Oh, so many things go into planning a wedding. You start by picking a date, but only after fielding countless requests from friends and family to avoid this date – “It’s my dog’s birthday” – and that date – “I have concert tickets to die for.” Then you pick a venue, but their linens and chairs are hideous. So you move to rental selections, but they need to know your seating arrangement to reserve tables.
On and on it goes until you’re elbow-deep in tulle and Jordan Almonds and you look up, dazed, having no idea how you got there. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
Before you get too deep in that taffeta-lined rabbit hole, check out these 12 tips that will save you from some of the more loathsome pitfalls in your wedding planning journey.
Make a Dedicated Wedding Email Address
Trust me when I say you do not want to spend the first two years of your new marriage unsubscribing from endless wedding websites. To avoid this, start off by creating a wedding email address and use it for nothing but the nuptials. It not only helps you keep all your wedding correspondence in one place, but it also prevents the aforementioned spam-nado from taking over.
Use Pantone Color Swatches
You may know what “dusty blue” looks like and you may think everyone else does too, but your florist or your baker or your stationer (not me of course, but perhaps some other stationer) may honestly think cornflower blue is the same thing. Gasp.
Avoid this potentially disastrous issue with this simple hack: pick your wedding colors from the Pantone Matching System (it’s free!). You can then provide your vendors with the color codes so everyone is on the same page about “dusty blue”.
Have Your Ring Professionally Cleaned
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed how many brides overlook this little task. It’s simple, usually free, and makes a huge difference in the shine and sparkle of your new rock. That translates to prettier pictures and more oohs and ahhs throughout the day!
Number your RSVPs with Invisible Ink
I know it sounds crazy, but bear with me. I can’t even tell you how many brides get a card in the mail with “we’d love to attend” checked, two plates of chicken ordered, and no names. Really. Of course, you could call everyone you invited that you’ve yet to hear from to try to figure out who your fowl-loving friends are.
Or, you can save yourself from this and number your RSVP cards with an invisible marker ahead of mailing. Have a spreadsheet with your guests listed and record which number they’re sent. That way, when one arrived back sans name, you can activate the ink and still tell who it belongs to. For a low-tech alternative, use a regular ol’ pen. No one will notice a tiny number on the back and if they do, I promise they won’t care.
Freeze Your Envelopes
Again, it sounds strange, but I promise it will make sense. You’ve spent three hours stuffing invites and your eyes are nearly crossed at this point. You glance over at the pile you’ve finished and realize you don’t know if you added the RSVP card to Uncle Ernie’s invite.
Instead of destroying a beautiful, hopefully *calligraphed* envelope, use this trick instead. Put the envelope in a sandwich bag, seal it up, and pop it in the freezer. An hour or so later, the glue will have released and you’ll be free to solve the mystery of the missing RSVP with no one the wiser.
Give Your Envelopes a Special Postmark
There are several towns in the US with romantic names (like Bridal Veil, OR). Believe it or not, these towns are more than happy to send your invites out for you. This way, your envelope postmark is as romantic as your nuptials. In fact, the only remaining business in Bridal Veil is the post office, for this very reason. Just box up your invites and ship them to the post office of your choosing with “wedding re-mailing” marked on the box. They’ll pull them out, stamp them, and send them along!
Pro tip: be sure to adjust your mailing timeline to accommodate the extra transit and processing times. Generally, a week or two will suffice. So, if you want your invites to mail by March 15, ship them to the post office by March 1 or so.
Check out the USPS site regarding this here. It’s targeted to Valentine’s Day, but the romantic nature holds true.
Sew your Bra into your Dress
As every woman knows, undergarments have a frustrating tendency to expose themselves at inopportune times. Naturally, standing at the altar with dozens, maybe hundreds of friends and family staring at you, not to mention the preacher, is about the worst time imaginable.
Avoid this by having your seamstress sew your bra into your dress. Not only does it prevent the dreaded wardrobe malfunction, but it also keeps your bra from riding south while you’re doing the Cupid Shuffle. No bride wants to spend her whole reception running to the bathroom to hike up her brasserie.
Sew Weights to your Dress and Veil
While you’re talking with your seamstress about keeping Victoria’s secrets, well, secret, ask about weights. This is especially valuable if you’re having an outdoor wedding or if you live in a windy area. They keep the wind from ruining perfect photos and can easily be hidden in the hem of your dress.
For your veil, hiding is nearly impossible, so don’t even try! There are actually weights produced specifically for veils that are masked as pearls, beads, and gems. So not only are they functional, but they’re beautiful too!
Prepare a Wedding Dress Emergency Kit
This is another one that seems super obvious, but countless brides overlook it. As part of your dress prep, compile an emergency kit to have on hand for the big day.
Be sure to include the following:
- Baby wipes for cleaning marks off your dress (just don’t use these on silk!)
- A Tide To-Go pen and a clean, white cloth for more stubborn marks
- Double-stick fashion tape
- Safety pins
- Needle and thread
- Super glue
- Lint roller
- Static guard