During my years of wedding planning you would think that I have seen it all and that is why I always come prepared! From super gluing together the Mother-of-the-Bride's shoe, to literally sewing a bridesmaid into her dress because the zipper malfunctioned to creating a French bustle out of 10 safety pins, I have experienced it all and lived to plan another day!
I bring a massive Bridal Emergency Kit to all of my weddings and almost every single wedding I plan I add one more thing needed to the kit. Here is a comprehensive list of the essentials to pack in your Bridal Emergency Kit (but if I am planning your wedding you can skip it because I always come with my Bridal 911 Kit in tow!) Having these items on hand can make a wedding day emergency into no-big-deal!
1) Wisps - brides love these little disposable toothbrushes. Sometimes I offer the groom or father of the bride one right before go time too!
2) Listerine Breath Strips - because Mimosa breath is terrible!
3) Altoids - Some people prefer these instead.
4) Safety pins - all different sizes. Almost EVERY wedding at least one is needed. These are also good when you need to reinforce a dress bustle.
5) Sewing Kit - with different color threads. Because yes, I have had to sew a girl into her dress before.
6) Eyelash Glue - for eye lashes of course but you can glue a small dot to the triceps to help hold your veil out as you walk down the aisle.
7) Pain Medication - I keep Advil, Tylenol and Goody's Headache Powder (for the hungover groomsmen)
8) Tums & Pepto Bismal - I pack the chewable tablets for more convenience.
9) First Aid Kit - with bandaids, neosporin, benadryl, ice pack, etc.
10) Bister Bandaids - different sizes
11) Tide Togo Pens / Shout Wipes - I also have to restock these all the time!
12) Lint Roller - because pompas grass sheds!
13) Spray deodorant - I pack the spray type for sanitary reasons.
14) Pair of Black Socks - because groomsmen forget theirs.
15) Bobby Pins - different sizes & colors
16) Lavender Essential Oil - for calming brides down or headache relief
17) Tissue Packets
18) Hardware / Tool Kit - Super Glue, Picture Hanging Kit, Hot Glue Gun, Hot Glue, Hammer, Leatherman Tool, Zip Ties, Etc.
19) Feminine Products
I love working with couples that truly think about their guests! It seems like a simple concept to make sure your guests have a great time at your wedding but we have all been to weddings that might have missed the mark in small ways or sometimes completely. I recently wrote a blog about "How to be a gracious wedding guest" so I wanted to offer a different perspective. how-to-be-a-gracious-wedding-guest-my-pet-peeves-as-a-planner.html Here are 10 things to consider for your guests!
1. Plenty of Notice - Save-the-dates are always a nice way to let your guests know in advance what your plans are. Save-the-Date card should be sent 6 to 9 months in advance.
2. Easy way to RSVP - While mailing formal invitations is the standard wedding etiquette, it is also smart to send email invites or have an online Wedding Website that guests can refer to to leave their RSVP. My favorite wedding websites to suggest are www.zola.com , www.minted.com , www.withjoy.com
3. Wedding Day Specifics - Speaking of wedding websites, leave guests with specific wedding day information of what they can expect. Detail the day with a simple day-of timeline, detailed directions with landmarks to the ceremony & reception locations.
4. Ceremony Grace Period - It is smart to sandbag your ceremony start by about 15 minutes. Almost 98% of weddings I have been a part of have had guests who show up only a few minutes late and hope to sneak into the back of the ceremony. For example, I usually suggest that the invitation lists the ceremony start at 4:00pm knowing fully well that you will not start the ceremony until 4:15pm. Work this out with your planner or ceremony venue but it is the best way to make sure everyone is seated and ready without the distraction of guests who made a wrong turn sneaking in the back of the ceremony.
5. Feed Them! - I cannot repeat this enough. If you are taking even a few minutes for pictures right after the ceremony make sure that you are feeding the guests with some light hor s'doeurves. Another time period to consider is the wait time it takes to get to the buffet at the reception. Make sure your caterer or planner has planned out ample space for the guests to get food, create multiple stations or double sided buffets that feed a lot of people quickly. Having the Caterer serve the food from the buffet directly on to their plates also helps the buffet line move quickly.
