Wedding Planning Tips

a wedding day packing list

The things that go through your mind in those weeks leading up to your wedding date are endless! If you’re like me, you even experienced wedding related nightmares. Mine was that I went to put on my dress before walking down the aisle and I had somehow forgotten to get it altered. It was a sample dress and about 6 sizes too large when I bought it so it wouldn’t stay up on its own, was way too long and just not what I imagined my walk down the aisle would look like. Thankfully my dress was already in for alterations so I’m not sure why that particular dream ahem nightmare came to me but it did. I felt prepared yet they still came.

While I can’t help you remember ALL the details, unless of course you hire us for your Wedding Planning needs or take ALL the stress away, again unless you hire us for your wedding planning needs, what I can do is provide you with this helpful guide so you don’t forget anything on your wedding morning.


For Brides

  • Getting Ready Attire (pajamas, leggings, robe, slippers, blouse, etc.)

  • Wedding Dress (It’s best if this is freshly steamed and packed inside your garment bag to be hung)

  • Veil or headpiece if you’re wearing one

  • Jewelry (earrings, necklace, bracelet, rings, etc.

  • Wedding Bands (it’s best that one person have both rings the morning of the wedding for detail shots when the photographer arrives) Tip: have them cleaned before hand as well!

  • Engagement Ring

  • Undergarments

  • Perfume

  • Cosmetic Bag (deodorant, hair ties, bobby pins, toothbrush and toothpaste, touch up kit for makeup)

  • Purse/Clutch

  • Shoes

  • Garter

  • Mini Emergency Kit (tide to go, medicine, sewing kit, hairspray, safety pins, mints, etc.)

  • Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

For Grooms

  • Pants

  • Shirt

  • Vest

  • Jacket

  • Tie/Bowtie

  • Belt

  • Suspenders

  • Dress Socks

  • Shoes

  • Underwear

  • Tie Clip

  • Cuff Links

  • Accessories (watch, pocket square, etc.)

For Ceremony

  • Marriage License

  • Programs

  • Copy of Vows

  • Any Unity or Ritual Ceremony Items (wine box, unity candle, rope, sand ceremony, love notes, etc.)

  • Any DIY items

Detail Shots

these items are best to pack together and have nearby and ready for photographers arrival

  • Bridal Accessories & Attire

  • Invitation Suite

  • Freshly addressed envelope with stamps (not mailed)

  • All Rings

  • It’s great to ask your florist for extra blooms or greenery for styling these items as well

Reception Details

  • Cake Topper

  • Toasting Flutes

  • Escort Cards or Table Display

  • Table Numbers

  • Menu Cards

  • Guestbook (and any essentials for it, pens, markers, etc)

  • Card Box

  • Any Signage (welcome, gifts, cards, etc.)

  • Any Photos to be displayed

  • Memory Table details if applicable

  • Personalized Items (chair back signs, chooses, cocktail napkins, etc)

  • Any DIY Items

  • Favors


  • Future Wife/Husband Gift and/or Love Letter

  • Gifts for Bridal Party (don’t forget flower girls, ushers, ring bearer)

  • Gifts for Parents

Vendor Tips

  • There are many resources for tipping etiquette. We send all of our clients a tipping guideline the week of their wedding for ease.

  • These are best done in clearly marked, sealed envelopes

Wedding Exit Items

  • Any necessary items (sparklers, lighters, sand, bubbles, flower petals, etc.) and be sure to check with your venue for policies and specifics!

Overnight Bag

If you’re leaving for your honeymoon right away, you may need to think to pack in advance for an easy getaway (including travel documents, reservations, passport, etc.) but even still … here are a few items you may not want to forget the night of your wedding

  • Extra change of clothes for following morning (I ended up wearing my husbands shoes the next morning and had a girlfriend wear her husbands pants down to breakfast the morning after their wedding) This is so easy to forget but unless you want to put your wedding dress back on the next day for brunch, pack an extra change of clothes!

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash (basically your day to day toiletries bag)

  • Phone Charger

Choosing your Bridal Accessories

wedding accessories

Because we believe that the smallest of details can make a difference in every wedding, we're sharing with you some advice and inspiration on the many options of bridal accessories. We know that it can be overwhelming but trust us, you won't want to skip them all together! For the purpose of this post, we'll be talking about your veil, hair accessories and of course, shoes! 

Why do you need them? 

