So, it’s 24 hours before your wedding date, and you’re about to walk down the aisle and say: “I do.”
– Congratulations, I’m so excited for you!
As the final countdown to your big day is coming to its end, you can practically hear the sound of wedding bells in the air. But before you get lost in a wedding-induced frenzy, take a deep breath, and let’s slow down for a moment here.
You’ve probably heard the horror stories of couples forgetting crucial wedding details and scrambling at the last minute. Or couples who were so stressed & exhausted on their wedding days that they forgot to enjoy themselves on what could have been the most beautiful day of their lives.
But you don’t want to be THAT couple running in a panic to buy forgotten flowers on the morning of the wedding, or watching YouTube videos on how to tie a tie (I mean, ouch!).
So, to ensure you have a stress-free walk to the altar, I’ve compiled the ultimate pre-wedding checklist with the top 5 things you need to do (or at least: should consider) on the day and night before your wedding to make the most of your last day.
So grab a glass of bubbly (or your beverage of choice) and let’s dive into the final preparations before the happiest day of your lives begins.
1. Double-check your wedding details
I know you have everything ready for your day of love & joy. But do you know it too?
While I’ve met some pretty chill couples over the years, quite a few of my couples have managed to find some much needed reassurance by going over their to-do lists one last time before their wedding.
After all, your wedding day is NOT the time to organize, stress, or worry.
So, if you’re prone to overthinking – or if you just have a lot on your plate – then you might as well get it over with a day before. This will allow you to loosen up when the time comes, and enjoy every moment of celebrating your love with your friends and families – without stressing over any operational details.
So, if you feel that you need to ensure everything is perfect to sooth your mind and warm your soul, then go for it! In this case, it might be a good idea to have a wedding planner, a trusted friend or family member, or even one of your bridesmaids help you out (and make sure you’re not about to go nuts).
Start by going over your seating arrangements and your wedding-day timeline with your planner (or whoever else is helping you) one last time.
And if you do end up changing something, you need to remember to make a list of any last-minute details & changes. And to send this list to your vendors (including me, your wedding photographer) to ensure everyone is on the same page.
This is also a great chance to make sure that you don’t have any outstanding dues towards your vendors, and settle your final payments if necessary.
Afterwards, all that’s left for you to do is to clean your engagement ring, pack your dress, and pack your shoes and accessories too.
Just pack the car – taking special care of your wedding dress – and make sure to enjoy the rest of your day from then on.
2. Pack a bag with essentials
But there is one last thing to pack – something that deserves its own section.
Prepare an emergency kit with essential things you’ll need to overcome any reasonable last-minute emergencies that might arise. After all, you want to experience the best day ever with your soulmate – and nothing should ruin that for you.
But what’s an emergency?
Well, imagine getting a bit too emotional during your mom’s speech. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had an eyeliner and some mascara on hand – along with tissues and some makeup remover – to help you “un-panda” yourself?
Or let’s say you want to freshen up after hours of dancing like Michael Jackson (who are we kidding? – you’re going to be even better). You’ll thank yourself later for packing deodorant, a mini-perfume, and baby wipes. Maybe throw in some gum or breath mints too.
You can even prepare for more serious emergencies with pain relievers, antacid tablets, tampons, dress tape and bandaids. Also, try to have some clear nail polish for those stocking runs, and don’t forget to have some cash and a spare phone charger – just in case.
While one always hopes they won’t need to use anything from their emergency kit, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared in case something unexpected happens. And I really don’t mean to be a party pooper here, but something always happens – although it’s usually not a big deal, especially if you have your wedding survival kit on hand.
3. Practice your vows (and everything else too)
Apart from totally acing their wedding planning, some couples like to keep things completely spontaneous on their special day. They’ll improvise a speech at their wedding party – and totally nail it, by the way – and drop some solid moves on the dance floor, without even practicing.
But if you’re like most of my other couples, then being in the spotlight for 6-12 hours straight might not come that naturally to you.
Still, you wedding is not the time to stress over anything. So, practicing a few key moments might help you ease your nerves (and no, you don’t necessarily need to orchestrate an entire rehearsal dinner to do that – unless you want to).
You can practice your vows to make sure you’re not only saying the words
– but that you’re actually speaking to your partner’s soul.
You can practice your dance to make sure you’re not just going through the motions
– but that you’re moving your entire body with passion.
And you can practice your speech to make sure you’re not just talking to your guests
– but that you’re setting the right tone for the entire wedding.
Obviously, you don’t need to practice anything if you don’t want to. You’re gonna nail it either way – even if you slip up here or there. But if practicing a few key moments of your wedding will help you loosen up, then by all means, go for it!
4. Spend time with your loved ones
Your wedding is a celebration of your eternal love, joy, and happiness. So, you need to find a way to make time stop to let you get yourself in the right mood. And to be able to embrace all the magic & beauty of your upcoming day.
And one of the best ways to set the tone for your wedding is to spend some quality time with your loved ones on the day before your wedding.
Take a trip down memory lane with your family by looking at old family photos or watching childhood videos together. Treat yourself and your friends to a soothing massage, or take the time to indulge in some heart-to-heart conversations with the people dearest to you.
But whoever you choose to spend the day before your wedding with, the important thing is that you’re surrounded by love, warmth, and joy. And all these beautiful emotions from some of your favorite people in the world will prepare you for the best wedding ever – your wedding.
5. Get some rest & relax
So once the morning of your wedding comes, you’ll wake up feeling pumped & ready to get married to the love of your life. And that kind of energy will not only last throughout the day and night. But it will also inspire everyone else at your wedding to have a great time too.
Now, please note that I’m telling you to get a good night’s sleep.
But I’m not telling you to stick to every single wedding tradition and get your much needed sleep all alone.
So – if you’re die-hard romantics who just can’t get enough of each other – it’s perfectly fine to kick tradition and spend the night before your wedding together with your soulmate. Alternatively, you can hold a sleepover for your bridal party too – but only if you promise to actually get some sleep.
With that being said, some of my couples did actually choose to go a few days without each other and even sleep separately on the night before their wedding – just to feel even more excited about seeing each other again on their big day.
There really is no right or wrong way to do this (apart from ditching sleep altogether).
After all, it’s your wedding – your choice.
And there you have it, my top 5 tips on how to prepare yourself the day before, to make sure your wedding day turns out to be exactly what you want.
Please remember though, that these are just general guidelines based on what I’ve seen work for most of the couples I’ve worked with. As long as you feel you’re prepared for the happiest day of your lives – you do whatever you want to do.
And don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or doubts regarding your wedding. After all, being your wedding photographer doesn’t just mean I get to capture the most special moments of your lives.
It also means that I’m here to help you get ready for those very moments.