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Wedding Day Emergencies: 14 Swift Solutions

It's every bride's worst nightmare: Mere hours before the ceremony, you notice some makeup on your gown. Or ink on your sleeve. Or worse: a pimple. Relax, we've got fast fixes -- for these and other last-minute glitches -- that promise to have you and your groom floating flawlessly down the aisle.

Saving Your Gown

Ink Spot
You were signing a prewedding love note to your groom, and your hand slipped? Beware: Removing stains from your bridal gown can be a pretty tricky business. Water or liquid cleaner could leave a mark, and bleaches can irreparably burn the fabric.
Fast fix: Apply a touch of hairspray to a cotton swab, then rub lightly over the stain.

Removing stains from your bridal gown can be a pretty tricky business.

Water Mark
Sweat, tears, even good old Evian can leave watermarks on your gown. Immediately blot any wet spot with a clean white towel to soak up excess moisture. Beware: Attacking spots with a hairdryer may spread the wet mark even further.
Fast fix: Run a hand-steamer over fabric to lift out the watermark; some fabrics can be ironed afterward. As a preventative measure, be sure to ask your bridal salon about using steamers and irons on your gown when you pick it up after your final fitting.

Makeup Mess
With all those kisses you'll be receiving, it'll be hard not to end up with makeup on your gown.
Fast fix: Don't rub! Press a little club soda onto the spot, then sprinkle salt on top to soak up moisture. Let dry. If a hint of a spot remains, touch up with white chalk or talc.

Oil Stain
Whether from your perfume or a small bite of salad, a drizzle of oil can quickly ruin a pristine white gown.
Fast fix: Dip a cotton swab into cornstarch or talcum powder, then gently -- but generously -- apply it to the spot. The cornstarch or powder will absorb the oil. Wait 15 minutes for moisture to be absorbed, then dust off powder with a clean white towel. Repeat if necessary.

Blood Blotch
Did you prick your finger with a corsage pin and then touch your gown?
Fast fix: Wet a cotton swab with your own saliva, then gently rub it on top of the blood. The acids will break down the stain. Works best when the blood has not yet dried.

Stocking Run
Every bride knows that even the tiniest run in her hose can ruin an otherwise perfect ensemble. Okay, so you didn't listen to us and don't have three extra pairs on hand (or maybe you've run through them all already).
Fast fix: Carry along a bottle of clear nail polish to abolish your runs, as well as any that plague your mother or bridesmaids (just dab some on the end of the run), and consider stashing a couple spare pairs in the ladies room before the reception.

Looking Your Best

Broken Nail
Snag your finely manicured talon on your dress zipper?
Fast fix: Apply a drop of fast-bonding glue to the nail break, and position a tiny bit of unused paper from a tea bag on top. Then add another drop of glue. When it dries, file the paper down until you can't see or feel the edges, then top with a third and final drop of glue.

Swollen Eyes
Afraid you'll wake up wedding morning with eyes all red and puffy from a prenuptial-stress cry?
Fast fix: Sleep with your head propped up a few inches by a pillow to help drain excess fluid from the blood vessels around your eyes. If your peepers are still red and swollen when you awaken, flush with Visine and then relieve puffiness with cold, wet teabags to help tighten swollen tissue.

Lipstick on the Lam
Does your lipstick have a tendency to head south?
Fast Fix: Avoid feathering -- and ensure long-lasting wear by filling in your entire lips with a lip pencil that's the same hue as, or one hue darker than, the lipstick you plan to wear. This creates an adhesive surface on which to apply your color. When you've finished shading, apply lipstick with a lip brush for precise application, then line the outside of your lips. Last, remove excess color and smooth lip texture by blotting your lips with a tissue. Then add a dab of Vaseline to your teeth to keep them lipstick-free.

Sudden Breakout
Prewedding stress can wreak havoc on your skin, upping the chances of waking on wedding morning with a blemish.
Fast Fix: Cover a red pimple with concealer as close to your skin tone as possible. If blemish is dark, dab on a slightly lighter concealer with a small brush, then set with matching powder. If necessary, add a second layer of each. And remember, it's okay if you don't achieve total elimination. The point is to de-emphasize, not to remove. An overly concealed spot will only call attention to itself, which is not the goal you really had in mind. In case of an emergency -- say a glaring cyst-like pimple just days before the big event -- hightail it over to your dermatologist's office for a quick cortisone injection.

Shiny Face
Do you and your groom have a tendency to shine under high pressure and hot lights? You're not alone.
Fast fix: Come prepared with a small package of blotting papers, or keep a cotton handkerchief, loose powder, and big puff close at hand to banish perspiration or shine.

Razor Burn
Your guy tends to get terrible razor burn on his neck?
Fast Fix: Make sure his blade is clean and sharp, then instruct him to avoid pressing too hard on the skin, and also to shave with the grain not against it. Shaving in the shower can help soften stubble with steam. And an aftershave with ingredients like aloe and shea butter can help ease troubled dermis.

Shaving Nick
Hand slipped while shaving your leg? Worse, your groom got nicked shaving his face?
Fast fix: Splash the area with cold water, then apply a product that contains both alum (a hemostatic that helps stop bleeding) and potassium (an antiseptic that cleanses skin and closes up pores).

Conspicuous Tattoo
No matter how proud you are of the tattoo you sport on your right shoulder -- and the pain you endured to get it there -- showing it off during your wedding ceremony (even if the design features your groom's name inscripted in a heart) may or may not be appropriate.
Fast Fix: Use a thick yellow-based medical concealer (companies like Covermark and Dermablend make heavy coverage makeup used for covering scars) for camouflage. Ideally, you should purchase this makeup product in three different tones: the first product should be a perfect match for your skin tone; the second should be one tone lighter; the third, two tones lighter. Begin applying from the lightest shade to the darkest. First, using a concealer brush, apply the lightest makeup shade over the tattoo to form a base. The trick is to keep the makeup only on the tattoo -- not on the skin. Both a stiff brush and a fairly thick concealer will help on this count. Next, layer on the darkest shade and blend it in. Then gently blend skin-tone makeup over the top, and set with matching powder, using a puff.

See More: Wedding Planning Basics