1. A list of “must have” photos and “would be nice” photos for your photographer. This does not guarantee you’re going to get every picture that you request, but at least your photog will have a good feel for what kind of photos you want them to focus on that day.
2. A bridal emergency kit. There is always going to be something that you forget or that needs to be fixed last minute. Help avoid catastrophes before they happen by bringing these items.
3. Who are your go-to people on the day of the wedding? You can’t be there to answer every little concern, so enlist a family member of close friend (who’s not in the wedding party) to get everyone in line. Make sure they know exactly what you want beforehand though so they don’t have to turn around and ask you a bunch of questions – or worse – make decisions against your wishes.
4. A going away bag. In the hurriedness of the wedding day, I’ve seen more than one bring what they need to get ready for the wedding, but forget to bring their bag packed for the honeymoon. Not good. Don’t forget that the moment you leave your house before the wedding, you’re probably not going to see it again until after your honeymoon is over. Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time (i.e. passports).
5. Find out who is taking the presents, changes of clothes, centerpieces, etc. after the reception is over. The last thing you want is your parents trying to squeeze everything into their Prius.
6. Decorate the random spots – personalized hand soap or even just a note in the bathroom thanking people for coming adds just a little something to your guests’ experience.
7. Confirm itineraries with all vendors before the day of the event – Every. Single. One. There’s nothing worse than having a sparkler exit with nothing to get into a ride away in.
8. For all of those people who worked so hard to make your special day possible – don’t forget to tip. After all, your make-up artist, wedding planner, etc. are in the service industry and you tipped your girl at the nail salon before you arrived, so why not show your appreciation to them too?
9. A final dress fitting a week before the wedding. It would be devastating to be putting on your gown in your bridal suite only to find out that it won’t zip up. Can you imagine? Make sure it fits exactly one week before the wedding.
10. If you have a guestbook, don’t forget to bring the pens to sign it with. It sounds simple enough, but this is a small detail that can be easily overlooked.
11. Wedding invitations are often send out and then never seen again. Make sure you save one and ask your photographer to include some photos of it. After all, you spent a lot of time picking out the perfect design, so make sure you get a photo of it to include in your album!
12. Phone charger. Everyone and their mom will be calling you this day to make last minute adjustments and find out about final details. Make sure you phone doesn’t die before you reach the reception.