PLAN AHEAD A few weeks before the wedding, jot down a list of what you want to bring. Launder or dry-clean everything well in advance to avoid any last-minute emergencies. Pack a bit at a time, checking off items as you go. Hold on to the list in case your bag goes missing.
BY YOUR OWN SHERPA Pack light by choosing mix-and-match, neutral-colored clothes. Collect sample sizes of toiletries and wrap them in plastic to contain in-flight leaks. Put heavy items in the bottom of your suitcase, so it won't tip over.
WANT TO IRON ON VACATION? We thought not. Stick with wrinkleproof fabrics, such as Lycra and nylon. Turn muss-prone items like jackets inside out and roll them snugly into your case. To preserve trouser creases, put a T-shirt between folded pant legs. If clothes still get rumpled en route and you don't want to send them to your hotel laundry service, steam them in the shower.
HAVE A FOOTWEAR STRATEGY Replace your flip-flops with a pair of kitten heels, and your casual skirt and camisole ensemble gets dressed up. That said, shoes are heavy, so resist going overboard. And don't even think of breaking in those new stilettos now.
PACK A BAG IN THE BAG Stow an extra, foldable tote for carrying home your shopping finds. If you're having a destination wedding, you will probably need a large suitcase to haul back the gifts your guests will inevitably bring with them.
TAKE THE GOOD STUFF While hotels dole out lots of in-room extras, they don't always provide everything. Call ahead to inquire about flowers or music in the room. Bring ambience boosters like your iPod and speakers, candles, aromatherapy oils, or any other romantic accoutrements you enjoy.
KEEP IT TOGETHER Pack tickets, passports, jewelry, contraceptives, prescription drugs, snacks, and a change of clothes in your carry-on. If you're traveling to your wedding destination, never check your dress. If you can't stow it in the cabin, consider buying an extra seat for it (we're serious!) or using a shipping service like Luggagefree (800/361- 6871; www.luggagefree.com).
WHY NOT CARRY IT ON? Rolling 22-inch suitcase with removable organizer, snap-out pockets, and shoe bags, $550, by Tumi (800/322-8864; www.tumi.com).