The 10 Biggest Things All Brides Forget

Here are the top ten things that brides tend to forget (but really need to remember!).

With all the wedding planning you’re doing right now, it’s hard to imagine there’s any detail you haven’t thought of – but trust us, there are certain to-dos that somehow never make it to the top of list. Here are 10 essentials to keep front of mind:

Pin now, read later! The 10 Biggest Things All Brides Forget (Image by Lucy Leonardi)

Image: Lucy Leonardi Photography

1) Making post-wedding plans

We’re not talking about the honeymoon here (who would forget to plan that?). We mean you need to decide what you’re doing immediately after your wedding. If you don’t want the party to end with the last dance, you should pick a late-night spot in or near one of the guest hotels. If privacy isn’t all that important, book your wedding night room in the same hotel as your guests. If you just want to get to bed, we strongly suggest you book a room elsewhere.

2) Bringing your overnight bag

If you’re allowed to check into your hotel room early — and you don’t personally need to be there to officially check in — pick someone to drop your overnight bag at your hotel before your ceremony starts. A guest who’s staying at the same place will more than likely be happy to do this for you, since they’re going to have to check in anyway! If your things can’t arrive sooner than you, ask a bridesmaid to be responsible for bringing your bag to the wedding and finding a safe spot for it in the bridal suite. Even easier, if you’ll have the same car or limo for the entire day and night, opt to keep your stuff in the boot.

3) Picking someone to take your things home after the reception

Your gifts, mementos (think toasting flutes, cake topper, unity candle and guest book) and any leftover food, booze or cake need a trusty escort to get them home. Choose a person and let them know about their responsibility. And you may want to donate your centrepieces. Nursing homes typically accept flowers, but call at least a few days before the wedding to find out when someone can drop off the arrangements. If you’re changing out of your gown before you head to your hotel room, you’ll need a person to take it home, too— even if you have no plans to get it professionally preserved, you don’t want to leave it behind! Make sure there’s a hanger and a garment bag on hand (the one your dress came with will do!) so your gown stays in tip-top shape.

LucyLeonardi210thingsbridesforgetweddingplanning copy

Image: Lucy Leonardi Photography

4) Deciding where everything goes

Besides planning where all of your guests sit, you need to figure out where you’ll put programs, escort and place cards, menus (if you’re having them) and bomboniere. Once you’ve decided who’s going to set these out — your wedding coordinator, bridesmaids and banquet managers are all good choices — give them clear instructions on where they should go (one bomboniere on every other plate at tables, for instance, if you want couples to share the takeaways, or all of them in two baskets by the exits if you want guests to pick them up on the way out). Also, if your venue’s staff will be setting out these items, find out when you can drop everything off — some venues want everything a couple of days before your wedding; others won’t take anything until the actual day.

5) Decorating the other areas

Of course, no guest will walk out of your wedding if the bathrooms and cocktail bar are left bare. But with all the energy that’s put into dressing up the reception and ceremony spaces, you might want to put in the small extra effort to give these spots the décor they deserve. A few candles will work.

6) Buying gifts for the wedding party

When gifts are constantly coming to your door, it’s hard to remember that you also need to dole some out! So who makes it on the gift list? Everyone who plays a role in your day — yes, your parents and future in-laws, too. You don’t need to make a big presentation.

7) Choosing how to gather the gifts

If you’re not having a wishing well, there are three times when guests are likely to thrust gifts at you: while they’re in the receiving line, during your table visits and when they leave for the night. Designate a person — one of your bridesmaids, your mum or your groom’s mum — to collect envelopes, and have them by your side with a large but inconspicuous bag when you’re saying hello and goodbye to your guests. That person should also keep an eye out for guests who seem a little lost at the reception — they may be trying to figure out where they should put their gift! If you decide instead to have a wishing well, box or other stationary receptacle, add a cute sign and tell a few people to subtly spread the word around.

8) Figuring out your day-after plans

If you’re leaving for your honeymoon straight from your hotel, make advance arrangements for a car service to take you from the hotel to the airport, and be sure you bring any luggage you want with you on your trip (and a passport if you need it). If you’re not going on your honeymoon right away, then you need to know where you’re going the morning after your wedding (home, or your parents’ house?) and how you’re going to get there. Park your car at the hotel before your wedding if you’re allowed, or ask a friend to come pick you up and bring you where you want to go the next day. Don’t schedule your ride too early — you’ll probably be exhausted.

