Yesterday was my 27th birthday, so I went on Facebook live and chatted with everyone about 27 things I keep in my "emergency" wedding day kit. I thought it would be helpful for aspiring wedding planners and vendors to see how helpful planners really can be on the wedding day, and I thought brides might be interested in getting a behind the scenes look at what we actually do on the wedding day! I get questions from potential clients all the time about what a wedding day really looks like with me, and giving you a peek in my kit is a great way to start that conversation. It is essentially an artifact box of blunders we have solved in the past!
Before I share these items, I have a disclaimer: I do NOT consider these things actual emergencies. I read a Style Me Pretty article the other day about actual wedding emergencies, and have experienced and dealt with a handful of emergencies on the wedding day or during planning that can't be fixed with the items in this box. "Emergency kit" is a name that has become popular for these in the wedding industry, so that is what I call mine!
I used to keep my kit in a target cosmetics bag (similar). It was great because it opened up and had clear pockets so you could see everything, but it got small REALLY fast! I was on the hunt for a kit in which I could keep most everything secure and organized. One day, I was assisting a fellow wedding planning friend, and she had upgraded to this guy (linked). It's is a rolling scrapbook organizer, and it is a life saver. Combined with the fact that it is available through Amazon Prime, I purchased immediately and haven't looked back. I highly recommend!
Without further ado, here is my list! Comment and let me know if you have any other questions about building your kit or what to include - it takes time to get fully stocked (and I think I add things after every wedding), and I would love to help you start gathering the essentials!
From creased linens to wrinkled bridesmaids dresses, this portable steamer has seen it all! You never know what will need to be steamed on the wedding day, and the steamer I use is easy to fill and quick to heat up. Perfect for time crunches on busy wedding days! This one is great because it is easy to carry around if you are steaming linens, and easy to fill up with a water bottle on the go.
I can’t tell you how many times this glue gun has saved a broken piece of decor or helped a hair stylist whip together a floral hair piece! I keep it around from my kindergarten teacher days, because there isn't much that can't be fixed with a glue gun.
Sometimes after the candles are lit, you will realize you had a dud - especially those candles that float in water! We will quickly swap out candles that have burnt out with our back-up supply if your florist has already left and extras aren’t easily accessible!
If you are planning on making a final payment on the wedding day or giving a gratuity to your guests, I ask that you put them in sealed, labeled envelopes so that I can distribute them. Envelopes aren’t always readily accessible, so I keep some on hand in case you left them at home or the hotel!
The South is notorious for surprise rain showers. This tarp can not only be thrown over something (or someone) in a pinch, but it can also be placed on soggy grass during portraits so the bride doesn’t ruin her dress.
Ivory ribbon is great for tying back draping, wrapping a wayward bouquet, or securing a linen on a high boy. I also sometimes use it to tie a bow around the cards that I pack up for my couples to take in in their to-go bag at the end of the night.
Maybe your DJ didn’t have a cord long enough to reach the nearest outlet or those string lights needed a little more slack in the line? I also use it to steam linens with the portable steamer. Mine is really long and heavy duty, so I just keep it in the car incase I need it.
Stain Remover Pens/Cloths
When you have to look your best, spills and stains can put a damper on your day! I keep stain pens and disposable cloths handy in case of any “oops” moments. These are best for the men and the bridesmaids. I wouldn't suggest taking a Tide-to-go pen to a wedding gown - they are made with delicate fabrics and you wouldn't want to mess her gown up.
Mini Sewing Kit
I have had a lot of buttons pop off of groom and groomsmen attire, and I have also had to sew a wacky bridal belt in place so that it laid smooth and repair gown pickups that got pulled out from someone stepping on the bottom of the wedding down. Sewing kits are crucial when these blunders happen if you have the time to sew them up!
Archival Ink Pens/Sharpie Pens
Because your guest book is a keepsake, you want the pens you use for the guest book to stay on the page and not fade! In the event you forget yours (or yours don’t work on the wedding day), we bring some for you.
Phone Chargers (labeled!)
