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What does the bride do the night before her wedding?

The night before her wedding is often one of the most exciting and memorable nights for a bride. It’s the final celebration before she says “I do” and her last night as a single woman. While traditions vary, most brides will spend this special evening with loved ones, pamper themselves, and do some final wedding prep.

Spend time with bridesmaids

One of the most common bachelorette party traditions is for the bride to spend the night before the wedding with her closest friends and bridesmaids. This is her opportunity to bond with her bridal party and share memories. Activities for the night can include:

  • Dinner and drinks
  • Dance parties
  • Spa treatments
  • Karaoke
  • Games and photobooths
  • S’mores and movies

The bridesmaids often plan fun surprises and themes to make it an unforgettable night. The bride can sit back, relax, and enjoy celebrating with her favorite girls.

Pamper session

On the night before her big day, the bride will want to look and feel her absolute best. She may book appointments for:

  • Manicure and pedicure
  • Facial
  • Massage
  • Hair treatment
  • Waxing
  • Spray tan

Pampering herself with professional beauty treatments will help her unwind before the craziness of the wedding. It’s also a great chance to snap some fun pictures with the bridal party.

Pack for the honeymoon

Making sure her honeymoon suitcase is packed and ready to go is an essential task. Some tips for honeymoon packing include:

  • Only take carry-on luggage
  • Make a packing list
  • Pack versatile outfits that mix and match
  • Don’t forget underwear, swimsuits, and lounge clothes
  • Pack enough medications, toiletries, and makeup
  • Include important documents and travel items
  • Pack something “blue” for the honeymoon night

Getting the luggage ready ahead of time prevents last-minute stress. The bride will have one less thing to worry about on the big day.

Write cards and notes

The bride may set aside time on the night before to write out thank you notes and cards for loved ones. Some notes she may write include:

  • Thank you cards for bridesmaids
  • A love letter for the groom to read when getting ready
  • Thank you notes for parents
  • Gifts and notes for bridesmaids

Taking a few quiet moments to express her gratitude will mean a lot to those who helped make the day special.

Final dress fitting

It’s tradition for the bride to try on her wedding dress one last time before the big day. This final dress fitting allows her to:

  • Ensure the perfect fit and make any last alterations
  • Examine the dress carefully for any flaws
  • Practice wearing a veil, bustle, and accessories
  • Determine the bra and shapewear needed
  • Take photos in the finished dress

Having this final fitting helps identify any issues and gives the bride confidence when putting on her dress.

Get beauty rest

Although she may be filled with excitement, the bride knows how important it is to get her beauty rest the night before the ceremony. To help get a good night’s sleep she can:

  • Sleep alone to get quality rest
  • Do relaxing activities like reading or meditation
  • Avoid caffeine late at night
  • Drink calming tea or take a bath
  • Use lavender or aromatherapy
  • Go to bed early without screens or phones

Waking up well-rested with minimal dark circles will make a big difference for wedding day photos.

Create a getting ready schedule

A rushed morning of wedding prep is the last thing the bride wants. Creating a detailed schedule of when and where each person needs to get ready helps keep things on track. Important time slots to map out include:

  • Hair and makeup arrival and start time
  • Photographer arrival time for “getting ready” photos
  • Snack and drink breaks
  • When to put on gown and accessories
  • Limousine pickup time
  • Ideal time to do “first look” photos with the groom

Having a schedule distributed to the wedding party will help the morning go smoothly.

Say goodbye to single life

The night before the wedding is the bride’s last as an unmarried woman. She may commemorate it by:

  • Going out with single girlfriends she won’t see as often
  • Burning letters from ex-boyfriends
  • Having a symbolic “burying the hatchet” ceremony with bridesmaids
  • Taking wacky bachelorette party photos
  • Dressing up as a “bride to be” one last time

Whether she wants a wild night out or a cozy night in, the bride will find meaningful ways to celebrate her last moments as a single lady.

Create emergency kits

Hopefully everything will go smoothly, but the bride prepares “just in case” emergency kits for the wedding day. These may include:

  • Bridal recovery kit – snacks, water, painkillers, tampons, sewing kit, hairspray
  • Attendant’s emergency kit – stain remover, safety pins, lint brush, band-aids, scissors

She hands these kits off to a bridesmaid or family member so they are on hand if needed. Being prepared gives her peace of mind.

Have a rehearsal dinner

The night before the wedding, the bride and groom traditionally host a rehearsal dinner. Attendees can include:

  • Wedding party and their guests
  • Immediate family
  • The officiant
  • Important out-of-town guests

At the dinner the wedding party does a “practice run” of the ceremony. This rehearsal helps make sure everyone knows where to stand and what to do.

