pack a complete invitation suite

nautical wedding invitation, seahorses, dreamy elk photography and design

Welcome to the fifth & final installment in this series of items that can easily get overlooked on wedding days!

1. Prepping Your Wedding Dress & Veil
2. Pack an Overnight Bag
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
4. Pack Your Jewelry & Special Accessories Bag
5. Pack a Complete Invitation Suite

I'm sure you've spent countless hours scrolling through wedding blogs & magazines & drooled over more than a few images.

Those photos of the wedding invitation all laid out just perfectly with the silk ribbon & the flowers surrounding it? 

That doesn't just happen! It was planned!

pack a complete invitation suite

If you want these photos (& not everybody does, I know), the only way it happens is if you pack a complete invitation suite for the wedding day.

I've found that it's easiest to put that invitation in that same bag as your specialty items that I talked about last week. The invite & envelope, the RSVP card & envelope, the Accommodations card, Thank You cards, Save the Date (if you want). Pack it all!

Does your invitation have a design on the back of each card? Include two or three sets.

Did you have a calligrapher hand write all of your addresses? Include an envelope that hasn't been through the mail yet. This may mean you need to request a special envelope for this photo specifically. 

Coming soon is a blog post that gives some pointers for adding a little bit of an editorial flair to photos.

nautical wedding invitation, seahorses, dreamy elk photography and design

pack your jewelry & special accessories bag

wedding jewelry and perfume photo {dreamy elk photography and design}

Welcome to the fourth installment in this series of items that can easily get overlooked on wedding days!

1. Prepping Your Wedding Dress & Veil
2. Pack an Overnight Bag
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
4. Pack Your Jewelry & Special Accessories Bag
5. Pack a Complete Invitation Suite

Your jewelry will complete your bridal look & forgetting a piece or losing a piece in your suitcase is no fun. (Can I throw in a "Frost yourself" reference here??)

My best advice as a bride is to pack all of your specialty items in one bag, not spread out across a few suitcases.

Shoes, jewelry, garter, & any additional hair accessories should all go into in a bag that you can hand to your photographer for stylized photos.

You've chosen a specific scent for your wedding day & have a beautiful new bottle of perfume. Include that! Your grandmother is lending you a hand embroidered handkerchief she held at her wedding? Include that! You ordered a customized hanger for your wedding dress? Include that!

I always request that my brides do this, primarily for myself to help photos get started as soon as possible. When I arrive at a wedding, the first photos I like to capture are the stylized shots of the wedding jewelry primarily so I'm not having to take them off of the bride later.

Having a bride hand me that bag means no frantic searching through a suitcase to find the necklace. No chasing down the grandmother to find the handkerchief. Everything was already packed into one little bag. As the bride, I realized how stressless it was to pack it a few days prior & hand it off with confidence.

The one piece that's usually missing from this bag is the wedding ring or both of them. Best Men are usually in charge of the rings & given those the night before the wedding to guard until the big moment. In cases where the guys are not at the venue yet or the groom's room is just too far away, I postpone the ring shots until later in the day (sometimes during the reception), so don't be surprised if I approach you later to ask for the rings. I'll give them back...I promise...

wedding jewelry, detail photo {dreamy elk photography and design}

pack an emergency kit

Welcome to the third installment in this series of items that can easily get overlooked on wedding days!

1. Prepping Your Wedding Dress & Veil
2. Pack an Overnight Bag
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
4. Pack Your Jewelry & Special Accessories Bag
5. Pack a Complete Invitation Suite

I love the opening scene of The Wedding Planner. J Lo strides around the church effortlessly adjusting a bridesmaid's dress with a clothespin & calms a weeping & slightly inebriated father of the bride, all with a smile of confidence on her face.

You, too, can have that same confidence.

Bridesmaids & groomsmen, pay attention! You can be the most prepared attendant ever by showing up with these items! Brides & grooms, like your honeymoon bag, this is something you can start putting together in advance. No need to wait until the last second!

Channel your inner survivalist & consider all possibilities for yourself & those surrounding you the day of your or your friend's wedding.

Aside from your normal overnight bag, here are some essential items that often get overlooked:


FOR HIM

  • an extra* pair of black men's socks
  • an extra* white undershirt
  • an extra* belt // black or brown depending on what the guys are supposed to wear
  • comb or brush
  • hairspray or hair gel for any groomsmen that shows up looking a bit unruly
  • beard products // see above
  • hair/beard trimmer // again, see above
  • makeup for blemishes // Hey! It happens! Just make sure you have the right color. When in doubt, ask the makeup artist or one of the bridesmaids for help.
  • a cell phone with the How to Tie a Necktie/Bowtie YouTube video pulled up

* When I say "extra", I don't mean one. I mean a "spare" in case something happens to yours or someone shows up without it.

FOR HER

  • dry shampoo
  • bobby pins
  • baby powder
  • feminine products
  • nail polish remover & cotton balls
  • clear nail polish
  • cute/coordinating pair of flats in case your heel breaks or feet need a break from dancing
  • cute/coordinating jacket or scarf in case it's cold at the reception // not a hoodie sweatshirt!