These are hot commodities on the wedding day! Someone almost always forgets theirs. Be sure to pack an iPhone charger and an Android charger. Make sure you label it with your business name so that no one mistakes it for their own at the end of the night! They aren’t super fun to replace.
Box Cutter/Packing Tape
Part of our job includes setting up and then packing up all of the personal items the couple is using on the wedding day. If those items came in boxes or were packaged up, we will need to open them quickly during set-up using the box cutter, and then pack them up securely using the packing tape and label the boxes with the contents at the end of the night. It is a great practice to label these boxes so the couple knows exactly what you have packed up for them and you can keep track when you are sleepy and tired after a long day on your feet! You can also use the packing tape to repair broken boxes!
Large Golf Umbrella + Clear Umbrella
The golf umbrella is so large that it comes in handy when trying to get the bride or groom from point A to point B during a rain shower! The clear umbrella is much prettier for photos or a ceremony during the rain.
We like to use pretty styling accessories to help your photographer style your invitation suite and day of details! We always keep ours in our kit so it can be ready quickly when the photographer needs it. My kit is a cosmetics bag from Target, and the items inside have been accumulated from weddings and photoshoots in the past.
If you get a scuff or stain on your dress, chalk can help disguise it in photos and cover it up for the day without ruining the dress! It is also easy to remove when you get it cleaned and preserved - it won't damage the dress permanently.
Clear Nail Polish
Clear nail polish can help smooth over a chip in your nail or fix a run in your hose!
When your lips have been perfectly tinted and glossed, but you still need to stay hydrated (ahem… drink your mimosa), reach for a straw to preserve your pout! We keep them in our kit so you and your bridesmaids will not risk a makeup mishap.
At a recent wedding, the groom’s hem came out of his suit right before the first look! Rather than whip out the sewing kit (we didn't have time!), hem tape is a quick fix that will look great and last on the day of the wedding.
If those appetizers had an herb that got caught in your teeth, or if you forgot yours at home, we have new ones with us at all times so you can have fresh breath and a white smile!
Because I would need to replace a stick deodorant every time someone forgets their own, I keep the spray kind so it can be used by multiple people and it lasts longer! I keep a women’s version and a men’s version. This is also great for us vendors to freshen up as well - we don't want your guests to go home talking about your stinky wedding planner!
In case of a power outage, a flashlight is helpful for navigating a space (or if the storage closet where I am keeping your boxes doesn’t have a light)! Another great use? Setting up a sparkler exit in the dark!
Floral Styling Accessories (shears, wire, wire cutters, tape)
Once your florist sets up and leaves, I keep these things on hand in case something needs to be fixed. I have used them to fix chair flowers, trim bridesmaids bouquets that didn’t fit in the vases on the guest tables, and made a makeshift boutonniere and floral crown with these babies!
On multiple occasions, I have had couples bring little mirrors or chalk boards to the wedding to make signs for things like “cards and gifts” or the sparkler send-off, but no chalk pens to write on them. These also come in handy for last minute changes on your guest seating chart.
These have been used in the past for tying back drapes, attaching greenery to a sign, securing bouquets that start to fall apart, or attaching a sign to a staircase that broke!
Individual Advil Packs
Because people always need advil on the wedding day, and lugging around a whole bottle is a pain! I also sound like a walking maraca if I leave the bottle in my apron - individual packs are much quieter!
Individual Tissue Packs
You can slip these in the Mother of the Bride’s hands before she goes down the aisle, or give one pack to a set of bridesmaids to distribute! More convenient than a large tissue box, and allows you to slip any extras in your apron for later.
When you are responsible for lighting hundreds of candles, you never know when your lighter is going to run out of fluid! Always bring back ups so you will still be able to light up those sparklers at the end of the night!
Phew! That was a lot. I also have to admit that, even with those items out of my kit, it still looked very full! This just scratches the surface of what lies in the depths of my kit.
If you are a bride reading this who wants a planner who is prepared for most anything to have your back on the wedding day, I would love to be your gal! The great thing about wedding planners is that, most often, the couple doesn't even know when we have to access this kit to fix something on the wedding day. We are in the background making sure that everything seems smooth on the surface for our couples and their guests.