Hey there brides! It's Risa, wedding day stylist. I'm here to help you with all things style for your big day, and the days leading up to it! Preparedness comes in so many forms, and often times it's in the things you don't think about. Prepping your wardrobe a couple days in advance might actually be the biggest wedding day flex a bride can boast, and we've got the inside track on why.
I was recently hired as a wedding day stylist to steam and prep wardrobe for an out of town bride. Due to schedule issues, I ended up taking the job two days before the wedding instead of the morning of, and I am SO glad I did. Not only was I able to prep everyone's rehearsal day attire, but I was able to give the bride some tips based on now knowing the fabric and styles everyone was wearing. It was quite possibly the most glorious thing for me as the service provider, as I wasn't trying to safety pin while steaming or problem solve on the fly in the chaos of the getting-ready suite. I was left alone to steam in silence, treat every garment with tender-loving care and put the bride (and her mother) at ease knowing their clothing was in tip-top shape for the weekend.
HOWEVER, I needed a LOT of time to attend to almost 30 articles of clothing, including (but not limited to) the groom's dad's friend's torn and wrinkled suit jacket. "I heard there was a lady steaming in here so I came to take advantage of that!" I heard as I carefully filled my steamer with distilled water (that's another tip, always use filtered or distilled water to extend the life of your steamer and prevent corrosion). I think I steamed over 12 people's articles of clothing that day and worked for 3+ hours JUST steaming and trimming tags/fine threads. But most importantly, I realized that a lot of people don't know how to pack their dressier clothing or even what to do when they get to their destination.
Very rarely is your wedding party thinking about HOW to pack their wedding day wardrobe, rather they're more concerned about IF it makes it into the suitcase (oh yes, we've actually witnessed a groom leave his custom suit in another city, and only discovered it when it was time to get dressed on the big day). I can no longer gate keep this vital information! Here are a couple tips for how to pack, hang wedding day attire properly, and decrease potential disasters and eliminate hours of prep if you do decide to hire a professional who charges by the hour.
1. Pack beaded, silk, satin and all nice gowns inside out. Chances are they are lined and the texture of the lining lays a lot more flat than the outer layer. This will also help prevent any staining or snagging that can happen if you're someone who just tosses things in a suitcase and hopes for the best (please, please make sure you let that curling iron cool before packing it and put your spiky stilettos in a dust bag!).
2. Pack everything as flat as possible. I know it's pretty when things are folded or you might live by a packing cube situation, but when it comes to decreasing wrinkles, the flatter the better.
3. There's a nifty little trick for suit jackets and how to fold them like a small cube if you're traveling in a carry on or duffel. We care about you, so please watch this video.
4. Remove your items from your suitcase and hang them properly. This is especially important for the wedding gown and veil if it's been packed and shipped or even crunched in a garment bag. If there's a train, it needs to be let out and should hang for as long as possible to prevent deep wrinkling. If the bridesmaid's dresses are satin, satin effect, silk or cotton - they will likely be wrinkled in a suitcase. Hang them on the proper hanger (if they are strapless and you don't have a clip hanger, weave them through the hanger bar or hang by hanger loops) and allow wrinkles to fall prior to steaming. If you don't have a steamer, make sure to have this wrinkle release spray on hand! The other reason we want to remove them immediately is to try them on and check for any flaws, missing hook & eyes, missed alterations or ill-fitting situations. If you didn't try your dress on with your shoes too...now is your chance. I'm telling you right now, most of the problems I solve as a wedding stylist are with the wedding party and it's because they never tried their whole look on and have "no clue" why their dress doesn't fit or didn't bring the proper undergarments. SAVE yourself the headaches and get your act together so you can make sure the day is only about the bride and groom!
5. Lastly make sure the hotel or the planner has what you need in the room if you don't hire a stylist. For instance, you'll need a hook or rack to hang long garments from, a steamer with distilled water, the proper hangers, plenty of space to work, and of course....a RESCUE KIT! Don't scramble in the last minute, this is a huge miss for people when they don't take the time to account for their wardrobe needs in advance.
I was so grateful for three full hours to trim hanger loops and tags, help mend minor seam tears and fabric runs, and go over my final tips with the bride two days before her wedding. She felt relaxed knowing it was all done and that even her guests were set when it came to looking and feeling good.
Photography: Marisa Belle Photography