Expert Advice: 53 Do's & Don'ts On Your Wedding Day

There are no rules when planning your wedding - this is YOUR DAY. But, this expert advice is worth taking note of …
Written by
Laura Cross

Planning for your big day can be as challenging as it is exciting. It is full of joyous events with your nearest and dearest, but can also include stress and an overwhelming amount of tasks. It’s important to remind yourself that as you and your fiancé venture on the wedding planning journey, as hard as you may try, nothing will ever be perfect. But that’s not to say that you can’t be properly prepared.

From finding your dream venue and the person who will help you execute this most important day, to making sure no detail gets forgotten, we’ve compiled a list of Wedding Day Do’s and Don’t to help ensure you and your guests have the best possible experience ... from none other than our own Minnesota Wedding Industry Experts!


DO hire a wedding planner!
A wedding planner will allow you to enjoy the planning process and stress less. They will take care of just about everything for you and keep you on track along the way. They have tons of inside knowledge and can recommend some of the very best vendors in the area. Some planners may even have access to a discount for working with certain vendors, saving you money! They'll be by your side from day one and in the end may even become your new BFF. Tip: If a wedding planner isn't in the budget, check out a "Day of Coordinator" or you might see this advertised as "Wedding Day Management". Either way, if peace of mind is what you're looking for, a wedding planner and/or coordinator will be the perfect option for you!
~ Melody Hall, Events by Melody

DO make sure and take in the moments, spend time with your NEW husband/wife, enjoy your dinner.
Dont feel like you have to entertain all of your guests.. you only have one wedding day!!!
~ Sarah Trotter, Lasting Impressions Weddings

DO get a spray tan 2-3 days BEFORE your rehearsal dinner day or wedding day. 
~ Amy Moechnig, Body Glow Sun and Spray

DO re-think having a friend or relative officiate your wedding.
They are not professionals and many times have never delivered a wedding ceremony. Since this is the most important part of your day, why run the risk of setting the day off with an embarrassing ceremony? Often novices will rely on you to help them write your nuptials. My guess is that is not what you want to add to your plate. What about the marriage certificate? Do they know how to fill it out, have they registered with the state? Furthermore, if you pick a person to make your union official, they could very well be so nervous that he/she makes you even more anxious than you already are. These reasons and many more are why it is best to hire a professional officiant.
~ Dawn Dacut, Flutterby Celebrations & Ceremonies

DO welcome and thank your guests personally.
Whether that's through a receiving line or a general 'cheers' toast, acknowledge their presence and set the tone for your wedding celebration. You want your day to be filled with feelings of a loving family atmosphere and gratitude, so be an example your guests can follow.
~ Josephine Stafford, Sixpence Events & Planning

DO feed your wedding party!
Plan ahead and assign this task to either the wedding party or parents. Even if it's just as simple as a Jimmy John's catering box. This seems to be an afterthought, but a necessity so no one is scrambling on the day of. 
~ Laine Palm, Laine Palm Planning

DO take advantage of golden hour.
Some of the best photos of the day can come from a quick golden hour shoot with your photographer! Make sure to carve out the time, you won't regret it once you see the results. 
~ Anna Hiebert, Rush Creek Golf Club

DO bring something comfy to wear the morning of your wedding.
Robes are perfect as they are easy to take off without ruining your freshly done hair and makeup.
~ Jessica Levens, Events by Jess

DO have fun and be creative with your setup and utilizing your space.  There are no rules!
~ Brooke Beise, Pop-Up Weddings

DO connect your wedding vendors during the planning process so they may work together on executing a stunning design.
I love being connected with the wedding planner or florist so that our pieces flow together on the wedding day.
~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Wright Design Co.

DO take a moment to spend some alone time with your partner to really be in the moment on your big day!
~ Kayla Spethman, Bellagala

DO make sure to take care of yourself on your wedding day!
Making sure you're hydrated and fed is one of the most important details, but one that is often missed on your wedding day during the hustle and bustle! Starting your day with as much sleep as possible the night before is also extremely important. Have one of your attendants carry a water bottle for you so that you're not just drinking champagne all day long, and don't forget to schedule a lunch delivery to your getting ready room. If you want to make sure you get to enjoy your dinner, think about a private dinner for you and your new spouse during cocktail hour! 
~ Jenna Culley, Jenna Culley Events

DO discuss as a couple what you want for your wedding.
It's important to discuss as a couple what you want for your wedding so you, as a team, can address what traditions to incorporate and how you will balance your family input & opinions.
~ Reena Maheshwari, Kahani Events & Design

