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The Ultimate Wedding Emergency Kit Checklist: 45 Essential Items

Published Thursday, Jun. 20th, 2024

A bride gets ready for the wedding ceremony with the help of her bridesmaids and mother of the bride
Photo: FG Trade / iStock

45 Things You Need to Include in a Wedding Emergency Kit



You want to be remembered as a radiant bride, not a sunburnt one. As a well-dressed groom, not the guy with Cheeto dust on his jacket. You want to walk down the aisle with style, not blisters, and recite your wedding vows with poise, not ad-lib them in panic. And you want your wedding photos to capture your joy – not immortalize the seeds in your teeth from stress-eating that bagel before the ceremony.


This disaster-free wedding day can (and should!) be yours, as long as you pack a wedding emergency kit! 


What is a Wedding Emergency Kit?


A ‘wedding emergency kit’ could also be called a wedding survival kit: it’s a carefully-planned grab-bag of essential items that save the wedding day if something unexpected goes wrong. It’s like your grandma’s purse – somehow containing exactly what you need no matter what the day brings, whether that’s a hard candy, a change of tights, or an extra copy of wedding vows. 


Your wedding kit should be assembled by someone you trust, who understands what might go wrong on the big day. This might be someone with a lot of wedding experience, like that friend who’s been a bridesmaid once or twice before. You might ask your Best Man or Maid of Honor to build your emergency kit, or a beloved relative who knows you well enough to keep Twix bars close by at all times. 


Your Wedding Emergency Kit, and the trusted friend who prepares it, are your safety-net against wedding day mishaps. Choose wisely! 

Are you a Wedding Officiant? Your Officiant Emergency Kit will include specific items to make your role go smoothly: What to Pack in an Officiant’s Wedding Day Emergency Kit



Close up of a bride sitting in the grass holding a glass of water

Photo: stoffies / iStock

A wedding survival kit helps you be prepared for whatever comes your way on the big day.




Why You Need a Wedding Day Survival Kit


You wouldn’t go camping without packing a few provisions first, right? It’s common sense to bring along a tent, some water and food, and a pair of good hiking shoes to ensure your time outdoors is pleasant.


The same logic applies to the wedding day. Although it’s not exactly like walking into the wilderness, there are still plenty of things to prepare for! Think of it as your ‘wedding day survival kit.’ An emergency safety pin can keep a ripped seam in place while you walk down the aisle, for example, while a handy pain reliever can ward off a hangover and headache before the ceremony starts. 


That’s why a well-assembled emergency kit is such an asset on the wedding day! It’s got everything you need to handle whatever comes your way – and look good doing it. 

Officiating a Summer Wedding? Summer Survival: 10 Items to Add to Your Officiant Wedding Emergency Kit This Season


What to Put in a Wedding Emergency Kit


Use this simple checklist to build an emergency wedding kit that will stand up to anything the day throws your way! You can add to this list to tailor it to the groom, bride, or marrier. 


If you're planning an adventure wedding or theme wedding, you will want to add items specific to the day’s activities. For example, if you’re planning an underwater wedding, you might pack a spare set of swimming goggles or ear plugs. If you’re planning a Star Wars wedding, you’ll need extra batteries for your lightsaber… and so on! 


Note: The ‘Wedding Day Emergency Kit’ used to be called a ‘Bridal Emergency Kit,’ ‘Bride Emergency Kit,’ or ‘Emergency Bridal Kit,’ but these terms are outdated and unnecessarily gendered. The fact is, marriers of all genders deserve the safety net that a great emergency kit provides on their wedding day! Whenever possible, pack unscented items and a variety of options that can be used by any member of the wedding party as needed. 



1. Extra Marriage Ceremony Essentials


Extra copy of your wedding vows: Stash an extra copy of your wedding vows in your emergency kit in case your vow booklets get lost in the pre-ceremony shuffle. Your wedding officiant will likely bring an extra copy of your ceremony script (officiants are heroes!) so that part's covered.


Black ink pen: Bring a black ink pen to sign your marriage certificate. Most wedding officiants will know to pack a pen, but this is an emergency kit after all, so bring an extra just in case.  


Related: Ask AMM: "Who is in charge of getting the marriage license?"



A couple reads their wedding vows during an outdoor elopement ceremony

Photo: ash Jones - Love Luella Photography/ iStock

Bring a backup copy of your wedding vows!



2. Toiletries


Tissues: Keep these handy for tears in those emotional moments, and to help with any sneezing, coughing, or runny noses caused by seasonal allergies.

