25 Things Every Bride Must Do Before The Ceremony

June 12, 2019 by Linda DiProperzio
shefinds | Homepage

There is so much to think about during the months and days leading up to the big day, so when you finally wake up on the morning of your wedding, you might feel like your mission has been mostly accomplished.

While it’s true that the big decisions have all been made, there are still a few things you need to do before you walk down the aisle. Trust us, getting these out of the way before your wedding will help eliminate so much unneeded stress.

Check out our ultimate pre-wedding checklist below:

Breakfast plate

1. Eat Breakfast


You will be having one of the longest, most amazing days of your entire life. Sammi Shea of Chalet View Lodge says it is essential that you have a breakfast and small lunch before taking your dramatic walk down the aisle. "And then check your smile, so you don’t have anything stuck in your teeth," she says. 


2. Get Some Exercise


On the wedding day, get some kind of exercise—yoga, an easy jog, a fun dance class with the bridesmaids. Any type of movement will give you energy for all the celebrating to come, and it will help clear your head and calm those pre-wedding nerves, says Karen Bussen, entertaining expert and exclusive wedding designer for Palladium Hotels and Resorts

Woman with planner

3. Hand Over the Reigns


You want to enjoy the day--not be obsessed by the minor details. So hand over control to your wedding planner (if you have one), the venue manager or even your mom if you need to! 

Break in Your Shoes

4. Break in Your Shoes


While looking great is important, you also want to feel great too. Make sure you break in your shoes before you walk down the aisle so you can be as comfortable as possible on the big day.

Wedding Dress

5. Take A Look At The Dress


Somewhere between picking the gown up at the bridal shop and putting it on, you need to hang it up somewhere to make sure there are no wrinkles or imperfections that need to be taken care of.

Vendor List

6. Organize Your Vendor Contacts


Be sure to have your vendor's phone numbers on hand just in case you need to reach them before the ceremony.


7. Enjoy A Mimosa


There's nothing wrong with having one drink to calm your nerves while you're getting ready for the day. Just don't have more than one--no one wants to see a drunk bride at the altar!

Bride and Bridesmaids

8. Hang With Your Girls


They were with you through the planning stages, so don't forget to spend some time with your best girls while you get ready. Once the ceremony starts, it will go by in a blur so you really want to relish this time with your besties.

Bridesmaids Gifts

9. Give Your Bridesmaids Their Gifts


If you didn't get to it at the rehearsal dinner, present your bridesmaids with their gifts during your alone time in the morning.


10. Apply Sunscreen


This is especially important if you're getting married outside. You don't want to risk a sunburn, so apply a non-greasy formula and let it dry completely before putting on your dress and makeup. We recommend COOLA's SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray in Pina Colada ($49). It's super long-lasting and has a natural pina colada scent. 


11. Put Your Bouquet in Water


"Keep your bouquet in water for as long as possible," explains Joan Wyndrum of Blooms by the Box. "This will ensure your blooms stay fresh throughout your entire wedding day, from the moment you say 'I do,' to when you toss your bouquet! While you’re prepping and primping the morning of, keep your bouquet in a vase with shallow water and don’t forget to dry off the stems before you take it with you."

Emergency Kit

12. Create An Emergency Kit

Make a kit to take to the wedding venue, says Caleb Backe of Maple Holistics. "It’s a good idea to include a thread and needle (nobody is out to rip your dress, but it can happen), lipstick, deodorant, Advil, hairpins and anything else you may need right before or during the ceremony."


13. Pack A Tote


There's no way you're going to fit everything you need into a small purse. So pack a tote bag that you can keep in the limo or in the bridal suite. Include the emergency kit, a pair of flats, cell phone charger and whatever else you might need.

Bride saying vows

14. Practice Your Vows


If you've written your own vows, you'll want to review them and practice a bit before the ceremony. This will help alleviate any nerves before you walk down the aisle. 


15. Organize Vendor Tips


Get any tips for vendors organized and separated into envelopes. Then hand those off to your mother, maid of honor, or another trusted friend or relative so you don't have to worry about them for the rest of the day.


16. Finish Packing For The Honeymoon


After the wedding, you will most likely be exhausted, so don't leave packing for the honeymoon to the very last minute. Have your clothes in the suitcase before you leave for the ceremony. 


Exchange Notes with Your Groom

17. Exchange Notes With Your Groom


Even if you don’t plan on seeing one another, consider exchanging notes just prior to the ceremony, says Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers. "The hour or two before the I Do’s can be hectic, so this helps calm the nerves. If you do move forward with it, make sure to tell your photographer so he or she can capture it.

Cell Phone

18. Put Your Phone Down


"This is your day, no need to be responding or looking at a million text messages hours before your ceremony. Enjoy the moment," says Shea.

Static Guard

19. Spray Your Dress


A light spray of Static Guard ($3.29) will ensure your gown doesn't ride up or cling to anything throughout the event.

Bride with parents

20. Spend Time with Your Parents


This is not only a special day for the bride and groom but also the parents. Apryl D. Roberts of Memorable Events by Apryl suggests allowing a minimum of 15 minutes of alone time for the bride to have with her father (and mom too if she wants) before he walks her down the aisle. This allows them time to talk and process the big moment of letting their “little girl” go. 

Lip Gloss

21. Freshen Up Your Lip Gloss


Put on a fresh coat of lipstick and lip gloss right before you walk down the aisle. Just make sure there is no lipstick on your teeth afterward! Our favorite lip gloss of the moment is Fenty Beauty's Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($18), a universally-flattering gloss that has an explosive shine. 

22. Set Your Makeup


Ask your makeup artist to spray your face with a setting spray so that your makeup stays on longer and looks fresh for the entire event. We swear by Urban Decay's All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($40), which offers 16 hours of protection and hold. 

Ladies Room

23. Visit the Restroom


You don't want a full bladder to hit at the altar, so take a trip to the ladies room before you put on your dress.


24. Pop A Mint


You want that first kiss as husband and wife to be memorable for all the right reasons, so pop a mint right before you get to the ceremony.

Stressed bride

25. Relax!


All of that stress and worry during the planning process? Forget about it. "Take a deep breath. Right before you walk down the aisle, take a deep breath. If you are nervous, just know that the love of your life is waiting for you at the end of the aisle. This is your moment; everything else will just fade into the background," says Shea.

shefinds wedding pinterest

Want more wedding tips and advice? Follow SheFinds on Pinterest!


For more last-minute wedding tips, check out 7 Things Your Parents Shouldn't Do At Your Wedding and 30 Things Brides Should Do 30 Days Before The Wedding at SheFinds.com!


Photos: Shutterstock 

SheFinds receives commissions for purchases made through the links in this post.


Linda DiProperzio is a weddings expert and freelance writer based in New York.

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