Photo: Liz Gregg/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Your wedding is approaching. The venue is booked, the dress is bought and the perfect menu is picked out, but you can't stop worrying. What if the flowers wilt? Your heel breaks? You get a pimple? The list seems endless. Every bride goes through these anxieties, but you can take action to safeguard against disaster on your big day.
We pulled out the detergent stick and went to town on the wine-stained dress. The wine disappeared and so did my bride's tears!
- Mindy Weiss, celebrity wedding planner
Mindy Weiss has planned pretty much every celebrity wedding you've heard about in the past few years. Heidi Klum and Seal? Check! Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale? Check! Remember Katy Perry and Russell Brand's Indian extravaganza involving elephants? That was Weiss. Nicole Richie's beautiful, stylish nuptials with Joel Madden? Weiss did that. Hilary Duff's classy ceremony in Santa Barbara? All Weiss. Duff actually chipped her front tooth on the morning of the ceremony and had to make an emergency trip to the dentist, yet still the wedding ran smoothly.
So what are the secrets to Weiss' wedding successes?
"One of my favorite must-haves at any wedding is a Tide detergent stick," Weiss said. She added this to her fix-it kit after a red-wine-toting guest hugged one of her brides, spilling a drink on her dress. "We pulled out the detergent stick and went to town on the wine-stained dress. The wine disappeared and so did my bride's tears!" Weiss said with a smile.
Another must-have? Safety pins. Wedding dress bustles often fall, and the stitching comes apart from all the movement, Weiss said, especially during the traditional Jewish Hora dance. Guests also step on the train more often than you'd think, particularly when they're a little tipsy.
"Garment tape is another little miracle," Weiss said. "It's fantastic for last-minute hems, stubborn bra straps and those strapless dresses that just won't stay up."
Florist Mark Held, of Mark's Garden, averts last-minute disasters with careful planning and attention to detail.
"The most important thing is to hire somebody that you trust, who has a good track record," he said. "Go to a florist who has a good wedding reputation."
Choosing floral elements involves more than just picking colors you like. "For example, if you're getting married outside in August, you're not going to want gardenias, because they're not going to hold up," Held said.
If you're set on fragile blooms in hot weather, Held advises that you have a backup bouquet: "You'll need one for pictures and one for the ceremony."
Ask your florist to have extra flowers on hand for last-minute additions. "We always have extra flowers because somebody says, 'Oh, we would like some in the ladies' room,' or 'Oh, we added a bridesmaid and I forgot to tell you,'" Held said. "If you have enough time, you can always fix any problem. No matter what the budget is, we always have some extra flowers on hand."
Lights, Camera, Action!
Every bride should have a pair of backup shoes in case grass, dirt or wine stains ruin the first pair. A handful of bobby pins for post-dancing messed-up hair also is recommended, along with a pack of oil blotting papers to tackle shiny foreheads and noses.
For the week leading up to the wedding, have a good dermatologist on standby if you're prone to pimples. When an actor or model gets a pimple before an important shoot, a dermatologist can zap it with a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling. It sounds drastic, but if the alternative is pimple-tarnished wedding photos, it's worth it.
If you have cold sores from time to time, pre-wedding stress can cause another one to pop up. Have a tube of antiviral cream on hand to stop the sore from developing further.
If all those nerves have you worried about sweat stains, head to the drugstore and pick up some deodorant marked "clinical strength" or "extra strength." Also have a small container of baby powder for added comfort when you have sticky summertime skin. It helps prevent sweat marks on the dress and absorbs perspiration on thighs and behind the crooks of your knees.
Finally, delegate! Assign responsibilities to members of your wedding party. If you aren't using a wedding planner, put the maid of honor in charge of the dress, the shoes and your personal emergency kit. Have the best man or your father take care of the music. Give another trusted person a list of your concerns and potential problems to head off.