6. Sunset Pics - As a planner I have never more embarassed for a couple than when the Bride & Groom slipped off to do some sunset pictures during their reception and ended up alienated the guests for far too long. The dance floor cleared and guests started to leave or began looking around for the Bride & Groom. The DJ continuted to play music but the awkward feeling in the room was palpable. I love sunset pictures but the happy couple should not be missing from the reception for more than 10 minutes. Guests have traveled from near and far to celebrate with you by all means you need to celebrate with them.
7. Dietary Needs - Take into account any dietary restrictions that guests might have either by serving a variety of options or having a prepared special meal for stricter dietary needs. Any caterer should be able to accomodate this.
8. Kiddos - There is nothing wrong with limiting your guestlist to adults-only but if you will have kids attending make sure you are thinking of them with things like menu items and activities. You can even book a special kids room if available at your venue for the kids to retreat to complete with a hired sitter so their parents can enjoy the party.
9. Transportation - Given the location of your venue and if your guests will be drinking it is smart to provide transportation to and from the event. This takes a bit more coordination and more budget but guests truly appreciate the thought and can let down their hair down a bit more.
10. Gift Table - Thank you notes (of course!) But also during the event, provide ink pens and scotch tape at the gift table. Some guests forget to tape their card to the gift and everything gets lost in the shuffle at the end of the night so if the card is taped to the gift you will be able to know who it is from and also how to write the thank you card. Ink pens are good for the guests that hasn't filled out their card until they get there. You know who you are!
HOW TO BE A GRACIOUS WEDDING GUEST
by Rebecca Jackson
As a planner I've watched and observed wedding guests behavior for over 20 years. And let me tell you... I have seen it all. Everything from a guest wearing white to the stepmom-zillas to the drunken groomsmen lighting things on fire. There is an art to the right wedding guest etiquette. Its situational but its also common sense. Here is a list of my top pet peeves as a wedding planner.
1. GIFTS - Send a gift ahead of the wedding. Brides have enough to pack up at the end of the night and packing up 75 large wedding gifts is too much after a long wedding day. If you don’t have time to order and direct ship a gift from the couple’s registry then just give a simple card with a gift card or monitary gift on the wedding day.
2)BE ON TIME - I cannot stress this enough. My pet peeve is watching late wedding guest try to sneak into the ceremony. If you haven’t made it on time for the ceremony just wait in your car for the ceremony to end or go ahead and drive to the reception venue. Don’t try to sneak into the intimate moments of the ceremony, it’s not about you.
3)PUT AWAY THE PHONE - Don’t whip out your phone (or camera) during the ceremony. Couples want you be present with them during their vows not taking sub par photos from your phone. They have hired a photographer to capture every moment… don’t let the photographer capture you holding up your phone during the ceremony.
Seriously, it’s rude.
4)BE PATIENT- You will be fed (I promise) at a wedding. Don’t jump the gun and help yourself to the food before your table has been dismissed to the buffet.
5)DON’T GET DRUNK - Please don’t be the guest that has to get sick in the bathroom or has a pyramid of beers stacked up at the table.
6)DRINK WHAT IS PROVIDED - Don’t bring your own alcohol Iike airplane bottles of booze or flask. It’s like by bringing your own you are saying “what the host has provided isn’t good enough for me.”
7)DANCE TO THE MUSIC PROVIDED. The couple has curated a playlist with the DJ and doesn’t need you to interject with your special song request.
8)DON’T TALK DURING TOASTS/ SPEECHES - Just listen, these are special moments.
9)CAKE TIME - Please don’t egg on the bride & groom to smear cake on each other’s faces. It’s not funny or cute. It’s awkward for everyone and she paid a lot of money for that wedding makeup. If she doesn’t want that to happen she has told her groom not to do that ahead of time. Let it go.