I preach that you should start your packing list as soon as you begin planning your wedding, whether you're getting married at your local church at home or traveling thousands of miles away. No matter what, as you make plans, you're going to think of things that you need to bring with you for your big day. The trick is to write them down as you think of them.
Each of us is specific about the things we need to travel with, but there are some things that almost every bride must remember to pack for her big day, assuming you're not getting ready for the ceremony and spending your first wedding night back home in your own bedroom. The key to keeping it easy is to plan ahead.
Make a list of all of the events for which you will need outfits early so you can keep your eye out for things on sale. Here are five specific outfits you probably need to plan:
1. Travel Outfit
Even if you're just going down the street on your wedding day, you should look adorable doing it. Everyone will be taking pictures all day long.
2. Dressing Outfit
You can't sit around in your bra and panties getting ready in a world where everybody has a smartphone with a camera and video in their hand. Those would be some embarrassing dressing photos. Have a pretty robe or something loose that buttons down the front, so you can be covered but not mess up your hair and makeup when it's time to switch to the dress.
3. Wedding Attire
Dress, foundation garments (bra, corset, etc.), wedding shoes, alternate flats, backup hair and makeup, evening bag, phone charger, bobby pins and safety pins (or general bridal emergency kit if you don't have a wedding planner), portable steamer or iron (unless you're positive they have one there), veil or headpiece, wedding jewelry, and perfume.
4. After-Hours Attire
Most brides and grooms go out with their friends after the reception ends. If you don't want to wear the full wedding ball gown, have a second outfit ready to go that's easy to change into.
5. Day-After Attire
If you're hosting a farewell brunch, you'll need something dressy, cute, and fun to wear. If you're just saying goodbye to friends and family, you can be more casual, but still, remember that everybody is going to be taking pictures. If you're departing for your honeymoon right away, have that outfit all planned out. Everybody loves a bride and groom, and you will likely get more attention en route to your honeymoon than you realize.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.