If you can solve a 'problem' in a smart and unconventional way, it is also called a life hack. It makes life so much easier. Most of us only plan their wedding once, but some people have made it their profession ;-). Like me. I love to share some clever and useful tips with you that I have learned over the years (read more than 9 years) through my work as a wedding planner. There are quite a few, but ohh so handy, so take a moment to read them or save them for later if you have some more time.
1. Make sure your veil does not blow away by attaching weights on your veil. On the beach it can often be quite windy and nothing is more frustrating than needing to hold your veil when you walk down the aisle. You had not bought such a beautiful veil for that. In the Netherlands I have not really been able to find them, but if you search for ‘veil weights' on Etsy, you will find a lot.
2. To the toilet with your wedding dress. There are two ways that make it easier to go to the toilet with your gorgeous wedding dress:
3. Bring a hand steamer for your clothing with you! As a wedding planner, I know how many times the wedding dress gets wrinkled out of the bag or the blouse of the groom still needs to be ironed. Especially for a wedding abroad it is useful to always bring a hand-held steamer (I always have it with me!).
4. Towel wipes for little ones: Did you know that stains in the dress can often easily be removed by baby wipes? Easy to get at the supermarket or chemist.
5. Have your bra sewed in your wedding dress: This way your dress and your bra will always stay put and you will never have to hoist because your bra suddenly appears above your dress.
6. Always bring safety pins with you. To pin the wedding dress if it has a drag, so you can dance and move freely. The strings they make in a bridal fashion store are never strong enough because people always accidentally stand on your dress. Safety pins are great! I also often attach the bra to the wedding dress too with safety pins (should it not be sewn in).
7. Prevent ladders in your panty by throwing them in the freezer. Rinse your panty with water, wring it out, put it in a plastic bag, put the panty with bag in the freezer for a night and then let it come to room temperature. You only have to do this once and really work. Incidentally, there are also ladder-free tights from Kunert. Of course you can get a hole in it (if you act really crazy ;-)), but due to the special weaving technique you immediately have a ladder stop so you can not get a ladder. If you still have a ladder in your panty, in addition to nail polish, hairspray also works to 'stop' it.
8. Grooms, wear a skin-colored t-shirt under your shirt. You can prevent seeing your white t-shirt underneath your shirt by wearing a skin-colored shirt underneath.
9. Walk some in your wedding shoes. Shoes wear the best if you have regularly walked in them. Now, of course, you do not want to have worn your wedding shoes too much. So last minute shoe stress: Put on a big sock, put on your wedding shoes and blow-dry your shoes so they mold to your feet.
10. Scrub the bottom of your shoe soles. Most wedding shoes are completely smooth from the bottom, so you also have the biggest chance you can slide out. This worst-case scenario can be prevented by 'rubbing' the bottom of your soles with some sandpaper. Grove pavement tiles actually have the same effect.
11. If you are getting married outdoors and you have stiletto heels, purchase heel protectors. So your heels will not break, and you will not 'sink' into the sand, gravel or grass. Also handy for your guests.
12. Envelope box. Do not forget, even if you have not asked for money, people always want to give you a wedding card. The best thing is an envelope box with a lock attached to it (give it to your master of ceremonies). A budget DIY tip is for example making an envelope box of several sizes of boxes. At the Hema they sell those 3-pack cardboard boxes. Make sure that you cut the bottom over the entire width (1cm edge to stick) of the upper boxes. If you use this you should not close it completely because sometimes people have quite large cards and then you can take the lid off and put the card in it. It is also advisable to temporarily empty the envelope box and store it safely (ask the location if they have a safe for this).
13. Label gifts. Often, guests take a gift and a card. Make sure that the card is stuck to the gift so you know that these belong together or stick a sticker on the gift where you can write the names of the givers. Your master of ceremonies will do this with love!
14. Open a wedding bank account. This helps you to save for the wedding, but also to keep a clear overview of your budget and expenses (and down payments). And you can ask the guests to transfer the money in stead of bringing the requested envelope to the wedding. Better safe than sorry I always say.
