At most weddings, I have my ducks in a row. I have my gear, my notes, my schedule at the ready. 99 percent of the time, all goes well.
But the moments that stay with me the longest are the ones that make me want to smack myself. The careless little oversights that become big regrets. I’ve run out of charged batteries… lost a cable I needed… forgot to wear a belt… forgot the groom’s name.
It doesn’t happen often, but any time I realize I’ve neglected a key detail, I feel my heart leaping into my throat. So far, I’ve managed to avoid catastrophe. But that’s not the point. Each unprepared moment leaves a mark.
Because I dread that heart-leaping sensation, I now keep a long, ever-evolving checklist that I run down systematically the night before each wedding. This list is my guru. My sherpa. I bow down before this list. It has saved me on countless occasions from heart-in-throat syndrome.
Sure, I still make the occasional mistake. But thanks to this list, I will not make the same mistake twice.
Next Principle: Reduce Stress for Others.