you until you are ready for them. Don’t forget to also sort somewhere for the gifts to be stored during the ceremony and reception.
Find Somewhere Safe for Your Documents
Now that you’ve got your marriage certificate, you don’t want to lose it somewhere between the ceremony and the speeches so find a safe place for it to be stored or a person who will be responsible for it until later.
Confirm Honeymoon Details
You don’t want to be so focused on your wedding that you forget to confirm your honeymoon and make all those payments. Make sure everything is in writing and that you are ready to go as soon as it begins.
Make Sure You Find Time to Eat
When you’re confirming times with vendors, make sure you have a few minutes to eat so you don’t collapse during the ceremony!
Have a Rehearsal
Your rehearsal doesn’t have to be a big, formal affair but it would be worth taking the bridal party to the venue a little while before the big day so that they can see where they will have to walk or stand during the ceremony so that they aren’t confused or lost on the day.
Send Copies of Vows
The Registrar will have needed to check them over anyway so you should have a written copy that you can re-print but it is worth making sure that you have a couple of copies and that a few people have them, just in case.
And the Speeches
You’ll need to make sure that everyone has at least one copy of their speech and perhaps emails it to themselves or the wedding coordinator so that a copy of it can be accessed or printed on the day.
Check the Length of Speeches
The speeches are normally one of the best parts for guests (after seeing the two of you happily married of course) but you’ll want to make sure that there isn’t going to be anyone launching into a four-hour speech about the bride and/or groom. You may also want to remind speakers of any innocent ears that might need protecting!
Arrange a Friend for Your Furry Friends
If you aren’t taking your best friend to the venue with them, make sure someone – like a neighbour or sitter – is onboard to watch over them while you are enjoying your special day.
Don’t Let the Cake Melt!
Even in winter, a wedding cake can start to melt and droop if it has been left in a warm room so make sure that you have somewhere cool to store it until you need it later. There are some amazing and unusual wedding cake ideas out there and you wouldn’t want to miss eating it!
Last Minute Wedding Checklist No.4: Outfits
Schedule Final Dress/Suit Fittings
Once you’ve found the perfect dress, make sure that you have had all of your fittings and that when you pick up your outfit(s) you try them on to ensure that you’re getting the right one and that it will fit on your wedding day.
Spare Socks for the Groomsmen
If you’re insisting on a specific colour of socks, make sure you have some spares in case someone forgets or if they get lost in someone’s things.
Wear Your Shoes Around the House
New shoes are fantastic but also well known for being painful so make sure that you take the time to wear them around the house. That way they won’t be bad on the day. You’ll also know whether or not spare shoes will be a good idea.
Last Minute Wedding Checklist No.5: For You and Your Partner
Take the Chance to Relax
Wedding planning shouldn’t be stressful but it quite often is and it will take up a lot of your time. Make sure you have a chance to step back and spend time with your partner that doesn’t involve the wedding so you can just be together.
Write Your Partner a Letter
If you’re sleeping separately the night before and won’t be seeing each other again until the ceremony, write each other a letter to say how excited you are and how much you are looking forward to seeing them.
Finalise and Practise Vows
If you’ve written your own vows, make sure that you know them well enough so that you aren’t just staring at the piece of paper but able to gaze into your partner’s eyes.
Get Lots of Sleep
Your wedding day will require plenty of energy so make sure that you can get lots of sleep the night before.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Ultimate Last-Minute Wedding Checklist and that it’s helped you with your wedding. If you are looking for a wedding venue in Oxfordshire, contact our wedding team by completing our wedding enquiry form.Go back to other articles