Planning your wedding is full of the tiniest minutiae that you don’t even think about (bandaids, extra water bottles, pretty hangers, etc). Sometimes you’re so focused on the small things that you don’t even remember to get the necessary things (HI, this happened at our wedding), so I’ve compiled a list of 10 must have items you should have on your wedding day!!
1. SNACKS/WATER BOTTLES: I should also preface this with the fact that my husband helped me put this list together and this was high on it for him 😂. Snacks are seriously so important though – you’re probably going to forget to eat all day (I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve been at where the bride literally forgets to eat). By the time your reception rolls around, you’ve been on the move for hours and haven’t eaten a thing and then sometimes you don’t even get to eat dinner, so it’s handy to have a bunch of food during your getting ready phase! We were lucky enough on our wedding day to have my dad make us a breakfast and lunch buffet for our room plus tons of snacks in between. Remember you’re probably going to be drinking a bit of champagne, and you don’t want that on an empty stomach either! I also always recommend for my couples to have water bottles on hand on super hot wedding days especially during photos!
2. A SWEETHEART TABLE: This is definitely a personal preference, but it kind of goes hand in hand with the aforementioned snacks. Chances are high that you’re not going to be able to eat dinner if you’re constantly moving around and having people come to the head table – with a sweetheart table, you are making it more obvious to your guests that you want “alone” time (as much alone time as you can get without 100 of your closest friends and family surrounding you). You’ll also get time to just sit and talk with each other.
3. BUG SPRAY: This is SO important if you’re getting married in the Spring or the Summer!! Most venues here have lots of woods and water and the bugs can be absolutely BRUTAL. Bug spray is one of those things that you forget about until you need it, and it’s always handy to have some on hand for those moments!!
4. HAND WARMERS: On the other hand, if you’re getting married in the late Fall or Winter, hand and foot warmers will make you and your bridal party extremely happy!! There’s absolutely nothing worse than having to do your photos outside and not being able to feel your fingers or toes. You can get them in pretty big quantities and they’re small enough that you can even hide them in strappy sandals (the foot warmers usually have a sticky side for your shoes) and you can bunch them behind your flowers!
5. COAT/SOMETHING TO WEAR FOR PHOTOS: This is another one that gets glanced over all the time! Usually for a cooler wedding, the bridesmaids will have a shawl of some sort but often times the bride forgets to have something for herself (HI, I WAS THAT BRIDE – I got everyone cute shawls and completely forgot about myself – luckily my cousin had brought a fur wrap on a whim for me 🙌🏻). Even if you don’t want to have a covering for your dress for photos, it will make you SO MUCH HAPPIER to have a coat to throw on between shots.
6. EXTRA SHOES: You can totally wear cute heels for your wedding day – and you can totally only have them for photos too 😂. Having a backup pair of cute sandals/flats/heels is KEY to keeping your feet happy on your wedding day. You’re going to be standing and dancing 99% of the day, and if your feet aren’t happy neither are you! If you do want to wear heels, more power to you, but make sure you break them in before your wedding day and have bandaids on hand!
7. A RECEPTION BAG: This is something that our venue actually provided for our wedding and it was something I *never* even thought of. They gave us a HUGE LL Bean tote (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it! They’re massive canvas bags that are AMAZING!) for all the bridesmaids to toss purses, extra shoes, shawls, phones, etc into and they brought it down to the reception area for us. It was absolutely perfect because no one wants to be rushing around to find their date to hold their clutch right before the ceremony! It was great to have one spot where everyone knew they could grab their stuff before the reception started!
8. UMBRELLAS: Again, this is another season dependent item, but having a handful of clear umbrellas is so helpful. I keep a ton in my car for this reason, but if you’re worried about rain on your wedding day, having those umbrellas can make the difference between photos inside or outside. Even if you just use them for getting between locations, they’re super worth it. Just think of all the time and money that was spent on your hair and makeup!
9. AN EMERGENCY BAG: I keep a stash of all of this in my bag and planners do too – but if you’re like me, you’ll be a bride with a pile of your own stuff! An emergency bag with bandaids, safety pins, straight pins, Tide pens, tampons, Tylenol, lotion, chapstick, liquid bandage, blister packs, mole skin, etc…they’re the tiny things that you’re not even going to think of needing UNTIL YOU DO.
10. A POINT PERSON: Finally, one of the most important things for your wedding day – a point person. Someone who will run interference for you, will handle questions from vendors, and who can be trusted to make small decisions for you. Most of the time, it’s your Maid of Honor, but it’s important to designate this! There’s literally nothing worse than being stressed out already because it’s your wedding day and then having family members/guests/vendors ask you questions to make you even more overwhelmed. My sister and I were each other’s point people for our respective weddings and let me tell you, it makes your day 1000x easier!!
These are some of the most beneficial things to have from my experience as a bride AND a photographer, but I know that my list of must haves will continue to grow!!