On your wedding day, there are so many things going on that there’s bound to be some bumps and hiccups throughout the day. Things pop up, and accidents happen, so it’s best to be prepared for anything the day may throw at you. One way to get yourself ready for any potential mishap or hassle is to have a fully stocked bridal emergency kit.
You don’t want to find yourself on the day of your wedding without one of these must-have essentials—so you should make sure you have a wedding survival kit at your venue where you’re getting ready and also at your reception site. If you are hiring a wedding planner, there’s a good chance that he or she already has his or her wedding day emergency kit at the ready, but in case you need to make one yourself, you can reference the list of items below to stock your kit. You’ll want these oh-so-useful things in one easy-to-reach spot on the day of your wedding so you can grab them at a moment’s notice.
Think of a wedding emergency kit as instant, mini-crisis wedding insurance. You don’t want to have to use it, but you’ll feel better knowing you have it. We’re sure your big day will go off without a hitch, but in case of an unexpected blunder, pain, or spill, a wedding survival kit for the bride, groom, and wedding party is a must for any matrimony.
We recommend building your own emergency wedding kit based on your own needs and accident prone-ness, storing items in a large, zipper pouch or tote bag, and place it out of sight but within easy reach. Task responsibility of managing the kit on your wedding day to a trusted friend like the maid of honour, best man, or a close relative (read more about the additional maid of honour responsibilities). Here’s a comprehensive guide to everything you should consider including in your own wedding survival kit.
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Your sewing kit could turn out to be your most reliable ally in the fight against the elements on your wedding day. Make sure this includes sewing needles, safety pins, a small pair of scissors, hem tape and thread in colours matching your wedding dress as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses and groom/groomsmen apparel. The kit will come in handy if you come across snags and tear, or find any loose threads. Speaking from personal wedding day experience, safety pins come in handy for keeping everything in place as it should be — from ill-fitting dresses to undesirable undergarment appearances.
Clear Nail Polish/Super Glue
An old trick for stopping runs in nylons and tights requires the use of clear nail polish. Try to get a quick coat on immediately after you find the tear—this will prevent the tights from running further. The superglue might come in handy for fixing broken shoes, jewellery, or other miscellaneous defective accessories. A few words of caution: Don’t confuse the two! You won’t want super glue sticking to your stockings and skin.
Bottle of Water/Granola Bar/Other Snacks
Sometimes with all of the wedding day excitement and jitters, brides have been known to forget about and/or skimp on meals before vow time. Although you probably don’t want to get too filled up on snacks before your ceremony and reception dinner, it’s a good idea to have water and some food items on hand, so you don’t have to worry about fainting or feeling sick before and during the ceremony. Hydration is always key, but a small snack—such as a granola or protein bar—will also help keep your blood sugar level and won’t have you feeling lightheaded or ill.
Hair, Makeup and Beauty
You want to look your absolute best on your wedding day. Your hairstylist and makeup artist have made you look like the beautiful princess that you are, but 12+ hours on your wedding day can cause your hair and makeup to slip slowly. Be prepared to retouch anything that needs to be retouched and pin down anything that needs to be pinned with these items.
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As those aforementioned unexpected wedding day twists begin to manifest, you’re going to be glad you have some makeup in your survival kit for touch ups. Lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, foundation: All of these can smudge or run, and you’ll want to be photo-ready when the opportunities arise—and you know they will. It’s also not a bad idea to have a drinking straw handy to avoid smudging or wearing off lipstick when you’re trying to hydrate.
Bobby Pins/Hair Ties/Comb/Hairspray
You know your girls have your back when they stop at nothing to make sure you have perfect wedding hair. With pre-ceremony rituals like photos (often outdoors), veils, headpieces, hugging friends and family, or hair getting stuck to the face via sweat or tears, you’re definitely going to want something to keep every hair flawlessly in place.
Hygiene and Toiletries
From mouthwash to makeup remover, these personal hygiene items are essential to have in your wedding day emergency kit so that you can fight bad breath and zits and tame flyaways and running makeup. Make sure you cover all the bases so that you’re ready for anything that comes your way.
In our everyday lives, we all know how helpful a travel pack of tissues can be. Make sure you stock up on your supply so it can be at your immediate disposal.
Assuming you want to smell as great as you look, throw some deodorant and your favourite perfume into your kit. Your groom will love to smell your signature scent on you all night—from your first kiss to your first dance and every first in between.
Keep your pearly whites fresh with floss, and the rest of your mouth clean with mints. When you’re stuck in a bind and can’t brush your teeth, these two items will keep you picture-perfect and kissable throughout the day and night.
Because you’re a woman—and because you just never know—having female sanitary supplies can mean life or death. (OK, maybe that’s extreme, but you get it!) You just might be the most popular female at the party if you’ve got a good supply.
You are the star of the day and ideally being the centre of attention only brings positivity to your day. However, headaches and other unforeseen medical mini-emergencies like blisters and minor cuts can occur without any warning, and you’ll want to be prepared to get rid of them in a snap.