DO delegate tasks.
You've put in the hard work, now it's time to enjoy yourself and be pampered. If there's any day-of tasks, delegate them to your planner, attendants, etc. and trust that everything will be taken care of.
~ Chelsea Krings, Sage River Studios

DO have a wedding day timeline.
Do have a timeline and make sure your wedding party and vendors have a copy, but be flexible in the order of things as the day goes on. Especially with pictures, trust your photographer to know the best time and where to take them to ensure you get the perfect shots.
~ Kim Harber, D'Amore Wedding & Event Planning

DO make the day as unique as you.
Our must do on your wedding day is to make the day unique! Let your culture, family heritage, and personality shine through in your wedding details. You want your guests to walk in, look around, and know that they’ve arrived at your event. You can do this in big ways like décor and colors, and small ways like special favors or even the shoes you wear!
~ Alix Bellus, Landmark Center

DO hire vendors you enjoy working with and trust them to do their thing on your wedding day. 
~ Festivities 

DO do a room reveal!
Make sure to schedule in time to see your reception space before your guest's arrival. You've been envisioning this space for months, if not years, so to see it all put together is such a magical experience! You may want someone guarding the door so guests don't sneak in to put coats on the chairs or purses on the table - this will make it the most perfect it can be!
~ Jenna Culley, Jenna Culley Events

DO go big with a seating chart and welcome sign installation, especially if your venue has a large reception space.
Partnering with the florist and/or rental company for an even bigger presentation is sure to impress your guests.
~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Wright Design Co.

DO change into a fun dancing dress/outfit because it really kicks the party into gear!
~ Sarah Trotter, Lasting Impressions Weddings

DO a dessert stand, but first use it as a seating chart card holder.
~ Candace Holmstadt, 651 Studio Floral

DO give guests something to do at the reception (photobooth, table games, etc.).
There's nothing worse than a bored wedding guest. Keep them entertained during the reception with photobooths, table games, interactive/fun guest books, film/disposable cameras, etc.
~ Anna Hiebert, Rush Creek Golf Club

Absolutely do take a quiet moment alone with your now husband or wife.
This is a must for me because my job as your wedding photographer is to help you slow down and be present.
~ Alexandra Robyn Photo + Design

DO have a ceremony walk-through (rehearsal) a day or two before your wedding.
The last thing you need on your wedding day, and before, is everyone asking you questions you may not know how to answer. A professional officiant will run the ceremony rehearsal including all of the details to make sure you and everyone else enjoys the day and knows what to do and when.  The photos cannot be re-done so it is important that your wedding party hears all the tips and tricks of ensuring the ceremony photos are exceptional. It doesn’t matter if your attendants have been in previous weddings before. This is yours!
~ Dawn Dacut, Flutterby Celebrations & Ceremonies

DO keep speeches short and sweet.
Any speeches at the wedding should be no longer than 5 minutes each.
~ Kim Harber, D'Amore Wedding & Event Planning

DO the dance with dad.
Best entertainment ever.
~ Candace Holmstadt, 651 Studio Floral

DO repurpose as many of your florals from your ceremony to your reception as possible!
Below is an example of how you can utilize your ceremony arbor to a mantle for your reception.
~ Kasey Schwartz, Ink and Ivy Designs

DO invest in a venue that has excellent lighting and one of a kind backdrop!
String lights, chandeliers, and venue are everything!
~ Grace Eberhardt, Northern Pacific Center

DO take advantage of your stunning installation by lowering the truss and taking couples photos within it.
~ Lauren Bohm, Machine Shop

DO personalize the details for your wedding and reception.
Include pet portraits or sketches, a monogram or catchy phrases packed with personality through all of your signage and paper goods.
~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Wright Design Co.

DO have your pet be a part of your wedding day!

~ Becca Bjork, Becca's MN Pet Care

DO bring a set of your wedding invitations, and other items for detail shots, to be photographed on your wedding day.
Pro tip: inquire if your photographer takes pre-wedding detail shots; you'll get the best results if they do!
~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Wright Design Co.

