Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How To Prepare For A Cross-Country Wedding You're In

While I could go off on a tangent about how I can’t believe August is already coming to an end, more than that I can’t believe my brother’s wedding weekend is almost here. He and his fiancé, Shannon, have been engaged since April of 2018 so in my head, the wedding was already far off in the distance. Add to that the fact that it is the last wedding of my summer and here I am in disbelief that I am packing my bags to head to California for it! I am no expert when it comes to weddings although I have learned a thing or two by being in three this summer.

This is my second cross-country wedding and as if packing isn’t a struggle enough for me, figuring out how to carefully pack everything I’ll need for someone else’s big day comes with a bit of added pressure. I have a lot of respect for brides that aren’t able to drive to their wedding location given that that would take me more suitcases than allowed on a single flight. Below I’ve consolidated what I’ve learned so far when it comes to packing for a wedding you’re in that you have to fly to.

All Wedding Event Attire Goes In Your Carry On
Call me paranoid, but there was no way I wasn’t going to have my bridesmaid dress within reach when flying. Since all of the weddings I’m in this summer had dusty blue dresses, I almost brought along a backup dress from one of the other weddings to Sophia’s as a “just in case” option to ease my mind. Yes, that’s dramatic, but after how much planning goes into a wedding, I wanted to make sure nothing I did ruined the bride’s vision. I probably checked to make sure I hadn’t forgotten to put my bridesmaid dress in my rolling carry on (I use and love this one) four times before leaving for the airport.

In addition to packing your bridesmaid dress in your carry on (or in a hang-up bag to hang in the cabin closets) be sure that anything else you could possibly need for wedding-related events are in your carry on as well. For me, that meant my clutch, wedding shoes, rehearsal dinner dress, and rehearsal dinner shoes were all tucked neatly inside. If you don’t know if the hotel has a steamer you can borrow or a friend that’s bringing one, it’s a smart idea to tuck that into your bag as well (with any water emptied, of course).

Pack Extra Hangers
While I know hotels tend to provide hangers, I liked knowing that I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not there were going to be enough for all of the bridesmaids staying in one room to hang up their dresses. Depending on the number of wedding-related events and the formality of the weekend, you should be able to get away with packing one for your rehearsal dinner dress and one for your bridesmaid dress. Since I’ve brought a carry-on and a checked bag, space and weight weren’t issues.

Finish Your Toast Ahead of Time
Did I do this for the last wedding I was in? Nope. Did I tell myself I’d finish it on the plane there after a long day of work? Yep. Did that happen? Definitely not. It would have been really nice not to have to worry about this at all while celebrating with friends, and I learned my lesson after having to finish Sophia’s the night before and only really practicing it on a couple of friends. I’m pleased to report that my brother’s toast is written, revised, and printed prior to my departure. I don’t particularly love public speaking, so knowing that what I’ve written is complete and allowing myself time to practice helps to ease the nerves.

Put Shoes In Dust Bags
My go-to wedding heels have gotten to the point where they have seen better days. Fortunately, they were very affordable, and my dresses have covered them, so they are still hanging on just fine but aren’t something I want to toss directly into a suitcase without covering first. I save old purse dust bags and ditty bags specifically for this reason (and because I’ve never invested in packing cubes). The idea of shoes touching formal dresses doesn’t leave me very settled so this is an easy fix to avoid somehow accidentally ruining something while packing.

Remove Your Makeup On The Flight (or don’t wear any) & Moisturize
Whenever I fly, my skin tends to get dry and break out. That’s not exactly the best palette for makeup to look great for the big event and photos. Since I went to work before flying to Seattle for the last wedding I was in I had makeup on that I removed in the airport bathroom so that I could moisturize my skin while flying with Summer Friday’s Jet Lag mask.

Since I’m no expert, I’d love to know your other tips as I prepare for taking off tomorrow!

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