Tips for Brides
I remember a few days before my own wedding when everything was planned and ready, wondering what I was supposed to be doing with myself. I'm big on planning and being ready well ahead of time, so all of my official wedding tasks were pretty much done a week beforehand. But as the dust is settling after a whirlwind of wedding planning, it's good to have one last little checklist of practical things to keep in mind that aren't as much about the wedding as they are about your own sanity the day of! ;)
1. Pack a "just in case" bag
Any extra jewelry, shoes, makeup, hairbrushes, etc. should be in this bag. You probably won't need them, especially if you're hiring professional hair and makeup artists, but it's a good peace of mind thing to know that if anything happens, you have backups!
2. Plan your meals!
For some reason, food gets lost in the scuffle of a wedding day all too often. Don't let hunger ruin your day. Even if you don't feel hungry because you're excited/nervous, eat anyway. You'll regret it during those family pictures if you don't ;)
3. Pack a bag of items you want photographed
Let's be real. You don't need more than a few pictures of yourself getting your hair and makeup done and it can be a long process. That's why it's the perfect time for your photographer to photograph all the little details of your wedding... the rings, the jewelry, the shoes, the wedding dress, the gift your grandmother gave you, the bouquet, whatever is important to you! If you have a list of these things and a bag packed the day of, you won't have to worry about it all. And the best man will be relieved to not take care of that wedding ring any longer than necessary ;)
4. Assign family photo helpers
Think of someone in yours and your fiance's family to help organize everyone for the family pictures. Remember, as good as your photographer may be, they don't know the members of your families so if Aunt Stephanie is missing from the group she should be in, we aren't going to know! So it's nice to have a family organizer who can assist in gathering everyone together and helping that part of the day go quickly and smoothly.
5. Delegate tasks!
I'm reading a book right now called "Influence" and there are a lot of fascinating studies in it about what influences human behavior. One section talks about how in a large group of people, when something needs to get done people rarely step forward to do it because they assume someone, who is maybe more qualified, already has or will. You don't want that to happen on your wedding day! So help people out by giving them some direction. They'll appreciate the guidance (after all, they just want you to be happy!) so don't feel like you're being bossy. I've heard MANY a bridesmaid or family member say they wish the wedding couple would just say what they want and make the decisions. We know you get tired of making decisions, but you have to remember that it's easier on everyone else if it's clear what you want.
An example of this might be telling the groomsmen who they need to usher into the ceremony. Or telling a particular bridesmaid that you'd like her to keep track of your makeup bag. Tell your dad that you'd like him to deliver the boutonnieres to the groomsmen. Tell your aunt that you'd appreciate if she'd check on the centerpieces at the reception before the ceremony. Tell the best man that he's the one bringing the getaway car to the reception when it's time to leave. Whatever it is that you'd like done! The more you can delegate before the actual wedding day, the more comfortable everyone will be, knowing what their expectations are in advance.
Sidenote: If you have a good wedding coordinator, some of this may not be necessary but I tend to think it's better to overplan than underplan if you want to avoid stress.
6. Pack a Post Wedding Bag
This may be a given, but sometimes it's hard to see past the wedding itself. Just make sure you have everything you'll need for AFTER the wedding as well. You know, like jammies and a toothbrush and stuff...
And that's it! If you're a past bride or you just think I missed something and have some tips of your own, please leave them in the comments!