MISC ITEMS FOR EVERYBODY

  • clothes or fashion tape
  • safety pins
  • tweezers // uni-brows are a no-no, guys!
  • lint roller
  • toothbrush, toothpaste
  • floss
  • breath mints or Listerine strips // not chewing gum! I hate being the bad guy & asking people to spit it out when it's time for photos or the ceremony!
  • nail file &/or clippers
  • tissues
  • q-tips
  • stain remover
  • sun block & mosquito repellent
  • chap stick
  • sewing kit // make sure you have white, black, & the color thread that matches your wedding dress or bridesmaid dress!
  • steamer

MEDICINE & OTHER FIRST AID ITEMS*

  • aspirin
  • clear or nude colored band-aids & Neosporin
  • eye drops // fun fact: Visine is horrible for you!
  • allergy medicine
  • antacid
  • cold medicine
  • Dr. Scholl's Blister Relief Anti-Friction Stick // This is the most amazing thing ever

* I highly discourage taking any meds the day (or week of) your wedding if you've never taken it before (obviously unless you have a medical emergency & your doctor has prescribed something). Allergic reactions can be disastrous! True story, my mother-in-law broke out in hives the morning of my wedding due to an allergic reaction to a medicine she recently started taking! I'm talking, every inch of her was covered. Thankfully she was wore a long sleeve dress & panty hose & my makeup artist performed a miracle. I'm so thankful she had the best attitude about it though. She's wonderful like that.


CRAFTING EMERGENCIES

If you're helping with the decor set up in any capacity or just want to be super prepared, it wouldn't hurt to have the following items within reach:

  • scissors or two
  • clear, double stick, &/or scotch tape
  • duct tape
  • glue
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • rubber bands
  • extra or coordinating ribbon or twine that may be used in any of the decor
  • You could go WAY out of the way & pack a hammer & screwdriver! 

I finally followed my own advice a few years ago & made my own emergency wedding day kit. I thankfully haven't had need for most of the items & I sometimes feel silly carrying this bag around. But, then I go into disaster-mode thinking with visions of a windy wedding day & something flies into my eye & I rip my contact trying to get it out. I have horrible eyesight & shooting a wedding blind or even with one contact lens stresses me out. Knowing I have a backup pair makes me feel invincible.

Fun fact!

The number one thing people ask me for at weddings is safety pins.

blog posts in this series

1. Prepping Your Wedding Dress & Veil
2. Pack an Overnight Bag
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
4. Pack Your Jewelry & Special Accessories Bag
5. Pack a Complete Invitation Suite

pack an overnight bag

Welcome to the second installment in this series of items that can easily get overlooked on wedding days! (Or pushed until the last second & then something inevitably gets left behind!)

If you missed the first article, be sure to jump over here to read about how to prep your dress & veil.

1. Prepping Your Wedding Dress & Veil
2. Pack an Overnight Bag
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
4. Pack Your Jewelry & Special Accessories Bag
5. Pack a Complete Invitation Suite

When I'm lounging at home, I can wear one outfit all week. But when I go on vacation, I'm probably going to change clothes at least 3 times a day, so I better pack 32 outfits for 4 days.

Sounds about right to me!

I'm a firm believer in over packing, & I think most girls are with me on this, so this blog post may be a bit unnecessary. Basically, even if you're a bridal attendant & are not spending the night in a hotel or at someone's home before OR after the wedding, pack as if you are. You'll be glad you did. 

In my next post, I go in detail over several items that usually get overlooked but come in handy on wedding days. 

If you're the bride or groom, your overnight bag for your wedding weekend should not be the same thing as your honeymoon suitcase!

When packing for your wedding day, only pack things you'll need the night before & the day of your wedding. If you're going to the tropics for your honeymoon, you don't need to be digging through 7 bikinis & 3 floppy hats to find your wedding jewelry. That just adds clutter to the chaos. 

Your honeymoon bag can sometimes be packed a few days or weeks in advance. If you're going somewhere with a vastly different temperature, chances are most of the clothes you'll pack won't be things you need the week of the wedding.

Anything you can do early that doesn't have to be done the week of the wedding will help alleviate unnecessary stress.

ashley&andrewWed_0017.png

pack backups

When I say "backup", I don't mean "one." I mean a "spare." Plan on someone leaving something at home. It always happens. 

Even though you're having a professional do your hair & makeup, pack your makeup, a hairbrush, & curling iron. You never know when your pro has to cancel or is late due to a medical emergency or a pileup on the interstate. I once had a pro fail to show up for the bridal session hair & makeup, & the bride & I had to make do with what we had. (She still looked stunning!)

Even though you already have your special blue lacy underthings to wear, pack a back up or two. You just never know

Pack a pair of socks. Because it might be freezing. If your wedding shoes are cowboy boots, definitely make sure you have those socks!

If you're flying to a wedding, pack your most essential essentials in your carry-on (following the 3oz rule of course. We don't need you arrested on top of showing up with nothing.)

I recently went to Portugal, but my suitcase decided to take a trip of its own & didn't show up to our hotel until LITERALLY two hours before we headed back to the airport 6 days later. (I really wish I had had a GoPro on it to figure out where all it went.) Thankfully, I overpacked my carry-on & had a few extra outfits & most of my toiletries with me. 

bonus tip for the bride & groom

If anything in your overnight bags needs to be transferred to your honeymoon bag (like your toothbrush or prescription meds), it wouldn't hurt to make a physical list ahead of time & hand it off to your maid of honor to make sure those items get moved!

The next post coming up includes FREE PRINTABLES for essentials that usually get overlooked when packing for a wedding weekend. 

blog posts in this series

1. Prepping Your Wedding Dress & Veil
2. Pack an Overnight Bag
3. Pack an Emergency Kit
4. Pack Your Jewelry & Special Accessories Bag
5. Pack a Complete Invitation Suite