During my time as a wedding photographer I was nothing short of prepared.
Maybe it’s part of my personality, but being under prepared makes chaos in my brain.
It was very important to me that my bride felt like someone (me) was there to make sure that this day went smoothly as possible.
Why? Because that’s the best word of mouth. If your bride has nothing but great things to say about how you handle all the chaos, your golden (Pony Boy).
My job isn’t to be the maid-of-honor, however I realized quickly that brides relies heavily on someone who knows what to do and when to do it.
You want to leave your bride feeling like she made the best choice in photographers.
You want to shine bright like a diamond (omg that song will be stuck in your head all day now. I’m sorry).
So, to ensure I could Macgyver anything thrown at me, I built a wedding survival kit.
Much of the time you can get these kinds of things in the travel section of your local store, since you don’t need an abundance of it. I also bought a makeup travel bag that I put all of it into.
You don’t need to tote this stuff around with you all day, but keep the bag of helpful items in your car for that just-in-case moment. If you have an assistant this is something that they can keep in their backpack.
PACK LIKE AN EMERGENCY MIGHT HAPPEN.
- Small sewing kit
- Fashion tape (aka boob tape)
- Pair of slippers
- Hair brush
- Fabric softener sheet
- Lip balm
- One use toothbrush
- Bobby pins
- Hair tie
- Heel protectors (gel)
- Tide-To-Go pen
- Nail clippers
- Compact mirror
- Extra pair of slacks for you (I’ve heard a nightmare of a photog splitting their pants & no way was that going to happen to me)
- Energy drink, in case you feel like you’re crashing
- Makeup Concealer
- Blotting wipes
- Stick on heating pads for your back (you’ll need one)
- Umbrella (obviously doesn’t fit into the makeup bag)
AND OF COURSE THERE’S THE GEAR PORTION OF YOUR SURVIVAL KIT
- Camera (duh)
- Lenses: wide angle, zoom, macro. I love bringing the 35mm, 85mm, 70-200mm, and 105mm
- Backup camera (yep! never know what will happen.)
- Charged camera batteries
- Light diffuser
- Lots of extra memory cards (lots) in a ziplock bag labeled EMPTY
- A ziplock bag for the used memory cards (labeled as FULL)
- Lens wipes
- Business cards
- BlackRapid Strap
- Laptop & charger
- Client Workflow planner so that you know you have planned out all your important shots
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT: OUR GUIDE TO WEDDING DAY PACKING.
Remember you don’t need to carry all of this around with you. But having them close by (in a car) is essential.
For me personally, I like to have a few of the important things like a snack, water, headache medicine, and blotting sheets in my camera bag. I keep all the rest in a makeup bag in my car.
The gear, of course, is always with me.
Do you want to take this checklist with you? Grab our printable version here.