24 Hour Countdown: Your Wedding Prep Checklist to Ensure Your Big Day Runs Smoothly

Get ready to say ‘I do’ with confidence! As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen it all. From last-minute mishaps to forgotten details, I’ve learned what makes a wedding day truly unforgettable. In this ultimate 24-hour countdown, I’ll share my expert checklist to ensure your big day runs smoothly, from vendor confirmations to final preparations. Don’t stress – get ready to celebrate with ease!

As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen many couples stress about the little things on their wedding day. But with this 24-hour countdown, you’ll be well-prepared for a stress-free and unforgettable celebration. Here’s a comprehensive checklist to help you prepare for your special day:

12 Hours Before the Wedding

* Double-check your getting ready locations and make sure both of your details are aside in separate boxes ready to take with you to your getting ready locations.
* Pack your reception backup shoes (comfy) for both of you and a backup shirt for the groom.
* Remove tags from your clothes, including the veil tag and the groom’s jacket and tie.
* Ensure your wedding dress, bridesmaid, mother of bride, and groomsmen outfits are steamed and ready to go.

6 Hours Before the Wedding

  • Focus on hydration! Drink plenty of water to ensure you’re well-hydrated for makeup, your energy levels and photos.
  • Make sure you have a big breakfast! (both of you!) We don’t need anyone fainting here.
  • Get your getting ready spaces cleaned and ready for photos. Stuff up off the floor, or at least keep one bedroom with plenty of light clean and tidy.
  • Hang your dress in your getting ready space, with your details so its ready for when I arrive.
  • Have your partner hang their dress/suit in their getting ready space with their details also so its there ready to go when I arrive.
  • If you are not doing PJ photos, make sure everyone is dressed (except you) and ready to go so there is no delay waiting for people to get ready.
  • If you’re doing a first look – make sure to let your hair and makeup artists know as it’ll need to be completed sooner.
  • If you are having tape underneath your dress, making sure to allow some extra time in getting ready, and have someone there to help you, to ensure there’s no delay here.
  • Have someone tasked to get you water after the ceremony and have snacks on hand if you need!
  • Grooms just one glass of alcohol before the ceremony, i promise you can drink all you want after the formalities are over in your reception! But we want you sober for the most part of the day.
  • Ensure your hair and makeup is complete 30 mins before my arrival so ensure theres no delays.

2 Hours Before the Wedding

  • Remind your photo caption to stick around immediately after the ceremony to call out family photo combinations on the mic.
  • Assign last-minute duties to your team, including bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents. Make sure each person knows their responsibility to take things off your plate.
  • If you’re doing a confetti exit in your ceremony, and sparkler exit in the evening to ensure you have all these organised and ready, including cones, and lighters. Assign these tasks to one person each in your immediate family or bridal party, so you don’t have to worry.
  • If you’re wanting a champagne pop during bridal party portraits or sunset portraits – make sure it is out of the sun. You don’t need anything expensive as we are just going to pop it for photos. As if hot, they can explode. Another task you can assign to someone.

1 Hour Before the Wedding

  • Take a few deep breaths and remember to stay together and never leave each other’s side.
  • Trust in your wedding photographer – I’m here to capture amazing photos no matter what happens! Don’t stress about the weather, or any last minute family drama. This is your long awaited day, focus on you two. Breathe, and embrace the moment.
  • Remember to pause during your ceremony confetti exit for a kiss!
  • Go into your love bubble, and embrace the day. I’ll take it from here…

Bonus Tip: Buffer Time

* Try to leave 15 minutes of buffer time between each event of the day. Your timeline will be complete before the day with me, but this will give you some breathing room and help reduce stress. If you’re travelling between locations, allow double the amount of time you think you will need. It takes a lot longer to get somewhere with a dress, and people everywhere. Trust me!

By following this 24-hour countdown, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your special day knowing that every detail has been taken care of. As your wedding photographer, I’m here to help you create unforgettable memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.