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It never fails, really; in the heat of the moment, it sometimes seems like we’re bound to forget something on the big day. I’ve seen grooms forget their belt or even their shoes for their own wedding! Don’t count on anything to be obvious—something you could never forget because it’s so important. When the big day comes, it’s important to have a checklist for everything—I mean everything—to be sure it’s where it needs to be!

her checklist

Everything bridal should be your top priority! Have her dress ready to take right out the door to the venue  or hotel and get her shoes within reach while you’re at it. Do the same thing with the bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes. (These are only slightly less important than making sure the bride is ready.)

Next, check up on the accessories. Are your bouquets gathered and ready to take down the aisle? Have the boutonnieres ready as well. Will the bridal garter be making an appearance at the reception? Make sure you have it! 

If the bride is wearing a veil, or if anyone is wearing hairpieces, now is the time to gather those up, along with any of your own jewelry you plan on wearing; engagement and wedding rings take on special significance on this day, so make sure you’re wearing yours! Your photographer will need these items for detail shots before you put them on, so knowing this will help make sure you have all your accessories in one place! Freshen up your perfume, and be sure to take that with you, too. 

Finally, double-check to make sure that you have any miscellaneous pieces accounted for: accessories, special gifts, “something borrowed, something blue, something old, something new.” You’ve been giving your attention to a lot of important things (like that beautiful dress!) so now is the time to make a final sweep for anything that might have gotten lost in the shuffle up until now. Complete your checklist by grabbing the invitation suite; you’re not done with that information or those instructions yet!

All set? Are you sure? Are you really sure? Then get out the door and onto the first day of forever!   

his checklist

Just because your checklist isn’t as long as hers doesn’t mean you can put it off or take it easy. Let’s be honest, everyone is expecting one of the guys to forget something, so prove them wrong by getting organized well ahead of time!

Guys, don’t lose track of your outfits. Have your tuxes or suits out in the open so you all know where they are and can grab them at a moment’s notice. If necessary, prepare a separate bag for your accessories, and triple check it to make sure everything is there! Your shoes, your tie, your belt and your suspenders (if you’re using them). Consider using a plastic sandwich bag or another small pouch for things like cufflinks and watches. You will want all these ready for the photographer, and any detail shots before the big event. Freshen up your cologne and then stick that in your bag as well—just because you don’t want to overdo it doesn’t mean you want to be without it for the rest of the day!

Finally, make sure you have any special gifts and accessories gathered up. Groomsmen, do you have your gifts from the groom? Do you plan on wearing them during the ceremony or during pictures afterwards? Have those ready-to-hand. Now you’re ready for the excitement to begin!  

a few more tips… 

Your checklists become even more important if you’re feeling anxious and flustered in the days or even hours leading up to the ceremony. If you’re feeling that way, it’s important to find things that you can control, and let go of what you can’t. Pictures, for instance, are all up to your photographer, who is working hard to make your day even more perfect! Here’s a small list of ways you can make their life easier, ensuring they can spend all their energy focusing on you: 

Please ask your florist to leave a few loose flowers and green trimmings to employ in your detail photos. These will really enhance your detail shots, giving them an even more elegant quality!

Aside from these strategic trimmings, please keep your getting-ready space nice and tidy. Avoid any clutter near the windows—you’ll need many of these spaces for your detail shots and portraits! While you’re at it, open as many curtains or window blinds as you can. The more natural light we have, the better!

If you have any objects or details you especially want in the shots, gather them all into one space or box ahead of time, so that they’re ready for when the photographer arrives. 

Finally, while you’re having your hair and makeup done, remove your wedding gown from the garment bag and hang it up. Delicate fabrics like these need time to settle, which makes a tremendous difference for detail shots. Have a helper on standby in case you need to steam the dress and get any last wrinkles out. Doing all this beforehand will ensure that you can get started with your shots as soon as possible! 

It’s easy to overlook the small things while hustling to get the big things together. Following this checklist will not only help you feel more relaxed and in control, it will also help your photographer do the best job possible! 

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