15. Check RSVP with the Save the date. Most people only ask their guests to subscribe or unsubscribe with the final invitation. However, this is about 6-8 weeks before the wedding. Much better and more convenient is to do this immediately with the save the date card. You know exactly how many guests you have, how many chairs you have to order, which name cards, how many menu cards, how many rows at the ceremony, how many give aways to order, you can make the final seating of the dinner etc. This saves a lot of stress just before the wedding because you can order it well in advance with the correct number (tip: it is always handy to order some extra).
16. Prevent confusion by addressing the envelope only to the invited guests. So do not write family ter Huurne, but write Vivian ter Huurne, otherwise guests think that their children are invited too. Provide clear communication that prevents disappointments or confusions.
17. Attach the envelopes with a personalized sticker. Saves a lot of time and a dirty tongue ;-).
18. Hot summer weather: make an SOS kit for guests on the toilet. Containing absolute must-have: sunscreen, anti-mite spray, after-bite, mints, deodorant, paracetamol. Your guests will be grateful!
19. How to cool your champagne quickly: Fill a tub with water, ice cubes and a lot of salt (depending on how much you want to cool, but you definitely need half a pack). The salt, which causes a chemical reaction, accelerates the cooling process (salt also lowers the freezing point of the water, making it colder more quickly). It is important that you add cold water so the bottles are completely surrounded by water. Your champagne will be ice-cold within half an hour.
20. Keep wine cool with frozen fruit. It looks good and does the same job as an ice cube.
21. You get red wine stains out of your cloths with white wine or salt. Widely known but still indispensable in the wedding life hacks.
22. Get red wine stains from your teeth and lips with sparkling water. The bubbles sparkle the tannins of your lips and teeth.
23. Being quickly emotional, ask your makeup artist for waterproof mascara.
24. Buy blotting paper. Blotting paper is paper that removes excessive oil from your skin. Dab it on the areas where your skin glows. Without your makeup being ruined. Very handy!
25. Lubricate your upper legs with talcum powder or deodorant. For if you are not blessed with a gap between your legs, it can irritate when it is very hot and your legs go past each other. Talcum powder on the inside of your legs or deodorant helps enormously so it will not irritate.
26. Create your own wedding mail address. This ensures order in your mailbox and everything within relates with the wedding. Also useful for RSVPs. Make sure you create a separate folder for this.
27. Put all your wedding documents on google docs. That way you can always have access to all the documents. Also making an excel sheet (put this in your google drive) with everything of the wedding. From the budget, guest list to a checklist. Wedding couples from het Bruidsmeisje get a complete excel document in which we can plan the whole wedding: so handy!
28. Create a personalized wedding website. Nowadays we are all digitally oriented. The wedding card (and letter from the masters of ceremonies) often goes missing or you forget to bring it with you (abroad). And how nice is it that you always have all the details within reach, from the address, parking information, route, dress code, filling in the RSVP, the program. Your guests will thank you! P.S. did you know that all bridal couples of het Bruidsmeisje get their own wedding website?
29. Put the pages of your script in a show folder with front view. That works so much more convenient than a staple in your script or in an ordinary folder. You quickly browse through it, your pages do not get dirty and you can easily open them if you are laying out the name cards for the dinner session.
30. Process a facebook in your wedding script. Provide good-looking photos (without sunglasses) from the most important people. This way you can be sure that the wedding celebrant will appeal to the right people, your master of ceremonies will be able to personally speak to these people and the photographer knows who they should not forget to put extra on the photo.
31. Make a dinner seating with post-its. In the beginning you want to slide a bit with the seating chart. By cutting out the tables and writing the names of all the guests on those narrow colored post-its, you can slide very easily and move people until you have come up with the perfect seating! This works well for both round and straight tables. Then process it in excel.
32. Place the dinner name cards for the day in order per table. That saves so much work if you have this neatly in order. Then your master of ceremonies or wedding planner is ready in no time and he / she has time for other things.