DO a grand exit, and do it with bubbles, and even comfy clothes.
~ Candace Holmstadt, 651 Studio Floral


DON'T be afraid to DIY!
We’ve had so many gorgeous events that stood because of something the couple did themselves. From handwritten notes on place cards to floral, there are so many ways to pop a piece of yourself into an element of your wedding day.
~ Alix Bellus, Landmark Center

DON'T forget to eat something on your wedding day!
I always recommend that breakfast and/or lunch is provided for the wedding party in the morning while getting ready. Not to mention, be sure to load up on bottled water and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! After the ceremony, I love the idea of the couple sneaking away to have a little bit of alone time to enjoy a small plate of appetizers and drinks. Not only is this a chance for the couple to eat something, it is likely the only time during the day they will get a chance to have some alone time and just take it all in.
~ Melody Hall, Events by Melody

DON'T purchase wedding programs.
Create one sign that showcases the days order of events for your guests to reference when dinner is or when shuttle will be arriving. 
~ Michelle Bredeson, Carlos Creek Winery

DON'T leave your seating chart as the last task before your big day.
Start early even before all your final RSVP’s are due. 
Yes, it’s fine to make last minute changes, but try and finalize details a week or two before your wedding.
~ Jessica Levens, Events by Jess

DON'T skip cocktail hour.
It's the perfect opportunity for you to talk to your guests and get pictures with them so you can sit and enjoy dinner. Take pictures before the ceremony and let your wedding party be a part of cocktail hour too.
~ Laine Palm, Laine Palm Planning

DON'T wear uncomfortable shoes just because they are cute.
Go for something adorable and comfortable!
~ Sarah Trotter, Lasting Impressions Weddings

DON'T fill in your marriage certificate until the day of your wedding!
It may be one of those things you or your officiant will think of to save time on your wedding day, but we highly suggest that you do not print any names on the certified marriage certificate before your wedding. While we always hope that nothing goes awry before your wedding day, we've all experienced last minute changes in plans these days. Making sure that you're able to write in your witnesses names on the wedding day is extremely important.
~ Jenna Culley, Jenna Culley Events

DON'T allow family pressures to take away the joy of your wedding celebrations. 
~ Reena Maheshwari, Kahani Events & Design

DON'T mix and match signage and paper goods from various sources.
Order from your local stationer who has your best interest in mind, while providing the support you need in those couple of weeks leading up to the wedding.
~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Design Co

DON'T forget about end of the night transportation!
We always think of our guests at the end of the night, but what about yourself? Do you have a ride booked for your wedding party at the end of the night? After a full day of celebrating, making sure that you and your closest friends and family make it back to their rooms safely is key. If you're all staying at the same place, think about having a shuttle just for you aside from your guest shuttles so that you're able to leave whenever you want to. Otherwise, vouchers for free transportation rides make great wedding party gifts!
~ Jenna Culley, Jenna Culley Events

DON’T be afraid to let your guests request songs from the band or DJ, even if it’s on your “Do not play list.” 
If your guests are having a good time, they’ll remember your wedding for years to come!
~ Kim Harber, D'Amore Wedding & Event Planning

DON'T do favors, do tasty dessert bar beyond cake or some sort of hosted bar.
Guests LOVE free cocktails over any wedding favor.
~ Michelle Bredeson, Carlos Creek Winery

DON'T wait until the last minute to book your wedding pet attendant!
We book out just as far as other wedding vendors. 
~ Becca Bjork, Becca's MN Pet Care

DON'T forget to include your fur-babies in photos or even the ceremony! 
~ David Anderson, Machine Shop

DON'T get burnt before your spray tan.
If they are a good salon they will refuse to spray you. It will peel and your spray will look VERY splotchy. 
~ Amy Moechnig, Body Glow Sun and Spray

DON'T rush the day away.

You’ve spent all the time and money to make this day happen, now it's time to enjoy every minute of it and celebrate your love with your hubby!
~ Chelsea Krings, Sage River Photography

DON'T book an outdoor ceremony without a backup plan.
While outdoor ceremonies are beautiful, you can't alway count on Mother Nature to be on your side on your wedding day.
~ Grace Eberhardt, Northern Pacific Center

Don't be afraid to go completely off the traditional wedding track rails! 
Whether it’s unique bouquets, informal seating (think stations and heavy apps for dinner), or minimal dancing (in fact, just the first dance), be courageous and make plans that reflect who you, as a couple, are. 
~ Josephine Stafford, Sixpence Events & Planning

DON'T organize your seating chart by table number. 
Your guests will struggle to find their names, causing a bottleneck and possible dinner delay. Any wedding over 50 people should have the seating chart alphabetized by last name.
~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Wright Design Co.

DON'T be afraid to break the rules.
There are no rules to wedding planning, weddings are not as traditional as they used to be, don't be afraid to think outside of the box. Think of things that make the day uniquely yours. Plan for photo opportunities. Your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye, photos capture the moments and you know you want those photos for Instagram.
~ Kim Davis and Katie Easthouse, Bearpath Golf & Country Club