There are so many checklists, schedules and seating charts flashing before you eyes for the months and especially weeks leading up to your big day. Usually when I see a "to do" list published for brides, it is pages and pages long and overwhelms me, even though I'm not even planning a weeding! So here's a quick five-point list of the most commonly forgot tasks to do before or on your wedding day. No pages and pages of minute details here. Just a quick, simple list of the things those monster lists always seem to leave off...
- Register for a marriage license... (and don't forget to sign it on the big day, also!)
According to some research I did, this is the most forgotten item on wedding days! Make sure someone is assigned to bring the license to the wedding, and also make sure it stays safely with you or a family member after it is signed! You don’t want to lose it!
So how do you get a marriage license? The waiting periods and timetables vary by state, so if you aren’t local here in Virginia be sure to check with your local Public Records or Registrar office. Here in Virginia, there is no waiting period, so as soon as you register you will receive your blank marriage license ready for signing. It isn’t valid until you, your witnesses, and your officiant sign it. Virginia law says the marriage must be performed within 60 days after the license is issued, so you will want to register no more than 7-8 weeks before your big day. There is a fee involved with obtaining the marriage license, so be prepared for that. Also make sure you have all required documents with you when you go in to register.
- Pack your travel bags.
If you are leaving for your honeymoon right after your reception or the day after, make sure your bags are all packed. If you are going out of the country, don’t forget your passports. Also remember items like your itineraries, tickets, your license and some extra cash. Pack your bags and load them up in the car the night before the wedding, that way it’s not something you have to think about on your wedding day!
- Make an emergency kit.
I know this might sound silly to some of you, but let me share a personal story. At my wedding reception right after taking photos and right before going inside to cut the cake, I somehow got a large splinter lodged into my index finger. I think it was from some railing I had been gliding my hand on going up the staircase… boy did it hurt! No bride wants to endure the nagging pain of a splinter for the remainder of her reception, but I didn’t want to make a big scene and stop the reception to “find me some tweezers” either! Luckily my photographer was much more prepared than I was, and he pulled out a pocket knife with a pair of tweezers that folded off from it. One of my bridesmaids pulled me aside and quickly plucked it out and I went on and enjoyed the rest of my reception.
You never know when a dress might rip, you’ll get a splinter, a terrible headache, etc. (also, don’t forget the safety pins!) So pack a little “kit” and have a bridesmaid or family member toss it into their purse. You won’t be sorry.
- Make a Vendor Contact List.
Just incase you need to get in touch with your photographer, DJ, flower supplier, etc. on the big day. Or even better, program their numbers into your phone so there’s no list to keep track of.
- Focus on your new husband.
In the excitement of the wedding day everything feels like a whirl. It’s a big, joyful, wonderful whirl, but you will still feel like it goes by at 100 miles a minute. Make sure to take a few minutes away from everything before or during your reception with your new husband. That’s what this is all about- the two of you! Once all the photos have been taken, dinner has been eaten, and your guests are celebrating, slip away to a quiet spot outside and talk sweetly together and soak up a long moment together in intimate celebration of the beginning of the rest of your lives together.