Or, “No, Seriously, You Don’t Need All That Crap Other Articles Tell You Are Essentials”
Before my own wedding, I became obsessed with planning out my big-day emergency kit. I am a born worrier, so having a toolbox at the ready for wedding mishaps helped me feel a little less stress and a little more in control. However, that was until the day itself… when I actually looked in the emergency kit for something I needed, it was so large, so overflowing and so full of tiny items that I could not actually find anything I was looking for. The emergency kit ended up being useless, and became more stress than it was worth. I recently saw an article 48 Items to Have in Your Wedding Day Survival Kit – trust me, if you have 48 items, you’re not going to be able to find any of them in a hurry.
I’ve remembered my emergency kit recently as I’ve decided to prepare one as a gift for the blushing bride that I will be bridesmaiding for in April. I want to give her something that will be handy without being practical, so here are my plans for this time and some tips on what didn’t work last time.
What Should Not Go In The Emergency Kit
Before we look at we should make the shortlist for your big-day emergency kit, let’s take a look at what should not go in there. It may sound obvious, but the emergency kit should only be for emergency items: that is, things you may need to use in a crisis, but hopefully won’t need to use. A good example is lipstick and any make-up you’ll definitely need for touch-ups during the night: you will absolutely need to re-apply lipstick by the time you’ve finished eating. (Lipstick was one of the items lost in my emergency kit; in all photos taken of me during the reception after dinner look very pale because I couldn’t find my lipstick.) Any items you definitely need should stay in your handbag, like a tiny mirror for checking in on said make-up. This could also include mints if you know you’re having garlicky food at the reception, snacks if you know you’re going to get hungry between the ceremony and photos, medications you need to take during the day, and cash if you know a vendor will have to be tipped in the course of the day.
Considering items that you’ll actually only need at a certain time/place? If you’re the weepy type and worry about tears during emotional moments in the day, station tissues where you’ll need them: hide one tissue in your bouquet for managing poignant vows and readings during the ceremony, and put the rest of a pocket pack with your place setting at the reception for dabbing your eyes during speeches. Worried about smudging off your lipstick while sipping champagne before you’ve even finished getting your hair done? Bring some straws to your preparation spot, but no need to carry them around all day. And if you have your own private bathroom stall during the reception, put items in there that you might only use in the bathroom like deodorant, hairspray, a comb, tampons, tweezers, make-up, floss and so on.
Those are the must-need items that you should keep close by, rather than in your emergency stash. There are also items that you might not need at all, that shouldn’t make it to your emergency kit or to your handbag. For example, if you’re getting married in summer and you’re not planning to wear pantyhose anyway, you don’t need a back-up pair of hosiery, or clear nail polish for fixing any ladders. If you know it’ll be a time of the month where you absolutely don’t have to worry about Aunty Flo coming to visit, you don’t need to add a packet of tampons.
What Should Go In The Emergency Kit
• Painkillers: Why? No one wants a headache when it’s time to bust a move on the dancefloor, but brides are so busy that they often forget to hydrate during the night, so it’s definitely easy to end up with a pounding head.
• Nail file: Whether or not you’re someone who’s concerned about keeping your talons tidy, you will be concerned if a jagged nail snags a thread in your wedding gown or puts a whole in your pantyhose.
• Double-sided tape and/or safety pins: A handy fix for fallen hems, stopping a bra strap (or bra cup) from becoming exposed or generally putting loose clothing back in its place. If you’re extra concerned you could upgrade to a mini sewing kit, the size of something you might get in a hotel to avoid it getting too bulky.
• Hair pins: Whether you have a complicated up-do that might require extra pinning up or a loose down-do that risks becoming windblown, you’ll be glad to have a few of these babies in your arsenal. Extra worried about a bad-hair day? Also add a comb and small bottle of hairspray.
• Band-Aids: Cuts and scrapes are possible, but what’s more likely is blisters from your shoes. Only skip these if you’re wearing well-worn, comfortable shoes on your big day.
• Extra earring backs: If you have the kind of earrings that require a back to stay in, make sure you have some spares. Keep these in a little plastic baggy if you want any hope of finding them again.
• Super-glue: A teeny-tiny bottle in case of a heel breaking off or even a gem falling out of your jewels.
A Few Last Notes…
Another note to consider is quantities. Just because painkillers, Band-Aids and nail files are sold in multi-packs, doesn’t mean you need to keep the entire stock on hand. One nail file, four painkillers and six plasters should be more than enough to cover you for a half-day.
Now that you’ve got your emergency kit, where to keep it? Assign responsibility for it to one of your bridesmaids – brides have enough on their plate without schlepping around an extra toiletry bag all day. Make sure they bring it to hair/make-up preparation time together, and that they bring it in the car to and from the ceremony (you may need it for photo shoots and such). Ask them to keep it under their chair during the reception so you know where to find it.
How will you communicate your after-party plans to your guests? Will you and your better half attend it, and what will you choose to wear?