Be Prepared, Be Very Prepared

Groom kissing the bride on the forehead next to a brick wall.
Jessica Strickland – see more at www.jessicastrickland.com

You’ve chosen your photographer decided on the menu and completed your seating chart in a way that will keep your future mother-in-law’s cougarlicious divorced gal pals as far away from the young single groomsmen as possible (Hint: Seat them near the vodka and they’re less likely to stalk prey across the room. This particular breed of cougar is known for its tendency to stick close to its watering hole). Now the big day is quickly approaching, and you have a sneaking suspicion that there is still plenty to be done before you say, “I Do.” Guess what? You’re right. Here’s a list of things to take care of before you walk down the aisle. After this checklist is complete, feel free to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne…or four. You’re ready!

Prepare for your Honeymoon
Gather all of your travel documents, including passports (make sure they’re not expired!), plane tickets and itineraries, ahead of time. Pack these and your honeymoon wardrobe (this should consist mainly of bikinis and lacy lingerie, unless of course you’re the groom…in which case you are still welcome to pack bikinis and lingerie for yourself…no judgment big guy) well in advance, so that you don’t inadvertently forget anything during the last minute frenzy. Don’t forget to plan for incidentals such as pet care and mail pickup during your vacation.

Purchase or Gather Wedding Day Accessories
These include items such as toasting glasses, guest book and pen, unity candle, ring pillow, flower girl basket, cake knife and server, favors, etc.

Gifts for Wedding Attendants
It’s customary to get a special gift for your wedding attendants to show your appreciation for the role that they’re playing in your big day. These are traditionally given at the rehearsal dinner or bridesmaids luncheon.

Take Care of Final Payments and Tips
Make sure that any vendors who need to be paid and/or tipped are accounted for before the wedding day. You can put payment in envelopes to be distributed by the best man, or another trusted individual at the event so that you don’t have to worry about it.

Gather All Your Wedding Day Attire Essentials
This includes jewelry, hosiery, undergarments, shoes, etc. Also, make a plan for getting your dress to the ceremony venue.

Put Together a ‘Bridal Emergency Kit’
Unless, again, you’re the groom, in which case my best guess is that your emergency kit should include something along the lines of a flask of whiskey and a razor. Suggested items for the bridal emergency kit include bobby pins, hairspray, face powder, lip gloss and lipstick, hemming tape for last-minute repairs, traction pads for heels, a pair of nylons, an umbrella and a shawl, stain remover, aspirin, breath mints, tissues, nail polish, safety pins and a sewing kit.

Get Your Marriage License
Don’t forget to make it legal! Have somebody responsible and sober-ish hold onto the documents after the ceremony, so that you can file them with The Man in order to get everything finalized.

Finalize Details with Wedding Attendants, Officiants and Vendors
Include a timeline for the day in your discussions, so that everyone knows what’s expected of them. Also, be sure to have a party responsible for gathering the guest book, gifts, returning the groom’s tux (if necessary), and keeping your dress or taking it to be cleaned and preserved after your departure.

Relax (well, try to) and Have Fun!
You’ve earned it! Congratulations!

about the author
Sarah Sarah has been editing the blog at mywedding for four years. She enjoys watching classic movies, spending money on eyeliner that she never wears, and convincing brides to write thank you notes.

See more posts by Sarah