On average, it takes a couple six to twelve months to plan their wedding. Some take even longer (and this typically has nothing to do with the size of your wedding. Even a small, intimate wedding has a million little details attached to it). So by the time your wedding day comes, you might even feel a little tiredness (of the decision making variety) mixed in with all of the excitement and nerves. This is totally normal, but it can mean, in the swirl of all of that energy, you forget some things. It happens.
But the last thing your friendly Erie, PA photographer wants for you is any more anxiety or nervousness than is necessary. Actually, he’d love for you to have none. A calm bride is a happy bride and a happy bride is a happy photographer. We’re here to help before your big day by making sure you’ll be getting every single photo you want and some that you probably wouldn’t even know that you want, and then we’re with you on your big day, every step of the way. (The stories we could tell about how many ways we’ve helped that didn’t include cameras but that’s for another post.)
Right now we just want to create some lists of items and tasks that are more typically forgotten than you’d think.
Might we first suggest that this is another great reason to have brides maids? (Besides all the obvious reasons like laughter and support and FUN.) Perhaps give them these lists and let them do some of the heavy lifting (in terms of remembering). Delegate!
First, we’ll start with some of the more obvious items and go from there:
- Phone charger: who doesn’t write this at the top of any travel list!?
- Marriage license: yep, it’s happened!
- Corsage pins
- Allergy medicine, headache medicine, eye drops, and any medicine you MIGHT need
- Extra contacts and cleaner
- Feminine products (big emotions can create surprises)
- A tiny sewing kit with scissors, thread, needles, and safety pins
- Fashion tape because it can fix myriad wardrobe malfunctions
- Bandaids (you just never know)
- Deodorant, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash
- Hand sanitizers
- Along those lines: gum or mints
- Nail file and polish in your manicure color
- Pens and paper
- Cash (even just a little and just in case; though life is pretty cashless,you just never know)
- Hairspray and/or hair products
- Snacks and beverages: you don’t want to be hangry walking down the aisle!
Second, things to have in a small bag that you’ll have with you through the reception:
- Extra lipstick
- Toothpicks to discretely take care of anything if you don’t want to run and brush your teeth; they even have mint flavored ones.
- A pocket mirror to check your lipstick and teeth of course
- Bobby pins in case of unruly flyaways
- Tissues or a handkerchief
- A small spot remover in case you spill anything on your dress
- Travel sized makeup wipes in case something smudges
- Aspirin or pain medication
- A tiny perfume for freshening
- Perhaps even a tiny little deodorant
(This is one of those times you’ll be extra happy with all of the products that now come in little travel sizes.)
Third, these next items might seem like no brainers, but again, it’s possible to forget anything (and we won’t put “bubbly” on the list because who could forget that?!):
- A robe or button down shirt for getting your makeup and hair done (or perhaps an entire getting-ready outfit)
- Another pair of comfortable shoes to change into if the night goes longer than expected and your feet need a break
- Your printed vows (if you wrote your own) or your custom vow books
- A printout of the day’s timeline
- The rings
- Extra backings for earrings (again, just in case)
- All your special jewelry and hair accessories
- Your garter (if you’re wearing one, it’s easy to forget)
- All of your vendors’ contact information (hopefully you won’t need it…)
- Final vendor payments and tips
- Your wedding night bag
- Gifts for friends and family
- Contact list for everyone in the wedding
- An empty bag (you’ll need it; who knows for what… but you will)
- Your guestbook and pens specifically for that
Fourth, some of the most commonly forgotten plans. Yes, plans:
- Assigning someone to gather and secure gifts
- Making sure transportation needs are taken care of for family, wedding party, and/or guests
- Getting a cake cutting set
- Creating some sort of box or basket for cards
- Ordering or making reserved seating signs and table numbers
- Updating passports in time for the honeymoon
- Ordering flowers for the parents of the bride and groom
- Creating backup plans for unexpected weather
- Preparing a short thank you speech or toast for your guests. Don’t wing it.
- Creating notecards with recipes if you want your bartenders making special drinks
- Having a clear do/do not play list for your DJ
- Have you practiced walking in your shoes?
- Have you practiced sitting in your dress?
- Do you know where all your personal items will be stored during the wedding and reception?
And finally, this list isn’t about anything you can pack in a bag, but it’s all important.
- One of the biggest things we all tend to forget during momentous occasions is to really take pauses and to notice what’s happening around you.
- We also forget to slow down in the days before and take care of ourselves.
- Go to the spa.
- Get a massage.
- Have some quiet time with just the two of you.
- Spend time doing things you love together.
- Get active and spend time outdoors.
- Eat well. Don’t skip meals.
- Nourish yourself with healthy and comforting foods and drink plenty of water.
- Get some extra sleep
- Above all, ENJOY what’s happening. Savor every moment.
Regardless of how much you prepare or how many lists you write or how many helpers you have, there will likely be small things forgotten, small things that don’t go exactly according to plan, but it doesn’t matter in the bigger picture of the importance of this day, so find the humor and laugh things off.
And don’t forget that your photographer (that’s me) and his team are here to help move things along smoothly, keep people on track, and have an eye on all the details so that you can pay attention to what really matters… to who really matters.