Weddings & Life with Taylor Nicole, a podcast by Denver Wedding Photographer,
Taylor Nicole Photography
The wedding day emergency kit. Sounds great to be prepared and no fun to actually need. Listen in on this episode to hear a comprehensive list of things you might want to include in your wedding day emergency kit! This episode would be a great one for brides, bridesmaids, family members helping out on wedding days. Bonus, at the end of the episode I will share my own wedding day mishap.
Okay so I need to start this episode honestly, I am not sure if I had a wedding day emergency kit myself. And I bet it is this way for most people, a lot of weddings will go smoothly enough that the kit was never touched or even remembered by the brides. Through the last 5 years of photographing weddings I’ve seen quite a few emergencies so I thought I’d make a good list for you all and share a few stories behind items too!
I was reading lists online and I noticed the Knot recommending keeping a printed copy of the wedding day timeline in your emergency kit which you better believe I am all about being that level of prepared.
So here is a comprehensive list of what I’ve researched online and a poll of recommended items from my Instagram community too. If you want to see this written out I will add this to the show notes and also the blog post has a bulleted list too.
Wedding Day emergency kit items-
- Safety pins
- Bobby pins- for multiple hair colors just in case they sho
- Straight pins- sometimes you need extras for boutonnieres and if you get short straight pens you could even re-attach a flower to a boutonniere/bouquet if it fell off but pushing the small pin through the middle the blossom into the stem
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Deodorant- specifically an extra of the bride & groom’s favorite brands if they’re picky
- Foot deodorant
- Thigh chaffing guard
- Eye drops
- Nail polish & remover
- Clear nail polish
- Nail trimmers
- A razor
- Tampons & pads
- Fashion tape
- Micro stitch gun – link here
- Earring backs- genius idea from my friend Jadyn! We all know how easy it is to loose an earring back!
- Pain relievers
- Nausea medicine for anxious stomachs
- Super glue
- Baby powder
- Lint roller
- Hand lotion
- Chap stick
- Bug spray
- Static guard
- Crochet hooks for dress buttons (not the tiny kind, think something you could easily wrap around a phone cord in width. I’ve seen some baby crochet hooks that can’t grab the button elastic at all)
- Portable phone charger
- Small snacks (like granola bars or crackers)
- Blister balm
- Stain remover! The tide to go sticks are pretty magical
- White chalk- also might work to rub over stains
- Hair ties
- Clear fishing line
The number one item I recommend having in an emergency kit is CLEAR FISHING LINE and a needle. You guys this isn’t to complain about dress alterations, I think how they fit wedding dresses is pure magic, but in my work just in the last year I have seen THREE dress malfunctions that desperately needed something stronger than just thread. Here are a few example stories, and yes they are real!
– So the culprit of each of these three dress malfunctions was actually the tiny clasp above the dress zipper. Sometimes a metal hook into a thread loop, or metal hook to metal loop. I’ve seen both break in the last year. And no, in each of these three scenarios the loops did not break because the dress was tight. For whatever reason these hooks weren’t strong enough, and you wouldn’t believe how important one tiny hook could be… but believe me if the hook that is right above your zipper breaks your zipper will magically slide down the entire day! Obviously this doesn’t apply to every dress type, if you have real buttons on the back then I doubt this would be an issue.
So to explain why fishing line is SO important in these scenarios, one of my sweet bride’s this Fall had the loop/hook break at the beginning of the day. And for the ceremony and portraits we were able to adjust the dress and keep it zipped just fine. But when it came time to have their first dances there was just no way that dress was staying put. So I stepped to a side room with her family members and we tried everything. Sewing the loop with normal thread, which just snapped just as easily. Next we tried a stronger reinforced thread and it didn’t last either. We even tried a combination of safety pins but we were nervous these would snap open and stick the bride during the dances.
In emergencies like these you truly need the clear fishing line because first it’s basically invisible, you can wrap that stuff around multiple times to make it secure and it won’t be easily noticed. And then it is obviously much stronger than normal sewing threads, which I can from experience say were not cutting it when it came to the thick dress material.
