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10 Wedding Day Tips to Help Your Big Day Run Smoothly

There are SO many things that can happen unexpectedly on wedding days – trust me, I’ve seen them all, Girl! So here are 10 wedding day tips to make sure your day runs smoothly, based on every wedding I’ve attended & what I’ve seen happen on the big day From what to pack ahead of time, to timeline tips, here are all my wedding essentials for you to remember!

wedding essentials

1. Have All Vendors Paid For

Pay your all vendors’ remaining payments in advance, or bring envelopes with the payment ready in hand! Think about your balance or tips for different vendors like your photographer, florist, planner, coordinator, caterer, videographer, etc. This way, you’re not doing a bunch of hard math while you’re trying to get ready or when you’ve had a couple of drinks at the end of the night 😉

wedding essentials

2. Add Extra Cushion Time

This might seem like a given, but it’s too important to skip! Alwayssss always add extra cushion time when you create your wedding day itinerary. There’s BOUND to be at least one unforeseen event such as bad weather, traffic while traveling between locations, or hair/makeup going too long. It’s inevitable, no matter how carefully you plan out your day!

When you’ve got cushion time already built into your schedule, there’s no need to stress if something goes wrong or plans change. And my love, we have no room for stress on your big day!!

3. Have All Your Details Ready

Okay seriously – you spend so so much time, energy, & MONEY making sure every little detail of your day is perfect! I always make sure that I prioritize getting amazing detail photos, whether it be a big party wedding or an intimate elopement!

wedding essentials

Trust me, I’ve been a bride before so I 1000% understand how painstaking it can be to coordinate details. I even created an entire list of what to pack for your detail photos so that you don’t need to worry about missing anything important!

Some key things that are on the list are jewelry, stationery, florals, and other accessories. I suggest putting everything in a designated box that your maid of honor or planner can hand off to me when I need it!

4. Hire a Second Photographer

A second photographer (AKA second shooter!) is another professional photographer who will assist me on the day of your wedding! They provide a fresh set of eyes + a second creative perspective. It’s super helpful to me because it’s an extra set of hands to help out and assist with different tasks that arise throughout the day, plus they’ll help everything run even more efficiently + smoothly!

There are so many reasons why you need a second photographer at your wedding, but here are a few of the top ones!

  • Your getting ready time is fully covered
  • A fresh set of creative eyes is so wonderful
  • More photos overall (win-win, in my opinion!)
  • More candids are captured
  • More efficiency during portraits
wedding essentials

5. Put Somebody Else in Charge of the Day-of Details

I highly, highly recommend hiring a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator! This is someone that will work with you to not only plan the day of your dreams but execute everything on the day of. This takes the pressure off of you two, any of your guests, or your other vendors to keep the day running smoothly!

If a wedding planner isn’t a priority to you two or in your budget, I really suggest putting a trusted family member or friend in charge! You’ll want someone to coordinate having all your details in one spot, gathering people for photos (you know Aunt Barb will run off and disappear after the ceremony!), running back and forth all day, and communicating with vendors. This tip is essential so that none of the responsibilities fall on you + your love. Your only job that day is to be in love + have fun!

6. Pack an Overnight Bag

Before your wedding day, pack an overnight bag with everything you’ll need on your wedding night. This makes it easier to leave the venue – no scrambling to find all your stuff! I suggest packing things like pajamas, toiletries, clothes for the next day, snacks, a bottle of champagne (or two!), etc. 

wedding essentials

7. Pack an Emergency Kit

Bring an emergency kit to your getting-ready space and assign a wedding party member to keep track of it all day! In there, pack everything you could ever need! Here are some wedding day essentials to include:

  • Bobbi pins
  • Hair clips
  • Tampons
  • Extra underwear/undergarments
  • Brush
  • Makeup
  • Backup jewelry
  • Spot/stain remover
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Extra nail polish
  • Nail clippers/file
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Boob tape

I’m sure there are a few things I’m missing, but pack these in your emergency kit! You never think you’ll need them until you do! On your wedding day, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. 

8. Bring Comfy Reception Shoes

The worst thing is when you can’t relax because something you’re wearing makes you uncomfortable! If you have super cute shoes for your ceremony and pics, I totallyyy understand. Rock whatever shoes you need to look bomb in! But when it’s time to let loose at your reception, bring a pair of shoes that won’t give you blisters so you can dance the night away!

bride and groom

9. Turn Off Your Phone 

The last thing you need on your wedding day is to get interrupted by a work email or other random notification that pops up on your phone. If there’s ever a day to be present, this is the day! Turn off your phone or leave it in your bag. Everyone you need is celebrating with you anyway! 

This is another reason why it’s important to delegate day-of tasks to someone else – they can be in charge of all communication, so you don’t have to worry about having your phone on you whatsoever.

10. Take Time to Yourself

If you ever need a break or some time to breathe, whether that’s alone or with your partner, take it! Your guests can wait and enjoy the celebration while you take care of yourself.

I even recommend building time for yourself into your schedule. Some great places to plan quiet time during your wedding day are before dinner, after the ceremony, or during your first look. Creating space for you to be still (even if it’s just for a few minutes!) is a great way to help everything run smoothly.

I hope these wedding day tips are super helpful to you and your partner as you plan your special wedding day! Remember, not everything will go perfectly as you planned! But everything that happens happens for a reason and is part of your beautiful, unique love story. Even if your day is smooth with no bumps, or bumpy as a Missouri back road, I know it will be gorg. Happy planning!

bride and groom