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 honor, best man, or a close relative (read more about additional maid of honor responsibilities). Here’s a comprehensive guide to everything you should consider including in your own wedding survival kit.
Photo: Yasu + Juno
10 Wedding Emergency Kit Must-Haves
Refer to our full detailed list below (at the end of this article) to mix and match a customized wedding emergency kit that's perfectly tailored to your needs. Whatever extras you add in, be sure to include these next 10 essential items, as these are major wedding-day must-haves that no wedding survival kit should be without.
1. 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!). Possible solution: Hollywood Fashion Secrets fashion tape, $9.
2. Sewing kit
Look for a miniature sewing kit that comes with needles, mini scissors, extra buttons, and thread in basic colors. The scissors will come in handy if you need to snip any loose threads or cut off clothing tags. We also recommend taking the extra step to track down a bit of thread that matches your wedding dress, just in case you need to quickly stitch any loose beads or appliques back in place. Possible solution: Singer Sewing Kit, $7.
3. Safety pins
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 honor (or whoever else is helping your affix the bustle) know that if they're desperate, they can always safety-pin the skirt in place. Possible solution: Singer Safety Pins in assorted sizes, $4.
4. Anti-blister balm
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 properly break them in. 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. Possible solution: Foot Glide Anti Blister Balm, $8.
5. 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.) Possible solution: Sunbeam Power Steam Fabric Steamer, $50.
6. 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 to also 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. Possible solution: Tide to Go stain remover pen, $3.
7. Lint roller
Make sure everyone in the wedding party is looking sharp and fuzz-free by giving each person a quick lint check before it's time to walk down the aisle. Possible solution: Flint Retractable Lint Roller, $7.
Stash a travel-size can of hairspray in your emergency kit for any last-minute updo touch-ups after the hairstylist leaves. Did you know hairspray can also double as static-cling remover in a pinch? Spritz a little on your hands and rub your skirt to reduce static. Possible solution: L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray (trial size), $7.
9. Pain reliever
Pack a small bottle of pain reliever meds just in case you or anyone else in the wedding party comes down with a headache or has a hangover from the rehearsal dinner the night before. Possible solution: Advil or Tylenol pocket pack, $2.
10. Blotting papers
Even if you've gotten your makeup professionally done, shine can still happen, especially if you're tying the knot on a warm day! Keep your makeup in check by blotting any shiny spots with facial blotting papers. Try to resist the urge to use a tissue as you might mess up your makeup. Ask a bridesmaid to be on "shine duty" throughout the day and give a signal if you're due for a touch up. Keep these blotting papers close so you can stay camera-ready. Possible solution: Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers (30 sheets), $12.
How To Customize the Ultimate Wedding Emergency Kit
In addition to the 10 must-have items above, use our comprehensive checklist below to figure out any additional items you may want to include in your personalized wedding survival kit. We've thought of everything and broken them down by category; choose the emergency-kit items in each category that make the most sense for you and your wedding party's day-of needs.
Health & Wellness
When you’re feeling good, you’ll look even better. We recommend travel-size versions of the following wedding survival kit items:
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss for that perfect smile.
- Tissue, for those happy tears.
- Deodorant, because nerves often lead to sweat.
- Eye drops, so they can gaze into your beautiful eyes throughout the day.
- Non-drowsy allergy meds, especially for outdoor weddings.
- Antacid medication, because nothing spoils a moment like a sour stomach.
- Q-tips, because always.
- Band-aids, because you never know.
- Tampons and pads, because see above.
Photo: Janelle Jones
Fashion & Beauty
Because even though looking your best isn’t really the most important part of your wedding, it sure does feel like it is.
- Lip balm, gloss, and/or lipstick in your shade.
- Fragrance, to keep you smelling irresistible.
- Clear and colored nail polish, to fix any chips or hosiery runs. The clear polish will help a snag or run in your tights from getting worse.
- Nail polish remover, for when your nail color gets onto places it shouldn’t.
- Nail clipper, nail file, and scissors, especially for those grooms/groomsmen who didn’t see a pro before the big day.
- Brush/comb, to keep that updo tidy.
- Tweezers, for errant hairs.
- Extra earring backs, so there’s no need to panic.
- Superglue, for when all else fails.
- Boutonnieres pins, because no one else will have these on hand.
Photo: Michelle Lange
Food & Beverage
You’ve probably heard it before, but forgetting to eat and hydrate can be a big mistake on your big day. So stave off starvation with a few snacking and drinking essentials
- Water bottles, because it’s the most important.
- Snack/protein bars, for when you’re hungry but don’t want to spoil your beautiful dinner.
- Candy, for when you just need a quick sugar fix.
- Juice or energy drinks, for when candy won’t do the trick.
- Breath mints, so you’re ready for your big kiss.
- Drink straws, so you don’t need to worry about messing up your lipstick.
- Gum, because it’s a triple threat. It cleans your teeth, freshens your breath, and burns off nervous energy.
- Alcohol, because a minibar-sized spirit can go a long way.
Photo: Mon Soleil
You have a long day ahead of you so it's important that your phone and everything else is fully charged.
- Phone charger (wall adapter), to keep your cell juiced and ready to go.
- Portable battery charger (power bank), to recharge your phone at the reception.
- Extension cord/surge protector, because there are never enough outlets for everyone's phone chargers and curling irons.
- Mini bluetooth speaker, to play an awesome getting-ready soundtrack.
Photo: Meghan Elizabeth Photography
If there’s still room in your bridal emergency kit tote bag, cover yourself for additional emergencies with these bonus necessities:
- Comfy (but cute!) flats or flip flops, because dancing is hard work on your feet.
- Cash, because you never know.
- Lotion, for picture-perfect skin.
- Razor, to clean up any missed spots.
- Compact mirror, for those last-minute makeup checks.
- Fan, because when you’re cool, you’re calm. This is also one of the few times someone will actually offer to fan you.
- Eyelash glue, if you’re giving your lashes a little extra love.
- Face mist, to quickly revitalize and cool off your skin.
- Pen and paper, for last-minute notes, instructions, and thank yous.
- All things makeup backups, including eyeliner, mascara, and concealer.
- White chalk, because it can cover up wedding dress stains in a pinch.
- Antibacterial hand wipes, in case you're far from the nearest sink.
- Sunscreen, for anyone who may have forgotten to apply.
- Bug spray, especially if you're having a summer wedding (read through our summer wedding ideas).
- Lighter, to help relight candles or sparklers.
- Spare underwear, because...don’t ask.
Photo: Savan Photography