Another situation I have seen that could have been helpful was a decorative bow fell off/was stepped on and torn off of the back of a bride’s dress during the reception. We were actually able to make multiple safety pins work for this one since it wasn’t close the bride and didn’t have the same risk of popping open. But once again clear fishing line would have been an easy fix to secure it back on.
The last situation I see even more often than the clasp above the zipper breaking is a bustle breaking on a dress. To explain, usually wedding dresses have a bustle installed to shorten and pin up the long train to the dress and allow the bride to move easily during the reception. Bustles can be a wide variety such as ribbons to tie under the dress, buttons to hook, or small loops to hook to the buttons. After a few hours, or less than in some scenarios, the dress can sometimes be stepped on accidentally and this can cause some of the loops to break and the bustle to come undone in some places. I would say fishing wire would be another helpful point here to reinforce a loop or to really attach the dress to the bustle button again. Safety pins can help this too, assuming nothing sits too close to the bride to stick/poke her if the pin were to break open.
So you might notice that I’ve seen quite a few wedding dress mis-haps in my wedding photography role. It happens, and it’s best to just roll with it and be prepared.
So here are a few other things that might not fit in a handheld kit, just to consider-
- Umbrellas- you can create an amazon order for clear umbrellas and if rain is forecasted for your wedding day place the order. If you don’t use them you can return or sell on marketplace. Clear umbrellas are 1000% worth it! It lets the light through for portraits and still keeps you dry!
- A steamer for dresses and the veil
- Extra drinking water- staying hydrated can make you much more comfortable on a hot day
So who should have your emergency kit- I would say a bridesmaid or a parent could split the roll of keeping track of an emergency kit. If you’re at one venue this can probably easily be stored in the getting ready suite, and if you’re traveling it can be kept in a car or the group transportation like trolly or party bus/limo.
So I hope this list and explanations have helped you if you’re wanting to feel extra prepared for any wedding day emergencies that could occur. My best advice is to be as prepared as you can but also be flexible with things that go wrong during your day. You can’t control everything but at the end of the day you will be married to your best friend and ultimately that’s all that matters.
Okay so now we’re at the end of the episode and I decided to share my own funny wedding day mishap with you all. So to be fair I had a very easy wedding day experience, this was one of the two things that went ‘wrong’ during the entire day. So my hair is very very thin, so we went with a low bun and I had a bridal head piece what was pinned to the back of my head for decor and to distract from how little hair I have haha. Mostly joking there. So I can’t remember who put on my veil, if it was the hair stylist earlier in the day or my mom after I put my dress on. But fast forward to post ceremony and we were bustling my dress and getting ready to enter our reception. I wanted to take the veil out for dancing but after a few tugs and wiggles we realized my veil was going no where. It wouldn’t budge at all. Somehow the metal teeth of the veil tangled up in the wire pieces of my headpiece. And the headpiece was still holding all of my hair together/in place. Something that wouldn’t have been recoverable it we tried to remove it. So I think we sent my Dad out to the car to grab his pocket knife and my family and bridesmaids worked to cut the metal teeth of my veil off, while it was still basically attached my head. Thankfully I think it was just a handful of the metal teeth, they didn’t have to cut every attachment haha it took a bit of trust that I wouldn’t get an impromptu hair cut. When I finally took my hair down after the wedding among the thousand bobby pins I eventually found the cut parts of the veil attachment in my hair too. So that was my funny wedding mishap story. I was lucky to have been able to laugh it off, I was so excited and in love with how the whole wedding day was going that I didn’t really mind a thing. I haven’t seen this happen again in the four, going on five years I’ve been photographing weddings after my own. So hopefully this won’t happen to anyone else but if it does know that you’re not alone.
Thanks for listening to another episode! I hope this was fun. If you have any items that you would add to the emergency kit list let me know! And if you have a friend getting married sometime soon maybe send this episode their way so they know what to include in their emergency kit too.