Perhaps you're not one to wear accessories on a daily basis or think they're an unnecessary addition.... Bridal accessories can do anything from allow you to stand by tradition to add in a spark of interest or extra flare to the theme of the wedding day. Take the veil for instance. Traditionally a veil is worn to portray a bride's purity. While we may be seeing less brides sticking to the traditional values of wedding symbolism, many are opting for accessories that add an aesthetic value and thats perfectly fine! At the end of the day it of course comes down to you and what makes you feel most comfortable and special.

Let's start with the Veil...

Jonathan Hare Photography

Jonathan Hare Photography

As stated briefly above, not all brides opt to wear a veil. While it's certainly a personal choice, we thought we'd take this time to let you know that there are tons of different veil options. We found the following graphic via






When choosing your veil, take some time to think about...

How long will you be wearing it? If you plan to wear your veil into the reception, think about how active you'd like to be and whether your veil will prevent you from doing so?

Your Hair. If you'll be taking your veil off and not changing hair do's from ceremony to reception, consider a veil that attaches to a headpiece so as to not ruin your do. Bonus: you also have a pretty hairpiece still in place post veil! 

Your Dress- You'll want to pick a veil that compliments your dress, not overpowers it. For that gorgeous cut out or low back, consider a sheer veil to not take away from those elements. 

Your Venue- As many things in wedding design, the venue often sets the tone for the theme and feel of the wedding. Take into account the type of venue you're marrying at and all the factors that could lead to your veil choice!  






Hair Accessories

Flower crowns, combs, headbands, fascinators , hair pins and clips! There are so many gorgeous options that can add that touch of interest to your look. Just as your veil, consider the venue you're marrying at, your dress style and how you'll wear your hair. For an outdoor garden wedding, a flower crown with an up do or loose curls would add a touch of whimsy to your look. Perhaps you're marrying at a castle...consider a tiara to complete your affair fit for a princess. The right comb or headband can also add that wow factor to any wedding. See some inspiration below:



You can't see them under your dress so why wear pretty shoes right? WRONG! Let's just take a look at the following pictures and see why shoes can make a huge impact on your wedding photos. Besides, you can always bring a comfy pair to change into or ditch the shoes altogether for dancing! 


Sarah Bush Designs

Sarah Bush Designs

Hopefully you can see that if nothing else, accessories make from some really wonderful photos!

 And while we said we weren't going to cover jewelry in this post to further drive our point that ACCESSORIES MATTER... we leave you with the following photos.

Everything you need to know about Save the Dates

Do I HAVE to send a Save the Date? 

While No, Save the Dates are not a necessity, they are a preferable, courteous way to say to all of your guests "hey, we're getting married and we'd really like for you to be there, so start planning!"  If you are getting married on a holiday weekend or having a destination wedding you should without a doubt send a Save the Date to ensure your guests have adequate time to plan for travel/accommodation and to just not make other plans over the 4th of July or their Labor Day weekend. If they don't know they're invited to the wedding until a few months before the wedding, you can't necessarily blame them for not being able to afford flights because they're too expensive or maybe they decided to travel over that long weekend already. So basically, yes ... SEND THE SAVE THE DATE! 

Who do I send them to?

A Save the Date should be sent to every guest whom will be extended an invitation to the main event.

Guests over the age of 18 who are still living at home should be sent a separate save the date. 

How do I address them? 

Be as clear as possible on Save the Dates and Invitations. If you're allowing a friend a plus one, let them know when you send the Save the Date! (sidebar: try to find out their name before you send out the invitation as well) 

Save the Dates should be addressed with professional, full names and nicknames or Initials should not be used unless the envelope doesn't allow room. In that case, professional titles such as Dr., Rev. and Capt. can be used but keep guests full names. 

Write our abbreviations completely to account for Post Office Box, Lane, Southeast, Apartment, etc.

Mister and Misses however should be abbreviated as (Mr. , Mrs.) (sidebar: Ms. is used for single females over 18 and Miss if they are younger) 

Adding 'and family' can be confusing. Write out precisely who is invited to avoid an awkward conversation when RSVP's come back. 

Print return address on the back of the envelope but not names. 

What should be included on a Save the Date?

Basic information for a Save the Date should include....

 the date of the event

 location (state and city)  

personalized website addresses 

also it's great to add bride and groom names + 'invitation to follow' which my husband and I did not as you will see below. hahaha I guess we figured our names were on our website/the address so it wasn't necessary.

We gave that up for the format to look correct. You just do what you have to for the sake of 'the look' sometimes.