33. Changing during dinner? Provide name cards with numbers. On the dinner session, the names correspond to the numbers and where they are the first and second rounds. Make sure the numbers are ascending the various tables, that makes it the easiest. Make sure that the guests also bring their cutlery, glass and napkin. Actually, it is most convenient if only the bride and groom changes during dinner with another couple.
34. Process dietary requirements and allergies in the seating. Do not forget to inventory these with your guests and your crew. Make sure that the seating that you make for your guests includes the dietary requirements. This is easier for the operation with serving.
35. Creating program fans with ice sticks. They are indispensable for a hot summer day: the fans. And how cool is it if you incorporate it into the theme of the day and make program fans out of it. Two birds with one stone. You can order them through cotton bird and then make them yourself. In this video I explain how to assemble these program fans of cotton bird.
36. Budgettip: Make sure your location with food and drinks is max 50% of your budget. For day guest, you will pay an average of € 100 per person and for an evening guest € 40. Then you also know how many guests you can invite.
37. This may sound a little crazy, but make sure you do not eat any dairy products, onions or very greasy food just before the wedding. That causes a bloated feeling and then you feel slightly less happy in your wedding dress.
38. Make sure you wear a blouse with buttons in the morning during preparations. Then you do not have to pull your shirt or dress over your head and do not mess up your make-up and hair ;-)
39. Spray perfume in your hair. Then your favorite scent will stick the longest. Also on your wrists and behind your ears.
40. Make sure that the styling per part is in one box and write on the front what is in it. So make a separate box for the ceremony, including f.e. the name cards, happy tears handkerchiefs, program fans, ring box, children's certificate. And write this on the top of the box. Specific wishes? Then make a picture of how you want something to stand or lie and print it out and stick it on the front of the box.
41. What else to bring in your emergency kit:
42. Put some vaseline around your ring finger just before the wedding ceremony. Because of the nerves and the warm weather, your fingers often swell and putting on the wedding rings can sometimes be difficult. Or make sure that one of the witnesses has a tube of vaseline on hand just in case.
43. If you get married outside always provide amplified music and a microphone for the wedding official. Outside noise evaporates very quickly and even if you are with a small group, a microphone and amplified music is still advisable.
44. Make sure the wedding official's speech does not blow away by securing it with clothespins. Also to prevent leaves to turn over.
45. Avoid a receiving line by asking for it at the end of the ceremony. As a wedding planner, I always make a few announcements at the end of the ceremony. You could also ask your wedding official, for example. Then people know exactly what will happen after the ceremony. If you ask the guests not to queue and to say that the bride and groom are walking around after the ceremony, you will avoid a queue. Make sure that everyone immediately gets a piece of cake and a drink, by first doing the toast moment, cutting the cake and then walking around for the congratulations. That works best!
46. Freezing the top piece of your wedding cake? Place the wedding cake unprotected in the freezer for 20 minutes. Then pack with 3 layers of foil. If you later remove the cake for the freezer, the foil will not stick to the outside of the wedding cake.
47. How do you know if everyone has written in the guest book? Put a piece of paper next to the guestbook where people can tick the checkbox with their name, so you know for sure if everyone has written in the guest book and otherwise your master of ceremonies can go specifically along these guests.
48. Is your dream location a bit difficult about the noise level? A silent disco can be a very cool alternative! You can even put multiple channels on the headphones. Ask your DJ for advice what is possible within the noise limit that the location indicates.
49. Lighting a dark path to the location from the parking lot with cool LED balloons. Style the path nicely with balloons along the path during the day and in the evening they walk along the LED lights that you have put into them. Make sure the LED lights are strong enough!
50. Do not book your honeymoon right after your wedding day. It's nice to be able to go home, store presents safely, read all the cards and not even have to bring your honeymoon suitcase to your wedding location (where you might also are staying overnight). This saves a lot of stress if you leave one day later.