Rehearsal dinner activities

In addition to practicing the ceremony sequence, common rehearsal dinner activities include:

  • Couple’s thank you speech
  • Slideshow of the bride and groom
  • Reading wedding vows out loud
  • Toasts from the best man, maid of honor, or parents
  • Fun wedding shoe game for guests
  • Live music or dancing

After a night of celebrating together, everyone feels excited and ready for the main event.

Get some shut-eye

After an evening of pre-wedding activities and excitement, the bride tries to wind down and get to bed early. She may use some of these tips to relax and fall asleep:

  • Take a warm bath by candlelight
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Visualize walking down the aisle into her new life
  • Write down anything stressful that’s on her mind
  • Read a light, happy novel to distraction her mind
  • Cuddle with a pet or stuffed animal
  • Focus on taking deep, slow breaths

Getting adequate rest is critical so she looks fresh, alert, and radiant on the big day.

Morning of pampering

On the morning of the wedding, the bride begins her pre-wedding beauty regime bright and early. She may have appointments for:

  • Hair styling – wash, dry, cut, color, extensions, Updo
  • Makeup application – foundation, lashes, brows, eyes, cheeks, lips
  • Nail polish change if needed
  • Steam to hydrate skin
  • Professional photography session

Looking her absolute best gives her confidence as she walks down the aisle. She enjoys the morning spent with her bridal tribe.

Get dressed and accessorize

A few hours before the ceremony, the bride puts on her bridal gown and accessories. This may include:

  • Wedding dress, veil, gloves, shoes
  • Jewelry such as earrings, bracelet, necklace
  • Garter belt
  • Perfume
  • Emergency kits

She has assistants help her fasten buttons, tie corset backs, bustle the train, and fluff the veil. Then it’s photo time!

First look with the groom

Some couples do a special first look before the ceremony where the bride and groom see each other in their wedding attire. Benefits include:

  • A private moment to take in each other’s outfits
  • Great photo opportunity of the reaction and first hug
  • They can spend time together before the craziness begins
  • It calms nerves being able to talk beforehand

After their romantic first look, the bride and groom take bridal party photos and then separate again until showtime.

Travel to the ceremony

The bridal party traditionally arrives slightly after the groom and guests. Popular transportation options include:

  • Chauffeured limousine or towncar
  • Luxury party bus
  • Horse and carriage
  • Vintage or luxury car
  • Boat if it’s a waterside venue

Making a grand entrance is all part of the experience for the bride on her big day.

Hideaway room

Right before walking down the aisle, the bride waits in a private hideaway room. This gives her a quiet space to:

  • Do final dress and veil adjustments
  • Touch up hair and makeup
  • Use the restroom
  • Have a snack and hydrate
  • Read cards and notes
  • Share a quiet moment with her father

Spending a few minutes alone helps center her emotions and nerves before showtime.

Walk down the aisle

This is the moment the bride has been waiting for. Arm-in-arm with her father, she gracefully walks down the aisle towards her groom. She may feel:

  • Excited
  • Nervous
  • Emotional
  • Overjoyed seeing her groom
  • Aware of all eyes on her
  • Proud of how hard she worked for this

After embracing her father, she takes her groom’s hands and the ceremony begins.

Exchange vows

Standing face-to-face the bride and groom recite their wedding vows, promising their love and commitment. The bride may feel:

  • Joyful
  • Solemn
  • Giddy with excitement
  • Tears of happiness
  • Calm and certain
  • Overwhelming love for her groom

Sharing these intimate, meaningful vows is often the most memorable part of the ceremony.

Wedding reception

Next is the celebration! The bride’s reception activities often include:

  • Grand entrance with new spouse
  • First dance
  • Father-daughter dance
  • Speeches and toasts
  • Bride and groom’s first meal together
  • Mingling and dancing with guests
  • Bouquet and garter tosses
  • Cake cutting

After months of stressful planning, the bride can finally relax and soak up every magical moment.

Leave for honeymoon

At the end of the reception, the new Mr. and Mrs. make their grand exit. Popular options include:

  • Limousine or decorated car
  • Vintage or luxury car
  • Horse and carriage
  • Motorcycle
  • Sparklers, bubbles, or flower petals send-off

The bride can finally relax into married life on the honeymoon and reflect on her incredible wedding journey.


The night before her nuptials and morning of her wedding are filled with fun, bonding, pampering, and anticipation. Surrounded by loved ones, the bride prepares both physically and emotionally to walk down the aisle. From writing thank you notes to walking down the aisle, the bride cherishes these last special moments as a single woman. After months of planning, she can joyfully say “I do” knowing her dream wedding is unfolding just as imagined.