Big Day Checklist
With everything that goes into a wedding day and all the big things that need to be booked, organised, scheduled, dropped off, picked up....there are always lots of little details that are not even thought about on the morning itself. Before setting up Vintage Styler, I spent 8 years working as a bridal makeup artist and hair stylist, and over the years picked up quite a few little hints and tips from hundreds of brides!
This list originally started out as a wedding day checklist for a lovely but somewhat 'leave it to the last minute' friend, in which I have pooled all of my little tricks and advice I've picked up along the way into a mammoth list which I felt I just had to share with you. So here you go, a detailed blog of wedding morning tips and advice from someone who's been there on both sides, as a supplier and as a bride
Remove socks and bras early! You don't want wrinkles on your ankles if you're wearing a shorter dress, or red marks with a strapless or backless dress
- Wear a zip up, button up or wide necked top so that you can get changed easily. Dressing gowns are ok, but they can be a little bulky around the neck if they are a fluffy fabric and can make you very warm and uncomfortable!
- Make a timetable, or have your makeup artist/hair stylist create one for you as they will know how long they need for each person (do not be afraid to tell them if you want to change the timetable round a little to also suit your photographer and things you need to do yourself - it is your day). You can also ask your makeup artist and hairdresser to speak to each other to arrange your timetable, they need to work together to make sure things go to schedule for you. Make sure that everyone in the timetable sticks to their allocated time slot to make sure everything runs smoothly. Bridesmaids doing a disappearing act in a huge hotel with no signal on their phones can cause mayhem, honestly!
- Think about where is best to get ready. The kitchen may sometimes be the biggest room, but remember it is always where everybody congregates, and if there is cooking going on, you don't want the smell to catch in your hair. If you want peace and quiet, a bedroom out of the way might be a better option. More often than not, the more people there are around and the more noise there is, the more likely you are to get stressed and nervous. Ensure that you have lots of natural light either way though.
- A note about trials. If your mum or bridesmaids have not had a hair or makeup trial, make sure that either you or they have picked out styles and collected pictures of the look they would like, and that you have ok'd the style with your hairdresser (for time purposes and to make sure the style is possible with hair type/length). Last minute drastic changes of styles on the wedding morning can cause delays and stress all round!
- Allow extra time for everything. I always aimed to have everyone done an hour before the ceremony to get dressed and relax (depending on what time you need to leave the house) as something will always delay you a little. It is better to be early, as once your suppliers, maids and other family members have left, it allows you to have a little drink or just spend some time with your family in the quiet before you leave.
- Arrange for some calming music or an easy watching film (a wedding film would be perfect!) for some background noise as a distraction to calm nerves. (Unless you prefer the quiet!)
- The men. Make sure someone knows how to tie a cravat or bow tie
- Make sure someone knows how to fasten your buttonholes if your florist is not doing it. An easy way I used to remember who wears it where was 'Women are always right' so fasten your mum's on her right hand side, and men's on their left.
- Make space in a cool, out of the way area ready for your flowers
- Make sure your bridesmaids try on their dresses in the days leading up to the big day to make sure it fits, and test all zips to make sure they work properly. Make sure that the dress shop label each dress clearly as to which one belongs to who.
- Don't forget your garter if you are wearing one, I have heard that this is also worn on the right hand side but I don't think that there is any rule for this. Make sure that it fits you properly before you wear it, the last thing you want is for it to start falling down your leg during the day. *Remember that your lucky sixpence goes under your left shoe
- If your dress has lots of little buttons down the back, a much quicker way to fasten them is with a kirby grip to pull the loops around the button, especially if the loops are not elasticated and super difficult to pull around the button.
- Make sure your shoes and hairpiece are comfortable. Wear them both in before the day if you have any doubts. It is so important that your headband/tiara doesn't pinch, as it will create a dull headache the longer you try and wear it. Flex it out gently and place a little bit of cotton wool underneath it if it is a little tight.
- Nail polish remover can help to remove left over bits of stickers on the bottom of new shoes
- Heartbreaking as it may be, lightly scuffing the bottom of your new shoes can stop you from slipping down the aisle. Either wear them outside for a little while before the day, or if you forget, a cheese grater (very lightly) can do the trick!
- Shoes with lots of little embellishments over the top can catch in tulle or chiffon skirts. Paint over the crystals with a clear nail polish and let dry for a smooth finish
- Make a list of each of your supplier's phone numbers and give to your mum, maid or designated person! If a supplier is late or you have any questions, the last thing you want to do is to be worrying about searching for a number.
- Have someone in control of directing people on their way to the venue or church. I have had countless instances of family members and friends calling the bride to ask her to direct them in, or to give them the postcode of the place. Even to ask what time the ceremony starts. I promise this just causes stress so if you can, leave it to someone else
- Have someone in control of paying suppliers. Arrange all the payments due on the day into seperate envelopes and have someone take over this for you. If they don't insist on pre-payment, most suppliers will still accept payment in advance if you are happy to do so
- If you are getting ready in a hotel particularly, make sure you have food and drinks organised. It is so important that you eat both breakfast and a small lunch before you go, as more often than not it's a long time until you sit down to eat your wedding breakfast, especially if that time is filled with fizz.
- Think about umbrellas, if you're getting married in this country, no matter what month it is, it is always possible that it will rain.
- Check the dress and veil over for creases or snags. Hanging it in the bathroom in a little steam can help creases to drop out. We recommend to check it as soon as you get it home though, so you have time to have it professionally steamed if it needs it.
- Ladies with tattoos, if you do decide to cover them up for the day please have a practice first or check with your makeup artist that they can cover it. Time will need to be allowed for this as it's not a quick job.
- Place your engagement ring on the same finger on your opposite hand before you go, if it will fit. Otherwise have a bridesmaid look after it for you until after the ceremony
- Spray perfume on your wrists only and let dry, spraying onto the sensitive skin around your neck can cause redness.
- Have a bridesmaid or mum take the following bits for you in their bag, and then transfer them to your own bag (if you're having one) just before the meal: Kirby grips, mini hairspray, lipstick, face powder (and any other makeup), eyelash glue and tissues. I personally left all of these bits at my place on the table ready for when I sat down!
Checklist for maids...A few things to pack for the morning which could be a lifesaver:
Chalk (to cover any little marks on the bride's dress)
needle and thread
nail and eyelash glue
nail polish and file
lots of water
scissors ( for cutting tags off new clothes and veil )
Remember, that no matter how many hours you spend planning out schedules and checklists, it is very rare that the day will run exactly according to it, and after everything is over you probably won't notice the little things that didn't go as per the plan. But I'd like to think this list will give you a little help in making your day as perfect as it can be. Just relax, and enjoy!
Vintage Styler Founder