Ibuprofen/OTC Pain Medications/Band-Aids
Headaches and other body pains sometimes strike when you least expect them to—and they won’t hold off just because it’s your wedding day. It’s a good idea to carry around some pain relievers in case someone in the bridal party is feeling a little under the weather. Band-Aids are good to have, too, in case shoes are causing blisters or if someone encounters a small cut or scrape.
In today’s day and age, most of us won’t be caught dead without our cellphones—even at our weddings. Someone should have the bride’s phone charged and ready to pull out in case of emergencies or even just to snap a photo or two. Although the wedding photographer should have the photo situation under control, it’s always fun to capture a few candids. Just in case, someone should also have some cash on them. What better place than your emergency kit?
On top of all the other items that you’ve included in your wedding day emergency kit, there are a few miscellaneous extras that you’ll be grateful you included. Initially, your maid of honour or bridesmaid may think it’s a little odd when they open up your emergency kit to discover these items. Still, on a day like your wedding day, you definitely want to be prepared for any kind of unexpected situation.
Double-stick Fashion Tape
The last thing you want is a wardrobe malfunction on your wedding day. Double-sided fashion tape is an essential in every fashion stylist’s emergency kit, which means if it’s good enough for the red carpet, then you definitely should have it on hand for your walk down the aisle. But in addition to securing your wedding dress or bra straps in place, the super-sticky tape can also be used in a pinch to fix a bridesmaid’s fallen dress hemline, close a gap between the buttons on groomsman’s shirt, and temporarily repair a broken necklace (wrap a small piece of fashion tape around the clasp to secure it, if you’re in a pinch!).
Another must-have to add to your bridal emergency kit is safety pins. Our pro tip is to buy a pack that comes with assorted sizes. Use the mini-size pins to quickly fix a small tear in a bridesmaid’s dress (pin it on the underside of the fabric). Medium-size pins are great for reattaching a broken bra or dress strap. And if the wedding florist accidentally forgot to include boutonniere pins, you can save the day by using a large safety pin to secure the boutonniere to the groom’s lapel. One other clutch use for safety pins is sorting out the bride’s bustle. Many wedding-dress trains involve an elaborate bustle that needs to be secured in place after the ceremony (so you can dance with ease!). Let your maid of honour (or whoever else is helping your affix the bustle) know that if they’re desperate, they can always safety-pin the skirt in place.
To get more wedding ideas, check out our post on Tips for Newly Engaged Couples.
Chances are many of the ladies in your wedding party are donning brand-spanking-new shoes for your big day, which also means they probably haven’t had enough time to break them in properly. Save their soles with this anti-chafing balm. Simply swipe it on your heels and toes before the wedding ceremony so everyone can dance the night away, blister-free.
Portable Clothing Steamer
Skip the cumbersome iron and ironing board and get rid of dress wrinkles in a flash with this handheld clothing steamer. If you want, buy two and give one to the guys so they can steam out any creases in their shirts, pants, and suit jackets. (Also, read up on wedding-day suits and tuxedos in our Groom’s Guide to Wedding Suit Styles.)
Stain Remover Pen
Spills are bound to happen, and if something accidentally gets on your wedding dress, you’ll be relieved that you packed this mighty little stain-removing pen. First, carefully blot the stain with a clean cloth. Be gentle, as you don’t want to press too hard on the delicate dress fabric. Once it feels dry, spot-treat the area with this stain-remover pen. If you still need to camouflage the spot, try dabbing baking soda, baby powder, or white chalk onto the fabric. It’s also a great idea to leave a few of these pens inside the wedding venue’s restrooms, just in case any guests need even to get a stain out stat. Create a little bathroom amenity kit for guests that includes a stain stick, bobby pins, pain reliever packets, mints, and tissues.
You can package all these items together in a bag or basket, so they are easy to grab when you need something on the day of your wedding. You’ll also want it to be as compact and organized as possible if you have to take the kit from the ceremony site to the reception.
The months of planning leading up to the wedding can be stressful enough without having to worry about all of the minor details that materialize come the actual day. Bridesmaids and personal attendants can be life-savers just by throwing together a few small things to have at your disposal should any sort of situation arise.
But something else to keep in mind: This is your day! If something small does come up, don’t sweat it. Today is too special to worry about things that are beyond your control, but, as they say, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared!
When gathering items for your wedding day emergency kit, be sure to include anything that you know you will need, like an epi-pen or any other medications you routinely rely on. Your wedding day emergency kit is fully customizable to fit your needs. For example, if you don’t wear lipstick but will use lip gloss on your big day, throw in a tube of your favourite lip gloss as a backup. Or, if you aren’t wearing high heels, then you probably won’t need stiletto heel protectors or fast flats in your kit. When creating your emergency kit, ask those who are close to you and will be there for you on your wedding day what they think you’re missing and ask them to put it into the kit. Now, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.