Dental floss, toothpicks, mouthwash: These simple items ensure everyone looks great and feels confident for the ceremony. 


Spray deodorant: Spray deodorant can be easily shared to make sure everyone smells fresh and feels confident come ceremony ‘go time.’ Bring a clear spray to keep wedding clothes clean.


Bug spray & sunscreen: These are summer wedding essentials! Ward off bites and burns with these simple items.


Breath mints and chewing gum: These items are great for fresh breath, but they’ll also get rid of dry mouth caused by anxiety! Just make sure you get rid of your gum before you head to the altar, unless you plan on blowing bubbles between vows. 


Hand sanitizer or wet-wipes: These are a great idea especially if your wedding is outdoors, if you’ll be passing around shared items, like a microphone.


Pantyliners and tampons: These come in handy for obvious reasons! Liners are also a great way to stay feeling fresh on warm weather days. Pack enough to share with wedding attendants or guests as needed. 


Cotton swabs and cotton balls: Q-tips and other cotton swabs are a great way to clean up your makeup without smudges, apply a light touch of perfume or lip balm, and more! 


Lotion: Choose an unscented or lightly-scented lotion that can be used by attendants of any gender as needed. 


Tweezers / razor / nail clippers: Most of your plucking and polishing will be done before the ceremony, but we’ve all seen those wild hairs appear out of nowhere, or snagged a fingernail on something. These items will help you tame a stray hair or two. 


Hairspray: This multipurpose item can keep your hair in place, set your makeup in a pinch, and even work as an emergency stain remover. Spray it under clothing layers to remove static cling, or on shoes to give them a last minute shine.


Brush and comb: Keep every hair in place with these basics.


Ponytail holders and bobby pins: Choose items for different hair colors and hair types. 


Plain stick-on nails: These might not get used, but they’ll be very appreciated if someone loses an acrylic nail or has a manicure-mishap on the big day. 


Asked to Officiate a Wedding in an Unusual Place? Plan for the unexpected: You’ll NEVER Guess What’s in These Officiants’ Emergency Kits



Older bride and groom on the wedding day. The bride is smiling and the groom is wiping away happy tears with a tissue

Photo: Marc Dufresne / iStock

Tissues should always be included in your wedding day supplies!



2. Touch-Up and Wardrobe Items


Safety pins and sewing kit: These are staples in any wedding day emergency kit! Use them to replace a button, repair a seam, replace a broken watch or necklace clasp, pin down fly-away fabrics, and more.


Veil weights and hijab magnets: These items help keep wedding veils, scarves, seams, ribbons, and more in place. Pack extra if your wedding will be outdoors or in a breezy venue!


Stain remover pen: Plan ahead for various food, drink, or ink mishaps by packing a Tide pen or similar stain remover. 


Decorative silk scarf: You never know when the stain remover or safety pins won’t be enough! Pack a beautiful silk scarf to tie around a collar, hide a hickey, cover a split seam at the waist, and anything else that needs a little cover.


Clean socks, tights, pocket square, etc: Chances are good that someone’s going to show up rushed, wear white socks with a dark suit, step in a puddle, rip their tights, or – you get the idea. A few spare items for the wedding party can help! 


Jewelry staples: While we’re at it, those bachelorette parties can get pretty wild too, so pack a few spare pendants and earrings for the friends who show up a little bleary-eyed and forget to bring the sparkle.


Fashion tape: Keep low-cut tops, slips, straps, and fly-away fabrics in place with double-sided fashion tape.



Close up shows a young girl in a white dress and tights sitting on a tree trunk. She has a dirt stain on the knee of her tights

Photo: Aliaksandr Bukatsich / iStock

Did your flower girl or ring bearer run off to 'explore' the wedding venue and return with a few stains? Don't worry, that's what the stain remover and extra tights in your emergency kit are for!


3. Food and Drink


Protein snacks: Protein bars are a great way to snack without much fuss before the ceremony. String cheese and trail mix are great choices too, just make sure you have a place to store them (and don’t forget the floss!)


Sugary snacks: A few sweet treats are great mood boosters on stressful wedding days. Make sure the wedding party is prepared with chocolate, candies, and other sweet treats for a quick ‘attitude adjustment.’ 


Bottles of water: A few bottles of water and a sports drink or two can keep people hydrated during the busiest parts of the wedding day. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, pack extra. 


Alcohol minis or a small flask: Drinking before the ceremony might not be the best bet for every couple, but for some, a nip of something strong might be just they need to calm any wedding day jitters. (But don't go overboard, getting drunk before the ceremony can create its own set of mishaps!)


