How to Survive Your Wedding Week


Before we talk about anything else, let’s talk about taking care of you. Chances are your wedding week will be a week of lots of emotions.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself while taking care of everything else. A few tips for de-stressing:

  • If you and your fiance(e) are feeling disconnected or overwhelmed, schedule some time for the two of you to get away (and to get away from wedding planning!). A small weekend trip or weekend off of planning won’t set you back, and it could be the breath of fresh air you need to tackle the final steps ahead of you.
  • Block out a few hours of your day for you-time. Put the wedding plans aside and remember what makes you tick and what you liked to do with your free time (remember that?) before you were planning a wedding. Then do those things.
  • Let go and let your vendors do what they do. Event planner Jaime D of Coordinate This suggests that you, “lean on the professionals you hired. Don’t over think the details. Everything will be perfect. Take time to reflect as the wedding will be here and gone before you know it.”


Everyone’s wedding looks a little different depending on what you’ve prioritized and what time of day you plan on saying “I do,” but the sample timeline below should be helpful in thinking through the schedule for an evening ceremony and reception.

Jaime of Coordinate This advises couples to “stay true to what you want” when putting together a day-of-schedule. “We all have visions of what we want our big day to be like, and as a wedding planner I believe it’s important to stay true to that.” For example, she says that many couples feel forced to schedule a first look when they’d rather wait to see each other while walking down the aisle. Communicate with your wedding planner and your photographer about your hopes and preferences for the day, so that your wedding day schedule reflects the wedding you want to have.

“We believe it’s the coordinator’s and photographer’s job to work together to make a plan to give the couple what they envisioned and not settle for less,” she says.

Sample Day-Of Schedule

9:00 AM – Hair & Makeup begins for bridesmaids, followed by bride.
9:00 AM – Wedding designer / rental company begins set up at reception location
11:00 AM – Groom and Groomsmen meet to begin preparing
12:00 PM – Lunch hour
1:00 PM – Flowers delivered to bridal suite, groom suite, and ceremony and reception site
2:00 PM – Getting ready photos of bride and bridesmaids (bridal suite) and groom and groomsmen (groom suite)
3:00 PM – First look photos (if applicable)
3:30 PM – Ceremony music starts. Guests begin to arrive. Ushers pass out programs.
4:00 PM – Wedding party all on location
4:30-5:30 PM – Ceremony
5:30-6:30 PM – Cocktail Hour / Family and Wedding Party photos
6:30 PM – Grand entrance of bride and groom and wedding party
6:45 PM – Dinner
7:30 PM – Toasts
8:00 PM – First dance, Mother-Son and Father-Daughter Dances
8:30 PM – Cake Cutting
9:00 PM – Bouquet Toss
9:45 PM – Last Dance
10:00 PM – Bride and Groom Send-Off


Make a list of all wedding party members and their contact information, as well as all vendors and their contact information. Share this list with your wedding party, parents, venue manager, and anyone else who might need to contact you or your vendors leading up to and through your wedding.

Designate point persons to field calls from vendors, and note if someone is especially well equipped to handle certain tasks. For instance, you could make a note that says, “call in case of schedule issues” next to your Maid of Honor so that neither you nor your fiance will have to take the call. That will allow the two of you to enjoy the minutes leading up to your wedding without worrying about any last minute hiccups or questions that might come up. The last thing that you want is your cell blowing up while you walk down the aisle.



  • Wedding dress, lingerie, veil / hair accessories, shoes, hosiery, jewelry
  • Groom’s ring
  • Beauty tools such as brushes, bobby pins, hairspray, curling iron, hair dryer, elastic bands, manicure set for touch ups
  • Hygiene kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, deodorant, tissues, pain relievers, band aids, hand lotion, pantyliners
  • Sewing kit, lint brush, stain remover, safety pins


  • Groom’s tux or suit, tie, socks, shoes, cuff links
  • Bride’s ring
  • Hygiene kit: razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, deodorant, tissues, pain relievers, band aids, hand lotion
  • Lint brush, stain remover


  • Important people contact list and day-of schedule for planner / coordinator, wedding party, and vendors (email or hand this off to your vendors before your wedding day if possible)
  • Vows
  • Marriage license
  • ID, driver’s license, passports, travel documents (plane tickets, confirmations)
  • Packed suitcases for honeymoon

Want even more tips for planning your wedding? Our weekly countdown walks you through the entire wedding planning process from beginning to end, telling you exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it. Check it out HERE.