With all the excitement that comes with planning your wedding, it can feel like everything is about the big day, with little beyond! And although there are lots of wedding to-dos—including last-minute things like manicures and welcome-bag deliveries—your role doesn't end there. That's why I'm always glad to answer the following question. "What do I need to do before I leave for my honeymoon, and how can I get it all done?" Obviously the most important postwedding to-do is to enjoy married life! But there are some other things that need doing right away. The key? Plan ahead.
Honeymoon Prep & Pack
As with any amazing trip or vacation, you'll want to research places to go, things to try, great restaurants, or must-see museums. This can be a fun respite from wedding planning itself. Think about needed supplies, too. That might mean a sun hat and sunblock, hiking boots and a windbreaker, a camera, a book (or two) to read, a guidebook, or a travel journal. Take a weekend, a month or so ahead, to shop, get organized, and pack. You may still need a few last-minute items, but the bulk will be done by wedding time.
You've carefully curated the details of your wedding: the invitations, the menu cards, the cake topper, even the card from which you read your vows. These are important keepsakes that sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Delegate a friend, planner, or anyone helping you to collect them at the end of the night and get them to you later, safe and sound.
Before the wedding, research how best to clean and preserve your dress. If it's lace or a delicate vintage material, you'll want to be extra-careful. Stains should be removed as soon as possible, so arrange to have the dress picked up by a fine-garment cleaner (or dropped off by a trusted friend) shortly after the wedding. That way, it will be packed and ready to store—and you won't have to face a stained dress that's been sitting in a bag when you return from your trip.
Wedding etiquette says you have three months after receiving a gift to send thank-yous, but don't wait until the last minute! Stay organized with a gift list that includes the sender, the gift, and when you received it—and write as you go so you can craft thoughtful notes. Going far away on your honeymoon? Getting some notes out of the way is a great way to pass the time on the airplane. And don't forget to thank those who helped with your day, like your maid of honor, officiant, planner, florist, and other vendors.