Sodas, energy drinks, or coffee in a can: If the wedding party had a late night, the caffeine in canned coffee or soda can help perk them up in no time.



Bride sits and eats an amusingly large chocolate bar on the wedding day

Photo: Kuzmichstudio / iStock

How much chocolate do you need to pack in your bridal emergency kit? We won't judge!

4. First Aid Items


Band-aids / bandages: Stress can make even the best of us clumsy, leading to unexpected scrapes and cuts, so bandaids are a must! 


Pain relievers: Pack ibuprofen and acetaminophen so people have a couple options if headaches, hangovers, or other aches and pains show up on the big day. 


Allergy medication: Over the counter allergy drops and tablets can be a lifesaver, especially if the wedding will be outdoors! Guests traveling from out of town might not know about local allergies, and symptoms can be a show-stopper. 


Epi pens / inhalers / etc: This goes without saying, but if the couple getting married has a serious allergy or condition that requires items like an asthma inhaler or an epi pen , make sure they have these items close by before the ceremony and at the reception. It can be easy to forget these precautions while focused on the joy of the day. 


Tums / antacids / anti-diarrheal tablets: Pack Pepto, GasX, or similar supplies for upset stomachs 


5. Tech and Gadgets 


USB Cords and chargers for phones and tablets: Bring items to charge cellphones and tablets, and make sure they’ll work for your wedding party’s gadgets


Portable phone charger: If the wedding is outdoors or in a remote location, pack a portable phone charger (external battery or portable power bank) that can be used to charge phones and tablets on the go. 


Handheld fan or cute paper fans: Pack a small portable fan, especially if the wedding will be outdoors in hot or humid weather


Handheld garment steamer: If you’ve got it, pack it! This item will be very helpful when removing wrinkles from suit jackets, suit pants, bridesmaid’s dresses, gowns, a wedding chuppah or shawl, or any other fabric that needs a quick refresh. 


Disposable camera: This one is sure to get some use, and is a fun addition even if it’s not needed for a wedding emergency.


AA and AAA batteries: You never know when you’ll need them, but you'll be glad you have them when you do.



A young Chinese couple in traditional wedding attire, the groom holds up a red fan with a symbol for double happiness

Photo: Thai Liang Lim / iStock

Portable battery-powered fans can help you cool down on a warm wedding day, and handheld paper fans can keep you cool while doubling as a cute accessory or wedding favor for guests.



6. Miscellaneous Items


Trash bags and Ziploc bags: These items have a multitude of uses, from quick clean up to dry storage for clothing and supplies. 


Lighter and matches: Whether a groom needs to sneak a quick cigarette before the ceremony, or the officiant forgets a lighter for the unity candle ceremony, these items are always a good idea to keep handy. 


Umbrella / Parasol: While we only want love and affection to rain down on you on the wedding day, Mother Nature might have other plans… Umbrellas and parasols also provide shade on sunny days. 


Pens / Sharpies / Markers / Notepaper: Pack a black pen for signing the marriage license, and a few colorful markers and paper in case you need to make some spur-of-the-moment signage for a wedding table or display. Black sharpies are great for hiding bleach stains on clothing and scuffs on shoes, too!



And most importantly... Bring a Backup Officiant! 


A backup wedding officiant is a guest or attendant who becomes ordained and practices the wedding ceremony script before the big day -- so that they can step in and officiate the ceremony if your primary officiant has an emergency and can't attend.


Keep reading below for more details on how to become a backup officiant, or volunteer to be a couple's primary wedding officiant!  



Make the Wedding Day a Success: Become an Officiant Online

A well-stocked wedding emergency kit is a great step toward a smooth and stress free wedding day, but it’s only the first step! Wedding attendants, friends, and relatives can help the couple prepare for the wedding day in several other ways…


Consider giving the couple a useful engagement gift, including wedding guides to help them plan their ceremony and reception: 



Practice special readings and toasts before the ceremony to ensure you do a great job on the big day: 



And consider becoming a wedding officiant! Offer to perform the couple’s wedding ceremony for them, or volunteer as a backup officiant, in case something goes wrong with their first choice officiant. 



Get ordained online before the wedding day and learn the basics of officiating! 




If you’ve been asked to officiate the wedding, you have the power to prepare a personalized and meaningful ceremony that the couple will never forget. Use a sample wedding ceremony script to get started, and use our officiant training resources to ensure you’ll do a fantastic job!




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What are some steps that couples can take to ensure that their wedding planning process is peaceful? Read the full article here. 



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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