You’re in the final stretch, counting down the hours until the biggest day of your life. But before you can fully immerse yourself in the excitement and thrill of the wedding day, there are a few things that you need to do to wrap up any loose ends. Here are 16 things you should do in the final 24 hours before your wedding.
1. Check your wedding dress and shoes
Your wedding dress is one of the most important and irreplaceable aspects of your wedding. You’ll want to be sure that there is nothing wrong with it and also that it still fits the way you want it to! Try on your entire wedding day outfit together the day before your wedding so that if there are any last-minute alterations that need to be made, you’ll still have time to do so. Practice walking around in your shoes on all types of flooring, such as hardwood and carpet. If they’re uncomfortable or slippery, get shoe inserts and traction pads to stick on them.
2. Pack a bag or clutch of personal items.
Put together your reception clutch and your post-reception bag and hand it off to your wedding point person, who can help make sure it's waiting for you in the bridal suite or in your hotel room.
3. Designate a person to be in charge
When the big day finally arrives, you’ll want to spend the day getting ready with your bridal party and family. Choose a person outside of the immediate bridal party to be in charge of last minute questions and logistics. For example, if your caterer gets lost or your photographer is running late, this person can mediate the situation and ensure that things run smoothly. This person can also be in charge of collecting all of the gifts and directing guests to their tables.
4. Make sure you have cash on hand.
Have a couple of 20 dollar bills nearby in case you need to tip any of your vendors or in case of any last-minute emergencies.
5. Confirm details with all your vendors
There would be nothing more annoying than having one of your vendors show up late because they misunderstood what time you needed them. Call and confirm all of the details with each of your vendors, including start and finish times, venue location and parking info and an itinerary of the whole day. You should also settle any outstanding balances and verify what their overtime charges are just in case. Give them your designated person’s contact information so that they have it readily available the day of. Be sure you don’t forget any of your vendors, such as your caterer, photographer, videographer, makeup artist, hairstylist, limo driver and the venue.
6. Gather an emergency kit
Toss a bunch of must-have items into a small tote bag in case anyone needs them. Grab a handful of Band-Aids, safety pins, packets of Advil, and of course hair ties.Things may not always go according to plan. As much as we want your big day to go off without a hitch, there are so many different factors in play that could potentially cause a problem. Be prepared for any outfit or beauty related mishaps with an emergency survival kit. Include items like deodorant, bobby pins, safety pins, lipstick, mascara, hairspray, face powder, shoe inserts, flip flops or flats for the reception, tissues, aspirin, band-aids… you get the idea. This is something that you and your bridesmaids can work on together.
7. Lay out everything you’ll need the night before
The wedding day is always hectic, considering how many people are involved and all the excitement and emotion. Be ready to get started as soon as you wake up by laying out everything you’ll need the night before. Prepare the getting ready outfits for you and your bridal party, all accessories and shoes and pre-order coffee and breakfast so that you’ll be fueled up for the day. If you’re leaving shortly after the reception for your honeymoon, have your suitcase packed and ready to go. This way you won’t be scrambling for anything in the morning, which can be very stressful.
8. Check the weather
Even if you’re not having an outdoor wedding, you’ll want to check the weather for both your wedding day and your honeymoon so that you can be prepared. You don’t want to be caught in the rain without an umbrella or appropriate shoes on the way from the limo to the venue. If you are having an outdoor wedding, the weather will highly impact your day so coordinate with the venue accordingly beforehand so that you can avoid potential disasters. It would also be a good idea to double check the weather for your honeymoon so that you can pack any last-minute items to accommodate for unexpected weather conditions.
9. Do a hair and makeup trial run
Even if you fully trust your hairstylist and makeup artist, it’s always good to have a trial run before the actual day so that you know exactly what you’ll be getting. This is a good time to have your bridesmaids and family offer their opinions on what looks best, and you will have a sneak preview of how gorgeous you’ll look on your big day. It may also be a good idea to have a backup hair and makeup plan in case something happens, such as running out of a certain eyeliner or your hair not cooperating with you.
10. Meet with your bridesmaids
Your bridesmaids will be your primary support group on your actual wedding day, so meeting with them the day before to hash out any final details well ensure that everyone is on the same page and things will go more smoothly. Confirm what order the bridesmaids are walking down the aisle, try on outfits and go over a general run-through of what the day will be like, from getting ready in the morning to closing down the reception. After you’ve discussed the more serious details, spend some time just hanging out with your girlfriends doing non-wedding related things so that you can have some quality time with your best friends before you are officially married.
11. Spend time with your family
In the same vein as spending time with your bridesmaids, you should also spend some quality time with your family. This is not only a momentous occasion for just you, but your entire family as well. It’s a time for you to all come together and celebrate love. Carve out an hour or two the day before your wedding to sit down with your closest family members and reminisce about old memories and get excited about making new ones. This will be a good time for you to connect with your parents and siblings about what is expected on the big day and afterwards too.
12. Write a love note to your groom
Something short and sweet. Reminding the guy who will be waiting for you in a freshly-cleaned tux that they are the love of your entire life.
13. Grab a pair of flip flops.
Keep these close by, you'll want to change into them throughout your wedding day—whether after the morning photos are taken or in the middle of the reception. Your feet are going to need a time-out before you do.
If you can fit it in, the evening before the wedding is a great time to do sneak in a yoga class or to go for a long walk. "Exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress, get fresh air, and unwind before the wedding day," says Nickel. "Make it a group activity by inviting your bridesmaids!"
15. Focus on yourself
We understand that your wedding day can be very stressful, so make sure that you also take a little bit of time for yourself and relax. Indulge in a spa treatment or massage, listen to your favorite music and just take some time to really focus on yourself. Tomorrow is the biggest day of your life and it’s meant to be a joyous and happy occasion. Take some time and decompress and prepare yourself for the amazing day that’s coming.
16. Get a good night's sleep
Go to bed early. Or at least try to tuck yourself underneath those covers at a decent hour. Don't drink alcohol. Its digestion will set in around 3 or 4 a.m. and can make it difficult to fall back asleep. *—Christine Hansen * Keep a cold glass of water nearby and make sure you spend some quality time with it. This will help you avoid any dehydration that stress and running around can often cause.