You might think a planner would sleep in a bit after a big event as we often get home at wee hours in the morning, but I’m really not used to that luxury and I attribute it to the dressing room clean up. You see, after almost every event, some item goes temporarily missing. Be it a guest book, makeup bag, jewelry, etc. Couples very often leave their dressing area to be cleaned up by staff or the wedding party so they can dash off to their first night together as husband and wife. The one problem with this is, often, there are way too many cooks in the kitchen in regards to the clean up. Every person believes they are doing the couple a favor by taking home the guest book that was supposed to be retrieved by the mother of the bride or the wedding planner. Expensive jewelry gets slipped into the aunt’s purse for safe keeping and makeup bags get mixed in with other wedding party’s items. Groomsmen pick up random cell phones and sister’s grab the gift envelopes. While, I always, always, try to control the situation to keep things like this from happening, this scenario is so common that I am very used to the 7am phone calls from panicked brides after they realize that one of their treasured items has gone missing (or sometimes even the drunk groomsmen who woke up without his cell phone or tuxedo jacket). At this point, I always recommend calling mom, bridesmaid’s or any other “helpful” member of your wedding party. 99% of the time, the item is located in the hands of someone the couple knows who “forgot” to mention they were taking the item home with them and the other 1% of the time, the same type of “helpful” friend took possession of the item early in the evening, only to leave it sitting at their chair at the dinner tables never to pick it up again. Either way, I have planned over 200 weddings and have yet to have an item go missing for eternity. But, in hopes of putting an end to the morning after panic, I wanted to make a suggestion. First the disclaimer that I know you brides out there do not need one more thing for your to do list, but I promise it may stop a few tears and undue stress if you take the time to do this one more little thing. Here it goes:
Create an inventory list of your items. List everything out and assign people to be responsible for them. For instance, I almost always am responsible for getting items such as the guest book, champagne flutes, cake knife & server, etc. to a preassigned car for safekeeping. But, go a step further. List out things like gold hoop earrings, one black bra, a green hoodie, a pink glittery cell phone, etc. and assign each item to be picked up for you. Put it in a checklist format so your maid of honor or whoever you assign can double and triple check everything. And, though I know you shouldn’t have to clean up after yourself on your wedding day, I still highly recommend taking a couple of minutes to put all of your items together before you walk down the aisle. Otherwise, whomever cleans up the dressing room, will never know that the purple makeup bag is yours and the turquoise makeup bag is your sister’s or vice versa. If you can put all of your items in one central place, there is less chance of items getting mixed in with other people’s things. And, lastly, if you are able, communicate to your mom, bridal party, etc. not to touch any of your items. Let them know that Aunt Cathy is in charge of packing your luggage or your best friend agreed to take the gifts home. With a little bit of organization and communication, you will have a much greater chance for a peaceful morning after!