Photo: Heather Kincaid
The saying "It's always better to be safe than sorry" couldn't ring more true than on your wedding day. While you can hope and pray a mishap doesn't happen all you want, you might as well be prepared for one just in case. With that said, here are eight last-minute wedding tips to put in your pocket for when the time arrives.
1. Keep your wedding photos and fiancé looking fresh by packing an extra dress shirt
Unless a hot and sweaty man just does it for you (hey, to each her own!), Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques, always advises brides to bring a second dress shirt for the groom to change into after the ceremony and formal photos to avoid dreaded pit stains.
2. Bring diaper pins to strategically fix a broken French bustle
Don't let a little dance-floor disaster (which happens more often than you might think) ruin your night! A button-loop bustle may be harder to fix, but it can be done, assures Malone. "Get underneath your dress and pick up the train that is dragging. Now twirl it, much like you would rat-tail a towel, and tie it in a knot as high up as you can get it. This will give the illusion of a little bustle boost where the knot is, plus it'll prevent you from tripping and breaking your neck when you get back out on the dance floor." The knot should be well hidden beneath the outermost layer of the dress, instructs Malone.
3. Organize all your wedding items and decor in clear plastic bins
And label them for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception, says event planner Kristine Cholakian, owner of Simply Charming Socials in Atlanta. "This way, you can keep all the items you accumulate over the course of your engagement in one place." She also recommends taping a list of contents to the top of each box so that when your big day does finally arrive, your coordinator and/or any helpers have an instant checklist of what to pack up at the end of the night.
4. Create a wedding-party contact sheet in advance
Remember to give a copy to your planner, day-of coordinator, and/or your designated point of contact for the day of the wedding. "The sheet should include email addresses and phone numbers for the entire wedding party, key family members' and any VIPs so that missing groomsman or crazy aunt who's running late can be tracked down easily," notes Nicole R. Matthews, founder of The Henley Company. "I also use the contact information to share timelines, a schedule of events, and what to wear so we can ensure everyone is on the same page!" On the flip side, you'll want to be sure your go-to girls (maid-of-honor, mom, etc.) have your planner's info on hand as well.
5. Ask your florist to deliver the bouquets sitting in water
This is particularly important during the sweltering summer months, says Lynn Jawitz, owner of Florisan Wedding and Event Design in NYC. "Use a clipper to cut the bouquets down to the size they should be right before they're needed for photos. Keeping flowers hydrated and 'drinking' as long as possible will reduce the stress on them on a hot day and help them last throughout the wedding."
6. Practice walking the right way in your dress
To avoid a trip (literally) down the aisle when walking in a long gown, the wearer should always kick the fabric straight forward with the same foot that's about to take the step right before taking it, advises Jawitz. "This creates room for the step to occur, and in turn, prevents you from walking up inside the front of the dress," she explains. Practice makes perfect!
7. Keep your workouts light the week before the wedding
You don't want to wind up pulling a muscle, warn Jennifer Arreguin and Natasha Burton, event planners and co-founders of Swoon California. "Also, no biking or running on city streets," they recommend. "One trip and fall and you've got a huge scab on your arm, which actually happened to a friend of ours a couple days before her big day.".
8. Pack a portable steamer
Or check with your venue to see if it will one on hand the day of, say Burton and Arreguin. "Even a limo ride can cause wrinkles!"