For Photographers: Wedding Day Emergency Kit


August 17, 2015

I have a flood of weddings coming up this fall, and I went last week to make sure I have my Wedding Day Emergency Kit stocked up and ready to go! Wedding days are already hectic and busy. Things happen that are unplanned make the day run behind: someone spilt food on the flower girl’s dress, Aunt Flo came to visit one of the bridesmaids unexpectedly, a button on a groomsmen’s shirt came off, a bridesmaid has a blister from her shoes, the mother of the bride has a headache, the mother of the groom is crying uncontrollably at the sight of her little boy getting married…

Okay, as a bride if all of those things happened on my wedding day, I might freak out just a little bit. While all of these things don’t always happen at once on the wedding day, these things do happen! And you as the photographer have a chance to save the day when these inevitable events do happen. Think about it, you’re the one vendor that is there from pretty much beginning to end. You’re around the bride practically all day long. You can really help the bride out if any of these things happen.

This is why I bring my Wedding Day Emergency Kit with me to all weddings. This box of essentials can provide a service for your bride and their people beyond just taking pictures. So what is in my Emergency Kit?

  • sewing kit: this comes with 115 pieces- 16 different colors of thread, scissors, needles, and much more. All things I need to be able to help out on the wedding day when it comes to sewing.
  • Tide to-go pen: great to have for those small stains that may happen on a dress or shirt.
  • Ibuprofen and Tylenol: this is used more than anything. Someone is going to have a headache or need pain reliever for the day.
  • oil absorbing sheets: for those faces that get greasy or shiny halfway through the day and need some help.
  • Bandaids: someone is going to get blisters or need a Bandaid for something.
  • dental floss sticks: no one wants food in their teeth for pictures.
  • safety pins: don’t have time to sew something up? Use a safety pin to fix it.
  • tampons/pads: can’t tell you how many times a bridesmaid has needed one of these during the day.
  • tissues: you always have someone crying the day of the wedding that could use these
  • gum: no one wants stinky breath on the wedding day; but make sure you have them spit it out before the ceremony! Yacking on gum during the ceremony is the worst!
  • earring backings: sometimes they get dropped and cannot be found
  • men’s shirt buttons: in case a button pops and gets lost
  • bobby pins: the hairstylist brings these, but sometimes they leave and while you’re taking pictures a piece of hair falls out and you need another one
  • hand lotion: because you never know when someone might be ashy


Now these items don’t do you any good if you don’t have them with you! Find a place for easy access while you are stationary with the bride and bridal party while getting ready, make sure it’s close by for the First Look or other pictures you’re taking before the ceremony, and then find somewhere else to store and keep it during the ceremony and reception. I will tell you most of the time it gets used is while everyone is getting ready, and don’t use it often, but it’s so helpful to have around you just in case! It also doesn’t help if these items are needed and you never let anyone know you have them, so make sure you use this kit!

Just THIS past weekend, my kit came into play in a way I would never have thought necessary. After we did the First Look pictures from the couple, we came back in to start the bridesmaids pictures only to find out that one of the zippers in the dress had busted and was completely broken!! She was freaking out, because nowhere to be found was a sewing kit. Well friends, this is where I stepped in to save the day! Ben told her I had a kit and she about burst into tears she was so thankful. I ran upstairs to look at the dress and decided that the best thing to do would be to just sew her into the dress. Had I had more time and wasn’t in such a crunch, I might have been able to work on the zipper to get it back on track, but it was pretty messed up. So we swapped the bridesmaids and groomsmen pictures and had the guys go first with Ben while I helped get her into her dress. (Another awesome reason why I love having TWO photographers for the day and one that I can trust to go do pictures while I am doing something else.) Once I got her started with sewing her in, a few of the bridesmaids stepped in after they were ready to finish off the task. We only had her half sewn in, the bottom half with safety pins until we finished the bridesmaids pictures. She was a trooper and only felt bad that she was causing “drama” on the day (she wasn’t and it wasn’t her fault). But I cannot tell you how many times they all told me how much I saved the day. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere for the wedding and no local store could be found nearby to go buy the things necessary to sew her into her dress. I’m honestly not really sure what we would have done had I not had the kit.

Loretta patiently waiting as Amber and Melanie get her sewn into the dress.BJL_4417


Before this weekend, I would have said these items aren’t absolutely necessary and the day would still go off without a hitch if you didn’t bring them, but now, I will NEVER leave my house for a wedding without it.  I’m sure we would have figured something out with the dress; but how much extra stress would it have added to the day? All I had to do was pop out my kit and get it taken care of; and how much more does it speak to your bride that you have taken the time to create this kit and have it on hand to help out with the day? Trust me, no bride is ever going to complain that you saved the day! They most certainly didn’t this past weekend. Total cost of my Emergency Kit? Just around $40. As you can probably tell in the picture, I got it all at Walgreens and got most of their brand stuff. To me, that’s totally worth the small investment to save the day for your bride. Be the hero of the day with this Wedding Day Emergency Kit!

  1. aliciawileyphotography

    August 17th, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Great list! I need to repack my bag now 🙂

  2. mandimitchellphotography

    August 17th, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Thanks Alicia! I hope you don’t have to use it, but if you do, you’ll be saving the day!

  3. jeffreyintriguedigital

    August 17th, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I definitely need to add to my kit! Great advice here… I already had the sewing kit and pain reliever (as well as a little knife to cut loose threads), but I can totally see where these other items can really save the day. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this!

  4. mandimitchellphotography

    August 17th, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Thanks Jeffrey! Good luck getting your kit together!

  5. bekwallace

    August 17th, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I used to make one for each bride and leave it with her. Why didn’t I think of just having one! 🙂

  6. mandimitchellphotography

    August 17th, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Oh my goodness! I couldn’t imagine making one and leaving it each time! Most weddings it won’t get used and if it does, it’ll probably only be one item! Make one and keep it for yourself and just refill it when you run out of an item! 🙂

  7. Jeanne Newman

    August 17th, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Add a small tube of Crazy Glue or nail glue – whether someone loses a nail or a gem off of a pin, it’s something I always bring in my emergency kit.

  8. mandimitchellphotography

    August 17th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Great suggestion Jeanne! I have double sided tape in there too, but I forgot to mention it!

  9. tonykjohnson

    August 18th, 2015 at 7:28 am

    a pair of scissors comes in handy a LOT too, nail clippers, nail file

  10. mandimitchellphotography

    August 18th, 2015 at 9:13 am

    My sewing kit has scissors!:) Great idea about the clippers! I might add that.

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  12. Becca

    August 18th, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Also, most bridal gown stores suggest using a white dove bar of soap on wedding dresses for stains that might happen. Tide to go can be a big no-no on silk!

  13. mandimitchellphotography

    August 18th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Yep! I have it for other stuff! 🙂

  14. cheryl moffat

    August 20th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Mandi, you saved our day, You went that extra mile, to be sure our bridesmaid, was sewn in her dress. We couldn’t have done it
    without you

  15. mandimitchellphotography

    August 20th, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Awe thanks Cheryl! I am so glad I had it and it worked out! I loved everything about the day and am so blessed to have been a part of it!

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