Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wedding Packing List

Between now and our annual adventure in July, I'm pretty sure a zillion small things will pass through my mind, and I'll think, "Oh, I should remember to bring that on our trip!"

I'm actually planning to pack lightly, but there will still be a lot of little things. For example, I'll need to have a little laundry detergent for some sink-washing. And I'll want to have a deck of cards, a travel version of Scrabble and Boggle, and my journal. And my camera and some really good sunscreen (does anyone have an amazing natural brand to recommend?) and my sun hat and my sunglasses(!).

See, it's already happening. It's time to start a list.

The same thing happened when Matt and I were planning our wedding. We actually kept an ongoing list for seven months. That way, we were less likely to forget something. Every time something would occur to us (for me it's usually in the shower), we would add it to our list.

We kept the list in Excel and created two columns: Category & Item.
The category helped us group like items together:
  • Welcome Picnic
  • Ceremony Stuff
  • Getting Ready
The items were as specific as possible:
  • Copies of ceremony programs
  • Box to recycle bottles from ceremony drinks
  • Emergency sewing kit
Um, I don't mean to scare you, but--in the end--our list had 73 things on it. That's because it was a multi-day affair, and we were pretty much responsible for everything.

That list made our DIY wedding possible. Without it, we surely would have forgotten multiple things. (Which wouldn't have been a super-huge deal--we would still be married in the end!).

Whenever we were working on one part of the wedding--like writing the ceremony--we would push ourselves to think: What do we actually need to bring to make the ceremony happen? Then we would flip over to our list and add: our binder with the wedding ceremony script, our pot, the tree sapling, etc.

Sometimes I would just read through the list and force myself to think about anything else that needed to be added.

By the time we hit the T-minus one week mark, our list was complete, and we could put ourselves on auto-pilot. When it came time to pack the car, we just opened the list and started reading through it and checking off things.

In the end, I did forget to put one thing on the list (and therefore forgot to bring it): my bathing suit. No worries, I wear a lot of black camisoles under my clothing and a lot of black GAP bikini underwear. Black camisole + black underwear = a perfectly good hot tub bathing suit on the night of your wedding.

That reminds me. I'm adding "bikini" to my honeymoon list right now!

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cori said...

Alba has some nice sunscreens, I have used them for years!

Elizabeth said...

Your vacation sounds so fun! I use Alba Botanicals Organic Sun SPF 30 Lavender sunscreen. The Lavender is a natural insect repellant, too!

CRR said...

Clear, alcohol based ones are the best as they evaporate on your skin and aren't sticky. And you can't misapply it and leave a white smudge of cream on your nose. :) Also, sand doesn't stick to your legs when you run down the beach (I was a sailing instructor for 5 years and so found out these things...)
Some people like P45 as you put it on once in the morning and it should last all day. But you must stay out of the sun for an hour after you put it on otherwise it's useless.
Neither of these suggstions are organic, cheap or ethical.... But they do really work....
One more thing - never leave your suncream in the sun ... (ironically) it will separate and be more or less useless.

Anonymous said...

I love REI's brand of sunscreen. It has gotten me through (without a mark of sun or a breakout) some serious all-day hikes and boating trips, during the summer, in various countries in Latin America. And I am ghostly pale!

KE said...

I'm a big fan of Jason brand Sunbrella sunscreen.

Princess Christy said...

i've been told to try Vanicream's, but haven't been able to find it in store. They do have a website you can order from, I just haven't gotten around to it!

Color Me Green said...

i like Kiss My Face sunblock. their trademark line is "obsessively organic."

megan said...

you're so funny with your lists, but you almost have to be when planning a wedding. i have notebook paper in folders everywhere and lists in excel sheets and word documents (although that computer crashed and, since we had to go buy a new one, haven't been able to front the cash to pull the other documents off)...so my impatient self started over. lol.

ironically, i'm an awesome packer without using lists. it's a gift, really. :)

i have no suggestions for organic sunscreen. i use neutrogena cooling spray and it goes on like a fine powder. it's great, and i am also ghostly pale.

Emily Tucker said...

Alba ones are the best. Personal fave is the Hawaiian Sun Green Tea spf 30+ Sunscreen, it has the best scent and doesnt feel gross like a typical sunscreen. I'm really light skinned and it protects me all day.

Carrie said...

This sounds so very Getting Things Done. I am totally the kind of person who is lost if I don't make a list. If I didn't write it down, it isn't happening.

Excel can be a good tool, but I can also recommend OmniFocus for the Mac users in the house. I use it to keep both grad school and wedding lists, and I swear it is my auxiliary brain. Heck, some days it's my main brain, while the one in my head is off in la-la land somewhere. It is so easy to add stuff, check stuff off, rearrange and reorganize stuff.

I swear they're not paying me or anything. This post just made me think of it :)

Anonymous said...

A little late, but I love my organic/nonchemical sunscreen so much I have to share...BADGER! I think their website is badgerbalm.com, but they have THE BEST natural sunscreen(their bug balm is awesome too).

Shanna said...

Just a thought -- Even with sunscreen, you may want to consider adding a bottle of aloe vera to your travel necessity list if you hadn't already. =)

Matthew Bradford said...

@ Shanna: Aack! Good point. I'll add it now. Thank you!

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