7 Last-Minute Wedding Details You Need to Confirm With Your Vendors ASAP

It doesn't hurt to check.
women calling to confirm last minute wedding details
Photo: wichayada suwanachun | Shutterstock
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
by
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Oct 24, 2023

In the final countdown leading up to your wedding, it's 100% natural to feel a buzz of anxiety. We know all about that little voice that keeps saying, "I'm definitely missing something—but I don't know what it is!" That's why we created a short list of last-minute wedding details to talk to your vendors about so you can feel a little at peace. Remember, lots of what still needs to be done isn't up to you—it actually rests in your vendors' (very talented and capable) hands. So get rid of that voice by reading the biggest questions to ask wedding vendors before the big day below.

1. Your Final Headcount

    Arguably, the most important last-minute wedding details to confirm is your final headcount. It won't apply to every vendor, but your ceremony and reception sites, caterers, rentals company and more will need an official number ASAP. Forrest suggests giving your vendors your final headcount about two weeks before the wedding. "Typically, the RSVP deadline should be two to four weeks before your wedding to give yourself time to account for any stragglers," explains wedding expert Kim Forrest, Senior Editor at The Knot. The insider, who boasts more than 15 years of wedding experience, goes on to share that, "once you have the final headcount, provide this number to your caterer, venue and wedding planner. Other pros, such as your stationer, calligrapher rentals company, florist, cake baker and transportation company, may also need to know your final headcount." By the way, don't forget to include vendors who'll need a meal, such as your photographer, videographer and musicians, in your total.

    2. The Arrival Date, Time and Location of Your Vendors

      Other details to ask vendors for your wedding are logistics like the location, time and date you expect each respective pro. This info is most likely in your vendor contract, but it doesn't hurt to reverify one to two weeks before the big day. "On the day of your wedding, there'll be lots of people coming and going. It's important to nail down when exactly your vendors should plan on arriving—and where they need to be. Make sure you receive confirmation that arrival times and locations have been received by all of your vendors," Forrest advises.

      Keep in mind that the ceremony musicians may need a different arrival location (the ceremony site) than the hair and makeup artists (a hotel or private residence). Also, don't forget to confirm both pick-up and drop-off times and locations with your transportation company. Finally, share all final times with your wedding planner and site managers as a helpful heads-up.

      3. The Official Day-of Timeline

        Share a wedding day timeline with your pros detailing all relevant information about timing, locations and more. Think of it as your run of show that everyone from the florist to the best man can easily reference. Forrest breaks down when you should have your wedding day timeline and who should have it. "A wedding planner will typically create one of these timelines about a week before the wedding. Not only should this timeline be sent to all of your vendors, [but your and your partner's] immediate families, wedding party members and any other VIPs should have a copy (both printed and digital) of this essential document."

        4. Equipment Needed

          Still unsure what questions to ask wedding vendors before your special day? Then check on your pros' equipment needs. Ensure everyone can get what they need by the wedding day, whether it's the liquor brand you specified or a backup generator for the DJ. Go over each essential item so it's accounted for. Write down who's responsible for providing it if it isn't already taken care of. We recommend having this conversation with your vendors during booking and at least a month before the wedding.

          5. Prewedding Payments

            "Your vendors may have different payment schedules, so make sure you understand who needs to be paid and when. If you can, pay your pros before the wedding day so you don't have to deal with it while you're celebrating," Forrest says. In some cases, you've already paid a deposit, but in others, there are other fees to pay during the planning process (like charges for the additional cupcakes you added to your order a week ago). This is why you should do yourself a favor and make as many payments before your wedding day as possible.

            And don't forget to use a wedding vendor tipping cheat sheet for this last-minute wedding detail. "You'll also want to make sure you have tips arranged and ready to go for the pros that will receive them," Forrest adds.

            6. Emergency Contacts

              Emergency contacts are major details to ask vendors for your wedding because you'll need to know who to call if you're having a day of catering crisis. You should also give each vendor someone they can call while you're enjoying your wedding day. "Your vendors may only have your contact information, but if there's an emergency on your wedding day, you're the last person they should reach (you'll be pretty busy). Provide your vendors with the contact info for your wedding planner and venue coordinator, as well as a parent or wedding party member who can be your proxy if anything comes up," Forrest advises. Exchange contact information about a week before the wedding.

              7. Menu Selections and Seating Chart

                This might have slipped your mind, but last-minute wedding details like menu selections and entree placement are key to a smooth dinner service. "If you're having a seated dinner and your guests have selected their entrees on their RSVP card, you'll want to provide your caterers with everyone's order so they can have enough food for your guests (plus a few extras just in case someone changes their mind)," Forrest encourages. Forrest also suggests speaking with your caterer to create a code, so they know which entree goes to what person. You can put guests' "place cards in different colors or use icons symbolizing the different meal options (chicken, fish, etc.)."

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