25 Small Wedding Details You Don't Want to Forget

A lot of details go into a wedding. Don't forget the small wedding details! Add these often overlooked (but essential) items to your to-do list and check it twice.

By Monica Mercuri

wedding couple celebrates small wedding details
Photo by Zola

When it comes to wedding planning, there are a lot of big pieces you figure out quickly. Of course, things get a bit more complicated as you start to nail down the hundreds of details that need your attention. Don’t worry! Everything is going to come together to create your dream wedding. Here are a few often-overlooked small wedding details to remember for before, on, and even after your wedding.

Top 10 Wedding Details to Remember

1. Create a wedding website (before you send out invitations).

Your wedding website will act as a hub where your guests can get important information about your wedding day. This is where you can include all the additional info that doesn’t fit on your wedding invitations—think directions to the venue and links to your registry. Of course, you need to include the URL on your actual physical invitation, so start with the website first and foremost.

2. Leave enough time for dress alterations.

Wedding dress alterations are a bit more involved than say tailoring a pair of pants. You may have up to three or four fittings before your day, all spaced out over a few months. Depending on your wedding timeline, plan to leave enough time to get them all done so you can have the perfect fit.

Once you find your dress, you’ll know right away how many alterations need to be made. Head to a seamstress soon after that to gain a clear understanding of just how much time your overall alterations will take—and plan from there.

3. Arrange transportation.

Depending on where your ceremony and reception take place, you may require various forms of transportation. Typical wedding transportation situations include:

  • Getting your wedding party from the ceremony to the photo locations to the reception
  • Getting your wedding guests to the ceremony and/or to the reception
  • Getting all your wedding guests back to accommodations post-ceremony

You may not need all these lines of transportation, but you’ll likely need at least some. Don’t forget to set up party buses, limos, or drivers for cars. If nothing else, offer to arrange Ubers and Lyfts so no one has to worry about drinking and driving. Then, be sure to include all of this transportation information on your wedding website so guests know how they’ll get to point A, B, and maybe C.

4. Buy gifts for your wedding party.

It’s your day, of course, but not without the help of your loyal wedding party. It’s customary (while not required) to give small tokens of appreciation in the form of gifts for everyone in your wedding party, including the maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, and ring bearer. Gift something practical like jewelry or socks that your wedding party members will actually wear for the ceremony. Many couples choose to gift customized items to their wedding party, too. Whatever you decide, be sure to order all gifts early enough. You want time to wrap each gift and attach a heartfelt note of thanks to go along with it.

5. Coordinate vendor meals.

Your vendors are going to be working away while you’re enjoying your wedding day. Ask your coordinator or venue about vendor meals ahead of time. They can usually provide boxed sandwiches or something similar so everyone will stay fed and happy.

6. Hand out vendor tips.

We know you’re hyper-focused on your budget—and we’re sure you heard to budget tips for your vendors into your overall cost. Good! Get cash out or prepare checks ahead of time and put everything in clearly marked envelopes for each vendor, like your caterer, bartender, and florist (that you haven’t already tipped). Then, assign a wedding party or family member to distribute day-of.

inline PhotoByBrandyAngelPhotography Photo Credit // Brandy Angel Photography

7. Check if the venue has disability access.

You want all your guests to arrive safely and comfortably. As you’re venue hunting, ask if each location has disability access. This will make or break an early-on decision about where you’ll host your ceremony, reception, or both. Your dream venue should be one where all your guests of all ages and abilities can easily access.

8. Prepare a plan B for bad weather.

If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, you’re in for a beautiful wedding with nature as your scenic backdrop. That said, you’re also potentially in for some elemental troubles. There are a number of outdoor wedding issues to account for and you need to be prepared with a plan B in the case of rain, or worse. Your venue and vendors should be able to assist you with coming up with a plan of action (or defense).

Check out our guide to common outdoor wedding problems—and their solutions, too.

9. Add yourself to your catering order guest count.

You’re going to be busy, busy, busy on your wedding day, but you still need to eat! If you’re having a seated dinner, don’t forget to include yourself and your partner when you give the caterers a final headcount. Place your orders like any other wedding guest to make sure your food is ready when you need it most.

10. Make a “Do Not Play” list for the DJ.

If you chose a wedding DJ over a wedding band, you have some extra liberty around what gets played at your wedding—and what doesn’t. Ahead of your wedding day, sit with your partner and put together a “do not play” list. Review it with your DJ and feel confident that you’ll skip the line dancing you so loathe.

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11. Organize transportation for yourselves.

