Everything to Include in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit
While you certainly don't want to expect any emergencies on your wedding day, it's always better to be safe than sorry (the mom friends of the world will back us up). Prepare for small beauty blunders or fashion mishaps by having a wedding day emergency kit on hand for things like accidental spills, cuts or snags. We turned to wedding experts to find out exactly what an ideal wedding emergency kit includes—and the consensus is that packing yours is an important task to cross off your to-do list before the big day arrives. We're sharing our editor-approved picks for your wedding survival kit, plus answering some of the basic FAQs, like who's in charge of the kit throughout the day and how far in advance you should organize everything. And if you're more of the visual type, there's a printable wedding emergency kit checklist to help you stay on track.
In this article:
What Is a Wedding Day Emergency Kit?
A wedding day emergency kit is exactly what you think: It's a collection of toiletries and essentials to fix any problems you might encounter on your big day, from a ripped hemline to a nauseous stomach or a broken earring. Not only will a bridal emergency kit help you fix small issues in a pinch, it'll give you peace of mind to know that you're prepared for anything.
"An emergency kit will also ensure that you, your family or wedding party don't have to run any last minute errands to get something you might have forgotten," says Amy Nichols, founder of Amy Nichols Special Events, a full-service luxury wedding planning company based in Santa Barbara, California.
Best case scenario, everything will go smoothly on your wedding day and you won't need to pull out the wedding emergency kit—but if anything does happen, you'll thank yourself for having the essentials ready to go.
Wedding Emergency Kit Checklist
Choosing what to include in your wedding day emergency kit might feel overwhelming at first. While you can't predict every scenario that might happen on your wedding day, it's helpful to talk it out with your S.O. and your wedding planner or coordinator. "Walk through the day and consider 'what if' situations," suggests Cassy Anderson, owner and creative director of Cassy Rose Events, an event production team with offices in San Francisco and Detroit. Anderson, who has two decades of event production experience and founded her company in 2013, recommends packing items in your wedding emergency kit that will help you solve any potential problems you can identify (think: accidental coffee spill or an unwanted headache). Start with our printable wedding emergency kit checklist and the essentials we've highlighted below.
Your jewelry should be in top shape for your wedding day, so pack a cleaning kit in your emergency bag. "Apart from an engagement party, your wedding day is when friends and family actually take your hand and hold your rings up to their face for a good look," says Hannah Peck, founder of Juli Diamond Cleaning System, which includes specially designed tools and cleaning solutions that are safe for diamonds and precious metals. "Photographers and videographers also shoot close-ups of the rings, so it'll be easy to see if your jewelry isn't clean. Your diamond's sparkle can't be captured in an image or video if dulling grime and deposits are blocking the light from bouncing around in your stone."
Peck recommends including some engagement ring cleaning products in your emergency kit to give your rings a deep cleanse on the morning of your wedding. Ask your maid of honor to handle diamond cleaning duties while you get your hair and makeup done.
Stitch minor rips or snags with a small sewing kit. You don't have to be a seamstress to make simple fixes to a wedding dress or bridesmaid gown. In case you (or someone in your wedding party) has a minor fashion faux pas, you'll be thankful to have a needle and thread on hand. We recommend buying a few spools of thread in colors that match your wedding dress and the bridal party's outfits to be safe.
Makeup for Touch-Ups
During your hair and makeup trial with your glam squad, determine what products you'll be wearing on the big day so you can stock up on a few travel-size pieces. Your makeup might shift throughout the ceremony and reception, but you can prolong your look by having a few key products in your bride-to-be emergency kit. Blotting pads, concealer, mascara and setting spray are all helpful toiletries to have nearby. Makeup artists will often provide a small vial of the bride's lip color for reapplication. Give this to the maid of honor for lip touch-ups before big moments like family portraits or the reception entrance.
You might not think backup earrings are necessary, especially if you've selected a special pair for your big day. But a smaller, more comfortable set can actually be a major lifesaver, especially if your original earrings are heavy on your earlobes. Backups will also come in handy if an earring breaks or gets lost during the day's events. You can never have too many earring backs either—throw a handful of extras in your tote for yourself and your bridesmaids.
