Your Pain Points

Last Thursday, we threw it back to my thank-you note meltdown of 2013. I’m still feeling the stress of having outstanding notes to write, and the wedding was officially nine months ago. I asked you brides to send me your own “pain points” and items that are keeping you up at night as you whittle down those to-do lists and get ready for your shining moment. Every single item from every single one of you is something I faced myself, so it was both comforting for me to read, and a call to arms. Y’all need some real advice!

So, here are your pain points and how I — and some very crafty brides I know — got through the same things.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff

“I am terrified I will wake up the morning of my wedding with a massive zit in the middle of my forehead.” 
Summer skin is much likelier to trap oil and sweat than rest-of-the-year skin. Start a routine now that keeps blemishes at bay, and you’re less likely to have this fate swoop in on your big day. Combat the grease by daily washing, but take a page out of my expert sister-in-law’s book and do not use cleanser more than once a day. In the mornings, I wash my face with just warm water and pat it dry. At night, I use a gentle foaming cleanser, swapping which brand I use nightly among three to keep my skin from getting accustomed to one formula. Every other day when oily, or once weekly when not, I use Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Cleansing masque, $23, kiehls.com, to keep my pores breathing. This stuff kept me clear for the wedding and the honeymoon.

But, if you do wake up on the morning of your wedding with a big pimple, fear not. Use ice to reduce the swelling and redness, and apply a clear pimple solution right away to kickstart the drying process. Your makeup artist will be able to conceal the zit, and luckily, your photog can just brush right over it later to keep your pictures clear.

Photo courtesy of RuffledBlog

“My wedding is four months out and I haven’t found a florist yet.”
Whether it’s a florist, manicurist, photographer, or whatever, booking a last-minute vendor for your wedding can be super-stressful. Whether you just haven’t had time to check this item off the list, or you booked someone and it fell through, the situation can indeed be rectified. I know of a couple whose wedding venue went out of business four days before their nuptials, but the brides made their way down another aisle on the scheduled day, and the wedding was picture-perfect. You. Can. Do. This.

First, turn to the blogosphere. I can’t tell you how much Brooklyn Bride helped me with the planning of our wedding. Even though we got married several miles from Brooklyn on the East End of Long Island, I found my videographer and photographer there, and without as much lead time as I would have liked. There are a ton of great resources you can use to help find a vendor in a pinch, so get on the computer and do your homework. It’s going to take time and seemingly endless phone calls, but you’ll nail down the right thing. However, keep in mind that a lot of vendors book several months or even well over a year in advance, so you have to be able to budge on some of your sticking points and might need to make some concessions in order to get the job done. If that means a slightly less established florist, that’s okay. Just be clear about your vision and remember that lovely flowers which are not Pinterest-perfect are better than no flowers at all.


“What if my dress doesn’t fit?”
I get this one all the time. And believe me, I lost sleep over it, too. But what you have to remember is, this is not just any dress that you casually stroll into a store and buy. It might be the only time in your life, but you’re experiencing couture right now. The dress will fit, because it’s being made and then reconfigured to be perfect for your body. Make sure when you get your measurements taken at the bridal salon that if you fall squarely between two sizes, you go with the bigger one. I know what this does for the psyche, but it’s better for the dress. It can always be taken (way) in, but creating extra panels and making it larger is not as easy.

That said — if you can’t put down the chocolate souffle or red wine and find yourself at your month-out fitting with a dress that’s too snug, just breathe. There are magical seamstress tricks that can be employed to make the dress fit, whether that’s taking it out using the fabric that’s already there, reconfiguring the bodice a bit, or otherwise tailoring it to your needs. If you did not go with a bridal salon or designer gown and instead opted for something vintage or OTC, fear not. Two weeks before the wedding, up your water intake and chill with the salt, sugar, and alcohol. You will lose three pounds of pure stress and slip that baby right on. I promise.

Photo courtesy of InsideWeddings.com

“I feel like I’m missing something.”
I cannot tell you how many hours I racked standing in my kitchen in Dallas on the phone with my sister-in-law, crying over this one. No matter how much I was doing for the wedding, I always felt like there was something slipping through the cracks. The best way to manage your what-if stress is to break out the old notebook and a pretty pen and get to list-making. In the final, two-month stretch, I kept a chic notebook in my purse at all times and it contained a breakdown of the wedding weekend from start to finish. Under each topic was a list of moment-by-moment items, so I could prove to myself that I wasn’t missing anything. And/or, panic over the fact that — gasp — I’d forgotten to order the ketubah. This is what I mean:

-Menu finalized
-Slideshow created & copies made (projection screened confirmed?)

-Bmaids & gmen need itinerary
-Makeup & hair schedules created and distributed
-Breakfast, coffee — who is getting? (Jacob!)
-All paper goods & candy display items to bridal suite

-Ketubah ready, witnesses know where to be, when
-First look location confirmed
-Yarmulkes, programs, flip-flops ready in bins
-Vows on a card
-Jacob has reading ready

-First dance practice x2
-Run of show confirmed
-Candy display table where?

-Beer and wine
-Snacks ready
-Can photog stay??

… And each one of these had about a ton more items on them. This way, when I lay in bed at night and pangs of stress came into my knotted brain, I could leap from the covers and enter some new quandary onto the list. Then it would be managed accordingly.

Above all, I hope you remember that this stuff matters, but it really doesn’t. When you see your betrothed at the end of the aisle and you walk toward him/her to say your vows, the only thing in the world that will count is the fact that you’re getting married. Our wedding was obsessively planned, but it wasn’t perfect, per se. Despite all the fumbles and the list items that didn’t work out, I can honestly say, it was perfectly imperfect. And I loved every minute.