process & pricing





Best of Zola 2023
Best of Zola 2024
ultimate checklist for wedding planning feature image

Wedding Education

Ultimate Checklist for the Four Weeks Leading Up to Your Wedding

April 10, 2024

I'm your Minneapolis Wedding Photographer pumped to provide an inclusive, sustainable and SUPER FUN wedding day experience with you at the center!

Ready to disrupt the wedding status quo?
Forget what everyone is telling you to do.
tell me more

You’ve waited months, maybe even years, for your wedding day to arrive, and it’s almost here! Let’s get you across the finish line and into the newest chapter in your lives together.

Below, you’ll find a checklist of things to consider and do in the month leading up to your wedding date, from vendor check-ins to self-care, to creating a wonderful guest experience. You’ve got this! 

checklist for weeks before wedding

3-4 Weeks Before Your Wedding: 

Vendor Check-ins

Make sure every vendor has the same timeline, even if they don’t have the full timeline (i.e. your photographer and DJ don’t need to know when tables and chairs are arriving at the venue). This way, everyone is on the same page as far as which events will happen at what time, and we can make sure your day goes super smoothly!

  • Planner / Coordinator / Wedding Management
    • Finalize details and duties
    • Finalize vendor contact details
  • Catering / Bar Service
    • Final Guest Count
    • Vendor Meal Count
  • Photographer
    • Group shot lists
    • Important things to be photographed
  • Florist / Decorator / Rentals
    • When they’ll arrive
    • How to hold bouquets and pin on boutonnieres
  • DJ / Entertainment
    • Important names and songs
    • Must-play and do-not-play lists
  • Venue
    • Final walkthrough
  • Hair and Makeup
    • When everyone needs to be ready
    • Pro tip: you, the couple, need to be ready before the wedding party!
  • Officiant
    • Ceremony layout (both written and physical)
    • Care of paperwork after the ceremony
  • Any other vendors you have for your day
    • Photo Booth
    • Pet Attendants

Final Payments

  • Even if payments are due after the wedding, try to make them ahead of time to save yourself some post-wedding stress
  • Determine vendor tips and organize those in a designated spot. Maybe even assign someone like a planner or wedding party member to distribute the tips so you don’t have to worry about that at your wedding.
sustainable menu for wedding

2 Weeks Out:

Prepare for Your Guests

Your guests are excited to come celebrate with you! Make sure you share your excitement with them by ensuring they know where to be and when, and that they have an easy way to find their seats for dinner!

  • Finalize your seating chart
  • Alphabetize escort cards
  • Pack instructional / directional signs
  • Send a final email with important information

Wedding Party Check-ins

Your wedding party should be a resource to you on your wedding day! They are there to help you have a great time whether that is partying with you or taking some responsibilities away from you. Create a phone-sized photo in Canva with the schedule for your Party members to have on their phones throughout the wedding day!

checklist for wedding party 2 weeks before wedding
  • Make sure everyone knows the timeline, their duties and when they need to be performed
    • Dress fluffing
    • Tip distribution
    • Speech givers
    • Aisle and standing order
  • Assign a “leader” for each side to make sure everyone gets where they need to be when they need to be there and is ready, including flowers and empty pockets

Pack Important Items

It might seem a little early to start packing, but create a space in your home or a designated person’s home to keep important items so you know they’re ready to go! This also gives you a little bit of time to add to the list as you think of things. 

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Decor
  • Emergency kit

1 Week Out:

Beauty and Self-Care

It’s important here not to try anything new on your skin or change up your regular routine too much — no one wants a breakout or hives on their wedding day!

  • Haircuts for those with shorter hair / Hair and makeup trial
  • Get your nails done
  • Have a relaxing massage
  • Keep your regular fitness routine
  • Relax!

Pack Outfits (Coupe, Wedding Party, and Family)

when to break in shoes for wedding
  • Physically take outfits out of their packaging and remove tags and additional stitching
  • Iron / steam any items that need it
  • Lay out your “flat me” with everything that you’ll be wearing. Pack everything neatly to take with you to your hotel or venue.
    • Clothing
    • Undergarments + socks
    • Accessories (veils, ties, pocket squares, etc.)
    • Jewelry (rings, necklace, bracelet, watch, cufflinks, tie clip, etc)
    • Shoes (don’t forget comfy shoes for later!)
  • Pro tip: no one should be wearing their shoes for the first time on the wedding day, even if they’re Birkenstocks! Break those shoes in a bit!
  • Getting ready outfits
  • Overnight bags

Pack Details 

If you want detail photos from your photographer when they arrive, pack those items together so they can be handed off when your photographer arrives. A shoebox usually works great!

  • Stationery (2 copies, if possible)
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Perfume / cologne
  • Jewelry
  • Dress trimmings or other fun things
  • Gifts for each other


checklist practicing first wedding dance

Practice makes perfect! It’s probably not everyday that you or your loved ones are speaking in front of 100+ of your closest other family and friends. So to create a meaningful and smooth ceremony and guest experience, make sure that all involved practice their part. This also contributes to the quality of your photos, so pay attention to the details! 

  • Ceremony
    • Order of events from processional to recessional
    • How everyone will walk down the aisle
    • Who will fluff the dress(es), as needed
    • Who will hold bouquets, as needed
    • Where the microphone stand will be (i.e. never between guests and couple)
    • Ceremony order, including anything you’ll need to move around for
    • Vows
    • First kiss (trust me on this one)
    • Pause – dip – kiss on recession
  • Reception
    • Speeches (include time limits for your speech-givers)
    • First Dance / Parent Dances

Take some time to relax!

Be mindful that this week and your wedding day will fly by if you don’t make sure you have time to pause and enjoy it — schedule a day where you can chill and take it easy so you’re truly PUMPED when your wedding day arrives!

What Not to Do in the Weeks Before Your Wedding:

We’ve gone over what to do in the weeks leading up to your wedding, so now let’s briefly make sure all of your hard work goes un-thwarted! 

First, don’t try anything new, including:

  • New skincare routines
  • New fitness routines
  • New haircuts

There is no reason to add to any anxiety or stress you may be feeling like making a big change! 

Similarly, trust all of the planning you and your vendor team have done and stick to it! 

Ok, you’ve got this! Stay organized, stay calm, and ask for help when you need it 🙂

what to do the month of my wedding first kiss

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Browse By Category






It's Jess!

Passionate about celebrating relationships between partners and between us and our home, Earth.

Life is so much better when we are all together, amiright? :D


free download

What's your wedding vibe?

Do you envision a big wedding with everyone you know and a sick dance party? Or does an intimate affair where you can celebrate and splurge on those closest to you sound more like your vibe? Or, maybe you have no idea yet! 

Let’s find out what your dream wedding day looks like together!