Yes, dress weights are a real thing, and they're a wedding day must-have if you'll be swapping vows outdoors in a windy climate. "Dress weights are the one product you're going to wish you had thought of getting for an outdoor or destination wedding where the wind plays tricks on your guests' and bridesmaids' dresses," says Christina Dunn, the founder of DressWeights, which are invisible and reusable weights that discreetly stick to the interior hem of a skirt. Aside from your wedding dress, the weights come in handy for rehearsal dinner dresses, reception outfits and even bridesmaid gowns. "Dress weights are a wedding day wardrobe staple, and you'll be happy you had them in your bridal emergency kit. Just peel, stick and strut back onto the dance floor."
Wedding Emergency Kit: Editor's Picks
Start stocking the emergency kit for your wedding day with these editor-approved picks, from basic supplies like floss and lint rollers to splurge-worthy items like cute film cameras and fabric steamers.
Compact First Aid Kit
Whether you need to treat a day-of blister (ugh) or sanitize hands in a pinch, first aid supplies are an absolute must for any wedding day emergency kit. This cute tin includes 18 bandages, hand sanitizer wipes and antibiotic ointment, all conveniently stored together.
Your wedding emergency kit doesn't have to be all work and no play. Include a disposable camera to capture one-of-a-kind memories with your wedding party while you're getting ready.
We hope that you'll have time to eat breakfast on the morning of your wedding day. But if you're running behind schedule—or need some extra fuel—a protein bar or two can suffice. Look for snacks that include fiber and nutrients to keep you going, and buy a few extras to offer to your photographer, makeup artist, hairstylist or other vendors.
Stray eyebrow hairs, splinters, false eyelashes…tweezers can do it all. Pick up a new pair before the wedding day so they're at their sharpest (we like this travel-ready set that includes a protective case).
Keep a couple spools of floss with you for last-minute touch ups before the ceremony and wedding photos. Cocofloss is gentle on gums and won't shred—not to mention you'll love the fun flavors, like strawberry and fresh coconut.
This beeswax lip balm is iconic for a reason. With vitamin E and peppermint oil, it's super moisturizing for dry lips, especially on busy days when you might not be as mindful about drinking enough water. Get the multi-pack so you have extras for your partner and wedding party.
Portable Fabric Steamer
It's a good idea to steam your wedding outfit(s) in advance, but you'll also want to have a steamer in your wedding survival kit to get rid of any rogue wrinkles on the morning of. This one is great for dresses and skirts, as well as pressing collars and lapels—like an iron without the hassle of an ironing board.
Remove pet hair, dust and loose threads from your attire with a simple but essential lint roller. The reviews for this top-rated roller praise it for being affordable and easy to use.
When Should You Pack the Wedding Day Emergency Kit?
It's recommended to start packing your emergency kit in the weeks—not days—leading up to your wedding. The week before your wedding can feel like a whirlwind of events, which can lead to oversights when packing the essentials. To reduce your stress, start adding things to your day-of wedding survival kit as early as possible. By packing the kit early, you'll have it ready to go for all of the other wedding events too, including the rehearsal dinner and farewell brunch.
"Packing the emergency kit a few weeks before the wedding leaves room for little error," advises Robin Jenkins, a full-time special event planner, coordinator and consultant at Brown Bird Events in Pennsylvania. "This allows you to think clearly and objectively about what you need."
Who Should Hold the Emergency Kit?
Don't worry about keeping track of your emergency kit on the day of the wedding, because you'll have plenty of other things to focus on. Instead, ask someone close to you to keep track of your essentials. "Before the wedding, give your emergency kit to someone who is responsible, trustworthy and dependable," suggests Linda Ferguson, wedding and event sales manager for Hotel Viking, a century-old hotel located in historic Newport, Rhode Island. "This could be the maid of honor, a best friend or a family member."
If you've hired a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, they can also hold onto your wedding day emergency kit. What matters most is that you trust whoever's in charge of your essentials—that way, you'll enjoy your wedding day stress-free.
Samantha Iacia contributed to the reporting of this article.