You've been preparing for these moments for some time now. Your bridal party, your rehearsal dinner, the bachelorette and bachelor parties - they are all special moments that lead up to the big day.
What makes these events more challenging for most brides to be is that their success depends on the coordination of many factors. These include choosing the right venues, making you hire all the necessary services, packing emergency kits for the future bride and groom, and simply enjoying the present moment with those you love.
To ensure you don't forget anything, and things run as smoothly as possible, read our tips and tricks!
Your bridal party plays a significant role when it comes to bringing the details of the day together and making you feel special. These are some honored spots that are reserved for those closest to you, so it’s a good idea to choose carefully.
Keep reading to learn about the history and roles of the bridal party, plus some memorable gifts you can give them to show how much they mean to you.
The idea of the bridal party dates back to Roman times, where a law required witnesses to be present at a wedding. The exact number was 10; five bridesmaids and five groomsmen.
Today, bridesmaids and groomsmen still play an essential role in the ceremony and the festivities surrounding it.
Bridesmaids are there to offer support to the bride-to-be and help make her life more comfortable during the planning stages of the wedding. They also plan and execute the bridal shower and bachelorette party and play significant roles in the ceremony and wedding reception.
Similarly, the groomsmen are involved in the planning, bachelor party, ceremony, and reception on behalf of the groom.
Among the various pre-wedding parties that are part of a traditional wedding, the bridal shower and bachelor party tend to stand out.
The bridal shower is a chance for all the women in the wedding party to celebrate the bride-to-be.
The bachelor party is a chance for the groomsmen and groom-to-be to get together and celebrate the end of his life as a bachelor, sending him off into his new married life.
Many bridal showers today follow specific themes, which can add to the whimsy and excitement of the event.
Your shower is a time for you to relax and unwind as the wedding day approaches, and it’s a good idea to communicate your wishes to your bridesmaids when it comes to a theme and how you’d like the shower to go.
Some popular bridal shower themes include:
After all of their hard work and support, it only makes sense that you would give gifts to the bridesmaids and groomsmen in your wedding party. Depending on your budget, some good ideas for the ladies include:
For the guys, you might consider:
One element leading up to your wedding day that is more important than many brides-to-be realize is the rehearsal. This is your chance for a dry run through what will be the most important day of your life.
Your wedding rehearsal is a perfect opportunity to run through the ceremony before the big day, making sure everyone knows where they need to be at each moment and working out any kinks ahead of time.
Here are some essential points to cover during your wedding rehearsal:
The processional (entrance) and recessional (exit) are two of the more essential components of your wedding, and two you want to get right.
Many experienced wedding planners believe that the rehearsal should start in the middle when everyone is already in place in the church or venue. This way, everyone can get the feel of where they need to be during the ceremony right from the start.
After it’s clear where all the people should be, then you can practice the recessional, covering the order in which everyone should leave.
The processional can be practiced last, which should be easy now that everyone knows where they need to be for the ceremony. You will have to figure out the order when entering the venue, but the placement will already be figured out.
Determining the seating plan ahead of time makes the rehearsal process more manageable and will help the ceremony flow when it’s the real thing.
There are several possibilities when it comes to seating everyone at your wedding, but you will want to make sure both sets of parents can see the faces of the bride and groom during the ceremony.
Ideally, all close family members should be able to see your faces as you exchange vows.
During the rehearsal, as you go through the ceremony draft, make a point of reading the headings out loud. This way, everyone in attendance will have an idea of the order of the ceremony. It will also help remind you to include any items that need to be there during the service, like tables or candles.
It’s probably a good idea not to read the vows during the rehearsal so they will be fresh and exciting on the wedding day.
If you aren’t interested in following a traditional wedding ceremony, feel free to mix things up and make it your own.
The rules that state where everyone should sit and the order in which things should happen aren’t set in stone.
You would be hard-pressed to find a bride that didn’t expect her hair and makeup to be pristine on her wedding day. Every little detail goes into creating your overall stunning look, and hair and makeup are there for everyone to see, so they need to be perfect.
You may already know how you want your hair to look and what tones and shades you’ll be wearing for makeup, but you still have to make it happen. When it comes to hair and makeup, the “how” is often the most challenging aspect of creating your perfect wedding look.
One option is to have both your hair and makeup done onsite. This is likely the most convenient way to go, as it will all be there in one place, and you can show up and let everyone get to work.
You also won’t have much traveling to do after the fact, which will help ensure both hair and makeup are intact when the big moments come.
Two downsides to this are the adverse effects on your budget and the fact that your hair and makeup team may not be familiar with the intricacies of your hair or your face.
If you crave familiarity, then working with your regular stylist is a good idea. When you use your regular stylist, you can feel confident in their work, and you know what to expect.
They have experience with your hair, so there won’t be any last-minute surprises or issues when time is of the essence. Using your regular stylist will also be more cost-effective in most cases.
If you typically have issues wearing makeup for long periods, then you might want to consider spray foundation, also known as airbrush foundation.
Spray foundation helps to minimize any imperfections in your skin and will last for fifteen hours or more, making it ideal for a long wedding day. It also helps your photographers because there is less need for touchups before your photos are taken.
If you are hiring a hair and makeup team to get you ready for your special day, there are some questions you should ask to make sure everyone is on the same page. They include:
You should know if they have other events that day or if they are on a specific schedule and plan to leave at a particular time.
Sometimes, with the first reveal and other elements of the wedding day, the hair and makeup need to be completed quite early in the morning.
Saving money is always a good thing when planning a wedding, and many stylists and makeup teams offer discounts for the whole party.
Troubleshooting should be on your mind as you make the final preparations for your wedding day. You don’t want anything to go wrong, but things happen, and it’s better to be prepared than scrambling for a solution that may not show up.
For both the bride and groom, having an emergency kit packed and ready to go can provide you with peace of mind and potentially get you out of a tight jam.
Here are some must-have to include in your emergency kits:
In your emergency kit for brides, you should have things like:
In your emergency kit for grooms, you should include:
Even though this may seem like overkill and repetitive between the two kits, this is one day you don’t want to take any chances. You have no idea if a problem will arise when the two of you aren’t together, so don’t just assume you can borrow from each other’s kit if needed.
When in doubt, overpack rather than under pack. It won’t hurt anything to have extra, but it could certainly cause some stress and scrambling around if you need something and don’t have it. A poorly packed emergency kit could also interfere with your wedding day timeline if you need to take extra time.
As long as you remember to include the emergency kit when you are working out the details of the big day, then you’ll be covered for any small, unforeseen problems. What could have ended up being an unfortunate and forgettable part of your wedding day will be nothing more than a minor inconvenience.