9) Bringing the legal documents

Signing your marriage certificate after the wedding ceremony is one of the most important aspects of your day; after all, it officialises the reason you threw a wedding in the first place! After all the hours of planning, you’re probably more focused on the party afterwards than the legal side of your nuptials, but without the paperwork, all the stress and money spent will be for nothing. Your celebrant should hopefully keep you on top of all the legal requirements, such as lodging your Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month prior to your wedding day, and bringing along three marriage certificates for you to sign on the day. Also, there is a ‘Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage’ which you will need to sign close to, and prior to the marriage taking place. Check with them a few days before the wedding so you can have peace of mind.

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10) Making and confirming itineraries

Check in with every single supplier, from the limo driver to the linen rental company, one week before your wedding. Many of them will beat you to it, so be ready to go over times and locations whenever you get a call. Send out agendas to your bridesmaids and groomsmen, too — how else will they know what time you’re taking photos? If someone in the bridal party is notorious for being late, start their schedule half an hour early just in case.

What’s your best wedding planning tip for other brides, Knotties?


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by Meridith Bodgas



  1. Most importantly – do not forget to thank your guests for their gifts. 3 of the last 4 brides did NOT write thank you notes for the gifts we sent.

  2. 3 things I forgot for my wedding day. a handkerchief. I am not a cryer, but when on the alter my eyes began to tear up, my nose began to run and I had no handkerchief. Just wrap it around the stem of your bouquet. The 2nd thing, Bring flats for the reception. After hours in my beautiful heels, by feet and legs were killing me. Really puts a damper on things. And 3rd….try your dress on the day before your wedding. My last fitting was a week before and the day of, my dress almost would not zip. I was mortified. We made it work but again I was uncomfortable the whole day.

  3. If your dress won’t zip on the wedding day! Stay calm. Take a water pill! A lot of times if you are bloated it will help millions!

  4. If you are the matron of honour, spend months and weeks, then days and lastly hours making bridezilla important, do not expect a thank you or an apology.

  5. I forgot my underwear! I stayed at my MOHs the night before, and forgot to pack them, so had to shoot up to the shops to buy some pretty new ones haha

  6. Some of these suggestions smack of venues that do not give a toss what happens to you, or your stuff, for the duration of your ceremony & reception. I run weddings and always know how the room will be set up to the last detail, WHERE their marriage certificate is, who is taking stuff home at the end and I make sure it’s all there for them, etc etc etc. They’re just sorry venues who just want to make a buck and the care factor is zero. Happens though with many wineries, cafes etc who are just not geared towards the intricacies and niceties of running a wedding properly.

  7. I’m so glad I didn’t forget any of these – and I was so happy when had a handful of guests comments on the fact they loved I had fresh flowers, and starfish in the bathrooms :-)

    Only thing I didn’t do (not so much forget – I just assumed it would happen, but we were too busy socialising!) Tell your photographer which ones of your guests you want a photo with! we had people come to W.A. from the NT and NZ and didn’t get photos with them! I felt awful after – but we were just having such a good time dancing the night away!!!

  8. Some flat boxes and packing tape to transport gifts and other things that the bride and groom have after the wedding

  9. Great list! I’d add a power bar and having your point person bring you food/drinks from the cocktail hr if you are having your portraits done during. It’s nice to actually try that signature cocktail you came up with. It’s also nice to have some protein during the day, especially if you feel too nervous to eat a meal.

  10. Where does any extra food go? Not a big deal if you’re married close to home, but out of town weddings need to bring containers and boxes to rake food home. I also forgot to designate a person to be in charge of those last minute fees that have to be paid.

  11. Also, make sure that your out of town guests won’t be bored out of their skulls for the many hours between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception while the wedding party is having their photos taken. Cocktail hour is not intended to be 3-4 hours long. Maybe have a list of great tourist places they can visit while in town or have some games they can play while waiting.

  12. Nothing beats the first month of being together. I can suggest that an early stage, better arrange some regulations and legal matters (if possible) to have a deeper understanding on the relationship.

  13. Hire a Wedding Coordinator !!! You should NOT have to worry about most of these things listed. There are sooo many more details and To Do lists often forgotten that you don’t think of…” Behind the scene”, as I call them.
    Ask any Bride, Groom, Mother….a Coordinator is worth every penny.

  14. When sending out invitations, bear in mind that many guests arrive late because they don’t allow enough time for bad traffic, finding the venue and finding somewhere to park. I’ve seen far too many guests sprinting or even casually walking in minutes before the bride arrives. On your invitations print the ceremony time 15-30 minutes earlier than the actual starting time – and (almost) everyone will be there when the bride arrives.

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