10 Things You'll Forget to Do

A last-minute to-do list for the busy bride

You've given your caterer the final head count, confirmed (and reconfirmed) every single vendor on the list, and handed out timelines to make absolutely sure the cake-cutting occurs at 10:05 p.m.—followed by the bouquet toss at 10:13. Think you're ready to just sit back and enjoy the big party? NOT QUITE…

Pay the piper. (And the caterer, too.) Write final-payment checks for your vendors a few days before, and have a trusted friend or family member pass them out on the big day. (Or better yet, pay everyone in full a few days in advance.) If you're planning to tip, put the checks or cash in envelopes ahead of time, so they can be easily distributed.

Do the bustle. To keep your reception from being a total drag, make sure your mother, maid of honor, or another friend will be available to bustle your gown. Give them a crash course in the complicated hook-and-eye configuration before you hit the dance floor.

Feed me, Seymour! Ask your banquet manager or your best pal to bring you a plateful of those fabulous hors d'oeuvres and keep your Champagne glass filled. During the cocktail hour, you'll never make it to the bar.

Get a room. Find out if your site has a separate room for you and your party to leave your bags and change into going-away clothes. A restroom will serve in a pinch, but you'll probably want a little more privacy.

Lose the excess baggage. Put a reliable pal in charge of getting your luggage into the honeymoon suite…or at least into the getaway car.

Grab a midnight snack. Have your caterer pack you and your new hubby a picnic basket of leftovers. You probably won't be able to eat more than two bites of the meal you spent days debating.

Feed the world. Tell your caterer what to do with the rest of the leftover food. If your mom can use 15 pounds of steak, break out the economy-size doggie bag. Otherwise, ask your caterer to take the extras to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

Bud out! If you aren't giving your centerpieces to special guests, arrange for someone to drop them off at a hospital, women's shelter, or nursing home.

Farewell. Ask someone to stay and get cabs for guests who need them, and make sure your valuables—the gifts, cake knife, toasting glasses, etc.—get home safely.

Gofer it! Get a few people to take care of the dirty little details the next day. They can take your dress to the cleaners, return your husband's tux to the rental shop, and make sure your bouquet gets started on the road to preservation, if you're saving it.

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