While you’re setting up transportation options for your guests and wedding party, don’t forget yourselves. Decide as a couple how you want to exit your ceremony and your reception. Many couples want total privacy to and from their various locations. Others may choose to leave their ceremony in a fancy car or carriage but hop on the party bus with everyone post-reception. It’s up to you entirely—just be sure to make the arrangements.

All the small wedding details may feel like a lot, but with careful planning, it will all be worth it when you see your vision come together on your big day.

12. Book your officiant.

If you want your wedding to be official, you need someone who can legally marry you—or, in other words, your officiant. If you're having a friend or family member act as your officiant, make sure to let them know in advance so they have enough time to get certified—and if you're hiring an officiant, make sure to book them far before your wedding day, as many book up months ahead of time.

13. Secure your rentals.

Some reception venues come with everything you need to pull off your big day. But others require you to secure rentals—and if that's the case, you'll want to check that off your to-do list well before your wedding. Ask your venue what you'll need to rent (for example, linens, napkins, tables, or chairs)—and then ask if they have any rental vendors they can recommend so you can reserve what you need.

14. Plan your accessories.

Chances are, you're not going to forget your dress. But it can be easy to forget the smaller details of your wedding style, like your shoes or jewelry. Once you pick your wedding dress, make sure to plan out your accessories and buy them in advance so they're ready to go on your big day.

15. Buy family gifts.

Some couples like to buy their gifts for their families as a "thank you" for helping with wedding planning—and if you're one of those couples, you'll want to add gift shopping to your to-do list.

16. Pack flats for the wedding reception.

Some people do well in heels. Others...not so much. If you struggle to walk in heels—but you're set on walking down the aisle in them—make sure to secure another, more comfortable pair of shoes for the reception (like a pair of ballet flats or sandals). That way, you can get out and enjoy the dance floor—without the discomfort of too-high heels.

17. Order your guest book.

Many guest books are custom made to order—so if you're planning to have a guest book at your wedding, make sure to order it well in advance.

18. Confirm food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Most wedding caterers will offer alternative meals for guests with allergies or dietary restrictions (for example, vegan guests)—but only if you let them know ahead of time. Make sure to collect any dietary information from your guests on their RSVP cards—and relay that information to your caterer by their deadline.

INLINE PhotoBySaraRieth-RomanticStorytelling Photo Credit // Sara Rieth

19. Write (and print!) your vows.

If you're planning to write your own vows, you actually have to plan for it; otherwise, you may get caught up in other wedding tasks—and find yourself frantically writing your "I do's" the night before your big day. Schedule a few blocks of time on your calendar the month before your wedding to write your vows; then, schedule a time the week of your wedding to make any necessary changes or edits. And don't forget to print out a copy!

20. Assemble an emergency kit.

Hopefully, nothing will go wrong on your wedding day. But if it does, you want to be prepared! Assemble an emergency kit filled with items to tackle any potential wedding day mishaps, like a sewing kit, a stain remover pen, and extra deodorant.

21. Order "getting ready" food.

If you and your bridal party are planning on getting ready together the day of your wedding, you'll want to have food on hand—and you'll want to order that food in advance. Consider getting brunch delivered—or, if that's not an option, designate a friend or family member to pick up food and bring it to your getting ready location. And don't forget drinks!

22. Book your hotel block.

If you have guests coming from out of town, they're going to need hotel rooms. Many hotels will block off rooms and offer a discounted rate for weddings—so make sure to do your research, choose your hotel, and book your room block at least a few months before your wedding.

23. Assemble welcome bags.

You want your out-of-town guests to be comfortable—and welcome bags are a great way to do that. The week before the wedding, carve out time to assemble welcome bags with snacks, drinks, and other wedding favors to make your guests comfortable; then, deliver the bags to the hotel and ask them to put them in your guests' rooms before they arrive.

24. Set a point person to help with wedding photos...

Your wedding photographer likely has a list of shots they'd like to capture on your big day—many of which involve other family members, members of the wedding party, or loved ones. But your photographer doesn't know who those people are—so you'll want to put someone (like a trusted friend) in charge of rounding up who your wedding photographer needs, when they need them.

25. ...and to ensure nothing gets left behind.

At the end of your wedding, chances are, you're going to be exhausted. But you don't want to leave anything behind at the venue, so make sure to put someone (again, like a trusted friend or a wedding coordinator, if you have one) in charge of doing a sweep at the end of the night. If anything gets left behind, ask them to grab it and get it to you in the days following the wedding.

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