I was sitting at church this morning with our three-year-old to my right and our one-year-old in my lap, wondering if I'd manage to make it out of the sanctuary with clean clothes today. Ever since we brought our oldest home from the hospital getting dressed up has been a risky proposition for me. When the boys were very small I'd get spit up on daily. It's not that big a deal when you're wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but when you're in dry-clean-only it's different. Now that the littles are getting bigger, spit-up's no longer a constant in our lives (thank goodness!). But there's still the ever-present risk of cute little greasy/sticky/painty/markery hands coming at you for a big hug... The hugs are the best thing ever; their sometimes indelible nature not so much.
So what does this have to do with weddings? Well, as I was sitting there wondering about the fate of today's church outfit (and yes, I know I really should have been paying closer attention to the service...), I was reminded that my messy kids were the ones who clued me in to one of my favorite emergency tips for big events. Two words: Baby wipes. They're a mainstay in my emergency kit now because they're good for almost everything! I've used baby wipes to clean runny ringbearers' noses, wipe lipstick smudges from a maid of honor's fingers moments before the processional began (maid of honor + train-straightening duty + random lipsticky finger = possible train stain... unless you have a baby wipe!), get deodorant smears off of dark fabric... I've used them for all kinds of things.
My favorite baby wipe save happened a couple of years ago. I was coordinating a wedding at Key Bridge Marriott, which overlooks the Potomac River and has amazing, almost 360-degree views of the city. It's spectacular. The bride and groom had selected that venue because so many of their guests had flown in from out of the country, and they wanted to give them a truly unforgettable DC experience. Well, everything was going along swimmingly when about 30 minutes before the ceremony was set to begin the maid of honor noticed a huge stain on the front of her dress. She had no idea where it came from, but it was big and it was front and center. Her dress was a stunning real silk satin and the dark stain really stood out. With such a delicate fabric, we knew that we had to be careful about removing the stain lest we do more harm than good. Plus, not knowing what caused the stain, we didn't know how best to approach things. We carefully experimented with every stain remedy we knew, but nothing was helping and time was running out. Finally, in desperation, I went at the stain with a baby wipe. We figured nothing we could do at that point would make the dress look worse, so there was nothing to lose. And just like that, the stain was gone! Several more swipes with the baby wipe and the dress was all back to normal. To this day I don't know what was on that dress, but the baby wipes really saved the day.
So there's your wedding tip du jour: Baby wipes. Buy them, love them, keep them handy. We buy ours in bulk at Costco (Kirkland brand) because with two three little boys in the house, we go through a lot of them. I'm sure there are other brands out there, though, that are also very fine.
Oh, and you know what? I made it out of church today completely intact! No spills, marks, tears, or missing buttons. It's a New Year's miracle!
Baby wipes image courtesy of Costco, where we buy (not receive gratis) our baby wipes.