I was recently a guest at a wedding and realized just how many things we do for our brides, without even thinking about it, that help to make the day go by smoothly. Our team members each have a rolling suitcase (our “bride kits”) packed with everything from scotch tape to bug spray, cell phone chargers to pantyhose and pretty much everything in between- one of the many benefits of working with a planner is we are there to anticipate the unexpected and insure that the inevitable “bumps” of a wedding day do not turn in to major catastrophes… weddings are high emotion, little things turn into big things quickly without a calm voice of reason… but we digress…

If you’re working with a good planner this should be taken care of for you, but if you’re going it alone a well stocked bride kit is something that you will find to be invaluable. Here are a couple of tips for stocking your bride kit:

1. Sit down and give this some thought WELL before the wedding. The week of the wedding your mind will be in a million places and you will over look obvious things. Sit down a month out and make a list, then keep that list in a handy place so over the following weeks when you think of something you can jot it down before it pops out of your head.

2. Think through your day in chronological order, will you be back at your house after the salon? If not are you wearing (or do you have) the proper undergarments?… can’t tell you how many times that strapless bra gets left tucked in a drawer. Depending on how many places you’ll be it may make sense to pack “sub bags” within your big bag- what will you need at the salon? what will you need at the getting ready house or hotel? what will you need at the ceremony (right before and right after)? (HINT- lip gloss and deodorant are big here). Once you get to the reception site what will you need? A change of shoes for dancing? Cool breeze wrap or shrug? Fresh undies? (sound unnecessary? Better to have them and not use them than the other way around)
Another important “sub bag” is the next morning attire- if you’re going right from the reception to a hotel you’ll want to make sure to pack a change of clothes for the next morning… while it’s a far cry from a “walk of shame”, leaving a hotel at 11:00 AM in your wrinkled wedding dress is not an ideal exit…

3. Think travel size whenever possible… as you may be realizing this bag is going to be stocked… if you can avoid bringing your Costco size moisturizer, please, do so. Toothbrush (assume your groom will forget his), toothpaste, deodorant, all of these are available at your local drug store in travel sizes. Advil, Tums, bandaids, all things we hope you won’t need, but again better safe than sorry.

4. Take care of that dress! Have a mending kit, safety pins (those bustles are a bitch and the thin strings and tiny buttons often don’t hold up to your boogie down dance moves), scotch guard, double sided tape, white chalk (amazing the things this can cover up), lint brush… also, if you’re changing, bring the bag and hanger that your dress came on, this way it can be wrapped up safely rather than rolled into a bag.

5. Designate someone to be your bag lady; if you’re working with a planner this is her/him, if not your MOH, sister, cousin, mom, BFF… someone that is going to be with you throughout the whole day, and will love you despite lugging all of your crap around all day. Make sure they familiarize themselves with where things are so when you call for your Ruby Red Lip Gloss or your emergency panties they can get them to you quickly (and quietly).

6. MARRIAGE LICENSE!!!! This isn’t really a “bride kit” item, but always worth reminding about. Remember, the beach themed gift bags, the super cute signature drink signs from Etsy, the Gatsby style cocktail hour trio, and your Pinterest inspired Photo Booth/escort table/guest book… all of those details you’ve obsessed over for the last months, they’re all for naught if you don’t cross your “t”s and dot your “i”s on the important part. We highly recommend bringing this to the rehearsal and giving it to your officiant then, this way it is crossed off your list and you can focus on the fun stuff!

I had a dear friend who used to remind me of the importance of the 7 “p”s… “Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance”… as with life so is wedding prep… hopefully your day will be full of sunshine and roses and you never need a single thing, but I promise you that the knowledge that you have it if you need it will make you feel calm and comfortable and aid in creating that fun and carefree day you’re aiming for.
Happy Planning!