Because a million and one things could go wrong.
1. Appoint someone you trust as your “designated texter” day of.
You don’t want to be bothered with a million little things on your wedding day, and believe me, THERE WILL BE MANY. Have someone hold onto your phone and field the texts. They can let you know if something truly disastrous is happening that needs your immediate attention.
2. Give someone the task of feeding you morning of.
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With all the morning jitters, you’re likely to forget. And you definitely don’t want to put any champagne into your system without having a snack first.
3. Make sure you have body tape or double-sided tape in your emergency kit.
You don’t want a bridesmaid nip slip disaster to happen during the ceremony.
4. Try your dress on the day before your wedding.
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A lot can change during the span of time between your last fitting and your wedding day. To avoid a seriously uncomfortable wedding day, it’s ideal to schedule your actual last fitting the day before, especially if you’re putting yourself through any weight-fluctuating pre-wedding diet.
5. You’ll need three pairs of shoes: slippers for getting ready, heels for the ceremony, and flats for the DANCING.
6. Speaking of wedding shoes, you’ll want to break them in before you wear them down the aisle.
Get instructions here. You don’t want icky blisters on your honeymoon. And don’t forget a blister stick for your emergency kit; your bridesmaids might have some dress shoe woes as well.
And if you’re wearing flats for the reception, be sure to break those in too.
7. Put on a little hand lotion before heading down the aisle.
Whether it’s the heat or the stress, you or your spouse’s fingers could swell up, giving you a hell of a time trying to get that ring on.
8. Watch out for melting wedding cakes on a hot summer day.
Choose the right icing: buttercreams, ganaches, whipped cream, pastry creams, and cream cheese icings can melt. Rolled fondant and marzipan-iced cakes are preferred if you’re having a hot, outdoor wedding.
9. Arrange for your wedding party to get to know each other before the wedding planning begins.
Maybe your fiancé’s sister has never met your college roommates. In order to ensure that things go smoothly, have a hangout sesh before everyone convenes to accompany your dress shopping. Have a dinner party, a group manicure, a sleepover — any kind of fun thing (at your expense, of course) where everyone can talk about non-wedding things and get to know each other (preferably over cocktails or wine).
Arranging a get-together for parties on both sides of the couple can also make for a way less awkward wedding weekend.
10. Got a wedding website? Make sure you do a call to action on your save-the-date card.
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Don’t just post the wedsite address. Add some wording that will actually propel your guests to check it out, get information, get registry information, RSVP, or whatever it is you have to offer there.
11. If you’re uber-organized, a wedding binder can be nice, but Google Docs are where it’s at.
You’ll be able to access everything from every device, plus you can easily share documents with anyone else involved. Be sure to color code EVERYTHING.
12. Don’t schedule your photography shoot at high noon, when sun is at its harshest.
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Direct overhead sun can create incredibly unflattering shadows. Take your photos in the morning or at twilight.
13. If you’re paying good money for a professional photographer, make sure you plan out your photos to a T.
Be sure your photographer knows exactly WHO you want in your photos. Make a shot list not just of poses or types of photos, but of specific groups. For instance, maybe you’d specifically like a photo of you with your cousins that you grew up with but haven’t seen in 20 years.
On the flipside, make sure the people you want in your photos know when and where they might be needed to participate in any prearranged or group photo shoot.
14. Get your ring professionally cleaned.
Did you know that your jeweler will most likely do this for free? Your ring will look extra sparkly and prismatic for your photos, as well as your family members who are seeing it in person for the first time.
15. Wait a day before you leave for your honeymoon.
You don’t want to zombie-walk through the first day of your honeymoon because you had to wake up at 5 a.m. in a hungover haze to catch a flight. You also don’t want to skimp on any after-party hijinx because HELLO that is when the fun really begins. So take a day to relax and decompress with your new spouse.
16. You will probably get sick. Just in time for your honeymoon.
Between all the hugging, the drinking, the stress, and the lack of sleep, your immune system will dip into an all-time low. You don’t want to spend the first half of your honeymoon with a cold or a UTI. So break out the hand sanitizer and be responsible about taking your vitamins during the weeks leading up to your wedding day.
17. The easiest way to pee in a wedding dress is to sit on the toilet backward, facing the wall.
Think about it: A typical wedding dress is way bigger in the back, which is why you want more space on that side.
18. You’ll wish your guestbook had been something other than a book.
With all the crazy guestbook alternatives out there, choose one that you’ll actually be able to display and incorporate into your home, like these stones that can be placed in a bowl or vase. A book will just be stored away and forgotten.
19. Write your thank-you notes as you receive and open your gifts.
It will make your life so much easier. And be sure to keep track of them in a Google Doc spreadsheet.
20. Make an “I MUST NOT FORGET” bag(s) before you leave for your wedding.
Whether it’s your marriage certificate, your rings, or a bottle of Visine, you can toss your essential items into the bag as you think of them. There will be so many things to keep track of that having them all in one place will keep you from having that nagging “did I forget something?” feeling.
On the big day, designate someone to have the bag with them at all times.
And speaking of things to not forget, be sure to designate someone who will collect all of the things you want to keep at the end of your wedding day. Guests will inevitably bring gifts and envelopes, and you might want to keep some of your leftover food or cake.
21. Learn how to respectfully say no, because you will almost certainly have to during the planning stages.
Situations will inevitably arise, whether it’s with an overbearing family member or a less-than-professional vendor, where you will have to say “no,” and figuring out the best way to do so will only get easier each time around. Just remember to smile as you speak, keep from getting emotional, and rehearse your talking points if you’re really adverse to confrontation.