If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid or a bride, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of a wedding day survival kit. No matter how much you plan and how detailed your day-of itinerary gets, wedding day hiccups are bound to happen. And that’s where this handy little (…or not so little) kit comes in!
These “just in case” items have been known to save the day on more than one occasion, and since it’s her unspoken duty to put out whatever fires threaten the bride’s composure, it’s usually the maid of honor’s job to compile this kit and have it on hand. (It makes a great wedding shower gift, too!)
But if you’re the kind of bride who prefers to do it herself, there’s no shame in gathering the essentials yourself—especially because you’re more likely to know exactly what you might need (or want, however specific or irrational) in a pre-wedding emergency.
This list covers just the contingency supplies, since we hope you’d never leave out your makeup, bottled water, or phone on the big day. (Don’t forget those!) Pack up your kit in a tote bag or tackle box, keep it easily accessible in the bridal prep room and during the dinner and/or reception, and hope you never need to use it.
But if you do need to use it, you’ll be a hero. And if you don’t? Just save it for your next friend to walk down the aisle.
1. Mini sewing kit with scissors, needles, thread, buttons, and safety pins: For those “make it work” moments.
2. Tweezers: From stray hairs to splinters, you never know when you’ll need these nimble helpers.
3. Baby powder: Hot summer days, crowded prep rooms, and nerves can all lead to sweat. A little moisture-absorbing baby powder will help the bride feel fresh as a daisy. It’s also great for keeping beaded bodices from scratching or chafing the bride’s underarms.
4. Extra undergarments: For when baby powder just doesn’t cut it. (See above.)
5. Q-tips & makeup remover: Eyeliner mistakes happen. But they don’t have to stick around.
6. Blotting papers: For absorbing shine and oil, not your fancy makeup.
7. Tampons/panty liners: Even if you don’t need one, someone else will.
8. Doublestep Foot Treatment and Friction Stick: Prevent blisters so you all can dance the night away.
9. Nail polish (one clear top coat; one in the shade you’re wearing) and a nail file: Polish chips and stocking runs don’t stand a chance.
10. Tissues: For those happy tears (and any accidental eye pokes with mascara wands).
11. Mini first aid kit with Band-Aids, burn relief, liquid bandages, and antiseptic: Safety first!
12. Medicine (pain reliever, allergy medicine, antacid): Take precautions for the big three issues that can attack at any moment—especially under stress: headaches, allergies, and indigestion.
13. Sunscreen: Even if the wedding is indoors, if the wedding party will be outside for photos, make sure to have this on hand. (Depending on your climate, add bug spray for the same reason. Unscented for both!)
14. Towelettes: For freshening up on the go.
15. Deodorant: Chances are, someone probably forgot to use it this morning.
16. Razor: See above.
17. Granola bars or other easy-to-carry snacks: Nobody wants a hangry bride on their hands!
18. Straws: So the bride can stay hydrated without messing up her lipstick.
19. Super Glue: For fixing shoes, nails, jewelry, head pieces, and more.
20. Pen and paper: For last minute reminders, thank you notes, and secret messages between the bride and groom.
21. Breath mints: Hand her one right before she walks down the aisle, so the first kiss is minty fresh.
22. Stain remover pen: For spills and would-be stains on the dresses. (God forbid!)
23. White chalk: If something gets on the wedding dress and it just won’t come out, you can usually mask the stain with chalk. No one will be any the wiser.
24. Lighter: For sealing the edge of frayed ribbons.
25. White duct tape: It’s true what they say—it can fix anything! Grab a roll of the white variety just in case that “thing” is worn by the bride. (Stick-on hemming tape is also a good nice-to-have.)
26. Lint roller: Especially helpful for the groom and groomsmen’s suits.
27. Cash: Just in case! Include some change in case the bride suddenly decides the only thing she needs is a soda from that machine down the hall.
28. Dental floss/toothpicks: Just in case those snacks in the bridal suite try to overstay their welcome.
29. Eye drops: Don’t let red eyes ruin your beauty prep! (Side note: if the bride wears contacts, make sure she brings an extra pair, contact solution, and a case.)
30. Extension cord and phone charger(s): The bride is stuck in the makeup chair, her phone’s about to die, but she needs to call the caterer. Suddenly, you’re a lifesaver.
31. Lotion: For taming dry patches and flyaways.
32. Toothbrush and toothpaste: It’s not uncommon for a bride to be so excited when she wakes up that she forgets to brush her teeth.
33. Extra earring backs: You never know when those little guys will go missing.
34. Hair elastics and bobby pins: You can never have too many on hand. (Add hairspray and a comb/brush while you’re at it.)
35. Alcohol: When all else fails, a little liquid courage is the ultimate backup. Have a couple airplane bottles of the bride’s favorite spirit handy… just in case.
Did we miss anything on your must-have wedding day emergency list? Share your tips for getting hitched without a hitch in the comments!