Imagine yourself on a plane, heading to your wedding destination. You’re relaxed — a feeling that might only become a reality if your packing game is truly on. Put packing off until the last minute, and you could risk leaving behind something crucial. Give yourself more time and space than you think you need, and you likely will be the relaxed bride you deserve to be. Here are some ideas for packing for your destination wedding, and earning Cash Back from Ebates to spend on the honeymoon.
Start packing early
There are so many things to remember, so make yourself a wedding-planner checklist starting three weeks ahead of the wedding. Spend that week picking up any items you don’t have but need to take with you, includingkiller wedding shoes, rings,jewelry for the big day and any undergarments you might need. Two weeks out, you should start to populate your suitcase with purchased items. Don’t forget lingerie for the rest of the trip, wedding-day makeup, new beachwear, a beach bag and the other white dresses you’ll need. With one week to go, you should be as packed as possible. This also is a good time to make another wedding-planner checklist so you don’t forget things like your toothbrush and deodorant in the excitement of getting all the big stuff in your bag.
Keep your carry-ons organized
You will want to keep the dress, the marriage license, the carefully selected Etsy-made wedding ringsand other essentials with you in the cabin of the plane. Otherwise, you’re taking a risk that your luggage won’t make it to the right place at the right time. The best way to manage the carry-on situation is to make sure your wedding dress is in a garment bag, like this one from eBags. Call ahead to your wedding hotel to make sure they have a steamer to get the travel wrinkles out of the dress. The dress is your carry-on, while a super well-organized bag can be your personal item. In here, you’ll want to keep all your critical documents, your passport and the rings in a secure pocket where they won’t roll around or fall out.
Think about the what-ifs
What if the dress you packed for the rehearsal dinner has some stubborn cat hairs on it? What if you drop airplane food on your favorite comfy T-shirt? What if the groom gets a painful sunburn the day before the wedding? There are so many things that could go wrong, and the nature of destination weddings makes it tough to get necessities at the last minute. It’s best to be prepared with random emergency items you can get from Walmart — things like aloe, a lint roller, travel stain remover, safety pins and a needle and thread. If there’s a wedding-day issue, you’ll be ready and relaxed instead of panicking.
Outsource suitcase space
If you and your fiance are planning to DIY a few things or looking for more space for wedding-day essentials, tap into a friend or close relative early. If you know you need to bring table cards, a guestbook or other supplies for crafting once you arrive, see if you can use some space in someone else’s bag. Securing your packing fallback space beforehand will allow him or her to plan on leaving extra room for you should you need it.
Chelsea is a freelance writer living in San Francisco, specializing in lifestyle and travel. When she can't get on a plane herself to visit somewhere obscure (Montenegro anyone?), she's training her sweet puppy and taking visitors to wine country with her fiancé. She loves being able to share ideas and stories proving that doing good and having fun can go hand in hand.